Published on: 20th December 2016
Case Study 20
Ann John, Michael Dennis, Liv Kosnes, David Ford and Keith Lloyd, Swansea University
David Gunnell, University of Bristol
Jonathan Scourfield, Cardiff University
Members of The Farr Institute have created a population based resource to explore the risks and patterns of healthcare prior to suicide to identify opportunities for intervention.
Every year approximately 800 000 people die by suicide worldwide, 1–2 in every 100 deaths. Prevention of suicide is a global public health challenge. Suicide is a tragedy and causes distress for family, friends, professionals and the wider community. Although the factors that contribute to a suicide are many and complex, suicide is potentially preventable.
Prevention of suicide is a challenge that extends beyond mental health services. Linking health and social care system data records for the same individual across different services and over time has enormous potential in suicide research.
The Suicide Information Database-Wales or SID-Cymru, led by Dr Ann John, Farr Institute, Swansea University, is a population based resource for studying factors associated with suicide deaths.
The SID-Cymru database holds information on prior health, nature of previous contacts with services and wider social circumstances of all those who complete suicide (known and unknown to mental health services) within the population of Wales via Swansea University’s Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank. The SAIL Databank contains vast amounts of anonymous data collected on a daily basis by health and social care systems to support people’s care.
SID Cymru offers the opportunity to investigate the risk factors and trends for suicide, including: primary care diagnosis of depression; levels of treatment with antidepressants and trends in such treatment over time; rural and urban geography; educational attainment; levels of physical illness.
The study also enables investigations into the settings and pathways of care where people are in contact with services in the year leading up to their suicide across the whole population and in specific groups such as the elderly.
SID Cymru is an important resource in facilitating research on suicide. The study has looked for opportunities for prevention and made recommendations to reduce the risk of suicide for the people of Wales and internationally, recommendations to date have included:
For more information visit: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/11/e006780.full
Enquiries to Sarah Toomey, Communications Officer, Farr Institute CIPHER,