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Dr Sharon Mallon

Profile summary

Professional biography

Sharon Mallon (BSc. Ph.D) commenced her research career as an analyst working on drug trials for cancer patients. After working for the NHS for a number of years Sharon completed her primary degree in Social Policy with the Open University in 2003.

In February 2010 Sharon was awarded a PhD by UCLAN for a qualitative study of young adults' suicides from the perspective of their friends. In her thesis she concentrated on the young persons’ experiences of creating an explanation for their friend’s death and the role these explanations played in influencing their own attitudes towards suicide and mental wellbeing.

She has worked on a range of research projects focusing on suicide postvention and prevention including the RaPSS (Response and Prevention of Student suicide) study. This collaborative research project undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire, King’s College London and the suicide prevention charity PAPYRUS, was the first in-depth UK study of student suicide. She was also involved in the forthcoming Understanding Suicide report which will detail findings from an indepth study of suicide prevention and postvention in Northern Ireland.

As part of her work on this project Sharon has interviewed many family members, staff and friends of people who have taken their own life.

She has published and presented her work both nationally and internationally.



Student and teacher experiences of online synchronous learning (2023)
Mallon, Sharon; Richards, Chris and Rixon, Andy
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education ((Early access))

Practitioner perspectives on best practice in non‐treatment factors that support the delivery of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for depression (2022)
Mallon, Sharon; Walker, Kate; Bayley, Zana and Griffiths, Chris
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 29(3) (pp. 463-471)

Unpacking sensitive research: a stimulating exploration of an established concept (2021)
Mallon, Sharon; Borgstrom, Erica and Murphy, Sam
International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 24(5) (pp. 517-521)

What is ‘sensitive’ about sensitive research? The sensitive researchers’ perspective (2021)
Mallon, Sharon and Elliott, Iris
International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 24(5) (pp. 523-535)

A scoping review of the psychological and emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people. (2021)
Jones, K.; Mallon, Sharon and Schnitzler, Katy
Illness, Crisis & Loss ((Early access))

Adapting Digital Social Prescribing for Suicide Bereavement Support: The Findings of a Consultation Exercise to Explore the Acceptability of Implementing Digital Social Prescribing within an Existing Postvention Service (2019-11-18)
Galway, Karen; Forbes, Trisha; Mallon, Sharon; Santin, Olinda; Best, Paul; Neff, Jennifer; Leavey, Gerry and Pitman, Alexandra
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, Article 4561(22)

The Emotional Risks of Turning Stories into Data: An Exploration of the Experiences of Qualitative Researchers Working on Sensitive Topics (2019-09)
Mallon, Sharon and Elliott, Iris
Societies, 9, Article 62(3)

Suicide in post agreement Northern Ireland: A Study of the Role of Paramilitary Intimidation 2007-2009 (2019-04-08)
Mallon, Sharon; Galway, Karen; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet; Hughes, Lynette and Leavey, Gerry
Suicidology Online, 10, Article 3

When health services are powerless to prevent suicide: results from a linkage study of suicide among men with no service contact in the year prior to death (2019)
Mallon, Sharon; Galway, Karen; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet; Hughes, Lynette and Leavey, Gerry
Primary Health Care Research and Development, 20, Article e80

The failure of suicide prevention in primary care: family and GP perspectives - a qualitative study (2017-11-21)
Leavey, Gerard; Mallon, Sharon; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet; Galway, Karen; Rosato, Michael and Hughes, Lynette
BMC psychiatry, 17(1) (p 369)

An exploration of integrated data on the social dynamics of suicide among women (2016-05-11)
Mallon, Sharon; Galway, Karen; Rondon, Janeet and Leavey, Gerry
Sociology of Health and Illness, 38(4) (pp. 662-675)

Patterns and predictors of help-seeking contacts with health services and general practitioner detection of suicidality prior to suicide: a cohort analysis of suicides occurring over a two-year period. (2016-04-30)
Leavey, Gerard; Rosato, Michael; Galway, Karen; Hughes, Lynette; Mallon, Sharon and Rondon, Janeet
BMC Psychiatry, 16, Article 120

Substance misuse in life and death in a 2 year cohort of suicides (2016-03-01)
Galway, Karen; Gossrau-Breen, Diana; Mallon, Sharon; Hughes, Lynette; Rosato, Michael; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet and Leavey, Gerry
British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(3) (pp. 292-297)

Patterns of Presentation for Attempted Suicide: Analysis of a Cohort of Individuals Who Subsequently Died by Suicide (2015-05-23)
Mallon, Sharon; Rosato, Michael; Galway, Karen; Hughes, Lynette; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet; McConkey, Sam and Leavey, Gerard
Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviour, 45(3) (pp. 335-344)

Insights into the processes of suicide contagion: Narratives from young people bereaved by suicide (2015-03-18)
Bell, Jo; Stanley, Nicky; Mallon, Sharon and Manthorpe, Jill
Suicidology Online, 6(1) (pp. 43-52)

Creation of a death by suicide: How do bereaved young adults come to understand the death of a friend as suicide? (2015-01-12)
Mallon, Sharon and Stanley, Nicky
Crisis, 36(2) (pp. 142-147)

Cream Cakes, Hungry Cats and Hugs: Developing a Responsive Strategy to Asking Sensitive Questions and Hearing the Answers (2019-07-30)
Mallon, Sharon
In: McSweeney, Fiona and Williams, David eds. Designing and Conducting Research in Social Science, Health and Social Care (pp. 90-103)
Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Unpacking Sensitive Research: Epistemological and Methodological Implications (2022-04-14)
Borgstrom, Erica; Mallon, Sharon and Murphy, Sam eds.
ISBN : 9781032172200 / 9781003252320 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Preventing and Responding to Student Suicide (2021-11-18)
Mallon, Sharon and Smith, Jo eds.
ISBN : 1787754189 | Publisher : Jessica Kingsley | Published : London

Narratives of COVID: Loss, Dying, Death and Grief during COVID-19 (2021-09-28)
Borgstrom, Erica and Mallon, Sharon eds.
Publisher : The Open University

Suicide and Self-harm - The Challenge for Front line Staff (2018-06-21)
Jones, Kerry and Mallon, Sharon
In : Suicide & Self Harm – The Challenge for Front Line Staff (21 Jun 2018, UNISON Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)

Precarious Lives: An Exploration of the Politics of Female Death by Suicide (2018-06-09)
Mallon, Sharon
In : Centre for Death & Society (CDAS) Conference 2018: The Politics of Death (9 Jun 2018, Bath)

The role of paramilitary punishment attacks and intimidation in death by suicide in post agreement Northern Ireland (2017-06-21)
Mallon, Sharon
In : Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) (21 Jun 2017)

An exploration of the dynamics of suicide among women (2016-01-27)
Mallon, Sharon
In : Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) (27 Jan 2016, Stormont Buildings, Belfast)

Bereavement during employment in Higher Education (UK): 2023 Survey Report (2023-05-05)
Borgstrom, Erica; Harris, Claire A.; Jones, Kerry and Mallon, Sharon
The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Abortion Ban likely to worsen mental health crisis (2018-06)
Galway, Karen and Mallon, Sharon
The Conversation

Lady Gaga’s Twitter blunder and why speculating about suicide after a celebrity death is problematic (2018)
Galway, Karen and Mallon, Sharon
The Conversation

Robin Williams headlines make my work as a suicide researcher seem futile (2015-08-14)
Mallon, Sharon
The Conversation, London.

Towards an understanding of bereavement in the pathway to suicide (2015-01)
Mallon, Sharon and Galway, Karen
Northern Ireland Assembly