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Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) Essay Competition 2021

The first annual Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) Essay Competition 2021 has been organised by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on behalf of the Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRe NoW) network, a collaboration between UCLan, Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Manchester, the Manchester Self-Harm Project, the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs).

The ZSA is a members-led charity campaign hosted by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust dedicated to preventing suicide. They work in collaboration with NHS trusts, non-profit organisations, local authorities, businesses and individuals to raise awareness of suicide and its contributing factors. They also aim to break the stigma that surrounds suicide and enable leaders to drive meaningful action to help prevent suicide in the UK and beyond. Some of the ZSA’s activities involve developing suicide prevention training that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts; and working with organisations such as UCLan, providing support and guidance around the development of suicide prevention training packages. The ZSA training is accessible to all.

In relation to self-harm, this is one of the strongest predictors of suicide and therefore important to understand. The ZSA also aims to understand the factors that contribute to suicide, since improved understanding can guide suicide prevention strategies and programmes.

During the Covid-19 pandemic there has been much attention given to both the rates of suicide and self-harm, so what does the evidence tell us? It is this very question we invite you to answer in our first annual ZSA competition. The aim of this competition is to encourage quality research and writing on suicide and self-harm, to engage people in a creative way, and to share knowledge and expertise.

Question: Have the rates of self-harm and suicide increased during the covid-19 lockdowns and pandemic, in the UK and globally, and how might we explain these findings?

  • Win a first prize of £500
  • Prize winner’s presentation by the ZSA.
  • This is an academic style of essay. Competition entries will be judged by a panel of members from the Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRe NoW) network and the Zero Suicide Alliance on the extent to which their essay shows good knowledge of the topic area and supporting empirical evidence, cogency of argument, originality and independence of thought, clarity of expression, and overall ability to articulate explanations for trends in the evidence.
  • Essays should be no longer than 3,000 words and contain a reference list at the end of essay to support the ideas, claims, and concepts in the essay. The reference list is not included in the word count and can be formatted in any style, but must include all those references that appear within the text. In-text citations should include only the author surname and date.
  • Essay published on the University of Central Lancashire, ZSA, and the SSHaRe NoW website which is hosted by the University of Manchester.
  • We encourage entries from students, practitioners, experience-by-experience and members of the public with a shared interested in suicide and self-harm, from across the UK and internationally.

Email your entry to Dr Kathryn Gardner: kjgardner@uclan.ac.uk with the subject/title of your email being “ZSA essay competition 2021” and the following information:

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First name:

Last name:

Please state which category applies to you (you can select more than one):

  • Expert-by-experience
  • Member of the public
  • Student
  • Practitioner

Deadline for submissions: 10 January 2022, 12.00 midnight

Announcement of winner: 21 February 2022

Presentation of award: 1 March 2022, 10.00am at the University of Central Lancashire

Please read the below Terms and Conditions for applying.

  1. For the avoidance of any doubt, the promoter of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) and Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaReNoW) Essay Competition (“Competition”) is the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE (“UCLan”).
  2. The Competition is open to all across the UK and internationally; including members of the public, students, practitioners working in the prevention of suicide and self-harm.
  3. Parties directly connected to the running of the Competition (including UCLan staff) are prohibited from entering the Competition.
  4. In order to enter the Competition entrants must submit an essay answering the question: “Have the rates of self-harm and suicide increased during the covid-19 lockdowns and pandemic, in the UK and globally, and how might we explain these findings?” and submit their essay via email to Dr Kathryn Gardner: kjgardner@uclan.ac.uk
  5. Essays should be no longer than 3,000 words and contain a reference list at the end of essay. The reference list is not included in the word count.
  6. No purchase is required in order to enter the Competition.
  7. Entrants to the Competition shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions upon entry.
  8. Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person or joint submissions will not be accepted.
  9. UCLan accepts no responsibility for any entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected, incomplete or cannot be delivered for any technical reason or any other reasons.
  10. All entrants under the age of eighteen must obtain written parental or guardian consent to enter the Competition and to claim the prize. UCLan reserves the right to ask the winner for proof of age.
  11. The Competition opens on 10th October 2021 at 12:00am BST and closes on 10th January 2022 at 12.00am BST. Any entries received outside of this period will not be accepted.
  12. Competition entries will be judged by a panel of members from the Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRe NoW) network and the Zero Suicide Alliance on the extent to which their essay shows good knowledge of the topic area and supporting empirical evidence, cogency of argument, originality and independence of thought, clarity of expression, and overall ability to articulate explanations for trends in the evidence.
  13. In the event that there are no entries of sufficient merit, UCLan reserves the right to discontinue the Competition with immediate effect.
  14. The decision of the judging panel (acting reasonably) shall be final and no negotiation or correspondence shall be entered into regarding the judging panel’s decision.
  15. UCLan will send the full names of the judges to any person who writes within 30 days of the closing date of the competition requesting details of the judges and who encloses a self-addressed envelope to Dr Kathryn Gardner, School of Psychology and Computer Science, Darwin Building, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE.
  16. The winner will be chosen in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. The winner will receive the following:

