Sharon specialises in suicide bereavement research. She was employed by the Centre for Mental Health and Safety, University of Manchester from 1999 - March 2016. Sharon is currently developing a social enterprise to provide evidence-based suicide bereavement training, which she developed with her research team at the University of Manchester. Sharon has a honorary contract with the university as she continues to have strong links with the department (conducting research, supervising PhD students etc).
Sharon was involved in the development of the Department of Health suicide bereavement handbook entitled ' Help is at Hand: A Resource for People Bereaved by Suicide and Traumatic Deaths' ((DH, 2006). This provides practical support and guidance for those bereaved by suicide. Sharon was also a member of the advisory group which revised 'Help is at Hand' which was launched September 2015 (PHE, 2015)
Identifying Suicide Bereavement Researchers in the UK
Sharon is currently trying to identify individuals in the UK who are interested or specialise in suicide bereavement research. She aims to create a database whereby researchers working in this field will be able to identify others with similar interests and also enable them to network, support one another and collaborate in this newly developing field. For more information please contact email@example.com
Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship
Sharon received a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship in 2013. The purpose of the award was to travel overseas to bring back knowledge and best practice for the benefits of others including professionals and communities. She visited Australia and New Zealand to identify good practice in the field of postvention andto learn how similar services can be developed in the UK.
- Development of evidence-based suicide bereavement training;
- suicide prevention;
- suicide bereavement;
- online memorialisation;
- suicide clusters;
- provision of support for front line staff affected by suicide;
- the development of postvention services;
- multi-agency information sharing;
- offender mental health;
- ethical issues in mental health research.
Development of a Social Enterprise
Sharon is currently in the process of developing a social enterprise which will provide evidence-based theory-driven suicide bereavement training. The development of this training was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit). The profits from the training will be reinvested to conduct suicide bereavement research.
Socal Responsibility Awards/Certificates
Sharon received a University of Manchester commended 'Make a Difference Certificate for Social Responsibility for the second year running, for the following work:
- organising the 2015 national suicide bereavement conference for a wider audience than just academics.
- Sharon was shortlisted for a Greater Manchester National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) social engagement ward.
Sharon received a University of Manchester commended 'Make a Difference Certificate for Social Responsiblity' for the following work:
- Volunteer at a monthly suicide bereavement self help group;
- Writes a suicide-bereavement blog which is relevant to those bereaved by suicide, clinicians and researchers (suicide-bereavement.co.uk); and
- Organising the 2014 national annual suicide bereavement conference for a wider audience than just academics.
Memberships of committees and professional bodies
Member of the All Party Parliamentary Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Group;
Member of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) Special Interest Group on Suicide Postvention;
Member of the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership (SBSP);
Member of the Manchester Self-Harm (MASH) Project Steering committee; and
A Winston Churchill Fellow (2013).