Staff and PhD Students


Helen Bould

Consultant Senior Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; NIHR Advanced Fellow

Helen joined SASH in 2018 when she returned to Bristol following her PhD at the University of Oxford. Helen has worked closely with the group on understanding the comorbidity and common risk factors between self-harm and disordered eating using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. She co-supervises PhD student Bridget Ellis in her work designing an Ecological Momentary Assessment app to study self-harm in young people.

She is now undertaking an NIHR Advanced Fellowship developing novel Virtual Reality-based interventions to treat eating disorders. She also continues to work with colleagues locally and nationally to study the overlaps between disordered eating, eating disorders and self-harm, as well as the role of digital technology on young people’s mental health.
Helen Bould’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @drbould

Page top

Chris Metcalfe

Professor of Medical Statistics

I am interested in the design and analysis of both randomised and observational studies of measures to prevent suicide and self-harm.

I am currently collaborating with researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Rajarata on a study of a training intervention for pesticide vendors, aimed at reducing the incidence of pesticides purchased for the purpose of self-poisoning.

Chris Metcalfe’s profile

Page top

Jacks Bennett

ESRC Postdoc Fellow

Jacks is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow with research interests in a population health approach to student mental health and wellbeing. This has become a key area of concern in Higher Education over the last decade, with increasing numbers of students seeking mental health support in order to study successfully. Jacks joined SASH as a PhD student in 2018, her thesis was the first study of its kind to evaluate the impact of a sea change in welfare provision at a large UK university.

Jacks also reported on the University of Bristol’s annual Student Wellbeing Survey findings between 2018 and 2022 and was awarded her doctorate in 2023. Her future research goals are focused on social and environmental determinants of student mental health and wellbeing in relation to educational outcomes i.e., attainment and course-withdrawal, using a new longitudinal, linked dataset.

Jacks Bennett’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) Jacks Bennett

Page top

Myles-Jay Linton

Vice Chancellors Research Fellow

Myles-Jay Linton is a chartered psychologist focusing on young people’s mental health. In 2019, Myles was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute. One of his key projects explores the practicalities and ethics of notifying emergency contacts when universities have serious concerns about a student’s safety. This research has informed Universities UK national policy guidance on ‘information sharing’ as a suicide prevention strategy. In 2022, Myles and Lucy Biddle (PI) were awarded funding from Innovate UK to explore the acceptability of using artificial intelligence to support young people’s mental health within an online peer-support app. Myles joined SASH in 2017 as part of the HOPE project, exploring the use of psychosocial support for people presenting to hospital emergency departments following self-harm or in acute distress because of financial, employment or welfare (benefit) difficulties. Myles holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Exeter.

Myles-Jay Linton’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @myles_wellbeing

Page top

Bruna Rubbo

Research Fellow

Bruna is a Research Fellow funded by the Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention (CPSP, University of Edinburgh). She completed her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Southampton in 2022 and relocated to the USA for a postdoctoral scholarship at the University of Southern California, where she investigated the effects of pesticide exposure on weight loss in a cohort of obese adolescents undergoing bariatric surgery.

Her current research is focused on pesticide suicides in low- and middle-income countries. She is working with data from countries such as Sri Lanka and Brazil to investigate the impact of the implementation of pesticide regulations that limit access to highly hazardous pesticides on self-harm and suicide rates. Her main areas of interest include exploring contextual evidence in multi-centre cohorts, applying novel statistical methods for data analyses, international cohorts, and data standardisation.

Bruna Rubbo’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @bruna_rubbo

Page top

Prianka Padmanathan

ST4 Psychiatry Doctor and Honorary Research Fellow

Prianka joined SASH as an Academic Foundation Doctor in Psychiatry in 2014. Since then, she has been involved in a range of studies investigating clinical and epidemiological aspects of suicide prevention. In 2022, Prianka completed her PhD at the University of Bristol on “Suicide prevention in clinical populations with substance use problems”, supervised by Prof Paul Moran, Prof David Gunnell and Prof Matt Hickman.

During her PhD, she gained experience in analysing large-scale linked health services data (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) as well as using consensus methods to develop a clinical intervention.

Prianka has an ongoing research interest in health services research relating to suicide, self-harm and/or substance use problems.

