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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

Extending the opportunities for prevention of suicide

Research overview

This project will examine the association between certain medications and suicidal behaviour to determine whether some antidepressants, or a combination of medication, leads to an increased risk of suicide. The project will also examine whether changes in employment status or financial circumstances have an effect on suicidal behaviour. This project provides a unique opportunity to explore the benefits and usefulness of analysing linked administrative data, therefore contributing to the evidence base of research on suicide prevention.

The results of this research will not only add to the evidence base for suicide prevention but will also inform multiple policies and opportunities for intervention.


The ability to link pharmacy dispensing data will provide an opportunity to examine the efficacy of medications in suicide prevention, thereby improving treatment for those who are vulnerable.

The exploration of employment status and financial circumstances will also provide essential background characteristics of people who take their own lives, which will not only inform interventions for suicide prevention but will also be useful for health service planners as they formulate mental health policies and care plans.  There is also considerable interest among policy makers regarding the development of interventions aimed at particular population sub-groups.

Government departments 

Department for Work and Pensions, SAIL-database 

Date approved 

December 2015

Research team

Ann John, Swansea University


Page last updated: 24/10/2017