Merete Nordentoft receives award from NOVO Nordic 2020

Professor Merete Nordentoft from DRISP and Copenhagen Research Center For Mental Health has received this year’s Award from Novo Nordic together with a professor at Aarhus University for their research on suicide and mortality in relation to schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

Twenty years ago, evidence-based knowledge on risks of suicide and o psychiatric comorbidity among people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorders was rather limited. Professor Merete Nordentoft has together with Preben Bo Mortensen from Aarhus University helped change this. With their research on suicide and mortality among people with schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders, they have made significant contributions to the international understanding on prevention of suicide and severe mental disorders.

In recognition of this, the Novo Nordisk Fund this year chose to give the Novo Nordisk Prize 2020 to Merete Nordentoft and Preben Bo Mortensen.

Ascending Investigator for Trine Madsen

Trine Madsen from DRISP has recently received the ”Ascending Investigators Grant” from the Lundbeck Foundation to conduct the research project “Young People’s Risk of Suicide Attempt (YRSA).

The rate of suicide attempt in adolescents has been increasing for the last decades, especially in young girls. Suicide attempt is the best-established risk factor for subsequent death by suicide, therefore this increasing trend is alarming.


Trine Madsen from DRISP has recently received the ”Ascending Investigators Grant” from the Lundbeck Foundation to conduct the research project “Young People’s Risk of Suicide Attempt (YRSA).

The rate of suicide attempt in adolescents has been increasing for the last decades, especially in young girls. Suicide attempt is the best-established risk factor for subsequent death by suicide, therefore this increasing trend is alarming.

Reportedly, only up to 9-25% of those adolescents who attempt suicide are seen at somatic hospitals, implying that up to 90% of all teenagers in a crisis situation with a suicide attempt may have not received professional help for their suicidal behavior. The YRSA project aims to document prevalences and early risk factors for suicide attempt in both those seen at somatic hospitals for suicide attempt and in those who self-reported suicide attempt but do not seek somatic treatment. Further, the aim is to examine barriers and facilitators of seeking help from mental health services after a suicide attempt. The YRSA project, which combines self-reported data from the Danish National Birth Cohort with register-based data, are unique for this purpose.

The Ascending Investigators grant is given to established and talented scientists at Danish research institutions to further develop their careers and to make significant research contributions. It is an honor to receive a such prestigious award.

Read more about the project: [Link]

Trine Madsen get Nordentoft award 2020

Trine Madsen receives the award for her important contributions within register-based research on mental illnesses, infections, traumatic brain trauma and deployments to war zones as risk factors for suicide. She has, among others, demonstrated that the time after discharge from a psychiatric hospital in Denmark is a high-risk period for suicide, which ought to be targeted by interventions.

Trine Madsen is an international expert in trajectory analyses and has studied the development of suicidal thoughts among patients with bipolar disorder, depression disorders and schizophrenia in USA and Holland. She has also helped set up a large intervention study aimed at preventing suicide after discharge from a psychiatric hospital.

The Nordentoft Award was set up by the Association for Education and Research on Suicide Prevention to mark Professor Merete Nordentoft’s great contributions within suicide prevention research in Denmark. The objective of the award is to promote suicide prevention and to make the efforts within this field visible to a broader audience.

As both research and preventive efforts are important and needed disciplines to secure reductions in the numbers of suicide, the Nordentoft Award is every second year given to a practitioner and in other years to a researcher.

DRISP-seminar: Psychosocial and digital suicide prevention

Date: February 14th, 2020
Time: 9.30-12.15
Stream of DRISP seminar:


(introduktion begynder efter 8 minutter)


Welcome by Prof. Merete Nordentoft, Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention

Digital phenotyping and suicide prevention by Prof. Heleen Riper, Section of Clinical Psychology, Vrije University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Psychosocial interventions for suicide prevention by Prof. Ad Kerkhof, Vrije University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Digital interventions for youth with suicidal ideation or self-harm by Prof. Sarah Hetrick, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand

PhD defense in DRISP

On February 14, 2020, Charlotte Mühlmann successfully defended her PhD on “Internet-based self-help therapy for individuals with suicidal ideation.” Opponents were: prof. Sarah Hetrick, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand and prof. Heleen Riper, Section of Clinical Psychology, Vrije University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Well done, Charlotte!

Science: Suicide—turning the tide

As one of the few countries in the world, Denmark has secured a radical decline in the suicide rate over the last 40 years. Historically, the Danish suicide rate was among the highest in the world but the rate began declining in 1980 where 38 suicide deaths per 100,000 inhabitants were counted until 2007 where it had reached a level of 11 suicide deaths per 100,000; a reduction to one third of its originally level. The recipe for this success story is listed in SCIENCE.

In the same issue, a series of articles lay out recent and on-going achievements in suicide prevention.


