MSPGH Seminar: 31st March 2017 – Self-harm and suicidality in looked-after young people: Results of the ‘Listen-up!’ project

12.30-1.30pm, Fri 31st March 2017
Seminar Room 515, Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton

Professor Ellen Townsend, Professor of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research, University of Melbourne Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Self-harm is a significant problem in looked-after young people (looked-after in care homes or by foster parents). Despite this there have been very few studies which have investigated self-harm in this vulnerable population. We used a mixed-methods approach – Audio Computer Self-Interview (n=126), face-to-face qualitative interviews (n=24) and the Card Sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS) (n=45)) in order to investigate (i) the factors that lead looked-after young people to self-harm, (ii) what maintains self-harm and (iii) what might promote recovery from self-harm. We worked closely with an advisory group of young people with lived- experience of self-harm throughout the project. Results of the study will be discussed in the context of developing policies, interventions and services for young people who self-harm.

Professor Ellen Townsend is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham where she leads the Self-Harm Research Group. She is internationally recognized for her work on self-harm and suicide prevention, especially in young people. She was elected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research in 2014. In April 2017 she is travelling to the University of Melbourne to be a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow. She is an advisor to the National Suicide Prevention Alliance in the UK and a member of the British Psychological Society Expert panel on the Psychology of Suicidal Behaviour. She was an expert advisor on the development of the Mental Health First Aid guidance for self-harm developed in Australia. Passionate about Public Engagement, Ellen has developed (with Sensory Scientist Professor Joanne Hort), a new model of engaging people in research through all stages of the research lifecycle called ‘Café Connect’.

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