Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

SASH Online Survey Launched Today

The SASH Research Project online survey is now available.

The survey enables anyone aged 14-16, who has direct experience of self-harm, drug or alcohol use to get involved in the study without having to take part in a face to face interview.

The survey is open to anyone aged 14-16 who is living in the UK and has ever self-harmed, used drugs or alcohol.

The survey asks you to write about your thoughts and ideas about self-harm, drug and alcohol use. You can write about your experiences, or those of other people. All of the questions are optional so you don’t have to write about anything you don’t want to.

Just click on the picture to get to the survey.

The survey is completely anonymous.

As an added bonus, everyone who takes part can opt in to a prize draw to win one of two £20 Amazon gift vouchers. The draw will take place in May 2014.

New research poster

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Recruiting
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New research poster

Visited Crew 2000 to deliver posters today. If you are in Edinburgh and would like to put a poster up to let young people know about the research – let me know, I can visit you with some copies.

The SASH research project is branching out! To give more people chance to get involved, I’m going to be visiting schools over the next few months to hold some more discussion groups.

As well as this, I’m developing an online survey, so that young people who have self-harmed, or used drugs or alcohol, can get involved more easily. I’ll post an update once the survey is up and running, will be testing it out over the next few weeks.

Alongside this, I am still holding one-to-one interviews, as well as group discussions in non-school settings.

Very exciting, and lots to do!

Here is a bit of info about what doing a group discussion for the SASH research project will involve:

Groups will be 3-5 people who know each other. Your group can meet anywhere that is convenient for you and your friends. This might be at a community centre you know, a room at the University of Edinburgh or somewhere else you are comfortable talking. If you need to take a bus to get there, you will get a bus pass for the journey.

As well as me (Amy, the researcher) there might also be a youth worker you know at the group too.

There will be (nice) things to eat and drink.

Talking will happen at group discussions. Though probably not outside ;-)

Talking will happen at group discussions. Though probably not outside 😉

The group will last about an hour, maybe a little longer. It is up to you and your friends how long it lasts, and if you want to stop a discussion early, that is absolutely fine.

The discussion will be recorded using a digital recorder. This is so that I can listen to what you are saying, and remember what you say later!

Although I’m really interested in what you have to say about drugs, alcohol and self-harm, how you talk about these things will be decided by the group at the start. You can choose different activities to help get you talking, here are a few of the options:

  • Finish the sentence activity
  • Statement cards
  • Drawing people
  • Mind maps
  • Just talking!

The discussion will not be about personal experiences of self-harm, drugs or alcohol. You might have some experience of these things though, and at the start of the group we will set some ground rules about how we will handle this.

At the end of the discussion you can ask me any questions you have, and I will ask you what you thought of the discussion. You will get a card with contact details on it, and if you want you can ask to be emailed with updates about the project.

After the discussion, the recording will be written up. At this point, I will change everybody’s name and remove anything that might identify you. This means that when I talk about the research, no-one will know you took part, and everything you talk about will be confidential.

Think you might want to take part? Then get in touch!

Poster Available

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Recruiting
Tags: , ,

Using my (pretty limited!) design skills, I have put together a poster advertising the research project. The poster can be circulated widely and put up wherever anyone thinks it might be seen by people who may want to do an interview.

The poster is aimed at possible interviewees only: so anyone in and around Edinburgh, aged 14-16 who has:

  • Used drugs or alcohol
  • Self-harmed (usually this means things like cutting or burning yourself, or maybe taking too many tablets, but self-harm can mean different things to different people)
  • Self-harmed AND used drugs/alcohol

Between now and the end of the year I’m hoping to do interviews with 20 people. So, if you think you fit the bill, or know someone who does – get in touch!

Poster image

As any social researcher will confirm, one of the most time consuming tasks can be finding people to take part in a project. This is especially the case if you are trying to study a topic that can be seen as ‘sensitive’ (like self-harm maybe, or illegal drug use), or you are trying to speak with people who might be ‘hard to reach’. Most of the research I have done has involved both a difficult topic and a ‘hard to reach’ group of people.

What ‘hard to reach’ often means though is that it just takes a bit longer to ‘reach’ the people in question; or that you might have to try different things out in order to ‘reach’ people before you find one that works. When I designed the SASH project I made sure that I would have plenty time to try out different ways of finding people who might want to take part.

So far I’ve been focusing on contacting youth groups and health projects around Edinburgh, some of who are now loaded up with leaflets about the study and are letting young people know about what I’m doing, so that they can decide whether they want to take part.

I’m going to try out some other ways of letting people know about the project over the next month or so. I’ll be designing a poster that can be put up in different places (like Crew 2000), and I’ll be working on doing some more web-based advertising about the project.

Watch this space! 


The SASH research project is now recruiting young people (aged 14-16) for group discussions or one-to-one interviews. The discussions and interviews will be exploring what young people have to say about self-harm, including drug and alcohol use. I will be contacting young people through different health projects and youth groups, with the help of lots of very helpful project workers.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy meeting different people across Edinburgh to tell them about the SASH research project, so that they can tell young people who might be interested in getting involved. If you know of any groups working with young people in Edinburgh who might like to help out with recruiting, let me know!

I’ve added links to the information leaflets for workers and potential participants to a new page, find it here. Anyone who needs extra information should email me – I can also send out as many hard copies of leaflets and info sheets as needed, just get in touch.

As well as getting recruitment started up, I’ve been putting together the research advisory group. The group now has four very experienced youth workers on board. By the end of May, I hope to have added four young people to the group. Together, the advisory group will be giving me input and advice at key stages of the project, to make sure what I do and say makes sense to young people and youth workers.