Lab Members

SBRL Director

Rory C. O’Connor

President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a past President of International Academy for Suicide Research. Rory has a long-standing interest in suicide research (for more information, see a profile here). He has been conducting research into suicide and self-harm since 1994 and he established the SBRL (originally named SBRG) in 2003.

Twitter: @suicideresearch

SBRL Members

(In alphabetic order)

Nadia Belkadi

I joined the SBRL as a research assistant in October 2022 and I am currently working on the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) project assisting with adapting and delivering the training to external organisations. I am also involved in other projects such as conducting a scoping review on psychological and psychosocial interventions for people in distress and the EMERGE study looking at emotion processing and self-harm in young people. My work experience has consisted of supporting individuals with their mental health and wellbeing in the NHS, in-patient settings and educational settings.

Email address:

Susanna Bennett

My PhD research explores male suicide. I am interested in the cultural and social factors that put men at risk of suicidal despair, and the factors that can aid men to recover a meaningful life. In particular, my research focuses on the dynamics of selfhood, interpersonal connections, emotions, masculinity, psychological pain and suicidal behaviours in male suicide.

Email address:
Twitter: @susie_research

Angela Brient

I am a PhD student commencing my project at the University of Glasgow in 2022. I am investigating suicide risk associated with physical injury resulting in prolonged rehabilitation and recovery.

Email address:

Seonaid Cleare

Seonaid works on a range of projects within the SBRL including studies looking at the impact of COVID-19 on mental health within the UK. Her own research focuses on factors which may provide individuals some protection from emotional distress and self-harm and suicide.

Email address:
Twitter: @SeonaidCleare

Angels Deu

I have been working as a psychologist at the Mental Health Center in Girona (Institut d’Assistència Sanitària), Spain, since 2005. I am currently conducting a PhD at the Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology programme at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). My PhD focuses on how neuropsychological and personality factors contribute to suicide risk.

Email address:;
Twitter: @angelsidemons

Mareike Ernst

Mareike Ernst is a postdoctoral researcher and psychotherapist in training at the University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in Germany. She is the principal investigator of the projects TempRes (examining temporal dynamics of suicide ideation and risk and protective factors, building on the IMV model) and TASC (aimed at strengthening suicide prevention in populations affected by cancer). Both within the context of suicide and beyond, particular foci of her research are loneliness and child abuse and neglect.

Email address:;
Twitter: @ernst_mareike

Marianne Etherson

I am a Research Assistant at the University of Glasgow. In my role, I am involved in several projects and interventions. This includes assisting in the academic advisory group to the Scottish Government-funded National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, the Distress Brief Intervention, and a grant project analysing resilience to mental ill-health in the digital environment. I am also a PhD student at York St John University and am currently researching the link between perfectionism and mental health outcomes (i.e., depressive symptoms and suicide ideation) through the lens of the Perfectionism Social Disconnection Model.

Email address:
Twitter: @MazEtherson

James Glass

I am a PhD student at the University of Glasgow investigating suicide risk within the veterinary profession, with the goal of helping to inform suicide prevention. More specifically, I hope to use the integrated motivational-volitional model of suicide behaviour to better understand the development of suicidal ideation in veterinary professionals, and what impacts the transition from suicidal thoughts to attempts or death by suicide.

Email address:
Twitter: @Vet_James

Niamh Gordon

Niamh is a writer and first-year PhD student on the Creative Writing DFA programme at the University of Glasgow, based between Creative Writing and the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab. Her AHRC-funded PhD project is a creative-critical exploration of how traumatic grief impacts on narrative time, looking specifically at bereavement by suicide. Her research interests include narrative time and how it functions; representations of bereavement by suicide; postvention practices; Scottish writer Ali Smith; and experimental writing.

Email address:
Twitter: @_niamhgordon

Olivia J. Kirtley

Olivia Kirtley is an FWO Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Center for Contextual Psychiatry at KU Leuven in Belgium, where she also leads “SIGMA”, a large-scale longitudinal study of adolescent mental health and development using experience sampling methods (ESM). Her current research uses ESM to investigate dynamic processes involved in ideation-to-action transitions in adolescents who self-harm, specifically social interaction and future thinking. Olivia leads several projects aimed at increasing transparency and reproducibility in the ESM field, including designing a pre-registration template for ESM research and leading the ESM Item Repository.

