AISRAP was established as a research centre of Griffith University in 1996. Its forerunner was the Queensland Suicide Prevention Project, which Queensland Health originated as a mortality database in 1990. With the name, Queensland Suicide Register (QSR), the project moved to Princess Alexandra Hospital in 1995, and to Belmont Private Hospital the following year. Once established as AISRAP, Institute staff continued to manage the QSR, but had a wider remit to promote, conduct, and support programs of research for the prevention of suicidal behaviour. The Institute relocated to the University’s Nathan Campus in 1997 and to the Mt Gravatt Campus in 2000 where it is currently housed as part of the University’s Health Group on that site.
Professor Diego De Leo, with an international reputation in suicide research and prevention, was appointed the Institute Director in 1998 and he moved to expand its size and scope, increasing its capability in terms of staff and resources and broadening its vision.
In 2005, AISRAP was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre with a brief requiring the collection and dissemination of information on the epidemiology of suicide and suicidal behaviour; the standardisation of suicide terminology and nomenclature; participation in collaborative research under WHO’s leadership; education and training; and the provision of information and advice on scientific and policy-related issues in the field of suicide prevention.
In 2008, AISRAP was appointed the National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention, funded by the Commonwealth Government through the then Department of Health and Ageing (now Department of Health). The Centre played a key role in the Australian Government’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy by providing advice on evidence based best practice, bi-annual reviews of recent advances and promising developments, evaluations of suicide prevention activities, and analyses of the credibility and implications of national and international data on suicide. With the advent of the Primary Health Networks, AISRAP’s role in this respect is likely to change.
AISRAP is part of the Health Group of Griffith University. Griffith is a large and diverse institution with five campuses spanning the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor, with a proud record of teaching and research innovation and a culture of interdisciplinary problem solving. The University is well-placed in national (e.g., ERA) and international (e.g., THS rankings) evaluations of excellence in academic performance.
The Health Group is one of the largest groupings of teaching and research staff in health and medicine in the country. Griffith Health educates medical practitioners and practitioners in most fields of allied health, including dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, social work, human services and psychology. AISRAP is part of the Menzies Institute of Allied Health within the Health Group, which is the engine of the Group’s research activity. As a member of a large group within a major university, AISRAP enjoys the benefits of experienced support staff in law and governance, research management, commercialisation, IT, among others.
The first outpatient clinic in Australia to provide specialised treatment for suicidal behaviour.
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