The role of CHildhood Adversities and their subsequent effect on mental ill-health and Suicidal behaviour (CHASe)

  Deaths by suicide among young people are common, increasing year by year in 15-19 year olds, have devastating consequences for everyone involved, and are a signficant UK public health problem. People with experience of adverse life events, particularly in childhood, are much more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems and suicidal behaviour.

A recent systematic review of 28 studies concluded that early life adversities, such as sexual, emotional or physical abuse was signficantly related to youth suicidal behaviour, and had a dose-response relationship with increasing suicidality. However these studies were largely cross-sectional, heterogenous, subject to recall bias and were unable to be pooled in a meta-analysis. Robust longitudinal studies are now urgently needed.

Earlier intervention and prevention with targeted services to offset later need with heavy expensive interventions are key, but despite the immense and growing problem in this area there remains a lack of sufficiently effective and feasible prevention pathways.

In order to develop effective strategies we need to better understand factors leading to suicidal behaviour for this younger age group and who is most at risk. The information we currently have from studies looking at causes and risk factors for suicidal behaviour are not sufficiently robust and unambiguous to develop effective care strategies.

We aim to:
1. Conduct a longitudinal case control data study of young adult suicide to identify possible pathways to suicidal behaviour and mental ill-health stemming from early life adversities.
2. Use the new insights obtained in informing the development of new interventions or care pathways for people deemed to be most at risk

  • Start Date:

    1 October 2018

  • End Date:

    30 September 2019

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Chief Scientists Office

  • Value:

    £80064

Project Team