Open doctoral course: Understanding suicidal behaviour

06/25/2018 - 10:00 - 17:00

Add to calendar

iCal calendar

In the framework of Doctoral School of Behavioural, Social and Health Sciences You are warmly invited to participate in one day course `Understanding suicidal behaviour`.

Course will be provided by Prof. Rory O´Connor from the University of Glasgow, Scotland


The aim of the course

  • To gain an appreciation of the complexity of the factors associated with suicide risk with a particular focus on the psychological aspects. 
  • To gain understanding of the psychosocial interventions to reduce risk of suicide


Suicide and self-harm are major public health concerns with complex aetiologies which encompass a multifaceted array of risk and protective factors.  There is growing recognition that we need to move beyond psychiatric categories to further our understanding of the pathways to both. Recent approaches have conceptualised suicide as a (health) behaviour, such that an individual makes a decision to take their own life, therefore an appreciation of the psychology of the suicidal mind is central to suicide prevention. 

Another key challenge is that our understanding of the factors that determine behavioural enaction (i.e., which individuals with suicidal thoughts will act on these thoughts) is limited.  Although a comprehensive understanding of these determinants of suicidality requires an appreciation of biological, psychological and social perspectives, the focus in this presentation is primarily on the psychological determinants of self-harm and suicide.

To address these issues, I will describe the Integrated Motivational–Volitional (IMV) Model of Suicidal Behaviour (O’Connor, 2011) which derives from health, social and clinical psychological theory.  This tripartite model maps the relationship between background factors and trigger events, and the development of suicidal ideation/intent through to suicidal behaviour.  I will present a selection of clinical, experimental and intervention studies to illustrate how psychological factors increase suicide risk and what can be done to ameliorate such risk.  The implications for the prevention of self-harm and suicide will also be discussed.