The research is a collaboration between:
- University of Bristol (lead Professor David Gunnell)
- University of Oxford (lead Professor Keith Hawton)
- University of Manchester (lead Professor Nav Kapur)
- University of Glasgow
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
- Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
- Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Over 15 collaborating researchers, clinicians, health service managers, service users and voluntary sector representatives are part of the research group.
There are three components to the programme:
1. Assessing and responding to the impact of the economic crisis
Using national suicide and self-harm data, Coroners’ records of recession associated suicide, and in-depth qualitative interviews with people whose self-harm had been precipitated by employment or financial difficulties, we will a) identify who is at greatest risk of suicide in the current economic crisis and b) develop and pilot interventions aimed at reducing their risk.
2. Improving services for self-harm
- Using descriptive and cohort studies with economic modelling we will identify which risk assessment tools are used by health services, which tools have the best predictive value, and which might be most cost-effective
- We will carry out a systematic review, a retrospective case record study and focus groups to assess how self-harm associated with an advance decision is best managed
- Using qualitative interviews we will develop a Healthtalkonline website and guide for parents and carers of young people who self-harm and produce guidelines for self-harm services.
3. The emergence of new suicide methods
- We will use time trend analysis to assess the emergence of novel methods of suicide, and use Coroners records to investigate opportunities for preventing these deaths
- We will use national suicide mortality data, data from the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England (Oxford, Derby and Manchester), and prescription data to analyse relative toxicity and case fatality in relation to overdoses of five groups of medicines commonly used in suicides by self-poisoning. Findings will be reported to the MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).