Our research has made an outstanding contribution to the policy and
practice of Health bodies acting to prevent suicide and self-harm.
Research conducted within the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory
(SBRL) has systematically examined the causal antecedents of self-harm and
risk of suicide, leading to the creation of a new theoretical model of
suicide that: (1) has substantially informed new public policy, including
the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) and Royal
College of Psychiatrists' (RCP) Clinical Guidelines on the management of
self-harm and suicide risk, and; (2) has demonstrably altered practice,
both Nationally and Internationally, via the development of assessment
tools specifically designed to identify those who are at greatest risk of
psychological distress, self-harm and suicide.
Epidemiological and evaluation research conducted at the UoE has enhanced
risk and protective factors for suicide and self-harm, the relative
importance of compositional and
contextual effects in explaining suicide inequalities, the unequal
distribution of suicide risk in the
population and the effectiveness of the national suicide prevention
strategies in Scotland and
elsewhere. Research findings have been effectively disseminated and have
development, implementation and sustaining of evidence-informed suicide
and activities in Scotland, resulting in a fall of 18% (from 17.5 to 14.8
per 100,000 population 15+
years) in the suicide rate in Scotland during 2000-2012.
University of Bristol research has played an important role in shaping
local, national and global suicide prevention initiatives. The consequent
reductions in suicide rates have been substantial and many hundreds of
lives have been saved thanks to this research.
The scope and scale of the impact has ranged from shaping World Health
Organisation (WHO) strategy on preventing suicides by pesticide poisoning,
informing national legislation on limiting access to the means of suicide
in several countries (e.g. analgesics in the UK — 1000 fewer suicides
between 2008 and 2013), informing guidelines on the responsible reporting
of suicide for the UK media, and developing highly successful prevention
measures at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a suicide site in Bristol (30
fewer suicides between 2008 and 2013).
Research on the scale and nature of suicide in Northern Ireland has
changed awareness of suicide as a problem and has informed the development
of suicide prevention strategies. The findings have received widespread
coverage in local, national and international media with impact on a range
of audiences. These include policy makers, suicide prevention
practitioners, mental health professionals and the wider public. Elected
representatives have used the research in debates in the House of Commons
and Northern Ireland Assembly. Psychiatrists, counsellors, suicide
prevention workers, volunteers for the Samaritans and the Commission on
Victims and Survivors have actively engaged with the research.
Suicide is one of the most serious adverse outcomes in mental health
services. NCISH research is based on a comprehensive and internationally
unique database (99,000 suicide deaths; 25,000 patient suicide deaths).
NCISH impacts upon practice and policy by providing definitive figures on
suicide to clinical services and government, producing data-driven safety
recommendations and demonstrating that these recommendations reduce
suicide. Based on NCISH research, overall patient suicide rates fell by
26% (2004-11), in-patient deaths fell by 58% (2001-2010), and individual
recommendations may have prevented between 200-300 patient suicide deaths
per year. A new vehicle for impact delivery is the social enterprise Safer
Care Ltd (founded 2013), which has already reviewed 4 Trusts and, by
reinvesting future income in the social enterprise, we will continue to
meet the specific needs of mental health services.
Staff are concerned as public intellectuals in debating policies that
closely affect personal life and happiness, taking part in current social
policy debates on adoption policy and on assisted suicide. Their
participation is shaped by their historical research at the University of
Sunderland within a framework of engagement with modern political debates
on social issues which have become of acute concern to the general public.
Impact is demonstrated with reference to the way that the terms of
debates have been shaped and re-drawn by this participation, in the media
(particularly radio), in Parliament, and amongst healthcare professionals
in the UK, and in the parallel controversies of the USA, Japan and South
Research by Bhui 1996-2013 showed striking differences by ethnic group in diagnosis and
management of mental health disorders due to a complex interplay of socio-cultural factors and
different perspectives of patients and professionals. Impacts included: [a] the development and
implementation of a UK-wide mental health policy 'Delivering Race Equality'; [b] a national training
and workforce development programme that shifted the conceptual paradigm from the cultural
competencies of individuals to system-wide intervention (called `cultural consultation'); [c] service
development research `Enhancing Pathways into Care' (EPIC) to implement findings and draw
lessons across four NHS Trusts; [d] incorporation of research findings into national and
international guidelines, and influence on mental health legislation and policy; and [e] a new phase
of research on implementing findings.
In 2011 there were 6,045 suicides in people aged 15 and over in the UK.
Training health and social care professionals is an essential component of
suicide prevention strategies across the world. The University of
Manchester (UoM) has developed and evaluated a method of training health
and other frontline professionals in suicide risk assessment and
management skills (STORM). The STORM project, now incorporated as a social
enterprise with 2 permanent members of staff, has provided training to 670
training facilitators who have subsequently trained around 230,000 workers
in the UK and overseas. In the first year of trading as a social
enterprise, the majority of customers of Storm CIC were NHS Trusts with an
annual turnover of £250k in 2012-13.