10 October 2017
Lucy Cavendish Fellow Dr Anne-Laura Van Harmelen has been awarded a grant of £550,000 by mental health charity MQ to research suicide prevention amongst young people.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally. More young people die by suicide than from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, AIDS, birth defects, respiratory infections and diseases, and interpersonal violence. In addition to suicide deaths, 16% of high school students report seriously considering suicide each year, and 8% make one or more suicide attempts. Despite these alarming statistics, little is known about factors that make youth vulnerable to suicide. Anne-Laura aims to identify these factors, with the help of a team of researchers from across the world (Drs Lianne Schmaal, Hilary Blumberg, Randy Auerbach, Mario Alvarez and Nick Allen).
Her research project is called ‘Help Overcome and Prevent the Emergence of Suicide’ (HOPES). It aims to develop a model to predict who is at risk of suicide by analysing data on suicidal behaviour and traits in young people from across the world to identify specific, universal risk-factors. The project is expected to lead to improvements in clinical care and suicide prevention.
Commenting, MQ Chief Executive, Cynthia Joyce said:
“The combined potential impact of our Brighter Futures programme is profound. Depression and suicide are currently among the least understood – and most devastating – issues in young people’s mental health.
Together, these projects are designed to transform our understanding of how mental illness develops, how we can identify which young people are most at risk, and how we can create badly needed better treatments for young people worldwide."
“I am very excited to begin this project and feel grateful in both MQ and the team for their trust in me.”
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MQ is a UK based charity founded to invest in research into mental health. Find out more from their website here: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org/
Lucy Cavendish is the only women's college in Europe exclusively for students aged 21 or over, and a unique part of the University of Cambridge. Its undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over sixty countries, and a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have changed careers or overcome significant challenges in order to reach University. The College is particularly strong in Medicine, Law, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, the Social Sciences and English.