Dr Trish Gooding shares her experience of being Chief Investigator and joint Principal Investigator for the CARMS Project
Hello and welcome back to another instalment of the CARMS blog!

In case you missed the introductory blog post here’s a brief overview of CARMS (Cognitive AppRoaches to coMbatting Suicidality). The CARMS Project seeks to investigate the efficacy of a new psychological talking therapy designed to reduce suicidality in people who experience or have experienced psychosis and suicidal thoughts or feelings. Alongside this, the project also seeks to understand the pathways to suicidal thoughts and acts as experienced by individuals, including their own personal stories.

This month I caught up with Dr Trish Gooding, the Chief Investigator and joint Principal Investigator of the CARMS Project.

I asked Trish about how she came to work on the CARMS Project and her academic interests. She told me, ‘Understanding suicidal thoughts and acts and trying to reduce both suicidal experiences and the associated distress is something which I am passionate about!’. Then went on to tell me, ‘I’ve been actively researching mental health problems since the late 1990s using both qualitative and quantitative methods. I’ve worked in university settings (Strathclyde and Manchester) as well as at the Brain Metabolism unit in Edinburgh. Not only am I actively investigating how mental health problems develop, I am also looking at how people become resilient to mental health problems developing and worsening.’

Trish said that she enjoys the variety that comes with her role and that she ‘particularly enjoys working with our CARMers, i.e., people who are Experts By Experience who feed into all aspects of CARMS.’

Suicidality has been described as a delicate topic of conversation so being a part of the CARMS Project team could be seen as an emotionally challenging role. I asked Trish what she finds challenging about her role, ‘There can be some very late nights just trying to make sure everything gets done, but on the whole I love it!’

In keeping with the title of this series of blog posts, when asked about a typical day at work Trish responded:

There isn’t really a typical day! During the two semesters I tend to teach on Mondays and sometimes on Thursdays. I also see my 3rd year project students, my 1st year advisees, my Masters students and my PhD students when I can. I block out time on Tuesdays for my Social responsibility work that I do within the University. Wednesdays is full of CARMS activities including meeting with the researchers for supervision and meeting with the CARMS team to discuss all manner of logistics. This often requires preparation on Tuesday and for actions to be followed through on Thursdays. Fridays I try to put time aside to work on research, in particular writing academic articles or preparing talks. My work with mental health charities is also often done on Thursdays or Fridays.’

I also got to hear all about Trish’s interests outside of academia, ‘I enjoy painting in pastels and acrylics; writing short stories; and cooking in all manner of styles e.g., Japanese, Italian, Moroccan, Indian, Thai and West African. Recently, I’ve been to three gong baths which were just great! I’ve also joined The Reading Rooms where a group of us read and discuss short stories. This is superb because it’s encouraging me to read authors who I wouldn’t know about otherwise.’

I hope you enjoyed gaining a brief glimpse into the life of Dr Trish Gooding and reading the first instalment of the ‘A Day in the Life of…’ series – I know I certainly enjoyed writing this post!


Next time: Breaking Down the Stigma Surrounding Suicidality: An article delving into the what’s, where’s and why’s surrounding suicidality