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Prevention of suicide behaviour in prison: enhancing access to therapy.




Project background

Our research aims to improve suicide prevention in prisons.



The PROSPECT programme aims to:

  • improve treatment for prisoner patients at risk of suicide;
  • promote patient access to a Cognitive Behavioural Suicide Prevention (CBSP) programme within prisons;
  • help to reduce the economic and social costs of inefficient or ineffective treatments.

Our project consists of four studies, designed to help us to improve the quality of suicide prevention treatment for patients in prison. 

Our work includes:

Co-producing a therapy engagement resource with service user experts

Our first objective is to develop a ‘Therapy Engagement Resource’ to support access and engagement in the PROSPECT therapy programme. Community-dwelling service users with lived experience of imprisonment, and personal experience of suicidal thoughts or behaviours will be recruited to co-produce a resource for prisoner participants to assist them with engaging with the CBSP programme.

Developing a model of how the intervention works

To ensure successful delivery of the CBSP programme, current prisoners, prison staff, and prison psychologists will be interviewed about how best to implement the therapy in prison, providing solutions to any potential barriers. This information will then be developed into a manual for delivering the therapy.

Evaluating the effectiveness of our intervention

We will evaluate the clinical and health economic effectiveness of our intervention to increase access to psychological therapy for suicidal male prisoners, compared to treatment as usual.

Evaluating the delivery of the intervention

To maximise the likelihood of successful implementation of the CBSP programme, we will embed a mixed methods process evaluation within the randomised controlled trial.

Recruiting service user consultants

We are recruiting people who have previously been in prison to act as service user consultants and to advise on our project.




  • Have you ever used mental health care services in a prison, special hospital or secure unit?
  • Are you interested in being involved in a research group as a ‘service user consultant’?

If so, we are interested in talking to you.

To find out more, please contact the research team.




Meet the team

The project is a collaboration between people with experience of imprisonment and researchers from leading universities.  


Our research team unites expertise from The University of Manchester, the University of York, King’s College London and a group of service user consultants.

The main research team that coordinate the project are:

  • Dan Pratt (Principal Investigator)
  • Amanda Perry (Principal Investigator)
  • Yvonne Awenat (Clinical Research Fellow and Qualitative Lead)
  • Rebecca Crook (Trial Manager)
Wider research team

The University of Manchester

  • Gill Haddock
  • Jenny Shaw
  • Dawn Edge
  • Trish Gooding
  • Louis Appleby
  • Leslie-Anne Carter
  • Charlotte Lennox
  • Linda Davies
  • Helen Brooks
  • Tim Kirkpatrick

University of York

  • Amanda Perry
  • Sarah Knowles

King’s College London

  • Richard Emsley

Arden University

  • David Honeywell



Patient and public involvement

We have been awarded a small grant from the Public Involvement Fund of the NIHR Research Design Service, North West to establish a service user reference group who will consult on all aspects of the delivery of the programme and dissemination of findings. The Suicide, Risk and Safety Research Group (SSRG) includes community-dwelling service users who have used mental health care services in a prison, special hospital or secure unit.




Thank you for taking the time to find out more about the PROSPECT project.

For additional information, please contact our research team:
Twitter: @PROSPECT_UoM