Winner is announced for the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) Essay Competition 2021

The first annual Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) Essay Competition 2021 was organised by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on behalf of the Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRe NoW) network.

The Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRe NoW) network is a collaboration between UCLan, Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Manchester, the Manchester Self-Harm Project, the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs).

Essay Competition winner

Dr Kathryn Gardner said:

"We were extremely impressed with the entries we received for this competition, from a diverse range of people. Competition entries were judged by a panel of members from the Suicide and Self-Harm Research North-West (SSHaRe NoW) network and the Zero Suicide Alliance. Several essays were strong contenders, but the winning essay by Chloe Morris was unanimously selected by judges as the essay that best captured trends in self-harm and suicide during the pandemic, whilst showing a good understanding of the issues and constructing balanced arguments to articulate potential explanations for these trends."

Chloe Morris

Chloe attended the University of Lincoln for her Undergraduate degree and obtained a first class BSc (hons) in Psychology with Forensic Psychology. Chloe continued her studies in Psychology, by securing her place on UCLan’s MSc Applied Clinical Psychology course, for which she is currently studying.

In addition to her academic studies. Chloe has been volunteering for SHOUT, the mental health crisis texting service since March 2021 and has helped over 250 texters in that time, becoming a level 6 Crisis Volunteer. Chloe is also currently a Bank Mental Health Recovery Worker at Doncaster Crisis Accommodation.

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Andrew Ireland, Elaine Darbyshire, Chloe Morris and Kathryn Gardner
Andrew Ireland, Elaine Darbyshire, Chloe Morris and Kathryn Gardner

Presentation of the award

The award was jointly presented by Elaine Darbyshire and Professor Andrew Ireland.

Elaine Darbyshire is Senior Responsible Officer at the Zero Suicide Alliance and Executive Director of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. Elaine’s role includes full responsibility for the running of the ZSA plus a Board lead at Mersey Care for the experience and involvement of the patients and families of one of the largest mental health and community trusts in the country.

Professor Andrew Ireland is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students and Teaching), providing strategic leadership across the organisation in the areas of student experience, teaching excellence, curriculum design, and student support services. Andrew also leads the University’s suicide prevention group.