Episode 3: Can intervention prevent suicide in young people?

Warning: This podcast episode contains discussions about suicide, which may be distressing to some individuals. We encourage listener discretion and self-care. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues, please seek help immediately.

In this episode

One of the biggest myths about suicide is that it’s inevitable, however suicide is eminently preventable. Over the last ten years, the rate of suicide in children and young people has been increasing and research suggests for every death through suicide almost 135 lives can be affected. In this podcast episode, Professor of Health Data Science, Ann John explores suicide and self-harm prevention.

Professor John’s research looks at anonymised data linking across sectors from school attendance and absences, examination attainment and medical appointments with the GP or in hospitals to social media, Google analytics and media reporting. Whilst this data is never linked to a named individual the patterns of behaviours of a number of individuals can build a picture of how interventions can be designed, protocols put in place and policies developed to help inform and train professionals in contact with those who self-harm or are at risk of suicide.

About our expert

Professor Ann John holds a personal chair in Public Health and Psychiatry. She is a clinical epidemiologist with a background in public health and general practice. Her research focuses on suicide and self-harm prevention and children and young peoples’ mental health. She is PI and Co-Director of DATAMIND, the MRC funded HDRUK Mental Health Data Hub. 

Professor John leads a research programme with a focus on mental health data science including the MQ funded Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform, the Suicide Information Database-Cymru, the National Centre for Mental Health and the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health. 

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