Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Mark Sinyor
Assistant Professor
Brain and Therapeutics
Mark Sinyor
Contact Info
T: (416) 480-4070
Location
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave
FG29
Toronto, ON, M4N 3M5
Appointment Status Primary

Dr. Sinyor is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an Associate Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute.  His clinical focus is on treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and is the founder of PROGRESS (the Program of Research and Education to Stop Suicide) at Sunnybrook.  His main research focus is on suicide prevention and mental health literacy.  He has 35 peer-reviewed publications in high impact factor journals including the British Medical Journal, American Journal of Psychiatry, World Psychiatry and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  He has written editorials in major scientific journals and his writing for lay audiences has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and the Huffington Post.  has received grants from several non-profit funds including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the University of Toronto Excellence fund.  He has been a scientific advisor to Toronto Public Health and the TTC on suicide prevention.  He has a specific interest in interfacing with the media on mental health literacy and suicide prevention and organized Canada’s first media forum on suicide prevention in 2015.  He has also developed a mental health literacy curriculum for middle schoolers using the Harry Potter novels.

Research/Teaching

Research Synopsis

• Mood and anxiety disorders
• Suicide
• Placebos and expectation effects
• Randomized controlled trial design
• Public health

The focus of Dr. Sinyor's research is in two areas within the field of mood disorders.

Suicide is a leading cause of premature death around the world and the second most common cause of death in young people in Canada after accidents. Dr. Sinyor is one of the founding members of PROGRESS (Program of Research and Education to Stop Suicide) at Sunnybrook. He is using coroner's records and other data sources to examine thousands of suicides that have occurred in Toronto and more broadly in Ontario to understand suicide better and to inform future efforts in suicide prevention.

There is growing evidence that expectations and the placebo effect have an important, under-recognized impact on mood and anxiety disorders both clinically and in research trials. Dr. Sinyor is working in this emerging field to understand how these factors influence outcomes and whether there are avenues to optimize expectations to improve patient care.

Publications and Awards

Recent Publications

Epidemiology, neurobiology and pharmacological interventions related to suicide deaths and suicide attempts in bipolar disorder: Part I of a report of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on Suicide in Bipolar Disorder.

 Schaffer A, Isometsä ET, Tondo L, Moreno DH, Sinyor M, Kessing LV, Turecki G, Weizman A, Azorin JM, Ha K, Reis C, Cassidy F, Goldstein T, Rihmer Z, Beautrais A, Chou YH, Diazgranados N, Levitt AJ, Zarate CA Jr, Yatham L.

 Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 16. pii: 0004867415594427. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

 PMID: 26185269 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

A review of factors associated with greater likelihood of suicide attempts and suicide deaths in bipolar disorder: Part II of a report of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on Suicide in Bipolar Disorder.

 Schaffer A, Isometsä ET, Azorin JM, Cassidy F, Goldstein T, Rihmer Z, Sinyor M, Tondo L, Moreno DH, Turecki G, Reis C, Kessing LV, Ha K, Weizman A, Beautrais A, Chou YH, Diazgranados N, Levitt AJ, Zarate CA Jr, Yatham L.

 Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 14. pii: 0004867415594428. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

 PMID: 26175498 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Suicide in the oldest old: an observational study and cluster analysis.

 Sinyor M, Tan LP, Schaffer A, Gallagher D, Shulman K.

 Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 24. doi: 10.1002/gps.4286. [Epub ahead of print]

 PMID: 25809553 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

An observational study of bullying as a contributing factor in youth suicide in Toronto.

 Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Cheung AH.

 Can J Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;59(12):632-8.

 PMID: 25702362 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article

Antidepressants and risk of suicide.

 Sinyor M, Cheung AH.

 BMJ. 2015 Feb 19;350:h783. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h783. No abstract available.

 PMID: 25698773 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Suicide in schizophrenia: an observational study of coroner records in Toronto.

 Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Remington G.

 J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;76(1):e98-103. doi: 10.4088/JCP.14m09047.

