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Professor Jane Pirkis

Professor Jane Pirkis

Professor Jane Pirkis of the University of Melbourne was awarded $640,660 for their NHMRC Ideas Grant project titled:

The relationship between social media and suicide clusters.

Social media activity may be implicated in suicide clusters. We will compare the social media activity after index suicides in identified clusters and ‘singleton’ suicides. The findings will inform an intervention designed to encourage appropriate online discussion after a suicide that will be disseminated by well networked individuals. We will conduct a small-scale pilot and run a substantial computer simulation modelling exercise to test the potential population effects of the intervention.

In a statement, Professor Pirkis explains:

“Receiving this grant is important to me because it will allow us to build the evidence base about how suicide clusters develop and, more importantly, how they might be prevented or contained. I am really hopeful that the project will help to advance knowledge in this area because suicide clusters can have such a devastating effect on local communities.

For more information on the funding opportunities available through the Suicide Prevention Research Fund please visit this page.