Professor L Schlebusch


 Professor Lourens Schlebusch






 Life Entabeni Hospital

Research Interests

Suicide prevention, traumatic stress and bridging the mind-body dichotomy.


Emeritus Professor


Professor Lourens Schlebusch is Emeritus Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal and in private practice at Life Entabeni Hospital, Durban, South Africa.

He is an internationally recognised authority in his areas of expertise, a suicidologist, stress management consultant, clinical psychologist and specialist in behavioural medicine. He has been a member of several national and international scientific editorial boards, organisations, and societies, as well as a reviewer of scientific publications both nationally and internationally, and has many professional listings, honors, and awards.

He has made significant research contributions and has published widely (including scientific articles, research reports and chapters in several books). Some of his books are: Clinical Health Psychology: A Behavioural Medicine Perspective (Ed.); Proverbial Stress Busters; Psychological Recovery from Cancer; Mind Shift: Stress Management and Your Health and Suicidal Behaviour in South Africa.

His research interests include various aspects of suicide prevention, traumatic stress and bridging the mind-body dichotomy in contemporary health care delivery.

He was a vice president of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP), congress president for the XXIII World IASP Congress which was held on the 12-16 September 2005, International Convention Centre (ICC) Durban, South Africa, and a member of the world Health Organization’s Multisite Intervention Study on Suicidal Behaviours (SUPRE-MISS).

He is the founder and former Head of the Department of Behavioural Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

 List of Publications

1. Bertolote, J. M., Fleischmann, A., De Leo, D., Bolhari, J., Botega, N., De Silva, D., Huong Tran Thi Thanh, Phillips, M., Schlebusch, L., Värnik, A., Vijayakumar, V. & Wasserman, D. (2008). Effectiveness of brief intervention and contact for suicide attempters: a randomized controlled trial in five countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization; 86:703–709.

2. Burrows, S. & Schlebusch. L. (2008) Priorities and Prevention Possibilities for Reducing Suicidal Behaviour in South Africa. In: Seedat M, Van Niekerk A (Eds): Crime, Violence and Injury Prevention In South Africa. Data to Action. Cape Town: Medical Research Council, University of South Africa. pp173-201.

3. Schlebusch, L (2008). Suicide risk factors and HIV/AIDS. Serenity 1(6): 18.

4. Schlebusch, L., Burrows, S., & Vawda, N.B. (2009) Suicide prevention and religious traditions on the African continent. In: D Wasserman, Ed. The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 63-69.

5. Schlebusch, L. & Burrows, S. (2009) Suicide attempts in Africa. In : D Wasserman, Ed. The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and suicide prevention. Oxford University Press, pp 105-108.

6. Burrows, S. & Schlebusch, L. (2009) Suicide prevention in South Africa. In : D Wasserman, Ed. The Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 755-758.

7. Schlebusch, L.; Vawda, N. (2010). HIV-infection as a self-reported risk factor for attempted suicide in South Africa. Afr. J. Psychiatry, 13, 280–283.

8. Burrows S, Schlebusch L, Musisi S, Kinyanda E, Kizza R. (2011). Self-directed violence. In: Kobusingye O, Bowman B, Burrows S, Matzopoulos R, Butchart A, eds, Violence and Health in the WHO African Region. Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville: World Health Organization, pp 119-161.

9. Schlebusch, L.(2011). An overview of suicidal behaviour in Africa. In: Ndetei, D.M., Szabo, C. P., Eds. Contemporary Psychiatry in Africa. A Review of Theory, Practice and Research, Nairobi: Acrodile Publishing limited, pp 375-396.

10. Schlebusch, L. Suicidal behaviour. (2011). In: Van Niekerk, A., Suffla, S., Seedat, M., Ratele, K., Eds. Crime, Violence and Injury in South Africa: Enabling Child Safety, Medical Research Council–University of South Africa: Tygerberg, South Africa, pp 178-194.

11. Schlebusch, L. Suicide risk and cancer. (2011). In: Berman, A. L., Pompili, M. D., Eds. Medical Conditions Associated With Suicide Risk. The American Association of Suicidology: Washington DC, pp 59-69.

12. Schlebusch L, Govender RD. (2012). Age, gender and suicidal ideation following voluntary HIV counseling and testing. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 9: 521-530.

13. Govender RD, Schlebusch L. (2012). Suicidal ideation in seropositive patients seen at a South African HIV voluntary counseling and testing clinic. Afr J Psychiatry; 15: 94-98.

14. Schlebusch L. Suicidal behaviour. (2012). In: van Niekerk A, Suffla S, Seedat M, Eds, Crime, Violence and Injury in South Africa: 21st Century Solutions For Child Safety. Houghton, Johannesburg, Psychological Society of South Africa: pp 178-194.

15. Schlebusch L. (2012). Suicidal behaviour in the chronic medically ill. Suicide from a global perspective: vulnerable populations and controversies. In: Shrivastava A, Kimbrell M, Lester D, (Eds). New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 65-71.

16. Schlebusch, L. (2012). Stress, lifestyle and suicidal behaviour. In Suicide From A Global Perspective: Psychosocial Approaches; Shrivastava, A., Kimbrell, M., Lester, D. (Eds) Nova Science Publishers, Inc.: New York, pp 33-39.

17. Schlebusch, L. (2012). Suicide prevention: a proposed national strategy for South Africa. African Journal of Psychiatry, 15 : 1-3.

18. Govender RD, Schlebusch L. (2012). Hopelessness, depression and suicidal ideation in HIV-positive persons. S Afr J Pysch; 18(1): 16-21.

19. Govender RD, Schlebusch L. (2013). A suicide risk screening scale for HIV-infected persons in the immediate post-diagnosis period. S Afr J HIV Med; 14(2): 58-63.

20. Schlebusch, L (2013). Stress as a lifestyle-related suicide risk. Serenity 1(11): 34.

21. Schlebusch, L. (2013). Preventing suicide in a developing society. Suicidology. Final Programme and Book of Abstracts 2013, supplement 1 (18). Presented to the XXVII World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (Preventing Suicidal Behaviour on Five Continents-Innovative Treatments and Interventions) September 24-28, Oslo, Norway.

22. Naidoo SS, Schlebusch, L.(2013). Sociodemographic and clinical profiles of suicidal patients requiring admission to hospitals south of Durban. S Afr Fam Pract. 55(4): 373-379.

23. Van Oers H, Schlebusch, L. (2013). Anxiety and the patient with breast cancer: A review of current research and practice. S Afr Fam Pract. 55(6): 525-529.

24. Govender RD, Schlebusch L, Esterhuizen T. (2014). Brief suicidal prevention and intervention in recently diagnosed HIV- positive persons. Afri J Psychiat. 17; 543-547.

25. Naidoo SS, Schlebusch, L. (2014). Sociodemographic characteristics of persons committing suicide in Durban, South Africa : 2006-2007. Afr J Primary Health Care Fam Med. 6.1:1-7.

26. SS Naidoo, P Gathiram & L Schlebusch. (2015). Effectiveness of a buddy intervention support programme for suicidal behaviour in a primary care setting. S Afr Fam Pract. 2015; 56(5): 263-270.

27. World Health Organization (WHO). (2014). Preventing Suicide, A global imperative: Available online: (accessed on 2 December 2014). International Contributor

Schlebusch, L., & Govender, R., D. (2015). Elevated risk of suicidal ideation in HIV-positive persons. Depression, Research and Treatment, vol. 2015, Article ID 609172, 6 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/609172.

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