Developing the Suicide Research Group Malta

Authors: Dr. Francesca Falzon Aquilina, Dr. Rachel Taylor East & Dr.Kristina Bettenzana 

Aims: This descriptive essay documents the initial stages of the development of a local research group focused on suicide. This group is the first of its kind.

Background: Psychiatrists and psychologists work hand-in-hand in clinical practice, however this happens less routinely within an academic context. Furthermore, research is often carried out based on a faculty basis with little collaboration or sharing of information. In view of this disparity, a psychologist and psychiatrist sought to bring together a group of like-minded, interested professionals together, and set up a formal research group.

Method: An in-depth interview was held with founding members of the group, and an online search was carried out to compare with similar groups overseas.

Results: The Suicide Research Group Malta was formally set up in November 2017, and has gradually grown to include nine core members. The aim of the group is to generate studies about the nature and extent of suicide in Malta. To date, there are four research projects underway. The group has received formal endorsement from the Faculty of Social Wellbeing and is awaiting formal affiliation with the Centre for Suicide Research, Oxford.