Prof Louis Appleby

Professor of Psychiatry

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Research interests

Mental health and Safety:

Suicide and self-harm, homicide and forensic services, parental mental health and its impact on children.

The Centre for Mental Health and Safety investigates suicide and suicide prevention in the general population and in specific groups including mental health patients, children and young people, people who have previously harmed themselves and offenders.  The group has studied the events that precede suicide asking: What are the factors that increase risk in a particular group? What protects some people but not others? When and how can services intervene to prevent suicide?

The largest project is the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (  The Inquiry has built up a UK-wide database of suicides now totalling over 100,000 individuals.  Detailed information on the clinical care of mental health who die by suicide is collected and published in regular reports.  A similar database has been developed for homicide and for sudden unexplained death in mental health inpatients.  The Inquiry has demonstrated that mental health provider organisations that have adopted its recommendations subsequently have lower patient suicide rates.

Louis Appleby is the Director for the Inquiry and leads the Centre.  Other major areas of study in the Centre include self-harm (, support for people bereaved by suicide (, offender health ( and large scale epidemiological studies carried out in collaboration with Danish colleagues, on suicide and other risks, especially in parental mental illness and in offenders (



Research and projects