It’s World Mental Health Day….

… And the ASsuRED Project team at City are pleased to say we are now complete!

Now in month 6 of the NIHR-funded project, the team is working hard to develop the psychological intervention that will be trialled in hospitals around the country. We believe that mental health professionals must provide people with a better conversation to understand what is going on when they harm themselves or have thoughts of suicide.  This means hearing the person’s story, because the patient is the expert, and working collaboratively on a plan that aims to keep them safe. It also means better follow up care and connections to community services that provide real, not tokenistic, support.

Left to Right, say hello to:

Sally O’Keeffe, Clara Bergen, Jenna hunter, Rose McCabe, Mimi Suzuki and Carmen Wright.


Have you attended the Emergency Department in support of a friend or family member?

We are looking for family members or friends of individuals who have experience of self-harm or suicidal ideation, who have attended the Emergency Department with them in times of crisis.

If you have attended the Emergency Department under these circumstances, would you be interested in sharing your views with a group in a quiet confidential space to help improve care?

We want to explore your opinions on an intervention and to identify potential barriers to implementation. Your views and experiences will help us to develop a psychological intervention to reduce repeat self-harm and improve mental health and quality of life.

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to attend a discussion group in London. Participation will involve a one-off meeting of up to two hours.

You will be compensated with a £20 voucher for your time, although we are unable to pay travel expenses.

You can contact Sally O’Keeffe for more information on:

0207 040 5323


About the ASsuRED Project

The full title of this project is ‘ASsuRED: Improving outcomes in patients who self-harm – Adapting and evaluating a brief pSychological inteRvention in Emergency Departments’ – ASsuRED for short.

ASsuRED is a 5-year programme of research that aims to develop and test a new intervention for people who present in Emergency Departments having harmed themselves, which began in May 2019.

The study will investigate how to better support people who attend Emergency Departments (EDs) who have thoughts of taking their own lives or have harmed themselves. We know that the conversation between the individual and the mental health professional they see is critically important. Although there are many examples of good care, current practice across the NHS varies widely with no research evidence to support best practice. We will adapt and test a promising new approach used in other countries and evaluate its benefits in the UK context. This will involve therapeutic assessment, safety planning and follow-up support after leaving the ED.

In this early phase of the project, we are carrying out focus groups with people have experience of attending the ED having harmed themselves or with suicidal ideation, and with people who have attended the ED under these circumstances to support a family member or friend. We are also carrying out focus groups with staff in the ED. The perspectives of patients, family members, friends and practitioners will provide us with valuable information, to help us to develop an intervention that can be delivered in the NHS and that is acceptable from the perspective of those attending the ED.

The project is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), and is being led by researchers at City, University of London.

Meet the team

The core team for the ASsuRED project are based at City, University of London:

Professor Rose McCabe, Principal Investigator

Dr Sally O’Keeffe, Programme Manager

Dr Jennifer Hunter, Research Fellow

Dr Clara Bergen, Research Fellow

Carmen Wright, Research Administrator


We are very excited to have the following co-applicants involved in the project:

Dr Peter Aitken, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Dr Vera Araujo Soares, Newcastle University

Professor Richard Byng, Plymouth University

Professor Chris Dickens, University of Exeter

Professor Sandra Eldridge, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Domenico Giacco, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Navneet Kapur, University of Manchester

Dr Will Lee, University of Exeter

Professor Borislava Mihaylova, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Stefan Priebe, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Peter Riou, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Mary Ryan, PPI representative

Professor Alan Simpson, Kings College London

Dr Helen Smith, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Dr Melanie Smuk, Queen Mary University of London