Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

 Juan Carlos Bazo Alvarez

Juan Carlos Bazo Alverez - University College London

Project Title: Health inequalities in People with seveRe mental Illnesses: Impact of antipsychOtic tReatments and social Inequalities on long Term phYsical health (PRIORITY)

Brief Summary: People with severe mental illness (SMI), such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, are at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and strokes. As a result, they, on average, die 10-15 years younger than people who do not have these conditions. They are often prescribed antipsychotics for many years to help manage their condition. These drugs can increase body weight and alter blood pressure and cholesterol levels when taken for long periods. This, in turn, might partly explain why they are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and strokes. The study aims to examine the long-term effect of antipsychotics on physical health in people-with-SMI and how this might depend on the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity and level of deprivation.

Start / end dates: April 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Bethany Bareham

Beth Bareham Newcastle University

Project Title: Understanding co-occurring alcohol and mental health problems amongst older people, and developing holistic, age-tailored and integrated approaches in local primary care and community alcohol and mental health services.

Brief Summary:  I aim to understand how we can support older people (aged 55+) with co-existing and mental health problems within community alcohol and mental health services. To do this, we need to understand the support needs of this patient group and consider how these can be met within services. Most older people using alcohol at harmful levels have mental health problems; where common stresses in old age such as retirement, widowhood, and ill health can trigger anxiety and depression, and drinking to cope. Stresses experienced by older people during COVID-19 have driven further increases in alcohol and mental health problems. Tailored support to meet the specific needs of older people with co-existing alcohol and mental health problems is needed, as these patients currently fall between primary care, alcohol, and mental health services, which are ill-equipped to meet their complex support needs.  

Start / end dates: January 2022 - June 2024

Contact email:

Rhiannon Barker

Rhiannon Barker London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 

Project Title: Exploring the links between mental health, school exclusion and gang culture from the perspective of young people.

Brief Summary: Children and young people who suffer from poor mental health are at higher risk both of being excluded from schools and of being recruited by gangs. Gangs can have long-term negative impacts both on those directly involved and for people in the wider community. This research privileges the perspectives of young gang involved people and will use a variety of methods to explore the connections between school experience, mental health and the membership of violent gangs. 

Start / end dates: March 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook Imperial College London

Project Title: Investigating health inequalities in people with alcohol use disorders and type 2 diabetes 

Brief Summary: Alcohol use disorders are mental health conditions related to alcohol. This umbrella term includes both alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use. Type 2 diabetes is a common chronic condition where appropriate management and treatment is crucial for health outcomes. People with alcohol use disorders have approximately 5 times increased risk of mortality due to diabetes compared to the general population.  

It is important to understand if people with both alcohol use disorder and type 2 diabetes have 1) different health outcomes and 2) experience different treatment and management to people who do not have alcohol use disorder in order to understand if interventions are needed to target health inequalities for people living with alcohol use disorder and type 2 diabetes. 

The aim of this project is to identify whether people with alcohol use disorder and type 2 diabetes have differential health outcomes and treatment/management to people with type 2 diabetes who do not have alcohol use disorder. 

Start / end dates: October 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Greg Hartwell

Greg Hartwell London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) 

Project Title: Exploring the commercial determinants of children and young people’s mental health: a qualitative study into the intersecting impacts of vaping and TikTok.

Brief Summary: Sharp rises in rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm have been seen amongst UK teens in recent years. Corporate influences on health, also known as ‘commercial determinants of health’ (CDoH) are key drivers of adult poor mental health and associated inequalities, but have been studied far less in the context of children and young people’s (CYP’s) mental health. Two CDoH areas with potential for considerable mental health harms on CYP specifically are the vaping industry and the social media industry. TikTok’s particularly explosive rise (over 1 billion global monthly users) has been driven by huge popularity with CYP but has received a paucity of research to date. The site’s proliferation of positively-framed videos about e-cigarettes, often fronted by influencers with particular appeal for CYP, means the intersection of these two industries is creating growing concerns for schools and local authorities. This fellowship therefore aims to examine how CYP experience the impacts of the ‘commercial determinants of health’ on their mental health, using the intersection of the vaping and social media industries as a highly topical case study.  

Start / end dates: December 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Alexander Hodkinson

Alexander Hodkinson - University of Manchester

Project Title: Quality and safety processes of care for underserved young people with mental ill health and effectiveness of youth suicide prevention programmes in primary care and community settings.

Brief summary: Health inequalities have amplified as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in adolescent mental health services within underserved regions of the country. The quality of health and care services that young people with mental health issues received in primary and community care after their hospital discharge is not known. Also the quality of existing research is not strong enough for policy makers to recommend suicide or self-harm prevention programmes in primary care, schools and the community.  

The focus of my fellowship will be on understanding how to; a) provide high quality safe care to children and adolescents with mental health difficulties when transitioning from secondary care to primary care/social care before and during the Covid-19 pandemic; b) design better youth preventative interventions for suicide and self-harm in primary care and community settings (e.g. education).