Email address:
Twitter: @LivveyKirtley

Gonca Kose

Gonca Kose is a postgraduate researcher within the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory (SBRL). She is currently working on a PhD project investigating the relationship between future thinking (the capacity to mentally project the self into possible future scenarios) and suicide risk. She is a Turkish Government sponsored student who will start her career as an academic at Akdeniz University after completing her PhD.

Email address:

Shihong Liu

My current work: The relationship between interpersonal (including parents and peer) stress and suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents. I am particularly interested in the role of adolescents’ excessive reassurance seeking in the relationship between interpersonal stress and suicidal ideation.

Email address:

Krystyna Loney

I started as a full-time Research Assistant in the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab in January 2022. My work involves several research projects aimed at better understanding and reducing suicidal behaviour. Namely, the ongoing development of the national Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) and assisting the Academic Advisory Group in National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group projects.

Email address:

Jenna-Marie Lundy

Jenna-Marie works as a Research Associate for the CELCIS ( Her current research supports children and young people’s experiences of the Children’s Hearings Scotland through the Voice and Inclusion Project (VIP). She holds a PhD in Health Research from the College of Medicine, University of Glasgow, and has a background in psychology, various health research projects for the University of Glasgow and NHS, as well as education. She enjoys working in applied research settings. In the past this has included the implementation of health and wellbeing interventions and evaluation of research in general practice and primary care settings, suicide prevention, and childhood attachment studies. She is a qualified primary teacher. Jenna-Marie worked on the SBRL SAFETEL project an innovative and theoretically driven Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) with follow-up telephone support for people admitted to hospital following a suicidal crisis.

Email address:
Twitter: @DrJMLundy

Hazel Marzetti

Hazel (she/her) is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Edinburgh using critical, creative and qualitative methods to analyse political representations of suicide. Previously she undertook her PhD at the University of Glasgow exploring LGBT+ young people’s suicidal thoughts and attempts in Scotland using a qualitative methodology. Her research interests centre on LGBT+ mental health, the emotions of suicide, and ways of bringing psychological and sociological methods into dialogue with one another to strengthen suicide research.

Email address:
Twitter: @hazelmarzetti

Susan Mathew

I am a research assistant with the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab. I am currently working on the Distress Brief Intervention, in particular studying the effect of the intervention on suicide and self-harm. I am also a part of the EMERGE study, which looks at the association between self-injurious behavior and stress responses. My interests lie in adolescent mental health and suicidality, as well as creating mental health interventions suitable for LMICs.

Email address:

Heather McClelland

Heather is a full-time research assistant within SBRL, assisting in on a number of projects and interventions designed to better understand and reduce suicide behaviour. Within this capacity, Heather is an Academic Advisor to the Scottish Government-funded National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) and Distress Brief Intervention (DBI). Additionally Heather is completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology focusing on social mechanisms associated with suicide ideation and behaviour.

Email address:
Twitter: @HeatherMPsych

Jack Melson

I am a Lecturer in Mental Health at the University of Glasgow. I’m interested in understanding the aetiology and prevention/management of self-harm, suicidal behaviour and emotional distress and like to translate this work into development and implementation of complex interventions. My work just now combines these interests, with projects looking to enhance understanding of the role of alcohol factors in self-harm and suicidal behaviour as well as ongoing development, implementation and extension of a national Distress Brief Intervention service.

Email address:
Twitter: @A_J_Melson

Karyl T. Powell-Booth

The broad focus of my PhD thesis was an exploration of factors associated with suicide risk and self-harm in Jamaica. The overarching aims of the thesis were to better understand: (1) key risk and protective factors for suicidal behaviour and self-harm among young people in Jamaica and (2) how do persons make sense of their lived experiences of attempting suicide in Jamaica.

Email address:
Twitter: @kapow7000

Cara Richardson

I am currently a PhD students investigating suicide risk in men, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. I also work on the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) project interviewing young people on help seeking for mental health and conducting literature reviews for the project.

