I am an Associate Senior Lecturer for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology Degree at Leeds Trinity University. I have a BA (Hons.) in Psychology and Management from the University of Leeds, an MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology from the University of York and a PhD in Psychology from the Institute for Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds. My PhD thesis explores the psychological risk factors associated with self-harming behaviours in young and adult male offenders, which is why I am so passionate about the work that Panacea do and understand the need to offer prisoners who are vulnerable to self-harming behaviours, a different way to manage difficult emotions, often caused by historical trauma and abuse.

Prior to lecturing at Leeds Trinity University, I worked for 7 years within the Psychology Department of one of the busiest local prisons in the country, housing male prisoners aged 21 and above. I was the Treatment Manager for the Safer Custody Unit at HMP Leeds; a specialist unit for vulnerable prisoners at risk of self-harming and committing suicide. I designed and delivered a 4-week psychosocial programme aimed at increasing skills in impulsive and emotional management, communication and problem solving skills. I then went on to work with male juveniles, and in particular, worked with young people who committed serious violent and sexual offences; conducting risk assessments and tailored interventions. I have experience writing and presenting risk assessments to professionals, particularly for the Probation Service Parole Board, I have delivered cognitive behavioural-based interventions to offenders in both group settings and on an individual basis and have experience writing tailored treatment plans to reduce re-offending. I have also delivered training to Prison Service staff on topics such as Motivational Interviewing, Stress Management, De-escalation, Risk Assessment and Pro-Social Modelling. In my first year working for Her Majesty’s Prison Service, I won the Prison Service Staff of the Year Award, both regionally and nationally.

Given the fact that self-harm and suicide across the prison estate are at an all-time high, there is a great need for more holistic interventions such as Panacea Project, that not only focus on the prevention of self-harming behaviours but also work to address the negative emotional states associated with this behaviour in a more holistic way.