Suicide and self-harm in children and young people: An interdisciplinary approach to prevention

Nicolson Building
Friday 6 July 2018 (09:00-16:30)

If you are interested in participating in this workshop please email Lauren Rawlins


WORKSHOP LEADER – Dr Maria Michail, School of Psychology, Institute for Mental Health

Suicide is a global public health concern costing the lives of approximately one million people per annum (WHO, 2014). This equates to one death every 40 seconds. By 2020, this rate is predicted to increase to one every 20 seconds (WHO, 2014). Despite national and international preventative efforts, suicide rates are on the rise with detrimental social, psychological and economic consequences. Our understanding of suicide and its multiple determinants remains disjointed. The Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention Research Group, within the Institute for Mental Health (IMH), has been formed to promote and foster research excellence in the field of suicide and self-harm with regional, national and international impact.

This IAS workshop is a timely response to the pressing need to identify the “big questions” around suicidology and highlight challenges in our understanding of the multiple meanings and drivers (societal, psychological, biological, political, economic) of suicide as well as strategies to tackle and prevent this tragic outcome. Self-harm is known to be a core risk factor for completed suicide but is also a complex behavioural practice in its own right, one that may serve as a coping mechanism in the face of otherwise unendurable distress. As such, it is imperative to forge greater understandings of the connections and disconnections between self-harm and suicide, reflecting on each as different, but often linked, public health emergencies.

To achieve this aim, the IAS workshop has been designed to bring together University of Birmingham Researchers (working closely with the Children and Childhood Network), national leading scholars in suicidology and self-harm from across different disciplines (e.g. psychology, sociology, psychiatry, social policy, philosophy, education) and settings (e.g. academia, third sector, NHS) in order to facilitate and promote a transdisciplinary approach to such complex and complicated phenomena.