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Personal profile

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.

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:
Start 2018: Paterson Abigail (with Dr Mark Elliott) 
Start 2017: Sofia Pimenta (With Dr Simon Hunter)
Start 2016: Laura del Carpio (with Sally Paul)
Start 2015: Zena Marwan (with Dr Simon Hunter)
Start 2014: Kirsten Russell (with Dr Simon Hunter)
Start 2014: Michelle Patrick (with Dr Marc Obonsawin)
Start 2013: Nathalie Noret (part-time; With Dr Simon Hunter)
Start 2011: Jody Quigley (With Dr John McAlaney, University of Bournemouth)
Start 2010: Tiffany Hamilton-Barclay (With Dr Diane Dixon)
Start 2009: Christine McMonagle (part-time; With Dr Mark Elliott)
Research Grants
2019-2020: Chief Scientist Office: Psychological barriers and drivers to seasonal influenza vaccination uptake in those with chronic respiratory disease: A mixed methods study. Williams, Rasmussen (CI), Cogan & Young. Value: £190,806
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.

Academic / Professional qualifications

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.

Expertise & Capabilities

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

Teaching Interests

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).


  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Perfectionism
  • Sleep
  • Hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Defeat/entrapment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Susan Rasmussen is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2008 2020

Research Output 2000 2019

Preferences in information processing and suicide: results from a young adult health survey in the United Kingdom

Cramer, R., Rasmussen, S., Webber, W. B., Sime, V., Haile, C., McFadden, C. & McManus, M., 24 Apr 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceSpeech


The social norms of suicidal and self-harming behaviours

Author: Quigley, J., 1 Oct 2014

Supervisor: Rasmussen, S. (Supervisor) & Dixon, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2008 2018

The consortium of European research on emotion

Michelle Patrick (Participant), Susan Rasmussen (Participant), Marc Obonsawin (Participant)
4 Apr 20185 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Defeat and entrapment: How can psychology add to our understanding of suicide and self-harm?

Susan Rasmussen (Speaker)
30 Oct 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk