The SHARE UK Research Register

The SHARE UK research register has been set up to learn more about self-harm and to improve support and services. We want everyone to have the chance to take part in research. As part of this we have set up the SHARE UK research register to give people the chance to sign up to hear more studies we are running and to have the opportunity to take part. This is the first register of its kind in the UK and has over 2000 people signed up. Much of our research takes place online and you can take part anonymously.

Sign Up

Co-production of research

By signing up for the SHARE UK research register you will have the opportunity to co-produce our research. This can be things like helping develop research questions, designing questionnaires and giving feedback on research and reports. This co-production with people with lived experience is at the centre of what we do. This means we can design research focused on things that are important to you. We can push for changes to support and services that can make a real difference.

Our research

There are many features of social media platforms that can have an effect on safety. This includes messaging around self-harm/suicide, algorithms for newsfeeds and targeted content, advertising, signposting, blurring of images, restrictions on content and trigger warnings among others. These features may have an impact on safety, stigma and isolation alongside opportunities for support. We worked in collaboration with the Samaritans as part of their Online Excellence Programme to learn more about how people experience messaging and policies of platforms and how these could be improved. Findings will help to inform Samaritans Industry guidelines and platform practices, ensuring that messaging and policies around self-harm and suicide content reflects the needs of individuals using these platforms.

Read the full report

Our team have been working on an arts-based project about mental health and self-expression through images. We have been running virtual reality workshops and sessions with an artist to help people learn more about self-expression through images. We are developing a toolkit to help people share self-harm experiences and feeling online safely using images. We are also helping people to recognise a post that might mean someone needs help, what to say and how to reach out.

Data is created all the time. Every time we buy something online, post something or visit a GP as just a few examples. All of this data has the potential to be anonymised and brought together for research. But which data should be used? What kind of research should it be used for? Who should have access to it? How much do you know about how data is anonymised and protected?

Getting answers to questions like these is the purpose of the recent Big Data and Mental Health Research Survey. Almost 4000 young people aged 16-24 took part, including almost 3000 who have experienced self-harm. This is an amazing response, and we are going through the process of having this paper published. Check back here soon for an update on what we found and learn more about how this is being used to steer future research.

We recently published a study using looking at self-harm and the NHS in children and young people. We looked at data from GP clinics, emergency departments and outpatient clinics, as well as hospital admissions. Seeking help from healthcare services has increased the most in 10-14 year old girls. This has also increased for boys and young men, especially in emergency departments. This study provides important information about where people are seeking help for self-harm and where extra support is needed.

Read more

We have reviewed research on viewing and sharing images of self-harm online. There has been a lot of controversy around the way images of self-harm are shared online. So much so that both Instagram and Facebook have changed their policies on the posting of these images. It is important that we know more about the impact of these images and that platforms policies are based on research evidence. Our latest review highlights both the potential for harmful content and triggering material and, the use of images a creative outlet and an alternative to self-harm.

Read more

To read more about the relationship between self-harm and internet use also see our other reviews. The first of these looks at internet use more generally and describes the internet as place of social support on the one hand, and a source of potentially harmful and triggering information on the other.
Read more about this here

We have also examined literature related to online bullying and self-harm.
Read abou that here

Taking Part

Everything you tell us will be completely confidential. Read more about SHARE UKs privacy policy here.

We’ll email you when we are running a new study or questionnaire with details of how to take part. We’ll also email you when we are looking for people to co-produce on our research with us. This could be something like giving feedback on how a survey is designed, to being part of a research panel. It's up to you what you take part in and how much time you give. Simply email back for details of anything you are interested in.

To sign up click here.

To take part you must be aged 16 or over and have harmed yourself in any way at some time in your life. This could be self-injury or self-poisoning.

When we talk about self-harm we mean intentional self-injury or poisoning whether or not a person is thinking about suicide.

At SHARE UK your privacy is paramount. Your details will never be passed on or shared with anyone else. Your details will never be used for marketing purposes, and we will not contact you without your consent.

Any data you contribute will be fully anonymised so that even our researchers cannot identify you. This data is stored on a secure encrypted server which is only accessible to members of our research team.

Our data collection systems are based on proven technologies and robust anonymisation and encryption processes ensuring maximum security. All operating procedures for data acquisition, management and utilisation are consistent and auditable further ensuring robustness and security.

If you have any concerns or questions about your privacy or data please contact us.

Read the project's privacy policy here.

If you want to find out more or have any questions about the project please contact us.

To sign up for the research register click here.