Email address:
Twitter: @_CaraRichardson

Banu Cankaya Sahin

I am an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Department of Psychology at MEF University, Istanbul, Turkey, currently at the SBRL as an Affiliate Researcher. My research interests include investigating the roles of communal coping and social connectedness in distress and suicidality. My clinical practice is informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I am also a local leader of ACL Global Project (led by Prof. Mavis) in Istanbul, aspiring to increase connectedness in non-clinical groups.

Email address:;
Twitter: @bcankaya

David Sandford

PhD Student, currently writing up a thesis which is based on research completed in an NHS mental health service on suicide prevention and the impact of patient suicide on mental health practitioners. Currently working as a lecturer in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Email address:
Twitter: @dmsandford

Andy Siddaway

I am interested in conducting and supervising research that improves understanding, prevention, assessment, and treatment of psychological problems. My research particularly focuses on suicide, nonsuicidal self-injury, trauma, and the conceptualisation of psychological problems. I have methodological expertise in systematic reviews, meta-analysis, psychometrics, and scale development and validation. I am currently exploring how best to conceptualise similarities, differences, and relationship between suicidal thoughts and behaviour and nonsuicidal self-injury thoughts and behaviour using a range of methodologies.

Email address:

Elvan Ünlü

Multidimensional Perfectionism, Suicide Risk and relevant factors, Childhood Trauma are her current research interests. She is currently working on a systematic review investigating all the factors that explain the relationship between perfectionism and suicide risk [PROSPERO 2021; CRD42021225855], and a research study regarding the relationship between Personality, Cognition, Negative Life Events, Social Factors and Suicide Risk, and planning to focus on individual differences that could regulate suicide risk.

Email address:
Twitter: @L1Unlu

Nikki van Eijk

I am a Research Master student in Clinical and Health Psychology from the Netherlands with a broad interest. My master’s thesis was a network analysis study on depression and anxiety symptoms, and the research I am currently doing for the SBRL involves latent class models on suicidal risk factors within the Integrated Motivational-Volitional (IMV) model of suicidal behaviour.

Email address:
Twitter: @nikkilykaa

Karen Wetherall

Karen obtained her PhD in 2019 at the University of Glasgow (An exploration of the relationship between negative social comparison, perceptions of social rank, and suicidal ideation). She currently work as a Research Associate within SBRL, where she is involved with a number of projects, including the UK and Scottish COVID-19 Mental Health Trackers studies, the EMERGE study (Emotion processing, electrodermal activity and the transition from thoughts of self-harm to self-harm acts in young people) and the Distress Brief Intervention for people across Scotland.

Email address:
Twitter: @darkdancer84

Jessica Wyllie

I am a PhD student at the University of Glasgow investigating the relationship between stigma and suicide. More specifically, I am investigating the relationship between stigma and suicidal thoughts/behaviours, help-seeking behaviours, mental health outcomes and grieving using a range of methods.

Email address:

Yawen Zheng

My interest of research mainly focuses on investigating the dynamic nature of suicidal ideation (i.e., the fluctuation of suicidal ideation over time), and the factors presumed to influence the presence, intensity and frequency of suicidal ideation, such as cognitive reactivity, ego depletion, and impulsivity.

Email address:
Twitter: @yawenzheng_

Tiago C. Zortea

Tiago has a background in Clinical Psychology (BR/PT) and is currently a postdoctoral researcher within SBRL, where he is involved in several projects. He is a supporting researcher within the Academic Advisory Group of the Scottish Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership group, co-chair of the Early Career Group of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), and co-founder of netECR – The International Network of Early Career Researchers in Suicide and Self-Harm. (he/him/his)

Email address:
Twitter: @zortea_tiago

Recent Lab Alumni

Marco Rios Salinas (Mexican Government)
Rebecca Forrester (University of Liverpool) 
Jennifer McLaughlin (University of Hertfordshire)
Fiona Scott (University of Glasgow)
Jessica Green (University of Manchester)
Jaclyn Miller (University of Glasgow)
Julie Mansfield (NHS Scotland)
Sarah Eschle (NHS Scotland)
Susan Irving (NHS Scotland)
Shannon McNee (University of Glasgow)
Katerina Kavalidou (National Suicide Research Foundation)
Corinna Stewart (NHS Scotland)
Jenna-Marie Lundy 
Caoimhe Ryan (University of Dundee)

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