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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.

Participants required

Have you personal experience of self-harm or of caring for or supporting a person who self-harms?

We are looking for people with personal experience of:

  • self-harm (self-injury or self-poisioning with or without suicidal intent);
  • mental health services and/or psychological therapies following self-harm (accessing and/ or receiving);
  • caring for or supporting a person with self-harm.

If you fit any of these categories, you can take one of our online surveys below.

The survey should take around 20 minutes to complete but you can write as much or as little as you would like to share.

  • Section 1 asks for some non-identifying information about you (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity).
  • Section 2 asks for your opinion and experiences on mental health assessments.
  • Section 3 asks for your experiences and opinions on psychological therapy following self-harm.

Please read all of the sections below and any linked documents before completing a survey.

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

Interviews will be conducted with mental health staff from our local Trusts and 32 randomly selected hospitals in England.

We will also conduct a national online survey to invite people with personal experience of self-harm and carers/significant others to share their experiences of mental health assessments and psychological therapies.

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.

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 Donna Littlewood.

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 Associate (lead researcher)

Dr Donna Littlewood, 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