Primary care is the bedrock of any health system. As such, it has a vital role to play in a system-wide approach to suicide prevention. General practitioners, community pharmacists, occupational therapists are situated at the heart of communities and are therefore attuned to the physical, mental health, and psychosocial care needs of the local population. Enhanced and integrated primary and community mental health services provide the platform for coordinated, inclusive and personalised care for those who self-harm and might be at-risk of suicide.
The newly formed SIG on Suicide Prevention in Primary Care will provide the platform for bringing together a cross-disciplinary network of researchers, clinicians, people with lived experience, commissioners and policy-makers across the world to identify opportunities for optimising the role of primary care and community-based services in suicide prevention. Our aim is to work in collaboration with our network members to identify research and policy priorities that will inform the work of the SIG and act as an expert reference group to deliver on those priorities, guided by input from those with lived experience. Grounded in the principles of co-production and implementation, this SIG will highlight the importance of translating evidence into practice so that communities across the world can access and benefit from our work. To this end, we are committed to disseminating our work widely via open access publications, conferences, online workshops and webinars in order to raise awareness of the key role of primary care in the prevention of suicide.
One of our planned activities for the next year is to gradually grow SIG membership by attracting new IASP members but also consolidating links with existing IASP members. So, if you are interested in joining our SIG or would like to find out more about our work, please visit our webpage.
The Co-Chairs of the SIG: Dr Maria Michail, Dr Faraz Mughal, Dr Pooja Saini, Dr Hayley Gorton, A/Professor Jo Robinson