Dr Ellen Townsend
University of Nottingham,
I am an Associate 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 website: www.listen-up.ac.uk 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 am leading on the development of INTERACT - a new research
initiative - working with colleagues from across the university.
about me and my research group
Students and PhD funding
conference presentations and keynote addresses
administrative roles and committees
my twitter account @selfharmnotts
for updates about me and my research group.
peer reviewed journals
Clements C, Turnball P,
Hawton K, Geulayov G, Waters K, Ness J, Townsend E, Khundakar K, Kapur, N.
(In press). 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.
K, Heym N, Townsend E (In press).
The behavioral effects of frequent nightmares on objective stress tolerance. Dreaming.
Townsend E, Ness J, Waters K, Kapur N, Turnbull P,
Cooper J, Bergen H, Hawton K. (In press). Self-harm
and life problems: findings from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in
England. Social Psychiatry and
KG, Townsend E. & Sayal K. (In
press). Do coping strategies mediate the relationship between parental
attachment and self-harm in young people? Archives
of Suicide Research.
P, Webb R, Kapur R, Clements C, Bergen H, Hawton K,
Jennifer Ness, Keith Waters, Ellen Townsend, Cooper J. (In press.) 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.
Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, Arensman E,
Gunnell D, Hazell P, Townsend E, van Heeringen K. (2015). Pharmacological
interventions for self-harm in adults (Review). Cochrane
Kapur N, Steeg S, Turnbull P, Webb R, Bergen H,
Hawton K, Geulayov G, Townsend E, Ness J, Waters K & Cooper J. (2015). Hospital management of suicidal behaviour and
subsequent mortality: a prospective
cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry.
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.
K, Heym N, Townsend E. (2015). The
Unidirectional Relationship of Nightmares on Self-Harmful Thoughts and
E. (2014). Self-Harm in Young People. Clinical Review. Evidence-Based Mental Health. (Click
here for online first version August 2014).
E., Spence, A. and Knowles, S. (2014.) Investigating
the operation of the affect heuristic: Is it an associative construct?’ Journal
of Risk Research, 17 (3), 299-315.
S., Townsend, E. and Anderson, M. (2013.)
minds”. Socially motivated self-harm is perceived as less serious than
internally motivated: A qualitative study of youth justice staff. Journal of Health Psychology. Full text available online before
print here: http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/05/1359105312459874.full.pdf+html
E. and Pitchford, N. Baby knows best?
(2012). The impact of weaning style on food preferences
and body mass index in early childhood in a case–controlled sample. BMJ Open
Full text available here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmjopen-2011-000298
Fleming, P., Townsend, E., van Hilten, J.A., Spence,
A., and Ferguson, E. (2012). Expert relevance and the use of context-driven
heuristic processes in risk perception. Journal
of Risk Research, 15, 857-873. Available online here.
Knowles, S., Townsend, E. & Anderson, M (2012).
Youth Justice staff attitudes towards screening for self-harm. Health & social care in the community, 20(5),
S. & Townsend, E. (2012). Implicit and Explicit Attitudes toward
Self Harm: support for a functional model.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 43, 730-736. Article available online here.
Townsend, E., Anderson, M. (2011). Factors associated with self-harm in
offenders: the importance of psychological variables, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry &Psychology. First published
on: 16 June 2011 (iFirst).To link to this Article: DOI:
10.1080/14789949.2011.591415. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2011.591415
- Ulph, E., Leong, J., Glazebrook, C., & Townsend, E. (2010.) A qualitative study exploring
genetic counsellors' experiences of counselling children. European Journal of Human Genetics, 18,
1090-1094. Article available online here.
- Townsend, E., Walker, D., Sargeant, S., Vostanis, P., Hawton,
K., Stocker, O., Sithole, J. (2010). Systematic review and
meta-analysis of interventions relevant for young offenders with mood
disorders, anxiety disorders, or self-harm. Journal of Adolescence, 33, 9-20. PDF. Article available online here.
- Ulph, F., Townsend, E. and Glazebrook, C. (2009). How should
risk be communicated to children? A cross-sectional study comparing
different formats of probability information. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. 9: 26. Article available here.
E., Spence, A., Townsend, E., Prowse, C., Palmer, J., Fleming, P., and Van Hilten, J.A. (2009). What
Type of Information is Trusted by whom? A Multi-Level Analysis of the Stability of the Information
Source-Trust Association for Blood Transfusion. Transfusion, 49 (8), 1637-1648. Article. PDF.