 PMID: 25650686 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Antecedents and sex/gender differences in youth suicidal behavior.

 Rhodes AE, Boyle MH, Bridge JA, Sinyor M, Links PS, Tonmyr L, Skinner R, Bethell JM, Carlisle C, Goodday S, Hottes TS, Newton A, Bennett K, Sundar P, Cheung AH, Szatmari P.

 World J Psychiatry. 2014 Dec 22;4(4):120-32. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v4.i4.120. Review.

 PMID: 25540727 [PubMed] Free PMC Article

Association of weekly suicide rates with temperature anomalies in two different climate types.

 Dixon PG, Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Levitt A, Haney CR, Ellis KN, Sheridan SC.

 Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Nov 13;11(11):11627-44. doi: 10.3390/ijerph111111627.

 PMID: 25402561 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article

Last wills and testaments in a large sample of suicide notes: implications for testamentary capacity.

 Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Hull I, Peisah C, Shulman K.

 Br J Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;206(1):72-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.145722. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

 PMID: 25359928 [PubMed – in process]

International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on Suicide: meta-analyses and meta-regression of correlates of suicide attempts and suicide deaths in bipolar disorder.

 Schaffer A, Isometsä ET, Tondo L, H Moreno D, Turecki G, Reis C, Cassidy F, Sinyor M, Azorin JM, Kessing LV, Ha K, Goldstein T, Weizman A, Beautrais A, Chou YH, Diazgranados N, Levitt AJ, Zarate CA Jr, Rihmer Z, Yatham LN.

 Bipolar Disord. 2015 Feb;17(1):1-16. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12271. Epub 2014 Oct 20.

 PMID: 25329791 [PubMed – in process]

Medications without a patient: potential lethal implications of pharmaceuticals left behind.

 Reis C, Sinyor M, Schaffer A.

 Crisis. 2014 Jan 1;35(4):283-5. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000251.

 PMID: 24984889 [PubMed – in process]

Suicide in bipolar disorder: characteristics and subgroups.

 Schaffer A, Sinyor M, Reis C, Goldstein BI, Levitt AJ.

 Bipolar Disord. 2014 Nov;16(7):732-40. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12219. Epub 2014 May 29.

 PMID: 24890795 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Characterizing suicide in Toronto: an observational study and cluster analysis.

 Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Streiner DL.

 Can J Psychiatry. 2014 Jan;59(1):26-33.

 PMID: 24444321 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article

Sinyor M, K Schaffer A, Heisel MJ, Picard A, Adamson G, Cheung C, Katz LY, Jetly R, Sareen J. Media guidelines for reporting on suicide: 2017 Update of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Policy Paper. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. In press.

Sinyor M.  The Boy Who Lived: Harry Potter, Suicide and an Opportunity for Mental Health Literacy. JAACAP Connect 2017, 4,4:13-16.

Sinyor M, Fefergrad M, Cheung A, Selchen S, Zaretsky A.  The Boy Who Lived Well: Harry Potter as a Novel Tool for Teaching Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Skills to Youth. JAACAP Connect 2017; 4, 2:15-21.

Principal Author. Sinyor M, Schaffer A, Redelmeier DA, Kiss A, Nishikawa Y, Cheung AH, Levitt AJ, Pirkis J.  Did the Suicide Barrier Work After All?: Revisiting the Bloor Viaduct Natural Experiment and Its Impact on Suicide Rates in Toronto. BMJ Open 2017;7(5):e015299.

Sinyor M, Tse R, Pirkis J. Global Trends in Suicide Epidemiology. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 2017;30(1):1-6. 

Sinyor M, Pirkis J, Picard A, McKeown D, Vincent M, Cheung C, Schaffer A, Fordham J, Mishaiel R, Heisel M. Towards a Shared Understanding: Perspectives from Toronto’s First Media Forum for Suicide Prevention. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2016 Oct 20;107(3):e330-e332. 

Sinyor M, Tan LP, Schaffer A, Gallagher D, Shulman K. Suicide in the oldest old: an observational study and cluster analysis. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016;31(1):33-40.