Dr Leah QuinlivanBA., MSc., PhD., CPsychol

Research Associate

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I am an experienced mental health services researcher and Chartered Psychologist. Prior to joining the University of Manchester, I conducted extensive research with sensitive populations in Ireland, including patients who have attempted suicide, families and significant others bereaved by suicide, patients with severe and enduring mental health issues, and co-design with people with intellectual disabilities. My PhD with University College Dublin was a mixed-method investigation of psychological models of suicidal behaviour in psychiatric outpatients. My Masters focused on research methods with sensitive populations. Prior to academic research, I worked in community mental health care for people with chronic and enduring psychosis or bipolar disorder.

Most recently, I was the project manager and lead researcher on large collaborative NIHR Applied Research Grant for Suicide Prevention and worked closely with Professor Nav Kapur and Dr Jayne Cooper for over five years. The Programme Grant was a high impact collaboration between the Universities of Manchester (Professor Nav Kapur), Oxford (Professor Keith Hawton), and Bristol (Professor David Gunnell). See here for further details and outputs: http://www.bris.ac.uk/population-health-sciences/projects/suicide-prevention/

There were two main components on the NIHR Programme Grant. The first evaluated risk scales following self-harm and included five studies: (1) an observational study of 32 randomly selected hospitals in England; (2) a systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of risk scales following self-harm; (3) a prospective multisite cohort study evaluating risk scales following self-harm with a six month follow-up (N= 514); (4) a consecutive prospective multi-site cohort database study (N=4000), and (5) a cost-effectiveness health economics analysis of risk scales.

The second component involved developing clinical guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in the context of self-harm (advance decisions to refuse treatment and treatment refusal in emergency services). The project included a multisite focus group study with NHS staff and people with lived experience, and online survey for clinicians, a systematic review, database study, and the development of clinical guidance.

My current role is as a Research Associate with the NIHR Patient Safety Translational research Centre in the Safety in Marginalised Groups theme (http://www.patientsafety.manchester.ac.uk/). I lead the work around improving hospital services for people who self-harm by increasing access to psychological services and psychosocial assessment.

Areas of interest include: Mental health services research, risk scales, diagnostic accuracy for mental health services, psychological services for people who self-harm, self-harm, suicidal behaviour, self-harm in emergency services, patient safety for people who present to hospital with self-harm.


BA (Hons, First), M.S.c (Applied Social Research), PhD (Public Health & Population Science)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Self-harm, Attempted suicide , Psychological models of suicide , Research methods, Risk scales, Psychiatry, Suicide, Patient Safety

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