E., Prowse, C. Townsend, E., Spence, A., van Hilten J. A., Lowe, K. (2008). Acceptability of blood and blood substitutes. Journal
of Internal Medicine, 263 (3), 244-255.
- Townsend, E., Walker, D., Sargeant, S.,
Stocker, O., Vostanis, P., Sithole, J., & Hawton, K. (2008).
Interventions for mood and anxiety disorders, and self harm in young
offenders. (Protocol.) Cochrane Database of Systematic
2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD007195. Article.
A. and Townsend, E. (2008). Spontaneous Evaluations: Similarities and Differences between
the Affect Heuristic and Implicit Attitudes. Cognition and Emotion, 22 (1), 83-93. Article.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2007)
Predicting behaviour towards genetically modified (GM) food using implicit
and explicit attitudes. British
Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 437-457. Article. PDF.
- Fleming, P., Ferguson, E., Townsend, E.,
Lowe, KC, (2007). Perceptions in transfusion medicine: a pilot study on
risk and ethics for blood and blood substitutes. Artificial Cells, Blood
Substitutes and Biotechnology, 35(149-156).
P., Townsend, E, Lowe, K.C. and Ferguson, E. (2007) Social
desirability influences on judgements of biotechnology across the
dimensions of risk, ethicality and naturalness. Journal
of Risk Research, 10 (7),
- Townsend, E. (2007). Suicide terrorists: Are they suicidal?
Suicide and Life-Threatening
Behavior. 37 (1), 35-49. Article. PDF.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2006). Examining consumer behaviour towards genetically
modified (GM) food in Britain. Risk
Analysis, 26,(3), 657-670. Article. PDF.
- Knowles, S. Townsend, E. and
Anderson, M. (2006). Using ASSET data for mental health
research on Young Offenders: issues and implications for researchers. Educational and Child
Psychology, 23 (2), 52-61.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2006). Implicit
attitudes towards Genetically Modified (GM) foods: A comparison of
context-free and context-dependent evaluations. Appetite, 46, 67-74. Article. PDF.
- Townsend, E. (2006). Affective
influences on risk perceptions of, and attitudes toward, genetically
modified food. Journal of Risk Research, 9 (2), 125-139.
- Ferguson, E., Leaviss, J. Townsend, E.,
Fleming, P. Lowe, K.C. (2005). Perceived safety of donor blood and blood
substitutes: the role of informational frame, patient groups and stress
Medicine, 15, 401-412.
- Townsend, E. and Campbell, S. (2004).
Psychological determinants of willingness to taste and purchase
genetically modified food. Risk
- Townsend, E. Clarke, D.D. and Travis, B.
(2004). Effects of context and feelings on perceptions of genetically
modified food. Risk
S. and Townsend, E.
(2003) Flaws undermine results of UK biotech debate. Nature
425 p 559.
C., Hawton, K., Houston, K., Townsend E. (2003) Correlates of relative
lethality and suicidal intent among deliberate self-harm patients. Suicide
and Life Threatening Behaviour 33 (4),
K., Houston, K., Haw, C., Townsend,
E., Harriss, L. (2003) Comorbidity of Axis I and Axis II
Disorders in Patients Who Attempt Suicide. American
Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1494-1500.
K., Haw, C., Townsend, E.,
Hawton, K. (2003). General practitioner contacts with patients before
and after deliberate self-harm. British Journal of General
Practice, 53 (490),
C., Hawton, K., Whitehead, L., Houston, K., Townsend, E. (2003) Assessment and aftercare for
deliberate self-harm patients provided by a general hospital psychiatric
service. Crisis, 24, 145-150.
K., Haw, C., Houston, K., Townsend,
E. (2002). Family history of suicidal behaviour:
prevalence and significance in deliberate self-harm patients. Acta
Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106, 387-393.
- Haw C, Houston K, Townsend E, & Hawton, K.
(2002). Deliberate self-harm patients with depressive disorders:
treatment and outcome. Journal
of Affective Disorders, 70, 57-65.
Hawton, K., Harriss, L., Bale, E., Bond, A. (2001) Substances used in
deliberate self-poisoning 1995-1997: trends and associations with age,
gender, repetition and suicide intent Social
Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36, 228-234
- Townsend, E., Hawton, K., Altman, D.G.,
Arensman, E., Gunnell, D., Hazell, P., House, A., Van Heeringen, K.
