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For the Public

For the Public

What are we doing and why?

We want to find out whether a type of brief therapy called psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (PIT) helps people who attend an emergency department after an episode of self-harm. We are interested in whether PIT helps people reduce future self-harm, emergency department attendance and improve their mental health and quality of life. We will also measure costs and potential cost-savings as this is important for the NHS.

PIT therapy in this study involves 4 sessions and is intended for people who have self-harmed 3 times or fewer. People who self-harm more frequently require more intensive treatment and we have a separate study (FReSH START) for this group.

Mental health nurses who work in emergency departments will approach people who have attended hospital following self-harm to see if they are interested in taking part, assuming the study is suitable for them. People who agree to take part will be allocated at random to one of 2 groups; PIT as well as standard care or standard care only. Standard care involves a full psychosocial assessment and a care plan.

The research team has experience of conducting trials of psychological therapies for self-harm and of running psychological treatment services for people who self-harm in the NHS.

We will publish the results via academic journals, meetings, and social media. We will target user organisations and will work with our Patient and Public Engagement co-applicant to present information in a clear format. Several of us have national roles which will enable the results (if favourable) to be fast-tracked into national policy, one of the best ways of making the treatment available on the NHS.

We have involved users with experience of self-harm in designing this study and have a co-applicant who has personal experience of self-harm and considerable experience of raising awareness and advocating for better mental health care. We will continue to work closely with a group of people with lived experience of self-harm throughout the trial to ensure we are focused on the best interests of our participants, and to help us to draw the right conclusions as we collect information from them in the study. We are especially focused on improving access to self-harm support for people from diverse ethnic groups, and are working closely with charity and third-sector partners supporting people from these communities to encourage more discussion and awareness of self-harm.

If you have lived experience of self-harm and would like to advocate for better access to mental health services, then you might be interested in being a part of our group in the future. Please get in touch with Cara at for an informal chat.

Can I get involved?

It is not possible to self-refer to this trial, recruitment to the trial is through the participating hospital trusts only.

If you have been given information on participating in the trial by your healthcare professional, and would like more information, please feel free to contact us directly by email –

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