Dr Sharon McDonnell is the Managing 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.
- 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.
- Sharon hosts an annual international suicide bereavement conference, over 400 attendees, representing nine countries attend;
- Translated research findings into evidence-based suicide bereavement training, which is first of its kind internationally;
- A publication directly associated with the PABBS suicide bereavement training was used as evidence for NICE suicide prevention guidelines (NICE 2018);
- Provided expert testimony to NICE committee, developing suicide prevention guidelines in community and custodial settings (NICE, 2018);
- PABBS suicide bereavement training is referenced in document entitled ‘Mental Health Promotion and Prevention Training Programmes’, published by PHE in collaboration with NHS Health Education (PHE, 2016);
- Sharon’s research has been referred to in several parliamentary debates (Hansard, 2012, 2015 and 2017) with Ministers being advised to read her research and consider her views on how those bereaved by suicide should be cared for;
- She was a member of the Public Health England advisory group involved in the revised handbook entitled ‘Help is at Hand: Support After Someone May Have Died by Suicide’ (PHE, 2015);
- Member of the advisory board of the following documents : ‘Support after Suicide: A Guide to providing Local Services’ document (NSPA, 2016) and ‘Support After a Suicide: Evaluating Local Bereavement Support Services’ (NSPA, 2016);
- Sharon has received several awards for public engagement and social responsibility for her work in postvention. These include:
- Investing in Success, Awarded by the President of The University of Manchester (2012);
- Nominated to represent the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at the University of Manchester (Public Engagement) category of the Greater Manchester Clinical Trials Awards (runner up) (2015);
- Volunteer of the Year, staff category, (2nd place) The University of Manchester (2018); and
- Several commended certificates for public engagement and social responsibility (2015, 2016,2018).
- Winston Churchill Fellow (2013);
- Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Manchester;
- Member of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) Specialist Interest Group, developing international postvention guidelines;
- Member of the All Party Parliamentary Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Group
- Paul Hamlyn Foundation; and
- Volunteer at Gtr Mcr Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) group.