Mr Bernard Leckning
Postdoctoral Fellow

Mr Bernard Leckning

BSc (Computing Science) Hons (UTS)

BA Hons (UNSW)

PhD Public Health and Epidemiology (current) (Menzies School of Health Research)

Medicine & Health
The Black Dog Institute

I am interested in advancing the epidemiological and clinical understanding of self-harm and how this can inform prevention. I am currently working within the Crisis and Aftercare stream of the Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention-II (CRESP-II) to develop a program of work focused on improving suicide safety planning in Australia.

I have a special interest and considerable experience in using linked data to better understand opportunities for prevention across the lifecourse and to evaluate large-scale interventions, especially targeting particularly vulnerable groups of children and young people and First Nations peoples.

I have previously undertaken suicide prevention research in a range of clinical and community-based settings, including hospitals, ambulatory mental health care, primary health care, schools, and youth centres across urban and remote regions of the Northern Territory of Australia.

I continue to be involved in the Child and Youth Development Research Partnership (CYDRP) between the Menzies School of Health Research and NT government agencies to develop and conduct research using a large-scale repository of linked administrative data to investigate health, social, educational, and welfare outcomes for children and young people in the NT in partners. My research focus in the partnership is primarily on behavioural and mental health outcomes, especially self-harm and suicide.

Academic Appointments

2022 – current   Honorary Fellow
                 Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia

Previous work

2013 - 2022      Research Officer, Data Linkage and Suicide Prevention Research
                 Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia
2011 - 2012      Research Associate, Suicide Prevention Research
                 Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia
+61-2-9065 0023
Hospital Road
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Haregu T; Jorm AF; Paradies Y; Leckning B; Young JT; Armstrong G, 2022, 'Discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in Australia: Associations with suicidal thoughts and depressive symptoms', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 56, pp. 657 - 666,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Leckning B; Borschmann R; Guthridge S; Silburn SR; Hirvonen T; Robinson GW, 2022, 'Suicides in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people following hospital admission for suicidal ideation and self-harm: A retrospective cohort data linkage study from the Northern Territory', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Robinson G; Lee E; Leckning B; Silburn S; Nagel T; Midford R, 2022, 'Validity and reliability of resiliency measures trialled for the evaluation of a preventative Resilience-promoting social-emotional curriculum for remote Aboriginal school students', PLoS ONE, vol. 17,
    Journal articles | 2021
    He VY; Leckning B; Malvaso C; Williams T; Liddle L; Guthridge S, 2021, 'Opportunities for prevention: a data-linkage study to inform a public health response to youth offending in the Northern Territory, Australia', BMC Public Health, vol. 21,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Journal articles | 2020
    Franck L; Midford R; Cahill H; Buergelt PT; Robinson G; Leckning B; Paton D, 2020, 'Enhancing social and emotional wellbeing of aboriginal boarding students: Evaluation of a social and emotional learning pilot program', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Leckning B; Borschmann R; Guthridge S; Bradley P; Silburn S; Robinson G, 2020, 'Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Emergency Department Presentations Involving Suicide-Related Thoughts and Behaviors: Characteristics and Discharge Arrangements', Crisis, vol. 41, pp. 459 - 468,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Leckning B; Hirvonen T; Armstrong G; Carey TA; Westby M; Ringbauer A; Robinson G, 2020, 'Developing best practice guidelines for the psychosocial assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people presenting to hospital with self-harm and suicidal thoughts', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 54, pp. 874 - 882,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Robinson GW; Lee E; Silburn SR; Nagel P; Leckning B; Midford R, 2020, 'School-Based Prevention in Very Remote Settings: A Feasibility Trial of Methods and Measures for the Evaluation of a Social Emotional Learning Program for Indigenous Students in Remote Northern Australia', Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 8,
    Journal articles | 2019
    McHugh L; Andrews RM; Leckning B; Snelling T; Binks MJ, 2019, 'Baseline incidence of adverse birth outcomes and infant influenza and pertussis hospitalisations prior to the introduction of influenza and pertussis vaccination in pregnancy: A data linkage study of 78 382 mother–infant pairs, Northern Territory, Australia, 1994–2015', Epidemiology and Infection, vol. 147,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Midford R; Cahill H; Geng G; Leckning B; Robinson G; Te Ava A, 2017, 'Social and emotional education with Australian Year 7 and 8 middle school students: A pilot study', Health Education Journal, vol. 76, pp. 362 - 372,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Leckning BA; Li SQ; Cunningham T; Guthridge S; Robinson G; Nagel T; Silburn S, 2016, 'Trends in hospital admissions involving suicidal behaviour in the Northern Territory, 2001-2013', Australasian Psychiatry, vol. 24, pp. 300 - 304,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Robinson G; Leckning B; Midford R; Harper H; Silburn S; Gannaway J; Dolan K; Delphine T; Hayes C, 2016, 'Developing a school-based preventive life skills program for youth in a remote Indigenous community in North Australia', Health Education, vol. 116, pp. 510 - 523,

