Surveillance data can be used to efficiently update government representatives, policy-makers and other stakeholders in a timely manner using actual or real-time data.
Types of evidence briefs include:
- Clinical briefings for use in health-care planning and evaluation
- Government briefings to inform health policy and best practice strategy development
- Media briefings to support appropriate media reporting on cases of suicide, suicide attempts and self-harm
Ongoing surveillance systems enable reports to be produced periodically – for instance, on the incidence of hospital-presented suicide attempts and self-harm in the first six months of a year.
When the method and scope of data collection (national or subnational) remain the same over time, periodical reports can be used to determine increases or decreases in suicide attempts and self-harm compared to previous years.
In addition, it would be important to publish regular research bulletins or newsletters which are written for a broader audience including the general public. Such research bulletins or newsletters can focus on a specific topic relating to suicide attempts and self-harm – such as alcohol involvement in hospital-presented suicide attempts and self-harm, aftercare following hospital-presented suicide attempts and self-harm, or trends of repeated suicide attempts and acts of self-harm over time. An example of a research bulletin produced by the National Self-Harm Registry of Ireland is included within the Supplementary materials section.