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These two annual meetings organised by the Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, for researchers from the UK and Ireland were merged into two virtual workshops this year. The first focused on research related to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on suicide and self-harm and the second on other research in the field of suicidal behaviour.

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Approximately 70 participants took part in the two day virtual event, with some as far flung as Australia. The sessions were chaired by Professor Keith Hawton, Director of the Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, Niall Boyce, Editor of The Lancet Psychiatry, and Nav Kapur, Head of Research at the Centre for Mental Health and Safety, University of Manchester. Wendy Cliff, Membership and Events Coordinator with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and based in Melbourne, Australia, assisted with the technicalities of the meetings.

The presentations were of new studies, early research findings (most unpublished) and conceptual ideas around research in the field of suicide and self-harm. The studies related to the COVID-19 pandemic were particularly interesting, focussing on trends in both suicide, self-harm and help-seeking by suicidal people since the onset of spread of the disease.

Professor Keith Hawton said, 

The meetings appeared to be very successful. It was therefore extremely rewarding that it was possible to keep the tradition of these popular meetings going in the current difficult circumstances.

Centre for Suicide Research                                         The Lancet Psychiatry

Day 1 (5 October) 

Studies related to the COVID Pandemic

Professor Keith Hawton welcomed participants and introduced the first speaker.

  • Jane Pirkis - 'Global perspective on suicides in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic'
  • Louis Appleby - 'Real time surveillance of suspected suicides in response to Covid-19: the England experience'
  • Ann John, Chukwudi Okolie, Emily Eyles, Roger Webb, Lena Schmidt, Luke A. McGuiness, Babatunde K. Olorisade, Ella Arensman, Keith Hawton, Nav Kapur, Paul Moran, Rory O'Connor, Siobhan O'Neill, Julian Higgins and David Gunnell - 'Towards real time evidence - a living systematic review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-harm and suicidal behaviour'

Nav Kapur chaired the afternoon session.

  • Sarah Steeg, Matthew Carr, Richard Williams, Nav Kapur, Darren Ashcroft, Niels Peek and Roger Webb - 'Primary care contact for mental illness and self-harm before, during and after the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic'
  • Paul Corcoran, Caroline Daly, Niall McTernan, Sarah Nicholson, Eve Griffin, Ella Arensman and Mary Joyce - 'Impact of COVID-19 on hospital-presenting self-harm in Ireland'
  • Karen Lascelles, Fiona Brand, Deborah Casey, Liz Bale, Jennifer Ness, Samantha Kelly, Keith Waters and Keith Hawton - 'Covid-19-related factors influencing self-harm in the initial period following lockdown: a study based on hospital clinicians’ assessments'
  • Maurice Mulvenna, Robin Turkington, Raymond Bond, Edel Ennis, Courtney Potts, Ciaran Moore, Louise Hamra, Jacqui Morrisey, Mette Isaksen, Elizabeth Scowcroft, Siobhan O'Neill - 'An analysis of caller behaviour to a Crisis Helpline before and during the COVID-19 pandemic'
  • Liz Scowcroft, Mette Isaksen, Stephanie Stace, Magdalena Tomaszewska and Jacqui Morrissey - 'Insights from Samaritans services on COVID-19: what are our callers telling us and how has service use changed?'


Day 2 (6 October)

General Research

Professor Keith Hawton welcomed participants and introduced the first speaker.

  • Lizzy Winstone, Becky Mars, Claire Haworth, Jon Heron and Judi Kidger - 'A latent class analysis approach to understanding social media use and adolescent mental health: Results from a cross-sectional survey'
  • Jo Robinson, Zoe Teh, Michelle Lamblin, Nicole Hill, Louise LaSala and Pinar Thorn - 'Using social media for suicide prevention: the #chatsafe global project'
  • Caroline Daly, Eve Griffin, Paul Corcoran, Roger Webb, Darren Ashcroft, Ivan Perry and Ella Arensman - 'A national case fatality study of drugs taken in intentional drug overdose'
  • Dave McDaid, A-La Park, Apostolos Tsiachristas, Galit Geulayov, Deborah Casey, Fiona Brand and Keith Hawton - 'Assessing the economic impact of self-harm and suicidal behaviour: a systematic mapping review'

Niall Boyce chaired the afternoon session. 

  • Seena Fazel and Daniel Whiting - 'Machine learning for suicide risk assessment: opportunities and pitfalls'
  • Rachel Gibbons, Anne Carbonnier, Alison Croft, A., Karen Lascelles, Fiona Brand, Gislene Wolfart, Melsina Makaza and Keith Hawton - 'Effects on clinicians of suicides of patients: surveys and resources'
  • Peter Taylor, Brendan Dunlop, Samantha Hartley and Olayinka Oladokun - 'Self-Injury in bisexual people: A meta-analysis of risk'
  • Naomi Warne, Jon Heron, Becky Mars, Paul Moran, Anne Stewart, Marcus Munafo, Lucy Biddle, Andy Skinner, David Gunnell and Helen Bould - 'Comorbidity of self-harm and disordered eating in young people: Evidence from a UK population-based cohort'

For further information about The Centre for Suicide Research.


Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.