Ben Gregory


I am a postgraduate researcher exploring the role of locality on suicide.  Building on my sociological background, I  aim to explore how the social characteristics of local areas affect suicide risk.  Suicide research often focuses on individual level characteristics like psychological breakdown, mental illness or bereavement. Yet there is a body of quantitative evidence showing an assoication between area-level social depriation and suicide. There is a potential gap for qualitative evidence to explore the potential mechanisms and contextual factors within area-level suicde risk. I am currently starting work on my literature review, and I plan to use participatory and creative approaches in my primary research. I am supervised by Dr Cathy Brennan, who leads the Psychological and Social Medicine group, and Simon Popple, who leads the Digital Creativity and Cultures Hub.

Before starting at Leeds, I worked as a qualitative research assistant with the Health Economics and Health Technology Assesment group at the University of Glasgow. I worked with Dr Evi Germeni Incorporating Experiences and Perspectives in health technology assesment. I collaborated with colleagues on qualitative evidence synthesis, in a scoping review and a thematic synthesis. I enjoyed using ethnographic approaches in a process evaluation of the Early Vasopressors in Sepsis study. I visited 4 clinical research teams working in Emergency Departments across Scotland and England to understand staff experiences of implementing the trial and the intervention. It was interesting to utilise interpretive research approaches within the typically postivist field of clinical research.

For my Global Mental Health dissertation I explored Psychiatric Service User experiences of UK Disability Benefits and Mental Health Recovery. I conducted a thematic analysis, and found psychiatric service users are caught in a paradoxical social position between independence and dependence.  I enjoyed presenting my dissertation poster to BSA Medical Sociology Conference 2023.

Research interests

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Social perspectives on suicide
  • Sociology of Mental Health
  • Lived Experience Representation
  • User-led research


  • MSc Global Mental Health with specialism in Research Methods
  • Sociology BA