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This year's annual meeting focused again on research related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide and self-harm. There was another session on online safety in the context of suicidal behaviour and the Online Safety Bill. Organised by the Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, these virtual workshops for both senior and early career researchers from the UK and Ireland provide an important opportunity to share knowledge and discuss the latest research. This year there were also contributions from Australia and Denmark.

Light blue social network interface with circuits.

Professor Keith Hawton, Director of the Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, said:


'While our usual face-to-face meetings provide great opportunities for sharing and informal networking, the virtual format due to the pandemic made the workshop both effective and accessible. With over 60 participants, it was a very important opportunity to share the latest research, especially regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of online safety in the prevention of suicide and self-harm. The Lancet Psychiatry Suicide Symposium is the last with Niall Boyce, who is leaving his post as editor of Lancet Psychiatry, and we'd like to thank him for his dedication and commitment to this important area of research.'


Centre for Suicide Research                                   The Lancet Psychiatry



Day 1 (11 October) 


Professor Keith Hawton welcomed participants and introduced the first speaker.

  • Jane Pirkis - 'Ongoing international monitoring of suicide in the context of COVID-19'
  • Roger Webb, Sarah Steeg, Matthew Carr, Lana Bojanić, Laszlo Trefan, Darren Ashcroft, Nav Kapur - 'Utilisation of integrated electronic healthcare records to examine perturbations in presentation frequency and primary care clinical management of self-harm during the COVID-19 pandemic'
  • Aideen Maguire, Dermot O'Reilly, Denise O'Hagan, Siobhan O'Neill - 'The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-harm presentations and mortality risk in Northern Ireland'
  • Mary Joyce, Isabela Troya, Ella Arensman - 'Impact of COVID-19 public health measures on mental health and wellbeing in Ireland: a national household survey'
  • Lisa Marzano, Monica Hawley, Lorna Fraser, Eva Harris-Skillman, Yasmine Lainez, Keith Hawton - 'Have news reports on suicide and attempted suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic adhered to guidance on safer reporting? A UK-wide content analysis study'

Niall Boyce chaired the following session.

  • Daniel Pratt, Gill Haddock, Jenny Shaw, Yvonne Awenat, Charlotte Lennox, Patricia Gooding, Dawn Edge, Sarah Knowles - 'Cognitive behavioural therapy for preventing suicidal behaviour in prisoners: Evidence from clinical trials'
  • Robin Turkington, Maurice D Mulvenna, Raymond Bond, Edel Ennis, Siobhan O'Neill, Courtney Potts, Ciaran Moore, Louise Hamra - 'An analysis of crisis helpline call data following a murder-suicide event''
  • Becky Mars, David Gunnell, Paul Moran, Rory O'Connor, George Patton, Ian Penton Voak, Jon Heron - 'Trajectories of self-harm from adolescence to adulthood'
  • Hilary Causer, Eleanor Bradley, Jo Smith, Kate Muse - 'Bearing Witness: University staff experiences following a student death by suicide'


Day 2 (12 October)

Online Safety

Professor Keith Hawton welcomed participants and introduced the first speaker.

  • Jacqui Morrissey - 'The Online Safety Bill: opportunity or challenge for suicide prevention?'
  • Karima Susi, Anne Stewart, Rebecca Knowles Bevis, and Keith Hawton - 'Investigating self-harm related mental imagery in young people'
  • Jo Robinson, Louise LaSala, Jane Pirkis, Charlie Cooper, Michelle Lamblin, Pinar Thorn, Gowri Rajaram, Nicole Hill - 'Can a social media intervention reduce the risk of suicide clusters? An evaluation of #chatsafe for communities'

Nav Kapur chaired this session. 

  • Cecilie Fitzgerald, Rune Haubo, Bojesen Christensen, Jerome Simons, Per Kragh Andersen, Michael Eriksen Benros, Merete Nordentoft, Annette Erlangsen, Keith Hawton - 'Relative effectiveness of treatment with mood stabilisers for people with bipolar disorder on suicidal behaviour and psychiatric hospitalisation: A study of Danish national register data'
  • Dee Knipe - 'Suicide rates in ethnic minority groups - systematic review evidence and planned ONS analysis'
  • Hilary Norma, Lisa Marzano, Ian Marsh, Ioana Crivatu, Rachel Winter, Jay-Marie Mackenzie - 'Factors deterring and prompting the decisions to attempt suicide on England's Strategic Road Network: A multi-methodological analysis'
  • Caleb Leduc, Cliodhna O'Connor, Birgit Greiner, Paul Corcoran, Eileen Williamson, Eve Griffin, Karen Mulcahy, Doireann Ni Dhalaigh, Ella Arensman and the MENTUPP Consortium - 'Mental health promotion and suicide prevention in the workplace (MENTUPP)'

For further information about The Centre for Suicide Research.


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

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