Dr Keith Harris completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, with a dissertation on suicidal individuals' use of the internet for suicide-related purposes. Keith is from the USA, and has lived and worked as a research-teaching academic in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, and has traveled extensively. Keith comes from an applied social psychology perspective, but likes to consider various positions when tackling theoretical and real-world challenges. He has been active in the field of Suicidology since 2005, is a member of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP), the International Academy of Suicide Research (IASR), the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), and the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS).
Dr Harris is actively involved in a number of research, teaching, and community development areas. His primary interests are in understanding suicidality and improving suicide prevention efforts, and better understanding human-information technology interactions. He has done work on problematic mobile phone use, online gaming, social networking for help-seeking and social support, and online survey methodology. His core factors of interest have been: help-seeking, social support, and suicidal behaviors.
Keith is currently working on furthering our understanding of social networking, such as forming new social relationships (assessed through his Online Relationship Building Scale: ORBS). He is working to expand help-seeking models through more current perspectives, which include online and mobile use and potential. In addition, he is developing improved assessment of suicidal ideation, as well as assessment of suicide-related stigma.
Keith is active in the mental health community; particularly the suicide prevention community. He has worked with coroner departments, hospitals, suicide prevention organizations, students and academics to promote suicide prevention and research. He is founder and director of the Suicide Study Group (SSG), and is happy to work with anyone interested in this area.
- PhD, University of Queensland, 26/03/2009
- Master of Arts, Claremont Graduate University - USA, 19/01/1987
- Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University - USA, 10/06/1983
- Online Behaviors
- Online Relationship Building Scale (ORBS)
- Online Support
- Online Surveys
- Social Cogntion
- Social Support
- Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Theory
I am interested in any factor, risk or protective, related to suicidality. The suicidal mind is one of my greatest areas of interest, and a frequent research topic of mine. Other specific areas include: how suicidal people use the internet, help-seeking, social support, psychopathology, sexual orientation, and cultural factors related to mental health and suicide risk. My research methods include online surveys, laboratory experiments, as well as analysis of hospital and clinical data. My projects are aimed at both furthering scientific knowledge as well as applying that knowledge to help solve real-world problems.
Some of my research contributions include: furthering the understanding of how suicidal people think about life and death and deciding on suicide; developing the ORBS - Online Relationship Building Scale; developing the LDAS - Life-Death Ambivalence Scale, empirical study of online suicidal behaviours, how suicidal individuals differ by sexuality, and evaluation of how hospitals process suicide attempters.
In addition, I am interested and actively involved in researching areas such as: health psychology, pyschometrics (creating and evaluating new scales/measures), use of technology for mental health purposes, help-seeking, cross cultural factors, and whatever else grabs my interest at the moment.
I am always happy to find colleagues, students, and professionals to collaborate with on projects of mutual interest. Feel free to get in touch if there is something you would like to work together on.
Fields of Research
|179999||Psychology And Cognitive Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified||40|
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - Australian Psychological Society
- Member - International Association of Suicide Prevention
Dr Harris thoroughly enjoys collaborating with others on Best Practice research, outreach, and treatment. He is currently working with colleagues at the University of Sydney, Stanford University, Deakin University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, Chulalongkorn University, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Charles Darwin University, and Northwestern University on a variety of projects related to mental health. He is working with the NHMRC’s Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention, Lifeline, Hunter New England Mental Health, Samaritans of Singapore, and other professional and community groups. He currently supervises several Honours, clinical psychology doctoral and masters, and PhD students on projects that aim to make significant contributions toward psychological theory, treatment, and a better understanding of human nature.
At the University of Newcastle, Keith has been invited to join the new eHealth cluster, Health@UoN, and the Online Teaching, Learning, & Research Community of Interest, to name a few of his current professional collaborations.
Dr Harris is founder and director of the Suicide Study Group (SSG). The SSG is dedicated to furthering theoretical and applied research on suicide, contributing to public education on suicide prevention, and applying research findings to improved treatment and prevention of suicidal behaviors.
The SSG can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Suicide-Study-Group/148265885183967?v=wall
Currently, Keith's students are doing projects on: Thai and Cambodian media reports of suicide; online help-seeking; risk perceptions and behaviors of suicide-risk adults; borderline personality disorder treatment and reduction in suicidal behaviors; post-treatment help-seeking by patients suffering from comorbid alcohol and depression; pathways to suicide in the Australian farming community; and cyber-bullying.
Other current projects include: suicide-related stigma; personality differences and suicide risk; and the safety/efficacy of conducting suicide risk assessment and research.
Dr Harris has experience coordinating small to large projects, including a multidisciplinary ARC-Linkage project, Suicide Study Group (SSG) events and research, as well as seminars - including his World Suicide Prevention Day seminars (e.g. 10th September, 2012, 6-8PM, University of Newcastle, Australia, McMullen Lecture Theater).
- Community Mental Health
- Health Communications
- Health Psychology
- Introduction to Psychology
- Psychological Assessment
- Research Methodology
- Social Cognition
Dr Harris has taught courses on: Suicidology, Introduction to Psychology, Psychopathology, Health Psychology, and Research Methods and Statistics.
He also gives workshops and seminars on applied research, online surveys, using SPSS and EndNote.
Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.
Journal article (5 outputs)
|2014||Harris KM, McLean JP, Sheffield J, 'Suicidal and Online: How Do Online Behaviors Inform Us of This High-Risk Population?', Death Studies, (2014)|
|2013||Harris KM, 'Sexuality and Suicidality: Matched-Pairs Analyses Reveal Unique Characteristics in Non-Heterosexual Suicidal Behaviors', ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, 42 729-737 (2013)|
|2010||Harris KM, McLean J, Sheffield J, Jobes D, 'The internal suicide debate hypothesis: Exploring the life vs. death struggle', Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior: the official journal of the American Association of Suicidology, 40 181-192 (2010) [C1]|
|Show 2 more|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||2|
For project grants received where the lead institution is other than the University of Newcastle, details are shown in italics.
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
2013 (1 grants)
Personality, Suicidality and the Internet$3,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle
|Doctor Keith Harris|
|New Staff Grant||Chief Investigator|
|Total Amount||Funding Start||Funding Finish|
2012 (1 grants)
Suicide in Cambodia and Thailand: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Suicide Risk Factors and Reporting Styles$12,000
Funding Body: Keats Endowment Research Fund
|Doctor Keith Harris|
|Research Grant||Chief Investigator|
|Total Amount||Funding Start||Funding Finish|
|Number of current supervisions||0|