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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


The relationship between peer-victimization, cognitive appraisals, and adjustment : a systematic review
Noret Nathalie, Hunter Simon C., Rasmussen Susan
Journal of School Violence, (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, (2018)
The effects of perceived social norms on handwashing behaviour in students
Dickie Rachel, Rasmussen Susan, Cain Rachel, Williams Lynn, Mackay William
Psychology, Health and Medicine, (2017)
Sleep disturbance as a risk factor for non suicidal self injury and suicidal behaviour in youth
Russell K, Rasmussen S, Hunter SC, Bernert RA, Fleming Leanne
SLEEP Vol 40, pp. A412-A413, (2017)
The social norms of suicidal and self-harming behaviours in Scottish adolescents
Quigley Jody, Rasmussen Susan, McAlaney John
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Vol 14, (2017)
Mental wellbeing as a potential protective factor for suicidal and self-harming behaviours
Russell Kirsten, Rasmussen Susan, Hunter Simon
16th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour, (2016)

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

Understanding and preventing suicide: A psychological perspective
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)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 30-Sep-2019
A brief pre-trial intervention pilot study of a postcard intervention to reduce repetition of hospital treated self harm
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2011 - 30-Apr-2012
ESRC Festival of Science: Adolescent Self-Harm Myths
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Period 29-Oct-2011 - 05-Nov-2011
Study into the Mental Health and Wellbeing Needs of Young People in the South West CHCP Area
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2010 - 30-Jun-2010
Lifestyle and coping survey in Northern Ireland
Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2008 - 31-Aug-2009

more projects