A Markov chain illness and death model is proposed to determine suicide dynamic in a population and examine its effectiveness for reducing the number of suicides by modifying certain parameters of the model. Assuming a population with replacement, the suicide risk of the population can be estimated by determining the final state of the Markov model. The model shows that targeting the whole population for suicide prevention is more effective than reducing risk in the high-risk tail of the distribution of psychological distress (i.e. the mentally ill). The results of this model reinforce the essence of the Rose theorem that lowering the risk in the population at large may be more effective than reducing the high risk in a small population.


Prof Paul SF Yip

Research Area

University of Hong Kong, Dep. of Social Work and Social Administration, Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention


Fri, 29/08/2014 - 11:00am


OMB-113, Old Main Building, UNSW Kensington Campus

Dr Paul Yip is a professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and the director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention  at the University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Steering Committee on Population Policy and an associate member of the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong SAR Government. He is  a recipient of the Stengel Research award in 2012, outstanding supervisor and researcher of the University of Hong Kong in 2011 and 2009 respectively.