Children and Young People’s Suicide and Self-Harm Research Collaboration

Initiator and Accelerator Fund

Project period: October 2014 – January 2015 (Initiator) February – August 2016 (Accelerator)

GW4 Community Leads
University of Bath: Paul Stallard, Jeffery Gavin
University of Bristol: David Gunnell, Judi Kidger, Becky Mars, Lucy Biddle
Cardiff University: Rhiannon Evans, Jonathan Scourfield, Nina Jacob
University of Exeter: Tamsin Ford, Astrid Janssens

Project overview

Self-harm and suicide in children and young people remains a major public health concern. Prevalence rates of self-harm in the UK have been estimated at 7-18%. Although national-level data for suicide in children and young people are rarely made available, global estimates indicate it is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.

This GW4 community aims to address this important public health issue through the development and evaluation of complex prevention and intervention approaches within educational settings. The collaboration specifically focuses on a key evidence gap, namely the dearth of effective programmes available to schools and their staff in supporting students at risk of self-harm.

We aim to generate capacity and strategic direction within the community through mentoring, knowledge-exchange, and collaboration on grant application. We will engage in a substantial consultation with secondary schools in England and Wales to identify intervention needs, map existing self-harm prevention and intervention provision, and build sustainable research relationships. We would also like to identify key elements for an acceptable school-based intervention programme.