I am a Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham and PI leading the Self-Harm Research Group (SHRG) (click here for lab www – under construction). Our group researches psychological factors associated with self-harm and suicidality, and interventions that promote recovery, especially in young people using a range of techniques including sequence analysis, the Card Sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS), experiments, questionnaires, epidemiology, interviews and systematic reviews. This work has been funded by the NHS, NIHR and the ESRC. Our work has influenced policy – earlier versions of our systematic review of interventions for self-harm were included in the 2011 NICE Guidance on the Longer Term Management of Self-Harm.
I led a national Clinical Research Group on self-harm funded by the Mental Health Research Network (NIHR) and am a Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health. I am a collaborator on the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England and am co-leading the development of INTERACT - a new research initiative for participatory research and public engagement working with colleagues from across the university. I am PI on a Wellcome Trust People Award supporting the development of our Café Connect model of public engagement. We were finalists in the UoN Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards 2016 for this work.
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 Fellow of the International Academy of Suicide Research and a member of the BPS Expert Panel on the Psychology of Suicidal Behaviour. I was a participant in the Nottingham Research Leaders Programme 2015-16. I have recently been awarded a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia which will take place in April 2017.
In 2016 a publication co-authored with Dr Katie Glazebrook received the Institute of Mental Health ‘Best Overall Publication Award’ - Glazebrook K, 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. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12159.
See my twitter account @selfharmnotts and the SHRG www for updates about me and my research group.
Publications in peer reviewed journals
· Lockwood J, Daley D, Townsend E, Sayal S. (In Press). Impulsivity and self-harm in adolescence: A systematic review. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 10.1007/s00787-016-0915-5. (Open access.)
· Nielsen E, Sayal K & Townsend E. (2016). Dealing with difficult days: functional coping dynamics in self-harm ideation and enactment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 208, 330-337, DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.08.036. (Open access.)
· Townsend E, Wadman R, Sayal K, Armstrong M, Harroe C, Majumder, Vostanis, Clarke D. (2016). Uncovering key patterns in self-harm in adolescents: Sequence analysis using the Card Sort Task for Self-harm (CaTS). Journal of Affective Disorders, 206, 161-168. (Open access.)
· Nielsen E, Sayal K & Townsend E. (2016) Exploring the Relationship Between Experiential Avoidance, Coping Functions and the Recency and Frequency of Self-Harm. PLoS ONE 11(7): e0159854. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159854. (Open access.)
· Hochard K, Heym N & Townsend E. (2016) Investigating the interaction between sleep symptoms of arousal and acquired capability in predicting suicidality. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. doi:10.1111/sltb.12285.
· Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Hazell P, Townsend E, van Heeringen K. (2016). Psychosocial interventions following self-harm in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 3(8), 740-750.
· Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Hazell P, Townsend E, van Heeringen K. (2016) Psychosocial interventions for self-harm in adults. Cochrane Library. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012189.
· Geulayov G, Kapur N, Turnbull P, Clements C, Waters K, Ness J, Townsend E, Hawton K (2016). 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. 6:4 e010538 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010538.
· Hochard K, Heym N, Townsend E. (2016). The behavioral effects of frequent nightmares on objective stress tolerance. Dreaming, 26(1), 42-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/drm0000013
· 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 Open6:e009749 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009749
· 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. DOI 10.1080/13811118.2015.1004495
· 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
· 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. Cochrane Library.
· 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00169-8
· 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.
· Townsend, E. (2014). Self-Harm in Young People. Clinical Review. Evidence-Based Mental Health. (Click here for online first version August 2014).
· Townsend, 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.
· Knowles, S., Townsend, E. and Anderson, M. (2013.) “In two 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
· Townsend, 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 2012;2:e000298 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000298. 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), 506-515.
· Knowles, 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.
· Knowles, S., Townsend, E., Anderson, M. (2011). Factors associated with self-harm in
community-based young 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
Campbell, 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.
Ulph 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.
Hawton K, Townsend E. (2002) UK legislation on analgesic pack sizes: impact on suicidal behaviour. EUR PSYCHIAT 17: 67S-67S Suppl. 1.
Geddes 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 (1): 83-83.
Teaching and Admin
I Chair the ‘Careers and Engagement Committee’ and am a member of the Postgraduate Committee (where I also act as School Postgraduate Advisor).
I convene the final year module on Clinical Psychology and lecture on the Forensic Mental Health Module.
Harmless (Award winning support service for self-harm). http://www.harmless.org.uk/
U Can Cope: resources to build resilience and cope in times of stress: http://connectingwithpeople.org/ucancope
SANE on suicide: http://www.sane.org.uk/sane_on_suicide
Cochrane Collaboration: http://www.cochrane.org/index.htm
University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research: http://cebmh.warne.ox.ac.uk/csr/
Help is at Hand. Information for those bereaved by suicide or other sudden death.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP): http://www.afsp.org/
American Association of Suicidology (AAS): http://www.suicidology.org/
The Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org.uk/
International Academy of Suicide Research. https://suicide-research.org/
International Association for Suicide Prevention. https://www.iasp.info/