Australian COVID-19 suicide research
The University of Melbourne calls on all Australian researchers planning or already conducting suicide-related research regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to share their research updates and ideas as part of the LIFEWAYS Project: Leading research into suicide prevention (formerly known as the National Leadership in Suicide Prevention Research Project).
The team at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Life in Mind, are seeking to identify the best ways to connect and coordinate researcher efforts in Australia. This information will be showcased here in the Life in Mind research section.
Led by Professor Jane Pirkis and Dr Lennart Reifels, the project links researchers with interests in this area to both facilitate and improve the sharing of resources. This will allow the research community to conduct stronger research, minimise duplication of effort, and ensure community members at heightened risk are not over-burdened with research requests.
Dr Lennart Reifels, University of Melbourne
“There is considerable concern about how the impacts of mental health around the COVID-19 pandemic may affect suicide rates, both in Australia and elsewhere. While initial research findings indicate elevated levels of distress, and thankfully no overall increase in suicide rates during the early pandemic stage, there is clearly a need to remain vigilant and carefully monitor and address the impacts of the unfolding pandemic. Suicide prevention researchers worldwide have been contemplating projects designed to inform our understanding about how we might best keep people safe and well emotionally. There are obviously ethical and practical complexities in conducting suicide prevention research during a pandemic. We all want to make sure that our research serves the greater good and does no harm. Several of our suicide prevention colleagues in the UK and internationally have joined forces to make sure that their efforts are as streamlined as possible for this reason. As part of the LIFEWAYS Project, we are seeking to assist in coordinating our efforts in Australia too.”
If you are an Australian researcher planning or conducting suicide-related research regarding COVID-19, contact the research team.
Australian COVID-19 suicide data
For further information and data about suicide and COVID-19, visit the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Suicide and self-harm monitoring website.