- A prize of £500 (Cheque or Bank Transfer);

- A prize winner’s presentation from the ZSA;

- Essay published on the University of Central Lancashire, ZSA and the SSHaRe NoW website which is hosted by the University of Manchester.

  1. UCLan reserves the right to disqualify you if your conduct is contrary to the spirit of the Competition or if you are found to be in breach of these Terms and Conditions.
  2. The winner will be notified by no later than 14th February 2022, via email. If a winner does not respond within 14 days of being notified of their win, then the winner’s prize shall be forfeited and we shall be entitled to select a new winner in accordance with the process set out above (such new winner shall also be subject to the obligations set out in this condition).
  3. If a winner rejects their prizes or their entry is found to be in breach of these Terms and Conditions, their prizes shall be forfeited, and we shall be entitled to select a new winner.
  4. We accept no responsibility for any costs associated with the prizes that are not specifically and expressly included in the prizes.
  5. If the prize winner selects to receive their prize winnings as a cheque, they will collect their prize from The School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE. If the winner is unable to physically collect their prize, UCLan will get in touch with the prize winner via email with instructions to arrange payment.
  6. The prizes are non‐exchangeable, non‐transferrable and a cash alternative is not available.
  7. UCLan reserve the right to substitute a prize with another prize of similar value if the original prize becomes unavailable for any reason.
  8. UCLan may contact the winner by email about participating in publicity related to the Competition. This may involve the publication of their name and photograph on the UCLan website and in any other media selected by UCLan.
  9. The winner of the Competition will be published on the UCLan and SSHaRE NoW website after 1st March 2022.
  10. UCLan will process any personal information you submit in compliance with data protection legislation. Any personal data you provide will be used for the purposes of administering the Competition, publishing entries, notifying you if you win and for any publicity purposes involving the Competition winner as set out in these Terms and Conditions. This may involve publishing information on the UCLan website or on social media which means it will be available to the public, worldwide. UCLan may also need to share some personal data with third parties to arrange the prize. UCLan will use your information to contact you if you win. UCLan will not use your contact details for marketing purposes and will not sell your details to third parties for marketing purposes. For further information about how UCLan uses personal data, please see the privacy notice on our website at https://www.uclan.ac.uk/legal/data-protection.
  11. To the maximum extent permitted by law, UCLan accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liability, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Competition or accepting the prize, except where it is caused by UCLan’s negligence. UCLan further disclaims its liability, to the maximum extent permitted by law, for any injury or damage caused to your or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participating in the Competition. Your statutory rights are not affected.
  12. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude UCLan’s liability for death, personal injury, fraud or any other liability that cannot be excluded by law.
  13. UCLan does not claim any rights of ownership in your competition entry.
  14. By entering the Competition you agree that UCLan may make your Competition entry available on this and the following websites SSHaRe NoW, zero suicide alliance and in any other media selected by UCLan from time to time in connection with any publicity relating to the Competition. You hereby agree to grant UCLan an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty free licence to use any and all intellectual property rights in your Competition entry for the purposes of the Competition, any publicity relating to the Competition and for any other purpose that UCLan may see fit from time to time.
  15. UCLan reserves the right from time to time to modify or discontinue the Competition with or without prior notice where in our reasonable opinion it becomes reasonably necessary. All decisions on all matters under UCLan’s control are final and binding and no correspondence or negotiation will be entered into regarding a decision made by UCLan.
  16. UCLan shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where that failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control, with the exception of the failure of its suppliers in providing the prize.
  17. The Competition shall be governed by English law and the entrants to the competition submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.