We are the CHERISH research team – Laura, Nina, Jay & Tina.

We are all psychology researchers based at the University of Westminster. We have been working together on projects relating to student well-being, self-harm & the experiences of individuals providing support. Through this work, we have produced the CHERISH website and hope that our site has something that is helpful to all those accessing it.

We all have different backgrounds and interests which you can read more about on our individual pages!

If you have any questions please contact us directly on our details provided.


Laura Culshaw


Hi! I’m Laura & I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Westminster.

My research so far has mainly focused on helping understand self-harm amongst University students, and the vital role of those providing support for this group.

Whilst studying part-time, I also work as an assistant psychologist in the NHS, which involves providing psychological support for individuals with mental and physical health difficulties. I really enjoy spending time in a clinical setting alongside my PhD.

I very much hope to continue with my passion for research, and I hope that the development of this website will be beneficial to those that I have had the pleasure of speaking to and interviewing during my PhD.

In my spare time, I enjoy running, watching football (Liverpool FC!) and going to the cinema.

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Nina Smyth


Hello, I’m Nina!

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and lead the Health Innovation and Wellbeing Research Community (HIWC) and the Psychophysiology and Stress Research Group at the University of Westminster.

My research focuses on the role of cortisol circadian patterns linking stress, mental/physical health, aging and longevity in healthy and clinical populations. Currently, I am interested in designing and evaluating strategies to prevent and/or reverse the negative impact of stress on health to inform public health and social care research and policy development to prevent disease and/or promote healthier lifestyles and longevity. Some of my research examines the role of physical activity, contact with nature, green exercise (i.e. physical activity in green space) in restoring cortisol circadian patterns, that are essential for healthy functioning.

I am currently working on a Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Health and Social Care project, with Bath Spa University, to co-design, implement and evaluate strategies to promote wellbeing and working conditions in Social Workers (The HOW [Healthier Outcomes at Work] Social Work Project). In my spare time, I enjoy running, cycling and painting!

Read my blog on Understanding Stress & What we can do to help.

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Jay-Marie Mackenzie


Hi! I’m Jay & I’m a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, specialising in suicide prevention research.

I am also part of the Criminal Investigative and Forensic Research (CIFR) group at the University of Westminster, where most of my work focuses on mental health. Alongside my research, I teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am also working with several PhD students on topics relating to mental health, suicide, self-harm, and rapport building. I feel particularly passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, and encouraging everyone to talk more openly about mental health struggles.

Outside of work , I would describe myself as: A Mother. Dog mum. Plant mum (although not always a very good one). Lover of books. Believer in compassion.

Read my blog on Active Listening.

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Tina Cartwright


Hello, I’m Tina!

I am a Health Psychologist and have been teaching health psychology to undergraduates, postgraduates, and healthcare professionals for many years and never lose my passion for the subject!

I am Course Leader for the MSc Health Psychology programme at the University of Westminster. My research focuses on understanding people’s experiences of living with long-term physical and mental health conditions and improving healthcare provision. Having a long-standing personal practice of meditation and yoga (since University), and experiencing the benefits for physical and mental health, my current research explores the impact of mind-body practices on health and wellbeing in educational, NHS and workplace settings.

I am also a registered yoga teacher and enjoy teaching in both the workplace and community settings.

Read my blog on Tools to manage well-being.

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