Project for inclusion in China Scholarship Council – University of Sheffield competition
More information is available at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/scholarships/csc
• be a citizen and permanent resident of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application. Overseas Chinese students may be eligible for application subject to CSC policy
• fulfil the relevant entry requirements of the University of Sheffield, including a high level of English language proficiency, and be issued with an unconditional offer letter from the University
• meet the selection criteria set out by CSC
Suicide is a global public health concern, representing the second leading cause of death for people aged 15–29 worldwide (WHO, 2014). Although prevalence of suicidal ideation and behaviour is higher in females, the rate of suicide is significantly higher in males (Beautrais, 2002; Henderson et al., 2005). A recent scoping review of the international literature related to evaluation of male suicide prevention initiatives identified only 22 relevant articles and only three of these were from the UK (Struszczyk, 2019), indicating the paucity of research and evidence in this important area.
The scoping review identified that factors expressed by men as important to them in supporting suicide prevention included support from a trusted and respected individual, preferably in an informal setting, and reframing help-seeking as masculine. Factors identified as important to disrupting the pathway of progress to suicide also included establishing connectedness with others through sharing experiences with other suicide survivors. The review recommended that further research into men’s perceptions and views of suicide and suicide prevention as well as those of their close friends and family was needed as few of the studies included qualitative research methods.
Although under-researched, there are a growing number of non-NHS based initiatives within the UK aimed at supporting mental health in men and in preventing suicide, for example Andy’s Mans Club. Andy’s Man Club is a national charity providing a network of free drop-ins aimed at helping men open up about their mental health problems and reducing stigma. The approach taken appears to address many of the factors identified as important in the scoping view.
The aims of the research would be to identify and evaluate initiatives aimed at addressing men’s mental health including those specifically targeting suicide prevention. A mixed methods approach including qualitative and quantitative research methods would be used.
Specific objectives would be developed with the student but may focus on:
1. Identifying intervention(s) and initiatives focussing on men’s mental health, particularly suicide prevention, delivered in non-NHS settings in the UK through:
a. review of academically published and grey literature, and
b. survey of stakeholders within primary and secondary health care, social care, charities and other relevant sources.
2. Selection of one or more case studies for in-depth assessment.
3. Evaluation of the acceptability of the intervention to service users and providers and exploration of perceptions about benefits and challenges of engaging with the service(s).
4. Quantitative evaluation where possible of uptake and engagement as well as diversity of the population with access to the service(s).
Queries about this project can be directed to Professor Cindy Cooper [email protected]
or Dr Jessica Wright [email protected]
. Cindy’s staff webpage is available here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr/sections/dts/ctru/staff/cindylcooper