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Welcome to the Self-Harm Research Group 

We are a research group in the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham led by Professor Ellen Townsend.

Ellen led a national Clinical Research Group on self-harm funded by the Mental Health Research Network (NIHR) and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research and Nottingham's Institute of Mental Health. She is a collaborator on the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England and is co-leading the development of INTERACT - a new research initiative for participatory research and public engagement working with colleagues from across the university. Ellen is PI on a Wellcome Trust People Award supporting the development of our Café Connect model of public engagement. We were finalists in the UoN Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards 2016 for this work.

Ellen was PI on a project investigating self-harm in looked-after young people funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. See our project website: http://www.listen-up.ac.uk/  for more information. She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research and a member of the BPS Expert Panel on the Psychology of Suicidal Behaviour. She was a participant in the Nottingham Research Leaders Programme 2015-2016.  Ellen was awarded a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia which took place in April 2017.

In 2016 (Katie Glazebrook) and 2017 (Emma Nielsen) SHRG PhD students were winners of the IMH Best Overall Publication award.




Our research

Our group researches psychological factors associated with self-harm and suicidality, and interventions that promote recovery, especially in young people using a range of techniques including sequence analysis, the Card sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS), experiments, questionnaires, epidemiology, interviews and systematic reviews. 


This work has been funded by the NHS, NIHR and the ESRC.  Our work has influenced policy – earlier versions of our systematic review of interventions for self-harm were included in the 2011 NICE Guidance on the Longer Term Management of Self-Harm.  The work of the SHRG has influenced a range of policies relating to the prevention and treatment of self-harm and suicidality including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Public Health England, Patient UK, Rethink Mental Illness and the Mental Health Foundation.




https://twitter.com/SelfHarmNotts  Follow us on twitter @selfharmnotts



























News and events

  • Small talk saves lives Small Talk Saves Lives   It sounds much too simple doesn’t it?  Making small talk could save a life.  But the truth is, it really could.  Today SHRG is supporting ...
    Posted Nov 15, 2017, 2:46 AM by Ellen Townsend
  • Oh what a night! Cafe Connect event - moving and inspirational On 23rd July SHRG led the last of the Cafe Connect events funding by our Welcome Trust People Award.  Young people with lived experience who became part of our research ...
    Posted Jul 24, 2017, 6:02 AM by Ellen Townsend
  • Me too - Emma Nielsen's blog on mental health and disclosure SHRG student Emma Nielsen's blog on mental health and disclosure is a powerful must read for anyone researching in the field regardless of their career stage.https://imhblog.wordpress ...
    Posted Jul 24, 2017, 5:36 AM by Ellen Townsend
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