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Centre for Suicide Research | About Us |

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Suicide and attempted suicide (now usually termed 'self-harm' in the UK) are major problems in most countries in the world. There are more than 800,000 suicides per year worldwide. The number of episodes of self-harm is far greater. In the UK there are approximately 5000 suicides per year, and considerably more deaths from suicide than from road traffic accidents. The number of people presenting to hospitals following self-harm episodes exceeds the number of suicides in most countries by at least 20 to one. In the UK there are an estimated 170,000 cases annually. This figure has increased substantially in recent years. Both suicide and self-harm involve large numbers of young people, many in their teens. Prevention of suicidal behaviour is a major health care target for the UK Government, which in 2002 established a National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. A separate prevention strategy has been established in Scotland. Suicide prevention is a high priority in an increasing number of other countries. The programme of work being conducted at the Centre for Suicide Research is aimed at increasing knowledge directly relevant to prevention of suicide and self harm.

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Scope of research

Our research encompasses both suicide and attempted suicide. The research programme includes epidemiological studies and investigation of the full range of the causes of suicidal behaviour - psychological, psychiatric, social and biological. We are especially interested in developing and evaluating effective methods of treating people after suicide attempts and preventing suicidal behaviour. We are also concerned with improving care for bereaved relatives and other people affected by suicide.

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These are to:

Conduct high quality research investigations that will:
a) Increase knowledge of the causes of suicidal behaviour
b) Provide evidence on the strategies that will reduce suicidal behaviour
c) Inform treatment provision for individuals who are at risk of suicide or have made suicide attempts

Disseminate research findings that are relevant to prevention of suicidal behaviour

Collaborate and interchange with other major centres internationally and with other research groups in the UK

Provide training opportunities for research workers and students who wish to develop research experience and skills relevant to suicide prevention

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Specific areas for research

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National collaboration

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International collaboration

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Sources of funding

We have been supported by:


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Advisory group

Professor Douglas Altman
Mr. Simon Armson
Dame Fiona Caldicott
Professor Guy Goodwin
Professor Muir Gray
Professor David Gunnell
Professor Kay Redfield Jamison (International Advisor)
Mr. Tony Purkis
Mrs. Vanda Scott (International Consultant)

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Advisory Group

Scope of Research


Specific Areas of Research

National Collaboration

International Collaboration

Sources of Funding



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