Working Together to Prevent Suicide --What the World Can Learn from One Another on #WSPD: Interview with Professor Rory O'Connor | Episode 43


The World Health Organization has declared suicide prevention a global imperative. Every year World Suicide Prevention falls on September 10th. This year I interviewed Professor Rory O’Connor as he prepared for the 30th World Congress of Suicide Prevention in Derry, Northern Ireland. 

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About Professor Rory O’Connor

Rory O’Connor was “born to be a psychologist,” knowing at an early age he was fascinated with human behavior and emotions. Currently he is a Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Glascow and the Director of Suicidal Behavior Research Laboratory. The personal impact he has experienced in losing people he cared about to suicide helps to fuel his passion for learning more about the experience of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. His Integrated Motivational-Volitional Model of Suicidal Behavior is well respected internationally.

Professor O’Connor is a global leader as the Past President of the International Academy for Suicide Research and the current Vice President for the International Association for Suicide Prevention. 

Show Notes

About World Suicide Prevention Day and World Suicide Data

World Suicide Prevention Day

30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention

International Association of Suicide Prevention

World Health OrganizationReport “Suicide Prevention: A Global Imperative”

World Health Organization: Suicide Data

Work by Professor O’Connor

O'Connor, R.C., Kirtley, O.J. (2018). The Integrated Motivational-Volitional Model of Suicidal Behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 373: 20170268.

O'Connor, R.C., & Portzky, G. (2018).  Looking to the future: A synthesis of new developments and challenges in suicide research and prevention.  Frontiers in Psychology.


O’Connor, R.C., Lundy, J-M., Stewart, C., Smillie, S., McClelland, H., Syrett, S., Gavigan, M., McConnachie, A., Smith, M., Smith, D.J., Brown, G., Stanley B., & Simpson, S.A. (2019).  Study Protocol for the SAFETEL randomised controlled feasibility trial of a Safety Planning Intervention with Follow-up Telephone Contact to Reduce Suicidal Behaviour. BMJ Open. 9 (2).

Additional Resources

Suicide and the news and information media: A critical review (2018)

Developing Social Media-Based Suicide Prevention Messages in Partnership With Young People: Exploratory Study (2017)

Safer access to pesticides for suicide prevention: Experiences from community interventions (2016)

Guns and Suicide: An American Epidemic (2018)

Safety planning guide: A quick guide for clinicians

Professor Allison Milner — honoring her life after her tragic death:

Follow along! 

@IASP2019 (World Congress)

@IASPInfo (International Association of Suicide Prevention)

@ SuicideResearch (Professor O’Connor’s handle)