Dr Susan Rasmussen

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I joined the School of Psychological Sciences and Health as a lecturer in September 2008, having previously worked as a Research Fellow at Stirling University (with Professor Rory O'Connor). I am a Chartered Psychologist (Health Psychology), and my research is in Health Psychology and Health Services Research; However, I focus primarily on suicide and self-harm. My work is characterised by an interdisciplinary focus (e.g. psychology, health services research, primary and secondary care, epidemiology) and aims to address key health issues. My main research interest lies in the application of theoretical models to enhance our understanding of the aetiology of suicidal behaviours and psychological well-being across the lifespan. I have a track record of obtaining funding for this work and most recently completed a CSO funded study to test a low-cost, theory-driven intervention to reduce suicidal behaviour. I am a Centre for Health Policy Fellow in the Centre for Health Policy at Strathclyde University. I am also an affiliate member of the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab at the University of Glasgow. My second research aim is the understanding of factors that affect behaviour during disease epidemics through experimental simulation techniques.


Has expertise in:

    • Health psychology
    • Suicide and self-harm
    • Social behaviour during infectious disease epidemics
    • Perfectionism
    • Over-general memory


Education: BA (Strathclyde), PhD (Stirling)

Professional: CPsychol (Health), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Affiliate Member of the Suicide Behaviour Laboratory at the University of Glasgow; Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, Member of the International Academy for Suicide Research.


The Integrated Motivational-Volitional Model of Suicidal Behavior among Young Adults in the United Kingdom: Does Sexual Orientation Matter?
Cramer Robert, Rasmussen Susan, McFadden Claire, Haile Caitlin, Sime Victoria, Wilson CN
annual conference of the American Psychology-Law Society (2019)
The role of cognitive appraisals in the relationship between peer-victimisation and adjustment: A longitudinal study
Noret Nathalie Florence, Hunter Simon, Rasmussen Susan
World Anti-Bullying Forum 2019 (2019)
Preferences in Information Processing and Suicide: Results from a Young Adult Health Survey in the United Kingdom.
Cramer Robert, Rasmussen Susan, Webber WB, Sime Victoria, Haile Caitlin, McFadden Claire, McManus M
The Annual Conference of the American Association of Suicidology (2019)
Examining the relationship between suicide bereavement and self-harm among adolescents in Scotland
del Carpio Laura Elina, Rasmussen Susan, Paul Sally
17th European Symposium on Suicide & Suicidal Behaviour (2018)
The relationship between peer-victimization, cognitive appraisals, and adjustment : a systematic review
Noret Nathalie, Hunter Simon C, Rasmussen Susan
Journal of School Violence Vol 17, pp. 451-471 (2018)
Insomnia and nightmares as markers of risk for suicidal ideation in young people : investigating the role of defeat and entrapment
Russell Kirsten, Rasmussen Susan, Hunter Simon C
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Vol 14, pp. 775-784 (2018)

more publications


I am the 4th year tutor on the BA Psychology Programme. In addition I am the class leader for Individual Differences (C8303) which is a core 3rd year class, and Health Psychology which is a 4th year class. I also teach on the second year Social and Health Psychology module (C8202).

