This is a piece of research undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation which shows the harm done by attaching mental health diagnoses to people and how this can lead to suicide. It shows that programmes aimed at reducing stigma by encouraging people to diagnose themselves with mental illnesses and engage with mental health services through campaigns such as 'like minds, like mine' with John Kirwin increase suicide risk rather than minimising it.
Many of those working in the suicide prevention field claim their policies and practices are evidence based. Examination of the research they use, however, shows the studies on which they rely are up to 30 years old. Many have serious methodological issues. Many have been superceded by more recent studies.
This page provides links to current, relevant research. CASPER gives most weight to independent research which is not funded by pharmaceutical companies. If you have research you think we should include on this page, please contact us.
Diagnostic Labelling & Suicide
Internet Support Group for Families Bereaved by Suicide
This research shows what an important role sites like the CASPER website can play in supporting families who live with the tragedy of suicide. In NZ the Coroner's Act prevent families from publishing information saying their loved ones death was suicide until after the Coroner has reached a verdict. For many families this means that it may be 2-3 years until they are legally able to post on our website that someone they loved took their own life and reach out to others who have had the same experience. We think this research shows how very wrong that is.
The Ministry of Health tell us that media reporting on suicide and bereaved families celebrating the lives of their loved ones cause 'suicide contagion' - a sort of infectious disease that will make people decide to kill themselves because they hear someone else has. In fact there is no evidence to prove a causal link between these activities and suicide. The best researchers pushing this view can come up with is 'evidence suggestive of a link' between the two but even they admit that most of the time they can't say whether the person who died had seen the reports, that the numbers studied are very small and that much of the research has been shown to be wrong when reviewed by another team of researchers. This is the evidence FOR a causal link. Read it and see if you are convinced.
Antidepressants, Suicide and Violence
Statement from expert witness Professor David Healy on the evidence antidepressants cause suicide and homicide, submitted as evidence in Toran Henry's inquest.
Antidepressants & Suicide
First long term study of children using antidepressants published in 2010 showed these children were five times more likely to commit suicide than those not taking the drugs.
Notes on this study:
Most studies of antidepressants last 4-8 weeks. This is the first long term study of the effects of the drugs on young people.
The study showed prozac (fluoxetine) is no safer than other antidepressants.
The study showed antidepressants are linked with both suicidal thinking and completed suicide.