Webinar on studying suicide prevention
The third webinar of the ‘web series for capacity building of early-career researchers’ was held on 15 September 2021 from 6 pm to 7 pm Nepal time. The webinar titled “Studying suicide prevention: professional and personal wellbeing for researchers” was moderated by Ritika Singh from George Washington University. This webinar commemorated World Suicide Prevention Day 2021, which was on 10th September. A total of 81 participants participated in the event.
Dr. Ashley Hagaman, Ph.D., and Kripa Sigdel were the speakers for the event. The webinar format was 30 minutes of presentation followed by 30 minutes of question and answer session. First, Dristy Gurung from TPO Nepal introduced the significance of the webinar and the speakers.
Dr. Ashley’s presentation focused on an overview of suicide in lower and middle-income countries and Nepal, suicide prevention research, and ethics discussion. First, she highlighted the rising suicide cases globally and in Nepal and then shared that their research at Yale focused on addressing the gaps in suicide research and improving access to care. She also shared the ‘Live Life’ report of the World Health Organization and how their work focuses on the fourth point (early identification, assessment, management, and follow up anyone who is affected by suicidal behaviors). Dr. Hagaman also shared about other suicide prevention projects that she was involved in and some ethical challenges from a foreign perspective. For example, consent, confidentiality, and participant safety can be challenging in suicide prevention research.
The second speaker Kripa Sigdel’s presentation focused on community mental health and research, challenges of early career researchers, and suicide prevention resources and services in Nepal. First, she shared some real cases that she had experienced and what she did to manage those cases. She then shared how she connects her practice with research because she wanted to know the factors behind the rise in suicide cases, especially among the young population. Motivation, practical knowledge, easily available databases, and conflict between passion and livelihood were some factors behind the lack of suicide prevention research among early-career researchers despite the interest. Ms. Sigdel also shared some of the issues that early-career researchers might face. Finally, she gave some tips to enhance the personal and professional well-being of early career researchers such as counseling, mental health breaks, supervisors support, active listening/validation, accessibility of support groups, and work-life balance.
After the speakers’ presentations, the participants asked questions about suicide prevention efforts, consent process, advocacy, and stakeholder’s engagement. These questions were answered by the speakers, thus making the webinar interactive.