Suicide Prevention in Primary Care SIG

Globally, an estimated 703,000 people die by suicide each year among which includes up to 80% who visited their primary care physician in the year prior to their death. Primary care is the bedrock of any health system and as such, 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. As part of the IASP Suicide Prevention in Primary Care special interest groups, one of our planned activities for 2023 is to host a panel discussion titled:

The role of primary care in suicide prevention: Challenges and opportunities.  

We are hoping to gain further understanding on the role that primary care and other community-based health services can play in suicide prevention. This panel discussion will provide the platform for bringing together researchers, clinicians, people with lived experience, and policy-makers across the world to identify challenges and opportunities for optimising the role of primary care and community-based services in suicide prevention. The panel discussion will take place on 28 February 2023, 8pm (Melbourne), 9am (UK) for an hour. The panel includes colleagues from around the globe:

  • Professor Nusrat Hussain, Director Research Global Mental Health, Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Claire O’Reilly, Pharmacistand health services researcher, The University of Sydney
  • Dr Sarira El-Den, Pharmacist and Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
  • Bronwen Edwards, IASP Lived Experience SIG chair and CEO Roses in the Ocean, Brisbane
  • Dr Faraz Mughal, General Practitioner and NIHR Doctoral Fellow, Keele University
  • Associate Professor Maria Michail, Marie Curie Global Fellow, University of Birmingham

Our aim is to work in collaboration with our network members to identify research and policy priorities that will inform this piece of work, guided by input from those working on the frontline within primary care and those with lived experience.

From the Co-Chairs of the SIG: Associate Professor Pooja Saini, Associate Professor Maria Michail, Dr Faraz Mughal, Dr Hayley Gorton, Professor Jo Robinson

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