Preventing violent crime and suicide in people with mental illness

Year of award: 2016


  • Prof Seena FazelĀ 

    University of Oxford

Project summary

The risks of violent crime and suicide are increased in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder and depression. Although we understand more about the underlying causes for these risks, translating this knowledge into improvements for patient care requires more research into identifying high-risk groups and clarifying what treatments might prevent these outcomes.

I will investigate how to improve the assessment and reduce the risks of violent crime and suicide in people with mental illness. The approach I will take is to use large datasets that have been collected from real-world information on patients over many years. I will use research designs that account for socio-demographic and other background factors that differ between patients and others. As part of this, I will aim to develop reliable methods of assessment that could lead to effective interventions. I will also study what medications alter risks of violent crime and suicide in these patient groups, and also the effects of psychological and behavioural interventions in people with mental disorders under community criminal justice supervision. I would like to test whether these new approaches prevent violence and suicide in psychiatric patients and will investigate whether such a trial is feasible.