(2001) The efficacy of problem-solving treatments after deliberate
self-harm: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials with respect to
depression, hopelessness and improvement in problems. Psychological
Medicine, 31, 979-988.
E., Townsend, E., Hawton,
K., Bremner, S., Feldman, E., Goldney, R., Gunnell, D., Hazell, P., Van
Heeringen, K., House, A., Owens, D., Sakinofsky, I., Träskman-Bendz, L.
(2001) Psychosocial and pharmacological treatment of patients following
deliberate self-harm: the methodological issues involved in evaluating
and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31, 169-180.
K., Townsend, E., Deeks,
J., Appleby, L., Gunnell, D., Bennewith, O., Cooper, J. (2001) Effects
of legislation restricting pack sizes of paracetamol and salicylates on
self poisoning in the United Kingdom: before and after study. British
Medical Journal, 322,
C., Houston, K., Townsend,
E., Hawton, K. (2001) Deliberate Self-Harm Patients with Alcohol
Disorders: Characteristics, Treatment and Outcome. Crisis, 22(3),
C., Hawton, K., Houston, K., Townsend,
E. (2001) Psychiatric and personality disorders in deliberate
self-harm patients. British
Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 48-54
K., Arensman, E., Townsend, E.,
Bremner, S., Feldman, E., Goldney, R., Gunnell, D., Hazell, P., Van
Heeringen, C., House, A., Owens, D., Sakinofsky, I., Träskman-Bendz, L.
(1998) Deliberate self-harm: a systematic review of the efficacy of
psychosocial and pharmacological treatments in preventing repetition. British
Medical Journal, 317, 441-7.
S., Geddes, J., Hawton, K., Townsend,
E., Jamison, K., Goodwin, G. (2001). Lithium for maintenance
treatment of mood disorders. (Cochrane Review). In: The
Cochrane Library, 2, 2001. Oxford: Update Software.
K., Townsend, E.,
Arensman, E., Gunnell, D., House, A., Van Heeringen, C.
(1999) Psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for deliberate
self harm. (Cochrane Review). In: The
Cochrane Library, Issue 3. Oxford: Update Software.
A. J., Townsend, E.,
Underwood, G. Expertise in musical sight reading: A study of
pianists. (1998) British Journal of Psychology, 89 (1), 123-149.
E. (2007). Cognitive-behavioural interventions for young offenders. In ‘Mental Health Interventions for
vulnerable children and young people’ (P. Vostanis, Ed). Jessica
- Ferguson, E., Fleming, P., Townsend, E., & Lowe KC. (2006).
Perceived Naturalness and Risk of Blood and Blood Substitutes. In
Columbus, F. (Ed.) New Developments in Blood Transfusion
Research. Nova Science Publishers, New York. (pp 65-76).
S. and Townsend, E. (2005) How To Make A Minority Look Like A Majority'. Australasian
Science, March 2005, pp. 28-29.
Ulph, F., Leong, J, Glazebrook,C,
Townsend, E. (2005). When do mum and dad need their genes back?
Communicating information about genetics to children. Psychology & Health, 20, 268 Suppl. 1, AUG 2005.
F, Glazebrook C, Leong J, Shakespeare F, Townsend E (2005). "It's certainly letting a little bit of
a flood gate open": Genetic counsellors' views about the UK newborn
screening programme for cystic fibrosis. Journal
of Medical Genetics 42: S122-S122 Suppl. 1 SEP.
K, Townsend E. (2002)
UK legislation on analgesic pack sizes: impact on suicidal behaviour. EUR PSYCHIAT 17: 67S-67S Suppl. 1.
J, Burgess S, Hawton K, Townsend E,
Jamison K, Goodwin G. (2002) Lithium prophylaxis of mood
disorders: Efficacy, acceptability and anti-suicidal effects, Journal of Affective Disorders, 68
(Award winning support service for self-harm). http://www.harmless.org.uk/
Can Cope: resources to build resilience and cope in times of stress: http://connectingwithpeople.org/ucancope
of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research: http://cebmh.warne.ox.ac.uk/csr/
is at Hand. Information for those bereaved by suicide or other sudden
foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org/
association of Suicidology: http://www.suicidology.org/
Society for Risk Analysis: http://www.sra.org/
Page last updated:24/11/15.