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Healthcare services following self-harm

Mental health assessments and psychological therapies following self-harm (MhAPT).


Study background

Good quality mental health assessments  (interviews with a doctor or clinician about what led to the hospital visit for self-harm) – are an important part of patient care when a person goes to hospital with self-harm.

All people who present to hospital with self-harm should receive an assessment of their individual needs.

Evidence suggests that the psychological treatments and mental health assessments recommended by the national clinical guidelines can be beneficial in reducing repeat self-harm.

However, there are wide differences in the quality of care for people who self-harm. Not everyone receives an assessment or referral to psychological services.

Recruitment is now closed 

What is happening now? 

Thank you to all the people who took part in our study on psychosocial assessments and psychological therapies following self-harm. Data collection for our patient/care study and multi-site clinician hospital study are now complete.

We have analysed our patient/carer data for psychosocial assessments and are preparing dissemination materials.  We will update this site with links to any publications and infographics. Hopefully some of this work should be out soon. 

During the next phase of this study, we will analyse the patient/carer data for accessing psychological therapies. 

For the clinician multi-site study, there are three main strands: 

  • Psychological therapies and aftercare;
  • Psychosocial assessments; 
  • Liaison psychiatry and COVID-19

Over the next 18 months or so, we will also look at ways to increase access to psychosocial assessments and psychological therapies. We work closely with a wide panel of key stakeholders, third-sector organisations, and our patient/ carer advisory panel throughout the process. 

The archived study documents for the online survey are below. We will replace these documents with open access journal papers and infographics. 

Participant information sheet

Download the participant information sheet

Data protection

The personal information we collect and use to conduct this research will be processed in accordance with data protection law as explained in the participant information sheet and the privacy notice for research participants.

Help in a crisis
We do not provide a treatment or care service or advice for those in crisis.

If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, we urge you to seek help:

  • From your general practitioner
  • From your local hospital emergency department
  • Through a telephone helpline service
  • By discussing your problem with a friend or colleague


Online help

Some useful websites that may be of help:


Useful telephone numbers:

  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Papyrus: 0800 068 4141
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Lesbian and gay helpline: 0161 235 8000 (6-10pm)
  • Crisis Point: 0161 839 5030
  • NHS: 111

The University of Manchester Counselling Service

For staff and students of the University of Manchester.

tel: +44 (0)161 275 2864

Please note we are not able to discuss individual cases. For a comprehensive list of organisations offering help and support, see useful links.

Help after suicide

You can download support guides, which are written by individuals bereaved by suicide, with support from Public Health England, the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership. 

The University of Manchester is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Consent information

By taking part in either of the following surveys, you confirm that you have read and agree to the following statements:


  • I confirm that I have read the attached information sheet (Version 2, Date 07/01/19) for the above study and have had the opportunity to consider the information.
  • I understand that my participation in the study is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to myself.
  • I understand that it will not be possible to remove my data from the project once it has been anonymised and forms part of the data set. I agree to take part on this basis.
  • I agree that any data (including direct quotations) collected may be published in anonymous form in academic books, reports or journals.
  • I consent for my anonymised data to be used in future research studies.
  • I understand that data collected during the study may be looked at by individuals from the University of Manchester, from regulatory authorities or from the NHS Trust, where it is relevant to my taking part in this research. I give permission for these individuals to have access to my data.
  • I understand that by visiting the following survey links, I am consenting to take part in this study.

Study aims

The aim of this study is to find out what helps and does not help people receive mental health assessments and psychological therapies following self-harm.

We sought the views of hospital staff, people with personal experience of self-harm and carers/ significant others to meet this aim.

We interviewed 53 mental health clinicians across 34 hospitals in England. 

We also conducted a national online patient and carer survey on experiences of psychosocial assessments and psychological therapies following presentations to the emergency department following self-harm. 

The results of this study will provide evidence to inform the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and design of better services for people who self-harm.

Our work fully involves patients and carers with personal experience throughout the full research cycle. 

GM PSTRC Mental Health

The Patient Safety in Mental Health Research is funded by the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.

We lead the work on self-harm and suicide prevention in the Greater Manchester PSTRC. The lead researchers are Drs Leah Quinlivan and Louise Gorman. Dr Donna Littlewood is now an honorary researcher on the programme.

The theme leads are Professors Roger Webb and Nav Kapur. The project team are members of the Centre for Mental Health and Safety and work closely with the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health, the Manchester Self-Harm Project, and the Epidemiological Mental Health Research Group.

The research team

Dr Leah Quinlivan, Research Fellow (lead researcher)

Dr Louise Gorman, Research Associate 

Dr Donna Littlewood, Honorary Research Associate

Professor Roger Webb, Professor in Mental Health Epidemiology

Professor Nav Kapur, Professor of Psychiatry & Population Health (Chief investigator)

Contact us

Dr Leah Quinlivan
tel: 0161 2750727


Twitter: @DrLeahQuinlivan