Start / end dates: November 2021 - March 2024

Contact email:

Holly Hope

Holly Hope - University of Manchester

Project Title: Using big data to optimise preconception health among women with mental illness.

Brief Summary: This research aims to use routinely collected health data to model the clinical and cost consequence of supporting women with mental health problems to improve their pre-conception health.  Exploiting the power contained within large healthcare datasets, I shall evidence the relative benefit of generic versus tailored and whole population versus targeted approaches. 

Start / end dates: January 2023 - March 2024

Contact email:

Celia Hulme

Celia Hulme - University of Manchester

Project Title: Social Prescribing for Culturally Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) Users.

Brief Summary: Social prescribing (SP) supports health and wellbeing in a non-medical way. It allows primary and social care professionals to refer people to non-clinical activities, social groups, learning opportunities and services that are provided in the community. 

Research has shown that people from ethnic/cultural minority groups do not always benefit from SP because of barriers accessing opportunities that meet their cultural/language needs. Activities and social opportunities within cultural linguistic communities are not well linked to social prescribing. Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users are one such group. There is no evidence that SP is used with Deaf signers despite the high rates of poor mental health amongst Deaf people. The social, health and learning benefits of the Deaf community activities are not integrated with SP frameworks meaning Deaf people miss out. 

Link to YouTube Video Introduction

Start / end dates: August 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Ruth Naughton-Doe

Ruth Naughton-Doe University of York 

Project Title: Finding solutions for perinatal loneliness in collaboration with people with lived and practitioner experience. 

Brief summary: This research will find solutions for the related problems of loneliness and mental illness experienced by parents whilst pregnant and the first year after having a baby (the perinatal period). The idea for the research came from my own experience of loneliness and postnatal depression. 

Parents are at increased risk for loneliness, especially in the first-year post birth, and the negative impacts of both loneliness and mental illness can have lasting consequences for parents and their children. Parents who most need support might not be able to find it through not knowing where to look, or not being able to afford the options available. Support should be tailored to a parents’ unique situation, including support for fathers, parents of disabled children, adoptive parents, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) parents, parents from ethnic minorities, parents with disabilities or long-term health conditions, and parents with fewer financial resources. Parents who have felt lonely, and practitioners who have worked with those parents, hold vital knowledge to find solutions for perinatal loneliness.  

Start / end dates: November 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Roberta Piroddi

Roberta Piroddi - University of Liverpool

Project Title: LINKed data tools to inform action against Suicide and self-harm (LINKS).

Brief Summary: Every year 700,000 people lose their life to suicide all around the world, making it a major public health challenge affecting every country 

In the UK, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50, while it is estimated that 17% of women will self-harm at some stage in their life. It is also estimated that the economic cost of suicide is £6.5B a year. Suicide and self-harm prevention are thus a national priority. 

Suicide and self-harm are preventable, and if there were ways of finding out with more precision who would be more vulnerable to harm themselves, it would be possible to help these people, their families, friends, and communities better. But so far attempts to devise ways to identify people who would need more support have been unsuccessful. Healthcare services also design interventions to prevent suicide, but there is not enough information to ascertain whether they are useful and are reaching those who need it most. 

Start / end dates: December 2021 - March 2024

Contact email:

Ruth Plackett

Ruth Plackett - University College London

Project Title: The benefits and harms of social media use for young adults with common mental health disorders presenting to primary care.

Brief Summary: An estimated 91% of 16-24-year-olds use social media. Evidence suggests social media can have harmful effects on young adults’ mental health but there are potential benefits including prompting help-seeking. Young adults often do not seek help for common mental health problems. However, when they do, they often present to primary care. Further research is needed to explore how social 

media can guide people to seek mental health services and how to support primary care clinicians with young adults’ concerns about social media use and mental health. 

Start / end dates: March 2022 - March 2024

Contact email:

Anna Price

Anna Price - University of Exeter

Project Title: Managing young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in primary care (MAP) study: mapping current practice and co-producing guidance on pathways to improve healthcare for an underserved population.

Brief Summary: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorder. It affects around 5% of children and adolescents, and up to 40% continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. Primary care practitioners (e.g., general practitioners (GPs), nurses, link workers, clinical pharmacists) play an important role in the healthcare of young people with ADHD, particularly due to long waiting times in adult mental health services, and patchy provision of specialist services. However, many practitioners feel unsure about how to support young people at this vulnerable stage in their lives. They report concerns about prescribing ADHD medication and a desire for more guidance. Currently, little is known about how young people with ADHD are supported in primary care, the strengths and weakness of existing care pathways, and how care can be improved.  

Start / end dates: December 2021 - March 2024

Contact email:

Maureen Seguin

Maureen Seguin - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Project Title: Impact of access to housing on mental health and coping amongst Ukrainian refugees in the UK.

