SASH is a three-year research trial aimed at testing a promising new intervention for young people who self-harm.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in young people, with nearly 1 in 10 adolescents reporting attempting suicide at some point in their lives. The strongest predictor of suicide is self-harm.
The SASH trial aims to investigate whether we can better support adolescents who present with self-harm at Emergency Departments across London, by using a promising intervention. The intervention involves a combination of a Therapeutic Assessment, a safety plan, and rapid follow-up sessions using a solution focused approach.
The Therapeutic Assessment has been developed by Prof. Dennis Ougrin for adolescents presenting with self-harm to hospital in a crisis. This is a novel approach to working with adolescents and families, and involves asking the adolescent what their hopes are for the assessment and constructing a preferred future with a focus on resources and strengths.
This approach is quite different from the traditional formulaic risk assessment and has shown promising results in reducing self-harm. The trial aims to test the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the intervention compared to treatment as usual, and will include 18 mental health practitioners from Emergency Departments and 144 young people.
The project is funded by the Kavli Trust, and is being led by researchers at City, University of London, in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, University College London, and the McPin Foundation.
The SASH Project website
Visit the Project's research microsite for more information about the SASH Project, including methodology, project team and related publications.