Home > Real-time suicide surveillance: comparison of international surveillance systems and recommended best practice.

Benson, R and Rigby, J and Brunsdon, C and Corcoran, P and Dodd, P and Ryan, M and Cassidy, E and Colchester, D and Hawton, K and Lascelles, K and de Leo, D and Crompton, D and Kõlves, K and Leske, S and Dwyer, J and Pirkis, J and Shave, R and Fortune, S and Arensman, E (2023) Real-time suicide surveillance: comparison of international surveillance systems and recommended best practice. Archives of Suicide Research, 27, (4), pp. 1312-1338. https://doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2022.2131489.

External website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13811...

OBJECTIVE Some countries have implemented systems to monitor suicides in real-time. These systems differ because of the various ways in which suicides are identified and recorded. The main objective of this study was to conduct an international comparison of major real-time suicide mortality surveillance systems to identify joint strengths, challenges, and differences, and thereby inform best-practice criteria at local, national, and international levels.

METHODS Five major real-time suicide mortality surveillance systems of various coverage levels were identified and selected for review via an internet-based scoping exercise and prior knowledge of existing systems. Key information including the system components and practices was collated from those organizations that developed and operate each system using a structured template. The information was narratively and critically synthesized to determine similarities and differences between the systems.

RESULTS The comparative review of the five established real-time suicide surveillance systems revealed more commonalities than differences overall. Commonalities included rapid, routine surveillance based on minimal, provisional data to facilitate timely intervention and postvention efforts. Identified differences include the timeliness of case submission and system infrastructure.

CONCLUSION The recommended criteria could promote replicable components and practices in real-time suicide surveillance while offering flexibility in adapting to regional/local circumstances and resource availability.

Evidence-informed recommendations for current best practice in real-time suicide surveillance.
Proposed comprehensive framework can be adapted based on available resources and capacity.
Real-time suicide mortality data facilitates rapid data-driven decision-making in suicide prevention.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
Identification #
Page Range
pp. 1312-1338

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