Research interests

My main research interest is suicide and self-harm, and I am specifically interested in theory testing. I am currently involved in a number of projects relating suicidal behaviour including examining the link between bullying and suicide in young and older people, the link between sleep and suicidal behaviours in young people, suicidal behaviours in young sexual and gender minority groups, and social norms relating to suicidal behaviours.
I am also interested in behaviours relevant to infectious diseases. I am currently investigating whether we can use computer simulations to understand social behaviour during disease epidemics, and the utility of visual and olfactory cues in increasing hand washing in a hospital setting.
I supervise a number of final year undergraduate psychology students and MSc students. I also supervise a number of PhD students:
2016-2019: Laura del Carpio (with Sally Paul)
2015-2018: Zena Marwan (with Dr Simon Hunter)
2014-2017: Kirsten Russell (with Dr Simon Hunter)
2014-2017: Michelle Patrick (with Dr Marc Obonsawin)
2013-2019: Nathalie Noret (part-time; With Dr Simon Hunter)
2011-2014: Jody Quigley (With Dr John McAlaney, University of Bournemouth; completed)
2010-2013: Tiffany Hamilton-Barclay (With Dr Diane Dixon)
2009-2015: Christine McMonagle (part-time; With Dr Mark Elliott)
Research Grants
2016-2019: Wellcome Trust: Examining the impact of suicide on adolescent survivors. del Carpio, Rasmussen (PI), Paul. Value: £82,380
2013 Bridging the Gap: Strathclyde Solutions Exchange. Ferguson, Hamilton, Rasmussen (CI), Whitfield. Value: £9065
2012-2013 Researcher Development Fund (Strathclyde): Rasmussen (PI), Duncan: Suicide and the media: does a gap exist between the suicide characteristics of the population and the characteristics reported in the media? Value:  £9,371 
2012-2013 Scottish Crucible Award: Hands on hygiene: Increasing hand washing in healthcare. Mackay, Rasmussen (CI), Roberts, Saxton, Blake, Williams. Value: £1,363.40
2012-2013 Scottish Crucible Award: Gaming for sustainable behavioural change. Kruijsen, Bridle, Cloy, Monsen, Rasmussen (CI), Rieser. Value: £4,954
2012-2013 Scottish Crucible Award: Barker, Moncur, Rasmussen (CI), White. Tweeting the Blues: Identifying Symptoms of Depression in Young Adults Through Twitter Feeds. Value: £3732.
2012-2013 Bridging the Gap: Developing an n-of-1 protocol for time series analysis. Dixon, Grealy, Rasmussen (CI). Value: £9545
2011 ESRC. Tackling Self-harm Myths. Rasmussen (PI) Value: £2,000.
2011 University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde Solutions Exchange. Ferguson, Hamilton, Rasmussen (CI), Whitfield, Webb. Value: £7,500.
2010-2012 Chief Scientist Office. A brief pre-trial pilot study of a postcard intervention to reduce self-harm. Rasmussen (PI), Mackie, Gotz, & O’Connor. Value: £48,522. 
2010 South West Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership: The mental health and well-being needs of young people in the south west of Glasgow. Rasmussen (PI).  Value: £15,000. 
2008-2010 Northern Ireland Government. Lifestyle and Coping Survey in Northern Ireland (O’Connor (PI), Rasmussen, Hawton, & Conachy).  Value: £77,652. 
2006-2008 NHS Scotland, West of Scotland Research Consortium. Understanding parasuicide from the suicidal person’s perspective and a test of a psychological model (O’Connor (PI), Rasmussen, & Bradley). Value: £24,992. 
2005-2006 Choose Life/Stirling Council. A survey of young people's experiences, beliefs and well-being in Stirling (O’Connor & Rasmussen). Value: £7,676. 
2001-2005 ESRC PhD Studentship (open competition). Understanding Psychological Distress and Suicidality: The Predictive Utility of Perfectionism and Autobiographical Memory.

Professional activities

The consortium of European research on emotion
Does perceived social support moderate the relationship between peer-victimisation and adjustment?
Understanding and preventing suicide: A psychological perspective
Defeat and entrapment: How can psychology add to our understanding of suicide and self-harm?
European Symposium on suicide and suicidal behaviour
University of Stirling (External organisation)

more professional activities


Examining the Impact of Suicide on Adolescent Survivors (Student - Laura del Carpio)
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator) Paul, Sally (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2019
ESRC Festival of Science: Adolescent Self-Harm Myths
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
29-Jan-2011 - 05-Jan-2011
A brief pre-trial intervention pilot study of a postcard intervention to reduce repetition of hospital treated self harm
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2011 - 30-Jan-2012
Study into the Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs of Young People in the South West CHCP Area
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2010 - 30-Jan-2010
Lifestyle and coping survey in Northern Ireland
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2008 - 31-Jan-2009

more projects