Senior Research Fellow, Suicide and Mental Health Research Group
Current PhD students
- Julie Artus – Adolescent acute mental health services in NZ
- Renan De Lyra Lopes De Lyra – Impact of suicides on clinicians and first responders
- Anna von Tunzelmann – Is some binge-drinking a form of deliberate self-harm?
- Julia Watkin – The language of mental health
Completed PhD Students
- Sarah McKenzie – Masculinities and men's mental health
- Rowan Magill – The Taranaki Retreat: An alternative response to suicidality and distress?
- Tess Soulie – Clinician treatment of suicidal patients
I am a social scientist with training in epidemiology and public health, I have undertaken quantitative and qualitative health research in many areas of public health. My current focus is on suicide, mental health and acute mental health services and I supervise a number of PhD students in these areas.
Calculating the suicide rate for the New Zealand construction industry
Gabrielle Jenkin, June Atkinson
Funded by BRANZ and NZ MATES in Construction
The proposed study aims to clarify what the true prevalence of suicide in the construction industry is, and if data allows, to calculate the industry specific suicide rate.
Acute Mental Health Facility Design: the NZ experience (2017–2020)
Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, Dr Susanna Every-Palmer, Dr Debbie Peterson, Chris Watson, Dr Evangelia Chrysikou, Professor Sunny Collings
The acute mental health ward is the modern equivalent of the old mental asylum but little is known about factors informing its design and use or the underpinning philosophy of care upon which these facilities are based and if they could benefit from improvements.
This multidisciplinary three year study will draw on perspectives from social science, psychiatry, nursing and architecture to understand the architectural design, therapeutic philosophy and social regime of the modern acute mental health unit in New Zealand.
It will examine as case studies, three acute adult psychiatric wards in New Zealand. Using multiple existing sources of data, including architects plans, briefs and grey literature and collecting new data via in-depth interviews and small focus groups with mental health consumers resident in the wards, staff and other ward users and stakeholders, the findings from this research will inform a much needed evidence base for optimal acute psychiatric facility design in NZ. This research is funded by a Marsden Fast Start.
See: Jenkin, G L S, McIntosh, J, and Every-Palmer, S (2021), Fit for what purpose? Exploring bicultural frameworks for the architectural design of acute mental health facilities. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 18(5), 2343. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18052343
A series published by news and current affairs website Newsroom highlights the findings of this project:
Shining a light on the shocking state of NZ's acute mental health units
Current suicide prevention research – Suicide inquests: interviews with NZ Coroners (2016)
Dr Gabrielle Jenkin and Professor Sunny Collings
Little is known about the perspectives, experiences and decision-making processes of New Zealand coroners as they go about their business of investigating deaths by suicide and making recommendations. This study, based on interviews with NZ coroners, aims to uncover how suicide inquests are conducted in New Zealand. It will examine how coroners go about their investigations, what factors influence their decision-making and recommendations and, coroners' perspectives on these processes and suicide in general. This research is funded by a University of Otago Research Grant.
For further information email email@example.com
The effects of change in coronial attitude and practice on suicide news reporting in NZ (2014)
Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, Principal Investigator, and Professor Sunny Collings
The portrayal of suicide in the media is known to have an influence on suicide rates. Because of this, there are best practice guidelines restricting aspects of suicide reporting by the media. However, in August of 2010, the Chief Coroner suggested that there was a need to 'open up' the issue of suicide. This comment led to a controversial debate over the reporting of suicide in the media. This research will investigate this debate and assess its impact on the reporting of suicide by the New Zealand news media. This research is funded by a University of Otago Research Grant.
Understanding the mental health of sole parents
Professor Sunny Collings, Principal Investigator, Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, Dr Louise Signal and Dr Kristie Carter
Sole parent families account for 30% of families with children in NZ. Research has revealed that sole parents have considerably poorer socioeconomic resources and poorer mental health than couple parent families. Recent and proposed welfare reforms are attempting to address the problems faced by sole parent families by encouraging sole parents into paid employment. However, the association between poorer mental health and sole parent status has not been investigated and little is known about the impacts of employment on this association. This research aims to untangle these associations using cross-sectional data from the Survey of Families, Income and Employment (SoFIE). This research was funded by a University of Otago Research Grant.
See: Collings S, Jenkin G, Carter K, Signal L. (2013). Gender differences in the mental health of single parents: New Zealand evidence from a household panel survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: 1-11.
Multi-level Intervention for Suicide Prevention in New Zealand (MISP-NZ): Process Evaluation
The Multi-level Intervention for Suicide Prevention in New Zealand (MISP-NZ) was a 30 month intervention package designed for and implemented in eight DHB regions between 2010 and 2012.
Word of mouse' internet junk food marketing to New Zealand children
The research aims to examine the nature and extent of internet food marketing to children. The research focuses on three internet platforms: food company/food product websites; websites popular with children; and the popular social media sites: Facebook and YouTube.
Television food advertising to New Zealand children and youth: does it protect their health?
PhD Thesis: Individuals, the Environment or Inequalities? Industry and Public Health Framing of Obesity and its Presence in New Zealand Government Policy on Food and Nutrition.