In Conversation… Suicide and Self-harm with Dr Abigail Russell

In this podcast from the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH), Dr Abigail Russell discusses suicide and self-harm with freelance journalist Jo Carlowe. Abigail discusses her paper on inflammation and self-harm, its findings and implications moving forward. As well as the cohort study (ALSPAC), to school interventions and creating change through national dialogue.

Abby says “The research over the last 30 years, has shown that facing bad or adverse experiences early in life leads to people being at a higher risk of self-harm or attempting to end their life, but we don’t yet understand why this happens. What we do know is that early experiences can impact on the way the body works, changing hormones, influencing chemicals around our genes and activating the immune system, for example. These impacts on the body might increase our risk of self-harm”

To read more about the research you can access the full paper here

Russell AE, Heron J, Gunnell D, Ford T, Hemani G, Joinson C, Moran P, Relton C, Suderman M, Mars B. Pathways between early-life adversity and adolescent self-harm: the mediating role of inflammation in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2019 Oct;60(10):1094-1103. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13100.