suicide

Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your life.

There are three levels of intervention in suicide; 1) universal 2) selective and 3) indicated.

Universal interventions target everyone in a defined population. They aim to increase awareness about suicide, remove barriers to care, promote help-seeking and encourage protective factors. Some examples of universal interventions include school-based interventions and national initiatives such as restricted access to lethal means. Evidence suggests that universal interventions are effective at increasing awareness and helping skills, though there is little evidence to suggest they’re effective at reducing suicide-related thoughts or behaviours.

Selective interventions address specific groups at increased risk for suicidal behaviours, for instance those with mental health problems or harmful use of substances. To date, there have been few studies into selective interventions and results are mixed.

Indicated interventions target high-risk individuals already displaying signs of suicidal behaviour. Examples include brief contact interventions (e.g. crisis cards) and talking therapies. Evidence suggests that brief contact interventions are effective for young people in clinical settings. A network meta-analysis conducted in 2021 found that the most effective talking therapies for suicide and self-harm in young people are dialectical behavioural therapies and mentalisation-based therapies.

 

Our suicide Blogs

Risk and recovery factors in male suicide: is society failing men?

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Lucy Barrass considers a recent review, which suggests that understanding masculine norms is a key area for suicide prevention.

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What’s the relationship between the menstrual cycle and suicidal ideation?

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Gemma Sawyer discusses new research on the menstrual cycle as a possible acute trigger for suicidal ideation.

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Is targeting loneliness the key to releasing people from entrapment and preventing suicide?

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Liam Pikett summarises a cross-sectional study exploring the association of family, social and romantic loneliness with suicidal ideation and self-harm.

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Introducing the Hope service: we need to provide practical support to men at risk of suicide

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In his debut blog, Michael J. Wilson appraises a qualitative study, which examined service users, staff and stakeholder perspectives on a service helping to prevent suicide in men who are going through a crisis.

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Many causes of death among people with bipolar disorder are potentially preventable

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Anneka Tomlinson and Andrea Cipriani from the University of Oxford co-write this important blog on causes of mortality among those with bipolar disorder, highlighting the importance of suicide prevention across age groups.

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Sexual minorities, suicide and self-harm: new research in England deepens our understanding

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In his debut blog, Liam Mackay summarises a recent study that shows an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and non-suicidal self-harm in bisexual and lesbian/gay individuals. The study also highlights common mental health problems, discrimination and bullying as potential contributors to this excess risk.

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What emotions do male prisoners experience prior to suicide and violence?

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In this blog by Hilary Norman, she explores a new study on the emotions that male prisoners experience prior to suicide, self-harm or violence using a novel participatory visual method involving drawing their feelings.

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Everyday discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic: the toll on mental health

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A group of UCL MSc students summarise a US study on the association of everyday discrimination with depression and suicidal ideation during the pandemic.

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Young people’s experiences of suicidal distress in their own words

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India Bellairs-Walsh summarise a Scottish qualitative study of young people’s lived experiences of suicide and self-harm, which explores intention, rationality and authenticity, and has many implications for practice.

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How do friendships influence adolescent self-injurious thoughts and behaviours?

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In her debut blog, Bella Brereton writes with Rasanat Fatima Nawaz to summarise a systematic review that explored the associations between self-injurious thoughts and behaviours and school-based friendship networks in adolescents, using sociometric data.

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