Individuals who experience a suicide crisis often come into contact with police or paramedics. Those who have experienced a suicide crisis report deficiencies with the existing system, and police and paramedics report that responding to these events is one of the most challenging aspects of their role. However, little is known about the nature, extent, precipitating factors, pathways and outcomes of a suicide related call-out, and what responses will most effectively and compassionately meet the needs of those in crisis. Partners in Prevention: Understanding and Enhancing First Responses to Suicide Crisis Situations, funded by the Queensland Health Suicide Prevention Health Taskforce, was established in 2017 to address these knowledge gaps and inform systems enhancements.
In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the data-linkage component of the Partners in Prevention programme of research. We will discuss some challenges that we have encountered and overcame, and share our learnings, findings, and the impact that this work has had.
Dr Carla Meurk is Principal Researcher and Associate Head of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research Forensic Mental Health Group, and honorary senior fellow at The University of Queensland. She is Coordinating Principal Investigator for the Partners in Prevention: Understanding and Enhancing First Responses to Suicide Crisis Situations data linkage study, and has a particular interest in first responses to pregnant women and mothers who experience suicide crisis. Carla’s expertise is in mixed methods translational research to improve the use of evidence in mental health services development, delivery, and implementation. She is active in research governance and strategy within Queensland.
Dr Megan Steele is a Research Scientist within the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research Forensic Mental Health Group and Lecturer at The University of Queensland. She has expertise in applying statistical, epidemiological and data science techniques to describing consumer pathways and evaluating complex interventions and health services. Megan has a PhD in Medicine and eight years postdoctoral research experience in clinical and health services research.
Dr Lisa Wittenhagen is an early career researcher who transitioned from the field of cognitive and clinical neuroscience to the field of (forensic) mental health. She has experience in applying a range of analysis techniques, which aid in the evaluation and dissemination of complex data. Her research interests are in suicide prevention and the mental well-being of children and adolescents, with a focus on the identification of opportunities for intervention and their timely implementation.
Associate Professor Ed Heffernan is a forensic psychiatrist, Director of The Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service, an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at The University of Queensland and Head of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Forensic Mental Health Group. With over 20 years’ experience working at the interface of the mental health and criminal justice systems, Ed has spent the last five years leading the development of Queensland’s Mental Health and Police programmes, including the Police Communications Centre Mental Health Liaison Service. Ed works closely with members of the Queensland Police Service to improve first responses to mental health and suicide crises and is Principal Investigator of the Partners in Prevention: Understanding and Enhancing First Responses to Suicide Crisis Situations data linkage study.