The South Asia Self Harm Initiative

Global Challenge Research Fund: South Asia Self Harm research capability building Initiative (GCRF-SASHI)

SASHI formed in late 2015 as a collaboration led by the Centre for Mental Health and Society at Bangor University. It is a partnership between researchers working in South Asia and the UK. The purpose of the GCRF-SASHI project is to help to find effective responses to self-harm and suicide in South Asia by building research infrastructure and promoting expertise, with a particular emphasis on high quality surveillance systems. This will allow each country to build a body of evidence to facilitate the development of culturally relevant and effective interventions, both social and medical.


  • Self-harm (SH) is amongst the top 25 leading causes of death globally
  • Rates of SH are high in South Asia, particularly in rural settings
  • The economic burden of SH is both direct (family costs of treatment, lost income due to death and disability) and indirect (significant social costs)
  • Reducing suicide mortality is a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator

Intended Impact of the project

  • To create a sustainable legacy of continuing value for practitioners and researchers, and for policy formation
  • To create a platform built around hospital and primary care SH surveillance
  • To facilitate the collection of new empirical evidence in each country on the prevalence, antecedents & outcomes of SH
  • To better understand what affects help-seeking behaviour in South Asia
  • To identify causal factors that are amenable to intervention
  • To help develop new service models & action plans based on local evidence
  • To make extensive use of train-the-trainer models and experiential training
  • To enhance the skill set of local research communities
  • To develop and disseminate a tool kit for establishing SH registers in low- and middle-income countries
  • Ultimately, to contribute to a reduction in the rates of SH in South Asia
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