On 18-19 May 2018, a two day symposium entitled ‘Suicide, Society and Crisis’ will be held at the University of Sheffield to investigate the links between suicide and political and social crisis, at macro and micro levels.

Globally and at many times in history, instances and rates of suicide have been a hugely symbolic resource for making statements about society. Do suicide rates increase in times of socio-political crisis, and, if so, why? How do psychiatrists, pathologists, jurists, coroners, politicians, and the public understand suicide epidemics as symptomatic of instability?

The symposium emerges out of Dr Julie Gottlieb’s (Department of History, University of Sheffield) Wellcome Trust Seed-funded project of the same name, and is organised in collaboration with Medical Humanities Sheffield (MHS). It aims to bring together those working in the medical humanities, history, sociology and in the crossdisciplinary field of suicidology, as well as clinicians to reflect on the correlations between national and personal crisis.

During the conference, we will test psychological, psychiatric, sociological and historical theories about how internalisation of dramatic socio-political change affects incidents, methods, and attitudes towards suicide.