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Welcoming Our New Research Team

A Next Step in the Commitment to Our Values and Drive as a Centre of Excellence for Suicide Prevention

By Caroline Harroe (Harmless CEO)

At the heart of Harmless lies a powerful conviction: that to truly excel in suicide prevention and to make a substantial, lasting impact, an unwavering commitment to research and evidence-based practice is essential. This belief has led to the revolutionary step of recruiting a dedicated research team, entrusted with the vital mission of working hand in hand with esteemed research partners from prestigious academic centres including the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Derby, and more. This collaborative endeavour is not merely an enhancement of our capabilities but a bold statement of our dedication to setting new standards of excellence in health.

Excellence in any health field, especially one as critical and complex as self harm and suicide prevention, is achieved through a relentless pursuit of knowledge, an unshakable commitment to understanding the intricacies of human behaviour, and a dedication to applying evidence-based interventions. It is this pursuit that guides the work of our research team, ensuring that every strategy, every intervention, is not only rooted in the best available evidence but also tailored to the unique needs of those we serve.

Our researchers are not confined to academic inquiry; they are pivotal in embedding patient participation and engagement into the very fabric of our services. They champion the voices of those we’ve helped, taking their experiences, their struggles, and their victories, and using them to inform and transform the face of suicide prevention services. Through meticulous examination of clinical data, they enhance our understanding, scrutinise our impact, and wield influence beyond our immediate reach. They are the architects of change, driving policy, challenging conventional practices, and advocating for impactful, sustainable change.

Moreover, the presence of a dedicated research team liberates our clinical teams from the onerous task of data analysis, enabling them to focus on what they do best: providing life-saving support. This strategic division of labour not only increases efficiency but also solidifies the foundation of our business case, securing the sustainability and funding necessary for Harmless to remain agile and responsive to the ever-evolving needs of our community.

But perhaps most importantly, the establishment of a research team is a testament to our values. It signifies our commitment to ensuring that our work is fit for purpose, that we are constantly seeking new understandings, and that we are investing in the future of suicide prevention. It reaffirms that no funds are diverted from clinical work for these endeavours; rather, they are opportunities funded specifically for the betterment of our services and the communities we serve.

The inclusion of a research team at Harmless is not just an operational decision; it is a reflection of our belief in the limitless potential of what we can achieve. It is an acknowledgment that helping people — and saving lives — extends far beyond the bounds of our clinical team and our physical premises. It is a recognition of the profound and exhilarating opportunity to make a difference on a grand scale. And in this mission, every discovery, every insight, and every life touched is a step toward a world where no one has to face the darkness alone. What an extraordinary position to be in, and how very welcome it is.