The following are the specific investigations within the areas of research;

Epidemiology and trends in self-harm

  • Rates and trends in self-harm and socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of self-harm patients:
    • adults
    • children and adolescents
    • older people
  • Rates and trends in self-harm in ethnic groups including Black (Caribbean and African), South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan), Chinese and White groups
  • Alcohol and drug misuse and self-harm
  • Characteristics of frequent repeaters of self-harm
  • Impact of the recession on self-harm

Clinical management of self-harm

  • Determinants of type of hospital management following self-harm, and the relationship between management and outcome
  • Validation and refinement of a clinical screening tool to identify risk of repetition of self-harm or suicide following a self-harm episode
  • Relationship between psychosocial assessment following self-harm and subsequent repetition of self-harm, in both the short-term and longer term

Outcome of self-harm, including repetition and mortality

  • Risk of suicide following self-harm in gender and age subgroups, and changes over time
  • Risk factors for suicide
  • Risk of death from non-suicidal causes
  • Mortality following self-harm in
    • children and adolescents
    • older people,
    • people who misuse alcohol and drugs,
    • people in current psychiatric contact
    • different ethnic groups
  • Change in use of different methods of self-harm between episodes and relationship to outcome

Pharmaco-epidemiology, including drug toxicology and impacts of changes in prescribing legislation and trends.


  • Impact on self-harm of MHRA decision to withdraw co-proxamol
  • Comparison of size of overdoses of paracetamol in England and Ireland in relation to differing pack sizes


  • Relationship between use of specific antidepressants in self-poisoning and prescribing rates
  • Relative toxicity (lethality) of individual antidepressants
  • Trends in self-poisoning with SSRI antidepressants over time and in relation to MHRA warnings


  • Relative toxicity of individual drugs used for self-harm and suicide