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Dr. Sadhbh Byrne
Research Fellow, Psychology


Dr. Sadhbh Byrne is Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the REFUGE-ED project, based at Trinity Centre for Global Health. REFUGE-ED is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, and seeks to identify, implement, and evaluate existing evidence-based practices that promote the inclusion, mental health, sense of belonging, and academic achievement of children and young people who are refugees, asylum seekers, or separated minors. Specifically, the project is interested in practices that can be implemented in (formal, non-formal and informal) educational settings. The project will involve co-design with children, families, teachers, practitioners, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders.

Sadhbh received a BA (Hons) in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Statistics from TCD. Prior to her current position, she worked with Associate Prof. Jo Robinson on the youth suicide prevention research team at Orygen/the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia. At Orygen, Sadhbh primarily worked on the Multimodal Approach to Preventing Suicide in Schools (MAPSS) study. This large-scale project is ongoing, and involves educating approximately 4,000 students in secondary schools across north and west Melbourne about how to identify suicide risk in themselves and their friends, screening students to identify suicide risk, and delivering treatment to those young people identified as being at risk.

Sadhbh completed her PhD at TCD under the supervision of Assistant Prof. Lorraine Swords and Associate Prof. Elizabeth Nixon, supported by a competitive scholarship from the Irish Research Council. Her PhD research explored the role that parents and peers play in identifying early signs and symptoms of adolescent depression, and supporting young people in distress.

Her research interests centre on youth mental health. She has a keen interest in participatory and co-design approaches to research, and the importance of engaging a young person's family and friends in supporting their mental health (the 'social scaffold').

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Sadhbh J. Byrne, India Bellairs-Walsh, Simon M. Rice, Sarah Bendall, Michelle Lamblin, Emily Boubis, Brianna McGregor, Meghan O'Keefe, and Jo Robinson, A qualitative account of young people's experiences seeking care from emergency departments for self-harm, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

India Bellairs-Walsh and Yael Perry and Karolina Krysinska and Sadhbh J. Byrne and Alexandra Boland and Maria Michail and Michelle Lamblin and Kerry L. Gibson and Ashleigh Lin and Tina Yutong Li and Sarah Hetrick and Jo Robinson, Best practice when working with suicidal behaviour and self-harm in primary care: a qualitative exploration of young people"s perspectives, BMJ Open, 10, (10), 2020, pe038855 Journal Article, 2020

India Bellairs-Walsh, Yael Perry, Karolina Krysinska, Sadhbh J. Byrne, Alexandra Boland, Maria Michail, Michelle Lamblin, Kerry L. Gibson, Ashleigh Lin, Tina Yutong Li, Sarah Hetrick, Jo Robinson, Best practice when working with suicidal behaviour and self-harm in primary care: a qualitative exploration of young people's perspectives, BMJ Open, 10, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI URL

Karolina Krysinska, Sophie Curtis, Michelle Lamblin, Nina Stefanac, Kerry Gibson, Sadhbh Byrne, Pinar Thorn, Simon M Rice, Alison McRoberts, Anne Ferrey, Yael Perry, Ashleigh Lin, Sarah Hetrick, Keith Hawton, Jo Robinson, Parents' Experience and Psychoeducation Needs When Supporting a Young Person Who Self-Harms, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, (10), 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Jennifer McMahon, Fenella Ryan, Mary Cannon, Gillian O'Brien, Madge O'Callaghan, Ross Flanagan, Karen O'Connor, Derek Chambers, Sadhbh Byrne, Patrick McGorry, Where next for youth mental health services in Ireland?, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 36, (3), 2019, p163 - 167 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Byrne, S., Swords, L. & Nixon, E., Mental Health Literacy and Help-Giving Responses in Irish Adolescents, Journal of Adolescent Research, 30, (4), 2015, p477 - 500 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Youth suicide: Prevalence, predictors and prevention in, editor(s)Alison R. Yung, Jack Cotter, Patrick D. McGorry , Youth Mental Health: Approaches to Emerging Mental Ill-Health in Young People, Routledge, 2020, pp195 - 223, [Jo Robinson, Georgina Cox, Sarah Hetrick, Sadhbh Byrne] Book Chapter, 2020 URL

Research Expertise


My research interests centre on child and youth mental health, particularly the role of parents, peers, and other caregivers, as well as schools as sites of intervention.


  • Title
    • REFUGE-ED: Effective practices in education, mental health and psychosocial support for the integration of refugee children
  • Summary
    • REFUGE-ED brings together a consortium of nine partners (ranging from other research institutions to NGOs) from seven European countries to develop a platform which will host and promote effective practices for the inclusion of migrant and refugee children in schools and more broadly in society. REFUGE-ED will first identify existing evidence-based practices in education and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) that have demonstrated effectiveness in increasing academic performance, wellbeing, and/or sense of belonging for children who are asylum seekers or refugees. This review will result in a 'menu' of effective practices and interventions. 'Pilot settings' will be identified across Europe, which could include: hotspots/reception identification centres, inclusive school environments, non-formal and informal social and learning environments, and institutional care across Europe. A co-creation process will be implemented with stakeholders at each pilot setting (i.e., children, families, teachers, practitioners working on the ground, policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders). The goal of this process will be to identify stakeholders' needs and priorities, jointlyselect an intervention from the 'menu' that best meets these needs, and adapt this intervention such that it is better suited to each pilot setting's context and culture. The selected interventions (or 'pilot actions') will then be implemented at each site. There will be at least 46 pilot actions taking place across six countries (Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria.) Monitoring and evaluation results will be fed back to children and other stakeholders in a user-friendly, inclusive, and accessible manner. Their feedback will then be used to identify further modifications that could be made to the selected intervention to better address the needs identified for their setting. A community of practice and learning will be established to foster communication and knowledge-sharing across all 46 pilot settings. Drawing together the knowledge generated through each pilot site, REFUGE-ED will create a novel, community-based platform, which will provide evidence-based, high-quality resources and tools tailored to the needs of specific groups involved in the inclusion of refugee children in education. Among other resources, the final co-created platform will provide freely-available tools, solutions and recommendations, including guidelines and criteria on capacity building training, solution adaptation and community engagement. This easy-to-use off-line platform will support the implementation, reuse, and scalability of the piloted actions, and of other practices identified as successful. REFUGE-ED prioritises the use of participatory approaches, whereby children and their stakeholders (parents, teachers, caretakers, social workers) are continuously involved in the project, as opposed to having any intervention conducted unto them.
  • Funding Agency
    • European Commission
  • Date From
    • 2021


ADOLESCENCE; Adolescent Self-Harm; Child and Adolescent Mental Health; child well-being; Child wellbeing; CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE; Self-harm; SUICIDE; Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour; Suicide Prevention Research; Young People and Suicide; Youth mental health


Awards and Honours

Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, Irish Research Council 2014

Úna Burke Memorial Prize for best final year thesis in child psychology 2013


International Association for Youth Mental Health

Society for Mental Health Research

Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Children's Research Network (Special Interest Group in Child and Youth Participation; Special Interest Group in Child and Youth Migration)

Emerging Minds Special Interest Research Group on Youth Mental Health and Racism

Emerging Minds Special Interest Research Group in Parent Support & Wellbeing