The aim of the IASP Special Interest Group (SIG) on Clusters and Contagion in Suicidal Behaviour is to bring together interested people in research, prevention and policy, who can share information and expertise in clusters and contagion effects in suicidal behaviour worldwide.
Internationally, there is growing public and professional interest in clusters and contagion in suicidal behaviour (fatal and non-fatal). There are indications of increasing clustering and contagion effects in suicidal behaviour associated with the rise of modern communication systems. Yet, the research in this area and information on effective response procedures and prevention strategies is limited. Over the last 5 years we have seen an increase in research and prevention initiatives addressing clustering and contagion in suicidal behaviour in various countries. However, international comparisons are limited and therefore it is unknown whether the evidence on clustering and contagion effects is consistent across countries and cultures. The SIG will contribute to progressing research, prevention and policy priorities in this important and challenging area. In time, the SIG will explore possibilities to develop specific projects or actions to be undertaken by designated Task Forces.
Specific objectives of the SIG:
- Share information on definitions and the methodologies used in identifying clusters and contagion in suicidal behaviour.
- Share information obtained in research into clusters and contagion in different countries and facilitate comparative international research.
- Share information on policy, response procedures and prevention strategies for clusters and contagion in suicidal behaviour from different countries and compare effectiveness.
- Increase awareness of clusters and contagion in suicidal behaviour and associated risk factors.
- Share and transfer expertise across countries when clusters in suicidal behaviour emerge.
- Facilitate international collaborative grant applications to progress international comparative research, prevention and policy in this area.
- Act as an expert group for individuals and organisations seeking information and advice.
Find a selection of resources devoted to this topic.
Relevant papers and reports:
Hawton K, Lascelles K, Ferrey A. Suicide prevention: identifying and responding to suicide clusters. A Practice Resource. Public Health England. 2015.
Cheng Q, Li H, Silenzio V, Caine ED. Suicide contagion: a systematic review of definitions and research utility. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 26;9(9):e108724. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108724. eCollection 2014.
Niedzwiedz C, Haw C, Hawton K, Platt S. The definition and epidemiology of clusters of suicidal behavior: a systematic review. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Oct;44(5):569-81. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12091.
Haw C, Hawton K, Niedzwiedz C, Platt S. Suicide clusters: a review of risk factors and mechanisms. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2013 Feb;43(1):97-108. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2012.00130.x.
Larkin GL, Beautrais AL. Geospatial mapping of suicide clusters. Te Pou. The National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development, Auckland, New Zealand. 2012.