Prof. Ella Arensman


Professor Ella Arensman, Head of UCC's School of Public Health, Research Professor School of Public Health and Chief Scientist, National Suicide Research Foundation‌, University College Cork


Over the past 33 years, Professor Ella Arensman has conducted research into a wide range of topics relating to suicide, self-harm and public mental health. In her position as Research Professor with the School of Public Health and Chief Scientist with the National Suicide Research Foundation at University College Cork, she has established an extensive research programme in suicide prevention research and public mental health, based on a longstanding track record of successful funding awards from the HRB, EU, HSE and other funding bodies. This has led to more than 200 publications and numerous other outputs, with a h-index of 53. She leads a multidisciplinary research team including staff members from public health, psychology, psychiatry, primary care and occupational health.

She has fulfilled multiple leadership roles at national and international level, including President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and Vice President of the European Alliance Against Depression. She is an Expert Advisor for the World Health Organization, Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Surveillance and Research in Suicide Prevention and Visiting Professor with the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Brisbane. In these roles, she has initiated numerous national and international interdisciplinary research consortia on suicide/self-harm surveillance, intervention and prevention programmes for suicide, self-harm, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, personality disorders and excess mortality among people with mental health conditions.

Since 1989, she has been continuously involved in many national and international research consortia such as the WHO/Euro Multicentre study on Suicidal Behaviour, Child and Adolescent Self Harm in Europe (CASE), the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD), Optimised Suicide Prevention programmes and their Implementation in Europe (OSPI-Europe), Preventing Depression and Improving Awareness through Networking in the EU (PREDI-NU), Mental Health Training through Research Network in Europe (MARATONE), Psychosocial, psychiatric and work-related risk factors associated with suicide in Ireland: A case-control study (SSIS-ACE), Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings (MENTUPP), Improving Prediction and Risk Assessment of Suicide and Self-Harm (IMPRESS), Self-Harm Assessment and Management of Self-Harm in General Hospitals (SAMAGH), and COVID-19: Estimating the burden of symptomatic disease in the community and the impact of public health measures on physical, mental and social wellbeing.

In terms of research methodological expertise, she has extensive expertise in epidemiological research, randomised controlled trials, longitudinal research, life course epidemiology, mixed methods research, psychometrics, health information systems, systematic reviews and programme evaluation. 

In 2015, she was the recipient of a HRB Research Leaders Award, entitled: Individual and Area Level Determinants of Self-Harm and Suicide in Ireland: Enhancing Prediction, Risk Assessment and Management of Self-Harm by Health Services. The programme has provided major opportunities for research innovation and capacity building in real-time suicide surveillance and leading on the first simulation training for mental health professionals working with clinical subgroups of people who self-harm in Ireland (SAMAGH).


School of Public Health

Scoil na Sláinte Poiblí

4th Floor, Western Gateway Building, Western Road,