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Pauline has over 20 years’ experience in research. Her work focuses on the organisation and delivery of health and social care services, bringing to light the perspectives of service users and their families, health professionals, service managers, and policy makers. She was Co-Investigator on SBUK’s Armed Forces Suicide Bereavement Study, helping to produce the At Your Side toolkits for veterans and families bereaved by the suicide of someone during or after military service. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Manchester in 2010 and has published over 40 academic publications spanning a range of international journals.

She has a personal interest in improving support for those bereaved by suicide and is a key writer on several papers and reports related to the evidence-based ‘Postvention Assisting those Bereaved by Suicide’ (PABBS) training:

  • Nelson PA, Cordingley L, Kapur N, Chew-Graham CA, Shaw J, Smith S, McGale B, McDonnell S. (2020) ‘We’re the first port of call’ – Perspectives of ambulance staff on responding to a deaths by suicide: A qualitative study Frontiers in Psychology https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00722
  • McDonnell S, Nelson PA, Leonard S, McGale B, Chew-Graham CA, Kapur N, Shaw J, Smith S, Cordingley L (2020) Evaluation of the impact of the PABBS Suicide Bereavement Training on clinicians’ knowledge and skills: A pilot study Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention  https://doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000646
  • Nelson PA, McDonnell S & Walraven-Thissen A (2019) South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System Suicide Prevention Programme: Developing a South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Approach to Bereavement by Suicide Workshop Report Suicide Bereavement UK


2010   PhD: ‘Parents’ Experiences of Children’s Treatment for Cleft Lip and Palate’ (University of Manchester)

1988     Diploma in Careers Counselling (Manchester Polytechnic)                                             

1987     B.A. (Hons) French Studies 2:i (University of Manchester)