Brief Summary: 

In March 2022, the UK launched the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, which allows Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK and live with UK families for at least 6 months. Though this scheme provides short-term housing, it does not solve the issue of longer-term housing for these (mainly female) refugees. As the war shows no signs of slowing down, it is unlikely that Ukrainian refugees will return to Ukraine soon. From September 2022 onwards, these refugees will need to move to new housing arrangements.  

Ukrainian refugees are eligible for housing support from local councils and are legally able to rent in the private rental sector. However, there are problems with these options. The language barrier makes it difficult to navigate council bureaucracy, making it difficult for refugees to understand what council housing is available. Because of the pervasive shortage of council flats, to avoid homelessness they will likely be placed in hostels or hotel rooms without cooking facilities or sufficient space for children. As many face barriers finding jobs due to the language barrier and lack of recognition of professional credentials, affording rent in the private sector is challenging. Many will rely on universal credit, making them undesirable renters to landlords. Other barriers such as large deposits and a lack of UK work history makes renting difficult. 

Start / end dates: January 2023 - March 2024

Contact email:

Sarah Steeg

Sarah Steeg - University of Manchester

Project Title: Primary and social care service utilisation and needs among people who have harmed themselves.

Brief Summary: Self-harm is a common reason for people seeking help from their general practitioner (GP). Yet there is little understanding of the needs and follow-up care of people seeing their GP for self-harm. In addition, most research on managing patients who have harmed themselves does not specifically consider people’s social care needs. Understanding the health and social care support needed by different groups of people who have harmed themselves, and who gets that support, is important for making access to services more equal.    

In this research I will use information from anonymised health records in Greater Manchester, a region with particularly high levels of mental illness but low levels of research taking place. People’s health and social care needs and their likelihood of being referred to a range of services after seeking support for self-harm will be examined. Findings will be explored by ethnicity, age groups, gender, whether or not other health conditions are present and level of social deprivation. This will help uncover specific health and social care needs of these groups. It will also help us understand unequal access to health and social care services in different groups. People with experience of self-harm, and carers, will be involved in designing the study and making sense of and sharing the findings of this research.   

Start / end dates: January 2022 - September 2024

Contact email:

Laura Warbrick

Laura Warbrick - University of Exeter

Project Title: Development and evaluation of brief GP and IAPT clinician training to improve the care of patients with underlying personality difficulties. 

Brief summary: Some people who have lived through adverse early life experiences go on to have difficulties managing their relationshipstheir emotions and/or their sense of self as adults. These difficulties are sometimes referred to as personality difficulties and sometimes are diagnosed as ‘personality disorder’. People with these problems often have other mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety or self-harm. They may seek help from their GP practice and others try to access help from ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services’. 

IAPT therapists are not routinely trained to help individuals experiencing the complex emotional needs associated with personality difficulties. This can mean that an individual is seen as being “too complex” for IAPT services, yet at the same time “not ill enough” to need help from secondary mental health services. When this happens, the person must look for other sources of support and treatment, often with the help of their GP. However, GPs are not trained to help people with personality difficulties, even though other research has shown that individuals with these difficulties frequently attend primary care services and are costly for the health service to manage. 

This research will evaluate a new training programme designed to improve IAPT therapists’ management of depression and anxiety among people with personality difficulties, and develop a training programme aimed to support GPs to work with individuals with these difficulties more effectively 

Start / end dates: November 2021 - March 2024

Contact email:

Sarah Wigham

Sarah Wigham Newcastle University 

Project Title: DevelOPing a primary care traumA screening tooL and a practitioner/staff training resource on trauma among people with learning disabilities. OPAL Study. 

Brief summary: 

This research aims to work with key stakeholders (people with learning disabilities, relatives, practitioners and community service providers) to:  

1.  Develop a screening questionnaire to identify people with learning disabilities affected by trauma for use in primary care.   

2. Gather data to inform future development of an online trauma training resource for providers of community support/services for people with learning disabilities.   

3. Identify how the trauma screening questionnaire and training can be adopted by regional health/social care pathways for people with learning disabilities.  

Start / end dates: January 2023 - March 2024

Contact email:

Ge Yu

Ge Yu - Newcastle University

Project Title: Emerging eviDence on the impact of COVID-19 on mental hEalth sErvices and health inequalities in highly dePrived communities (DEEP).

Brief summary: It is likely that the pandemic will be responsible for increased demand for mental health services. However, it also provides an opportunity to rethink conventional approaches to mental health services planning to meet these needs for underserved population.   

This project aims to find out what changes in mental health service and their impact on health and wellbeing for patients living in areas of high deprivation. I want to find out which changes worked well and those not so well for people living deprived communities. I will also provide recommendations for practice on how mental health service should be provided post pandemic and what would be a minimum acceptable service for times of future emergency or lockdown. 

Start / end dates: November 2021 - March 2024

Contact email: