Trends in suicide-related research in Australia

Marisa Schlichthorst, Lennart Reifels, Karolina Krysinska, Maria Ftanou, Anna Machlin, Jo Robinson, Jane Pirkis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite continuous research over the past 20 years in Australia there is still limited understanding of what works and what does not work in suicide prevention and where to invest research efforts that will help to expand this knowledge base. There is a recursive relationship between research activities, knowledge gain and the development of strategy and action plans as these in turn guide future decisions on research funding. In this context, the first step to continuous improvement in knowledge is to better understand where research has been invested in the past until now and where it has not. Methods: We conducted a study that collected data over two periods. The first data collection was done in 2006 for the period of 1999 to 2006 and the second data collection was in 2017 for the period from 2010 to 2017. This allowed us to examine changes in published suicide-related journal articles, and grants/fellowships funded between the two periods. Published articles and grants/fellowships were classified according to a pre-determined framework. Results: The number of suicide-related articles and grants/fellowships increased over the two periods. We noted shifts in the types of research that were funded and published, and in the emphasis that was given to different types of suicidal behavior, suicide methods, and settings. Research target groups showed a trend towards increasing diversification. Conclusions: Our findings help to identify current research priorities and inform where future priorities for suicide-related research in Australia lie by linking findings to other external data sources (population risk data, stakeholder consultations, national strategies and action plan documents).

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Research
  • Suicide
  • Trends

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