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Informing Youth Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion through Secondary Analysis of the Planet Youth Datasets (Inform - YSP)

Funder: Health Research Board 2022-2024

This project, a collaboration among stakeholders in research, policy and practice, seeks to expand current knowledge by examining trends in the mental well-being and suicidal ideation of adolescents in Ireland. The research aims to inform service provision and policy relating to mental well-being/suicide prevention by identifying the adolescents who are most at-risk of experiencing poor mental well-being/suicidal ideation; generating greater understanding about the factors that place adolescents at-risk; examining the factors that buffer or protect against this risk; and exploring the stability of these relationships across three adolescent cohorts (sampled in 2018, 2020 and 2022). From a policy perspective, this research will help inform a youth specific response to suicide prevention in Ireland.

This research will employ a population-based cohort design. Secondary data analyses will be conducted on three Planet Youth datasets, which collects cross-sectional data from approximately 5,000 adolescents living in the west of Ireland in 2018, 2020 and 2022 (upcoming). Public and Patient involvement, via a Youth Advisory Panel will inform the design, delivery and dissemination of the study. A comprehensive Knowledge Translation (KT) Plan will be devised to ensure that the evidence generated will reach relevant stakeholders and maximise impact on policy and practice.

The project is being led by the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre and School of Psychology at NUI Galway in collaboration with Planet Youth, the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention, HSE West and the National Suicide Research Foundation.

Research Team:
Principal Investigators:
Dr Bernadine Brady
Dr Caroline Heary

Post-Doctoral Researcher:
Dr Charlotte Silke

Project team:
Dr Gemma Cox
Mr Rory Coyne
Dr Carmel Devaney
Mr Micheal Durcan
Professor AnnMarie Groarke
Mr Emmet Major
Dr Olwyn McWeeney
Dr Cliodhna O'Connor


Silke, C., Brady, B., Devaney, C. et al. Youth Suicide and Self-Harm: Latent Class Profiles of Adversity and the Moderating Roles of Perceived Support and Sense of Safety. J Youth Adolescence (2023)

Silke, C., Brady, B., & Heary, C. (2024). Adolescent Mental Health & Adversity: Profiles & Trends in the West of Ireland from 2018-2022. Galway, Ireland: UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre. 

Silke et al. (2024).Examining the relationship between adversity and suicidality and self-harm in Irish adolescents from 2020 to 2022. Journal of Affective Disorders, 349, 234-243.