Children and Young People's Mental Health


Dr Christina Carlisi awarded Prudence Trust Fellowship in CYP MH in September 2022

Read the below interview with Dr Christina Carlisi on her success story.

Carlisi headshot
Can you tell us a few words on why this fellowship has been awarded to you?

This fellowship will support me as an early career researcher aiming to establish my own independent research group. The award will be instrumental in allowing me to achieve my research goal of understanding risk factors for the development of mental health problems in young people, and how we can better predict who will respond to given treatments, so that we can use this information to help us target interventions in the future.

What are the aims and methods of the project that you will lead thanks to this fellowship?

The key aim of the project funded by this award is to examine the neurocognitive (i.e., brain and behavioural) predictors of treatment response to school-based psychological interventions for adolescent anxiety and depression. We will use computer games delivered via smartphone app, as well as brain scanners whilst young people watch movies, to understand whether the mechanisms supporting how we understand emotional information can tell us something about how well an individual might respond to psychological therapy.

Carlisi PT fellowship
(A) Overview. Most mental health problems develop in adolescence, coinciding with increased social and emotional challenges. Many of these problems persist into adulthood, and treatment does not work for everyone; we do not understand the mechanisms of symptom emergence or improvement. (B) Project. This project investigates links between emotion processing during adolescence and the onset and persistence of mental ill health. By studying the cognitive mechanisms related to how adolescents process social and emotional information, this work will explore variation in emotion processing and how it maps on to symptoms of anxiety and depression and may predict outcomes of school-based psychological interventions.


What will be the main contribution of this project to this line of research?

The knowledge gained from this research has the potential to transform the way we identify and treat common mental health problems in adolescence. By using objective markers to predict treatment outcomes, we can better understand which treatments work for whom, and why, providing the translational potential to use this information to better target treatments to the individual, or even develop new treatments in the future.

What does this fellowship mean for you and your career progression? 

This fellowship is key in supporting my transition to independence and progression as an early career researcher. It will provide me with the resources, flexibility and independence necessary to fully focus on my research and establish my own research group, something that would not otherwise be possible with a different position.