2020 - 2024: MRFF Million Minds Mission Suicide Prevention Grants.
The Buoy Project: Preventing suicide in boys and men.
CIs: Pirkis, Patton, Oliffe, Reavley, Mihalopoulous, Lamontagne, 
Rice, Seidler, King, Vella. AI: Leckning. $5,623,082

2018 - 2019: Centre for Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres 
Strait Islander Suicide Prevention.
BestPrAxIS study: Developing best practice guidelines for psychosocial
assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 
presenting to hospital with self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
CIs: Leckning, Robinson, Hirvonen, Carey, Armstrong. $150,000

2018 - 2021: Suicide Prevention Australia Research Scholarship.
The epidemiology of hospital-treated self-harm and suicidal ideation:
Identifying opportunities for prevention.
CI: Leckning. $105,000

2018 - 2019: Murdoch Children's Research Institute Theme Funding.
Understanding the links between self-harm, substance use,
and poor mental health in children and adolescents admitted
to hospital in the Northern Territory.
CIs: Borschmann, Kinner, Carey, Leckning, Robinson. $20,000

2016 - 2019: NHMRC Target Call for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Suicide Prevention.
Evaluating a classroom-based life skills program for remote 
Aboriginal middle school students (Skills for Life).
CIs: Robinson, Silburn, Nagel, Midford. PSP: Leckning. $1,700,000

2014 - 2015: Commonwealth Government Taking Action to Tackle Suicide. 
Developing life skills programs for remote Aboriginal adolescents. 
CIs: Robinson, Silburn, Nagel, Senior, Leckning. $500,000

2013 - 2016: Beyondblue.
Understanding suicide following hospitalisation for self-harm by Aboriginal people.
CIs: Robinson, Silburn, Nagel, Parker, Guthridge, Li, Leckning. $290,000

2013 - 2016: NT Department of Health.
Outcomes following hospitalisation for self-harm and suicidal ideation.
CIs: Robinson, Silburn, Nagel, Parker, Guthridge, Li, Leckning. $50,000

2012 - 2013: Commonwealth Department of Health.
Consultations to develop the National Aboriginal and 
Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy. 
CIs: Robinson, D’Antoine, Silburn, Leckning. $500,000

2011: NT Children's Commissioner.
Audit of coronial files for child and youth suicides, 2000-2005.
CIs: Robinson, Silburn, Leckning. $50,000


2020: Society for Mental Health Research Award for Best Applied Science Paper (PhD category)

• Australian experiences of suicide safety planning: 
  A survey study to inform improvement and innovation in implementation.
  CIs: Leckning, Shand, Procter, Ferguson, McGill.

• A systems approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention.
  Led by Prof Pat Dudgeon, UWA in partnership with Black Dog Institute.

• Systematic review and meta-analysis of psychiatric assessment and 
  aftercare following hospital-treated deliberate self-harm.
  CIs: Carter, Witt, McGill, Leckning, Hill

• Evaluating implementation and outcomes of Towards Zero Suicide Initiative
  in the Sydney Local Health District.
  CIs: Page, Sperandei, Munasinghe, Leckning

• Mental health-related hospital admissions in the Northern Territory
  associated with child protection and youth justice involvement
  in adolescents: a data linkage study.
  CIs: Leckning, Guthridge, Condon, He

• Patterns of adverse outcomes in Northern Territory adolescents:
  A latent variable approach using linked administrative data.
  CIs: Guthridge, He, Condon, Leckning

• Characteristics and outcomes of hospital-treated self-harm and 
  suicidal ideation: A retrospective cohort data linkage project.
  CI: Leckning

• StreamlinED - Patient navigation for NT adolescents:
  Understanding patterns and improving care of children
  and young people in ED (data linkage component only).
  CIs: Buckley, Leckning, Toombs, He, Guthridge