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.

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