ASsuRED is a five 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 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.
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.
This study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [Programme Grants for Applied Research, Grant Reference Number RP-PG-0617-20004], is being led by researchers at City, University of London.
Background to the ASsuRED study
Self-harm is the most important risk factor for suicide. When someone who has harmed themselves is seen in the Emergency Department, a mental health practitioner usually assesses their psychological state, social situation and needs for support.
International evidence shows that training mental health practitioners in how to work therapeutically with the person and to create a personal plan for future crises, as well as following up with them after they leave the Emergency Department, reduces subsequent self-harm and deaths by suicide. We will test if this approach can help people seen in the NHS.
The aim of the ASsuRED study is to develop and test a new intervention for people who present in Emergency Departments who have harmed themselves or have thoughts of ending their life.