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See below for all the latest news from the FReSH START project.

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Recruiting to the FReSH START project – Experiences on the Ground


Recruiting participants to any research study is always a challenge, something the research team here at the University fully understand. However, because most of that recruitment work takes place on site, in the hospitals we are working with, we do not always have a very detailed insight into what the challenges are, and what we...

Educating others through lived experience involvement


People with lived experience are increasingly being asked to take part in teaching for trainee clinicians, to offer a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to live with a mental health condition and the impact of being involved with professionals for care and support. One of our FReSH START collaborators reflects on his experiences of...

Public and Patient Involvement in FReSH START


We believe public and patient involvement (PPI) in mental health research is vital: the best way to improve services is to make sure we are listening to the voices of the people who need them. What does this look like in practice? In FReSH START, we built PPI into the whole process. The programme aims...

Delivering a Self-Harm Feasibility Study under COVID


Just over a year ago we suspended the FReSH START feasibility study, as the COVID pandemic hit and lockdown was introduced. This was disappointing but of course, the only option given the severity of the situation and the need to prioritise and protect NHS staff and resources. Thankfully the feasibility study had only just opened...

Experiences of Seeking Support for Self-harm during the COVID-19 Pandemic


The FReSH START team carried out a study over the summer looking at how people who self-harm have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’ve been accessing support. We presented our findings at an online seminar on Tuesday 24th November and you can re-watch Cara’s presentation here: The presentation was followed by an...

The voice of lived experience in research


Service user involvement has become a key part of research and many funding bodies now have it as a requirement to secure funding. However, as Laidlaw Undergraduate Scholar Lizzie Mitchell found out in her work this summer, this service user involvement comes in many different forms. It can range from simply informing service users of...

FReSH START and COVID-19 – addressing concerns around mental health services


The current situation with COVID-19 is putting a great strain on all NHS services . We are aware that many mental health services are closing or limiting their input to telephone appointments. No doubt this causes concern and anxiety for those who need to access these services. The lockdown means people are feeling increasingly isolated...



Following government and NIHR advice around COVID-19, we have suspended recruitment to the feasibility study and postponed the study for 4 months. This is to protect NHS staff and resources. We will review this decision mid-July and update everyone on Monday 20th July. Work will continue in the research arm of the programme. Stay safe...

Feasibility Study Ready to Launch!


Over the last few months, our therapy leads have been busy developing the training programme for the FReSH START feasibility study. They have put together three manuals, one for each therapy – ACT, CBT and PIT. Together with some face-to-face training, these manuals will help guide our participating therapists in the FReSH START approach for...