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Using routinely-collected data from suicide clusters to influence social and health care service delivery: An investigation of the Bridgend cluster (funded by NISCHR Welsh Government 2010-12)


In Wales suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people. There is growing recognition that up to 5% of suicides may occur in clusters (i.e. close together in time/space) in people under 25 years.  Our understanding of what triggers a suicide cluster, what influences its continuation and eventual cessation, and, critically, what advice to give to communities experiencing a suicide cluster, is limited.  In 2007/08 a cluster of approximately 20 suicides occurred among young people living in the Bridgend area. It is thought to be one of the world’s largest recorded clusters.  There is now a unique opportunity to define the extent of the Bridgend cluster; identify and make a preliminary assessment of major determinants of the cluster (including initiation, maintenance and cessation).

Aims of Project

Using routinely collected data from multiple sources, this project will provide the foundations for a comprehensive investigation of the cluster. We anticipate that the research will help inform the development of appropriate policy measures to identify and respond to suicide clusters at an earlier stage. The project will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in Wales, with additional expertise from England and Scotland.

The Principal Investigator is Dr Mick Dennis from Swansea University and other team members are David Gunnell (Bristol), Peter Huxley (Swansea), Phil Jones (Swansea), Keith Lloyd (Swansea), Stephen Platt (Edinburgh) and Jonathan Scourfield (Cardiff).


Funded by Wales Office for R and D in Health and Social Care, 2010-11