GW4 Children and Young People’s Self-harm and Suicide Research Collaboration

Lead investigator
Rhiannon Evans, Cardiff University and Astrid Janssens, University of Exeter


Cardiff University
Prof. Jonathan Scourfield, Professor of Social Work;
Dr Nina Jacob, Research AssociateUniversity of Bristol
Prof. David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology
Dr Judi Kidger, Research Fellow
Dr Becky Mars, Research Fellow
Dr Lucy Biddle, Senior Lecturer of Medical Sociology

University of Exeter
Prof. Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry;
Dr Astrid Janssens, Research Fellow
Dr Christabel Owens, Professor of Public Mental Health

University of Bath
Prof. Paul Stallard, Professor of Child and Family Mental Health

Swansea University
Dr Ann John, Associate Professor


Self-harm and suicide in children and young people remains a major public health concern, with prevalence rates of self-harm in the UK being estimated at 7%-18%. Although national-level data for suicide in children and young people are rarely made available, global estimates indicate it is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.The research collaboration has been assembled to address this important public health issue through the development and evaluation of complex prevention and intervention approaches within educational settings. It specifically focuses on a key evidence gap, namely the dearth of effective programmes available to schools and their staff in supporting students at risk of self-harm.
Aims & objectives
The GW4 community aims to realise the following research questions and inter-related objectives through the course of the grant: The research questions to be addressed were: 1. What prevention or intervention activities do secondary schools currently undertake with regards to self-harm in students? 2. What prevention or intervention needs do secondary schools have with regards to self-harm in students? 3. What would be key to an acceptable and feasible prevention or intervention approach for secondary schools addressing self-harm in students?
Further information & publications

A full report, research summary and policy document were produced. in relation to this project. These are openly accessible via the following link.

Start date
May 2016
End date
November 2016

GW4 Accelerator Fund