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science
ALL IN THE MIND
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All in the Mind
Wednesday 16:30-17:00
Exploring the limits and potential of the mind
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This week  
Tuesday 17 April 2007
Listen to this programme in full
Professor Raj Persaud
Sites around the world, like the Golden Gate Bridge in California, gain a morbid fame as suicide hotspots. 
Raj Persaud considers whether suicide prevention measures, like barriers and nets, actually work.
Programme details
SUICIDE HOTSPOTS
The annual progress report from the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England has just been published.  It concludes that the rate of suicide is continuing to fall, but greater reductions are needed if the target of cutting rates by one fifth by the year 2010 is to be met.

The report acknowledges that the likelihood of taking one’s own life will depend to some extent on the ease of access to and knowledge of effective means, because suicidal behaviour is sometimes impulsive.  Reducing access to domestic gas, carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles, the pack size of analgesics as well as installing barriers at suicide hotspots can help in the prevention of suicide.  One UK bridge has had barriers since 1998 and as a result the number of deaths has halved.

Professor Raj Persaud is joined by David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology at Bristol University and member of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group to discuss the effectiveness of barriers on bridges and talks to film director Eric Steel about his documentary,The Bridge, about suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge.

FOYLE TAXIWATCH
As suicide rates In Northern Ireland continue to rise, taxi drivers in Londonderry, concerned about the problem, have taken the issue into their own hands.  Many of them are being trained in suicide awareness skills including what they can do to save lives at one of the city's most notorious death spots.  Marie-Louise Connolly talks to the drivers involved.

PHYSIOGNOMY
Is it possible to guess another’s personality from facial information only?  Dr Anthony C Little, Royal Society University Research Fellow, discusses the findings of his recently published research entitled Using composite images to assess accuracy in personality attribution to faces

Raj Persaud tests out the new research which appears to show that there is some truth in the popular belief that facial characteristics might accurately reveal character.
Additional information
David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology at Bristol University and Member of National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group.

Effect of barriers on the Clifton suspension bridge, England, on local patterns of suicide: implications for prevention
Bennewith O, Nowers M, Gunnell D
British Journal of Psychiatry 2007;190:266-267

The National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England Annual Report on Progress 2006
Published by the National Institute for Mental Health on Wednesday 11 April 2007.

Eric Steel, Film maker and producer

The Bridge 
ICA Films release for more information on the film

Samaritans
In the UK dial 08457 90 90 90, cost of a local call
In the Republic of Ireland dial 1850 60 90 90, cost of a local call

Mind
MindinfoLine Open Monday to Friday 9.15am to 5.15pm – tel: 0845 766 0163

University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research

Support for people bereaved by suicide

Help is at Hand: a resource for people bereaved by suicide and other sudden, traumatic death
Department of Health guide 

SOBS - Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
National Helpline - 9am to 9pm every day - 0870 241 3337

Dr Anthony C Little, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, Department of Psychology

Alittlelab.com
“We are part of the Psychology and Behavioral and Evolution Research group and the Faces group in the School of Psychology at The University of Stirling”

Using composite images to assess accuracy in personality attribution to faces
Little, Anthony C.1; Perrett, David I.2
Publisher: British Psychological Society
British Journal of Psychology
Volume 98, Number 1, February 2007, pp. 111-126(16)
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