Man sitting on bench in fog

Suicide and self-harm research theme

Conducting psychological research into suicide and self-harm. A group of academics, research staff and postgraduate students whose research covers a wide variety of suicide and self-harm research about individuals, communities and populations.

The common thread that brings our research together is the application of psychological theories to suicide and self-harm. We’re interested in applied health, preventative health and behavioural medicine, investigating questions such as:

  • Why do people to self-harm?
  • How do heritable traits moderate treatment outcomes?
  • How are boys or men struggling in terms of different life outcomes, and how does this contribute to nihilism and suicidality?
  • What helps people in suicidal crisis to reduce their suicidality?
  • How does the way people think, feel and behave in relation to suicide and self-harm and other factors influence this?
  • How do experiences of trauma, particularly suicide, contribute to suicidality?
  • What are the benefits of rapid access to brief psychological therapy for people in suicidal crisis or who have recently self-harmed?
  • What is the relationship between people’s psychological fusion with social groups, their social networks, the quality of their social interactions and loneliness?
  • What are the benefits of mindfulness based interventions delivered by Community Mental Health teams to those at risk of recurrent depression and suicidality?
  • What is the relationship between adverse events on the farm and suicidal ideation in farmers?
  • How effective are school-based prevention programmes and promotion interventions for children’s mental health, wellbeing and academic attainment?
  • What are the psychological and physiological processes and mechanisms that underpin adolescent mental health difficulties?

Over 60 collaborating researchers, clinicians, health service managers, service users and voluntary sector representatives are part of the research group.

Suicide and Self-Harm Research Group Lead:

Dr Pooja Saini, Reader in Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention

Research members

Research staff

MSc students

Danielle Molly-Vickers, School of Psychology

PhD students

Co-investigators

Prof Mark Gabbay (University of Liverpool)

Prof Taj Nathan (Cheshire Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)

Helen Mulholland (University of Liverpool)

Dr Rui Duarte (University of Liverpool)

Prof Ben Barr (University of Liverpool)

Dr Konstantinos Daras (University of Liverpool)

Prof Rhiannon Corcoran (University of Liverpool)

Dr Peter Taylor (University of Manchester)

Dr Caroline Clements (University of Manchester)

Dr Isabelle Hunt (University of Manchester)

Dr Mark Hann (University of Manchester)

Prof Stephen Briggs (University of East London)

Jane Boland (James’ Place Liverpool)

Pat Nicholl (Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative)

Pierce Rodway (Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative)

Richard Brown (Listening Ear)

Catherine Mills (Mersey Care NHS Trust)

Dr Cecil Kullu (Mersey Care NHS Trust)

Emma Mullin (Mersey Care NHS Trust)

Dr Kathryn Gardner (University of Central Lancashire)

Cameron Latham (Imago Training Ltd)

Naheed Tahir (Public Advisor)

Dr Felicity Mattocks (General Practitioner)

Prof Elspeth Guthrie (University of Leeds)

Rachael Mountain (Lancaster University)

Dr Frank Dondelinger (Lancaster University)

Vikki Wagstaff (Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria Mental Health)

Louise Thomas (NWC Clinical Strategic Networks)

Dr. Kevin Hochard (University of Chester)

Dr. Lee Hulbert-Williams (University of Chester)

Prof. Nick Hulbert-Williams (University of Chester)

Ruth Roberts (Anna Freud Centre)

Prof Richard Bentall (University of Sheffield)

Dr Joanne Worsley (University of Liverpool)

Dr Ross White (University of Liverpool)

Prof Alex Haslam (University of Queensland)

Prof Catherine Haslam (University of Queensland)

Dr Tegan Cruwys (University of Queensland)

Professor Nusrat Husain (University of Manchester)

Dr Carianne Hunt (Liverpool Health Partners)

Dr Jade Thai (Liverpool Health Partners)

Working together for change

With colleagues at the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and James’ Place Centres we jointly lead funded projects that aims to improve the management of self-harm and suicide prevention in primary care and community settings.

Community outpatient psychotherapy service for self-harm

A clinical trial led by Dr Pooja Saini to assess the feasibility of conducting a large randomised trial on whether brief psychological therapy following self-harm for people with depression can be delivered safely and effectively within community based settings.

  • Community outpatient psychotherapy service for self-harm: A clinical trial to assess the feasibility of conducting a large randomised trial on whether brief psychological therapy following self-harm for people with depression can be delivered safely and effectively within community based settings. (£253,707: funded by NIHR RfPB) https://bit.ly/3oJnmdC (PI: Dr Pooja Saini, LJMU School of Psychology)

Adults with complex mental health needs

  • Impact of the HOPE initiative on hospital admission for self-harm across Liverpool: A longitudinal matched controlled study (£10,700: PI: Pooja Saini; funding: LJMU QR Strategic Priority Funds)
  • Out of area placements for service users with complex mental health needs: A mixed-method study to inform an evidence-based service delivery model for mental health service users with complex needs. (268,968; PI: Dr Pooja Saini; funding: Cheshire Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)

Community-based therapeutic service for men in suicidal crisis

  • Year one evaluation of a community based James’ Place therapeutic Centre for men in suicidal crisis (£27,575: Dr Pooja Saini, funding: James’ Place Charity)
  • Year two evaluation of a community based James’ Place therapeutic Centre for men in suicidal crisis (£28,100: PI: Dr Pooja Saini, funding: James’ Place Charity)

Young people in crisis


Adults with complex mental health needs

  • Review, mapping and evaluation of the self-harm and suicide prevention training offer across Cheshire & Merseyside (£17,384: PI: Dr Hannah Timpson; funding: Wirral Borough Council)