Jess Williams


Jess is an ESRC funded PhD student based at the Institute for Mental Health (University of Birmingham) and the Self-Harm Research Group (University of Nottingham). Jess is recruiting for participants to take part in an LGBTQ+ self-harm and suicide interview study - see details of how you can get involved!
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Understanding the role of self-stigma and shame in suicidality and self-harm among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning young people: a mixed methods study.

This PhD broadly aims to improve the current understanding of suicidal ideation, behaviour and self-harm within LGBTQ+ young people aged between 16-25 years. The project follows a sequential, exploratory mixed methods design; built of systematic review, qualitative interviews, and a prospective longitudinal study. This project is coproduced with a LGBTQ+ Advisory Group, allowing those with lived experience of these behaviours and being LGBTQ+ to have an active say in the progression and development of this research. 


Dr Maria Michail 

Professor Jon Arcelus

Professor Ellen Townsend 


Prior to starting her PhD in October 2018, Jess spent time in two institutes as a Research Assistant. Her time at Nottingham Trent University was spent working on multiple projects within clinical and health related research, and at the University of Aberdeen was employed under a Cancer Research UK grant looking at behaviour change interventions. Alongside these roles, she continued working in the field of self-harm research exploring help-seeking behaviour and clinical services. During her undergraduate and Master’s degrees, she worked as a Research Intern for the Self-Harm Research Group. Jess maintains collaborations nationally and internationally, working on multiple topics. 

Research interests

Self-harm and suicide

LGBTQ+ young people

Vulnerable populations

Behaviour change interventions

Health and clinical psychology 


Williams, A. J., Arcelus, J., Townsend, T., & Michail, M. (2019). A systematic review protocol examining risk factors for self-harm and suicide in LGBTQ+ young people. BMJ Open 2019;0:e031541. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031541

Knipe D., Williams A. J., Hannam-Swain S., Upton S., Brown K., Bandara P., et al. (2019) Psychiatric morbidity and suicidal behaviour in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 16(10): e1002905. pmed.1002905

Williams, A. Jess., Nielsen, E., & Coulson, N. (2018). “They aren’t all like that”: perceptions of clinical services, as told by self-harm e-communities. Journal of Health Psychology.

Wadman, R., Williams, A. J., Brown, K., & Nielsen, E. (2019). Supported and valued? A survey of early career researchers’ experiences and perceptions of youth and public involvement in self-harm, suicide and mental health research. Research Involvement and Engagement.

Wadman, R., Nielsen, E., Brown, K., Williams, A. J., O’Raw, L., Sayal, K.,. & Townsend, E. (2019). Young people’s views on harm minimisation strategies for self-harm. Archives of Suicide Research.

Lopez-Fernandez, O., Williams, A. J., & Kuss, D. J. (2019). Measuring female gaming: gamer profile, predictors, prevalence and characteristics from a psychological and gender perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology, section Quantitative Psychology and Measurement.

Lopez-Fernandez, O., Williams, A. J., Griffiths, M. D. & Kuss, D. J. (2019). Female gaming, gaming addiction, and the role of women within gaming culture: A narrative literature review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, Addictive Disorders.

Black, N., Williams, A. J., Javornik, N., Scott, C., Johnston, M., Eisma, M., ... & De Bruin, M. (2018). Enhancing behavior change technique coding methods: Identifying behavioral targets and delivery styles in smoking cessation trials. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Kwasnicka, D., Inauen, J., Nieuwenboom, W., Nurmi, Johanna, N., Schneider, A., Short, C.E., Dekkers, T., Williams, A. J., Bierbauer, W., Haukkala, A., Picariello, F., & Naughton, F.  (2019) Challenges and solutions for N-of-1 design studies in health psychology., Health Psychology Review, DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2018.1564627


de Barra  M., Scott  C. L., Scott  N. W., Johnston  M., de Bruin  M., Nkansah  N., Bond  C. M., Matheson  C. I., Rackow  P., Williams  A. J., Watson  M. C. (2018). Pharmacist services for non‐hospitalised patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013102.