At the time of writing COVID-19 has infected more than 15 million people worldwide and claimed almost half a million lives. People’s lives and livelihoods have been affected across the globe.
In response to widespread concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide and suicidal behaviour an international group of suicide prevention researchers and charities from around 30 countries have formed the International COVID-19 suicide prevention research collaboration (ICSPRC) and pooled thinking on prevention and research priorities. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30171-1/fulltext.
Our aim is to enhance good quality collaborative research on the prevention and management of suicide and suicidal behaviours in relation to the pandemic. In order to maximise the societal impact of research the ICSPRC is working in partnership and collaboration with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) as well as other leading suicide prevention organisations – International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Samaritans.
Our initiatives to date include:
• A Covid-19 suicide research study register. We encourage all researchers working on COVID-19 related studies of suicide and suicidal behaviour to share detail to facilitate collaboration https://www.iasp.info/covid-19/covid-19-suicide-research-studies-register/
• An editorial in Crisis summarising research considerations in relation to Covid-19
• A planned series of webinars on COVID-19 related research
• Advice on questions / survey tools relevant to suicide prevention research in relation to COVID-19.
• Plans to pool data from around the world on the impact of COVID-19 on suicide and suicidal behaviour
We hope the establishment of the ICSPRC, and new knowledge arising from the collaboration, will be an important contribution to the effort to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and suicide risk globally. We invite suicide researchers, particularly from regions currently not represented, to get in touch.
For more information please see the collaboration website.
David Gunnell (group chair)