Prianka Padmanathan’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @_prianka_

Naomi Warne

Prudence Trust/Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Fellow

Naomi’s research focuses on identifying factors that can increase risk for mental health problems in young people and working out how to target these risk factors to help prevent mental illness. Naomi joined SASH as a Senior Research Associate in 2019. She worked on a project led by Dr Helen Bould investigating the co-occurrence of self-harm and disordered eating and their shared risk factors. Naomi currently holds a fellowship funded by The Prudence Trust where she aims to co-design a novel art-based programme to help prevent anxiety and depression in UK secondary schools. She is passionate about making a real difference through collaborative and interdisciplinary mental health research.

Naomi Warne’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @NMWarne

Page top

Zoë Haime

Senior Research Associate

Zoë joined SASH as a Senior Research Associate in 2021, and has recently completed her PhD at University College London (UCL) in 2023. She is currently working on the Digital Dialogues study (PI Lucy Biddle), whilst also continuing work on the DELVE project analysis through BRC funding. Zoë is interested in the benefits and harms of online use, and how clinical interventions may be implemented in this field. Her current research aims to address gaps in practitioner knowledge around asking people about online use, through co-creating resources with children and young people.

Other areas of interest include social cognition; suicide and self-harm in serious mental illness; and intervention development.

Zoe Haime profile
X (formerly Twitter) @zhaime

Page top

Lizzy Winstone

Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology

Lizzy joined SASH as a PhD student in 2018, studying the relationship between different types of social media use and mental health, well-being, social connectedness and self-harm in adolescence. She is now a Senior Research Associate working with Dr Becky Mars on a study understanding short term patterns and predictors of self-harm thoughts and behaviours.

Lizzy is a mixed methods researcher with a particular interest in digital mental health, and has also worked on a focus group study exploring how people who self-harm engage with and evaluate online lived experience stories.

Lizzy Winstone’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @LizzyWinstone

Page top

Jon Heron

Associate Professor in Medical Statistics

Jon is a statistician who works closely with the SASH group.

He has over 25 years’ experience working with the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) dataset and has keen interests in both missing data and longitudinal modelling.

He has published over 300 papers including on self-harm, mental health, and risky behaviours such as substance use.

PhD Students

Lucy Barrass

PhD Student

Lucy joined SASH as a PhD student in September 2022 after completing an MSc and BSc at Newcastle University. She is an epidemiologist and has an interest in global health and social determinants of health, particularly in low and middle income settings.

Her current research is using data from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, conducted in the Philippines, to explore socioeconomic risk factors for depression and suicidal thoughts across the life course.

Lucy Barrass’ profile
X (formerly Twitter) @BarrassLucy

Page top

Bushra Farooq

PhD Student

Bushra joined SASH in 2021 as a PhD student. She previously worked for the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm, based at the University of Manchester. She is interested in using large datasets to examine the epidemiology of self-harm, risk factors, and vulnerable populations such as child and adolescents, ethnic minority groups, and the role of poverty in contributing to risk. Her PhD is examining the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and self-harm and depression using three cohorts: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, The Millennium Cohort Study, and the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study. She is using Structured Life Course Modelling to examine the relationship between duration of exposure to adverse childhood experiences, and their timing of occurrence and self-harm and depression; she is examining the clustering of adverse childhood experiences using Latent Class Analysis; and the mechanisms through which adverse childhood experiences impact self-harm and depression.

Bushra Farooq’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @BushraFarooq13

Page top

Elisha Joshi

PhD Student

Elisha joined SASH while being enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Bristol receiving University of Bristol Scholarship. She is passionate about conducting mental health research especially related to self-harm and suicide in South Asia. She is currently interested in exploring self-harm and suicide and its impact in South Asia for her PhD. Her goals include performing a systematic review to measure self-harm in South Asia, using police suicide data to look at trends in suicide in Nepal and finally assessing impact of exposure to suicidal behaviour among family and community members using data set from Sri Lanka. She spent more than six years working as a public health researcher in Nepal after earning her master’s degree in nursing, where she gained extensive experience as a qualitative researcher.

Elisha Joshi’s profile
X (formerly Twitter) @elishajoshi2

Shweta Dabholkar

PhD student

Shweta is a PhD student in the Health Economics Department at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on the economic burden of diseases and loss of productivity to low- and middle-income countries. Previously, Shweta has worked as a researcher at the University of Edinburgh where she studied the impact of pesticide bans and organic farming government policies on suicide cases and pesticide use in farming communities in South Asia. She has also worked as a Research Assistant at JPAL South Asia based out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a large scale non-communicable diseases randomized control trial [RCT] that assessed the impact of messaging services, tone of messaging and financial incentives on the adherence to diabetes treatment amongst the elderly population living in the slums of Mumbai. Shweta has completed her M.Sc in Anthropology and Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2016.

Shweta Dabholkar

Page top