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

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.

Researchers from the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC are interviewing clinicians from over 70 trusts to gain insight into services for people who self-harm. There is also an online survey for patients and carers.

If you would like to participate in the clinician interviews, please contact the lead researcher as your Trust may be part of the study.

For further information about the online patient and carer survey, please see the MhAPT website.

Study aims

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

A wide range of peoples’ views will be incorporated, including 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 local Trusts and 32 randomly selected hospitals in England.

A national online survey will also be conducted, inviting 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 NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre funds this patient safety in mental health research.

The lead researchers are Drs Leah Quinlivan and Donna Littlewood. The research 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 MhAPT team

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