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Prof. Ellen Townsend

I am a Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham and PI leading the Self-Harm Research Group. I research psychological factors associated with self-harm and suicidality, and interventions that promote recovery, especially in young people using a range of techniques including experiments, interviews and systematic reviews. I lead a national Clinical Research Group on self-harm funded by the Mental Health Research Network (NIHR). I am PI on a project investigating self-harm in looked-after young people funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. See our project for more information. I am a collaborator on the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England and a Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research. I was a participant in the Nottingham Research Leaders Programme 2015-16.  I am co-leading the development of INTERACT - a new research initiative for participatory research and public engagement working with colleagues from across the university.


For more information relating to Prof. Townsend, please visit her personal webpage: HERE


Selected Publications


Geulayov G, Kapur N, Turnbull P, Clements C, Waters K, Ness J, Townsend E, Hawton K (In press). Epidemiology and trends in non-fatal self-harm in three centres in England, 2000–2012: findings from the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England. BMJ Open.


Hochard K, Heym N, Townsend E (In press). The behavioral effects of frequent nightmares on objective stress tolerance. Dreaming.


Wadman R, Clarke D, Sayal K, Vostanis P, Armstrong M, Harroe C, Majumder P, Townsend E. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experience of self-harm repetition and recovery in young adults (2016), Journal of Health Psychology. doi 10.1177/1359105316631405


Clements C, Turnball P, Hawton K, Geulayov G, Waters K, Ness J, Townsend E, Khundakar K, Kapur, N. (2016). Rates of self-harm presenting to general hospitals: a comparison of data from the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England and Hospital Episode Statistics. BMJ Open


Townsend E, Ness J, Waters K, Kapur N, Turnbull P, Cooper J, Bergen H, Hawton K. (2016).  Self-harm and life problems: findings from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51 (2), 183-192.


Glazebrook KG, Townsend E. & Sayal K. (2015). Do coping strategies mediate the relationship between parental attachment and self-harm in young people? Archives of Suicide Research. DOI10.1080/13811118.2015.1004495


Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Townsend E, van Heeringen K. Hazell P (2015). Interventions for self-harm in children and adolescents. Cochrane Library.


Turnbull P, Webb R, Kapur R, Clements C, Bergen H, Hawton K, Jennifer Ness, Keith Waters, Ellen Townsend, Cooper J. (2015). Variation by ethnic group in premature mortality risk following self-harm: a multicentre cohort study in England. BMC Psychiatry. 15, 254. Published online 19-10-15. DOI:10.1186/s12888-015-0637-0


Glazebrook KG, Townsend E. & Sayal K. (2015). The role of attachment style in predicting repetition of adolescent self-harm: a longitudinal study. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.











Contact Details


Twitter: @selfharmnotts

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