WHO National Suicide prevention strategies

WHO has published a new report on “National suicide prevention strategies: progress, examples and indicators”

National suicide prevention strategies are essential for elevating suicide prevention on the political agenda. A national strategy and associated action plan are necessary to push forward the implementation of suicide prevention. Without these, efforts are likely to abate and suicide prevention will remain neglected. This document aims to serve as a resource and inspire governments and policy-makers to establish their own national suicide prevention strategy. Examples from each WHO Region show the variety of approaches undertaken and the indicators that have been chosen. The elements for developing, implementing and evaluating a national suicide prevention strategy are described and actions to overcome common barriers are presented.

Netflix series ’13 Reasons why’

A new American study has found that the suicide rate among American boys aged 10-17 years increased with 29% in the months after the release of the Netflix series ’13 Reasons why’ i 2017 in the US. International research findings have previously shown that news reports and movies where suicidal behavior is presented might inspire others, particularly vulnerable youngsters. WHO has published guidelines for media reports of suicidal behavior (

Britt Morthorst fro DRISP commented upon the American findings for DR News.

DRISP student receive prize

Every year an undergraduate in medical science receives Psykiatriprisen (The Psychiatry Price), which is awarded for research in the psychiatric field. This year, Cecilie Aalling, a research year student i DRISP, participated with her paper on ‘Suicidal behaviour among persons with ADHD: A nationwide register-based study’. In the paper Cecilie compared persons with an ADHD diagnosis to the remaining population from 1995-2014 in order to find out whether this group had higher suicide rates. Furthermore, she calculated suicide rates for subgroups according to parents’ psychiatric diagnose, criminal conduct and psychiatric comorbidity. Cecilie received 3. place for this paper and she is very happy and proud.

Traumatic brain injury tied to increased risk of suicide

People who have traumatic brain injuries may be nearly twice as likely to die by suicide as individuals who don’t have a history of injuries like concussions and skull fractures, a large Danish study suggests.

Researchers examined data on more than 7.4 million people aged 10 years and older living in Denmark from 1980 to 2014. During this period, 567,823 people, or 7.6 percent, had received treatment for a traumatic brain injury. See the links below.

Internationale media
Washington Post
ABC News
The Telegraph (britisk medie)

National partnership for suicide prevention

Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention (DRISP) did the 8 sep. 2018 join the new National Partnership for Suicide Prevention. In total, 22 organisations have committed to collaborate with the purpose of promoting suicide prevention in Denmark. The date for the formal start of the partnership coincides with the WHO World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, which is marked by various events throughout the country. “We are pleased to finally have a national partnership for suicide prevention. There has not been a decline observed in suicide rate over the last 15 years – it is time to make a change through a coordinated and goal-oriented effort to prevent suicidal behaviours” says program leader Annette Erlangsen, DRISP. “Internationally, we have a substantial body of evidence on effective strategies for prevention. DRISP is eager to establish evidence-based knowledge on effective measures with a focus on implementation”. DRISP has received funding to update the knowledge stand on risk predictors for suicide. In addition, Merete Nordentoft who is a professor in psychiatry and employed at Mental Health Centre Copenhagen has recently received 18 mill DKK from the Danish Ministry of Health (‘SATS-pulje’) to implement a better follow-up on patients discharged/transferred from/between psychiatric care providers. “It is extremely important to examine whether such efforts have an actual effect so that we know whether it makes sense to implement them nationally” Merete Nordentoft explains.

New International Research on Suicide Prevention

Danish Research Institute for Suicide Prevention (DRISP) disseminate international research-based knowledge directly to professionals and others interested in suicide prevention.

Each month we will summarize and comment on a recently published international study. The summaries will be in Danish. The purpose of the dissemination is to inform on international directions and important new findings. If you are interested in receiving 1-2 emails on a monthly basis on suicide prevention, please send an email to: It is possible to unsubscribe from the list at any time.

Funding for the SAFE project

DRISP at the Capital Region has received 18 million DK kr. from the Danish Ministry of Health to the implementation of the SAFE project. The purpose of the SAFE project is to test whether a more comprehensive and closer follow-up after discharge from a psychiatric hospitalization can significantly reduce the risk of suicidal behavior in the first half year after discharge, which is a period of high suicide risk.
In the project, we will hire 17 clinically working project staff as additional capacity to implement the SAFE project in the already existing clinical organization (emergency teams, district psychiatry, OP and OPUS teams and at the Competence Center for Suicide Prevention). This additional capacity to ensure that the procedures on discharge from psychiatric hospitalization are systematized and improved. Specifically, procedures should be improved and systematized by implementing the following:
1. Establish routines for personal contact with the following outpatient unit before the patient is discharged.
2. Secure outpatient contact primarily at home visits within the first week after discharge.
3. Invite relatives to the patient to discharge meeting and/or the home visit.

The SAFE project are being implemented and tested at the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen in the period 2018-2020. In a scientific evaluation of the SAFE project, we have planned an experimental design where patients discharged from the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen are compared relative to the proportion of suicidal behavior in the first half year after discharge with patients discharged from other psychiatric centers in the Capital Region of Denmark. The comparison group is selected using the propensity score matching technique to ensure that the control group is as comparable as possible with regard to known risk factors  of suicidal behavior.