Dr Sharon McDonnell is the Director of Suicide Bereavement UK. She has specialised in suicide bereavement for 16 years and is considered to be one of the leading researchers in this field in the UK.
Prior to setting up Suicide Bereavement UK, Sharon worked at the Centre for Mental Health and Safety at the University of Manchester, which is the largest suicide prevention research department internationally. During her time at the university, Sharon and her research team developed evidence-based parental suicide bereavement training entitled ‘Postvention Assisting those Bereaved by Suicide’ (PABBS) which was informed by a four year study funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and first of its kind internationally.
Sharon’s research has been referred to in two parliamentary debates (Hansard, 2012, 2015) with Ministers being advised to read her research and consider her views on how those bereaved by suicide should be cared for. She has been a member of the Public Health England advisory group involved in the revised handbook ‘Help is at Hand: Support After Someone May Have Died by Suicide’ (PHE, 2015) and the ‘Support after Suicide: A Guide to providing Local Services’ document (PHE, 2016). Sharon has received several awards for public engagement in this field.
- 2006 PhD entitled ‘ Identifying the Experiences of Parents Bereaved by Suicide or Undetermined Death: University of Manchester.
- 1998 BSc 1st class Hons in Psychology. University of Bolton.
- Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Manchester.
- Winston Churchill Fellow