UCL Institute of Mental Health


Mental Health Awareness Week

UCL is a powerhouse of mental health research and education. We work across boundaries, combining our expertise in subjects like neuroscience, psychiatry and big data to better understand and treat mental health disorders. Find out how our pioneering research and education is transforming lives.

Spotlight on 'Anxiety'

Oliver Robinson

Professor Oliver Robinson and the Anxiety Lab

Oliver Robinson is a Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. This year marks his 10th year at UCL, and he’s never been more excited about the work his team are conducting at The Anxiety Lab.

Dr Gemma Lewis

Meet Dr Gemma Lewis

Dr Gemma Lewis is a psychiatric epidemiologist, whose research focuses on the causes, treatment and prevention of depression and anxiety. 

Princess of Wales and Peter Fonagy

Princess of Wales and UCL academics take part in roundtable on childhood mental health

Professors Peter Fonagy and Eamon McCrory took part in roundtable discussions with the Princess of Wales to mark Mental Health Awareness Week at a special event organised by the charity Anna Freud.

Multidisciplinary thinking and collaboration

Our ethos of multidisciplinary thinking and collaboration means that staff from across UCL are engaged in a ‘super-field’ of mental health research and education. The UCL Institute of Mental Health integrates our vast mental health strengths, meaning we work beyond traditional boundaries to adopt a unique holistic approach to the global challenge of mental health. Our focus on biological, genetic, psychological and social factors allows us to address mental health from all disciplinary angles.

Dr Rick Adams

Meet Dr Rick Adams

Dr Rick Adams works across computer science and psychiatry, and discusses how he uses computational methods to investigate the complex workings of the mind.

Professor Ilan Kelman

Meet Professor Ilan Kelman

Professor Ilan Kelman investigates how climate change affects our mental health, working across both the UCL Institute for Global Health and the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction.

Dr Rochelle Burgess

Meet Dr Rochelle Burgess

Dr Rochelle Burgess, who leads research projects on a variety of topics linked to mental health in contexts of adversity, discusses how this research is improving the health of the public.

Our 'lifespan' approach to mental health

We address the full spectrum of lifelong mental health from childhood to old age. UCL is developing pioneering approaches to diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, from developmental disorders to mental health in older people and dementia. As a powerful interdisciplinary research community capable of tackling issues of scale and complexity at pace, we have a unique role to play in helping to turn the tide on this global crisis that impacts every stage of human life.

Professor Essi Viding

Meet Professor Essi Viding

Professor Essi Viding is a developmental psychologist with training in cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetic approaches to mental health research.

Professor Gill Livingston

Meet Professor Gill Livingston

Professor Gill Livingston is a professor in psychiatry of older people, investigating mental health difficulties in older adults and the effect on their families.

Prof Roz Shafran

Meet Professor Roz Shafran

Professor Roz Shafran is a clinical psychologist and professor of translational psychology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Big data

We apply cutting-edge computational modelling and epidemiological approaches to provide a broad longitudinal approach to mental health. UCL has unrivalled access to NHS clinical databases and national population health research cohorts, which gives depth and context to our work. It also helps us understand the impact of mental health on social, economic and health outcomes across generations rather than looking at clinical data in isolation.

Dr Joseph Hayes

Meet Dr Joseph Hayes

Dr Joseph Hayes focuses on the use of large electronic health record, register and ecological momentary assessment data to understand the aetiology, treatment and prognosis of mental illness.

Childhood adversity

Subjective experience of childhood adversity linked to mental health problems

A new meta-analysis by researchers within the UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences shows that personal accounts of childhood adversity show a stronger association with mental health problems than objective records of these experiences.

UCL mental health

Generational inequalities in mental health accelerated during Covid-19 pandemic

Core symptoms of anxiety and depression were more common among younger generations compared to older age groups during the COVID-19 outbreak - with the gap between young and old widening further during the pandemic, according to a new study by UCL and King’s College London. 

Delivering better outcomes for all

UCL is committed to actively engaging with people with lived experiences of mental health conditions in our research. We have a strong heritage of primary and social care participation to ensure a contemporary, co-production approach. We are world leaders in excellence in clinical practice - many of researchers also hold dual roles as clinicians working on the front line of the NHS, ensuring our research and education have patient outcomes at their heart.

Professor Jess Deighton

Meet Professor Jessica Deighton

Professor Jessica Deighton investigates the relationship between social, emotional and educational outcomes for children and the effectiveness of interventions to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing in school and health-based settings.

young woman in bedroom on phone

Eliminating sexual violence could reduce teenage mental ill health

The prevalence of serious mental health problems among 17-year-olds could drop by as much as 16.8% for girls and 8.4% for boys if they had not experienced sexual assault and harassment, according to estimates from UCL researchers.

young writer

Young people showed resilience and adaptive coping strategies emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic

While challenging Black and mixed ethnic young people’s mental health, pandemic experiences helped develop positive responses to adversity, reports new research by BSc alumna from IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society.

Training the next generation

UCL is the national leader in training mental health professionals. We offer an unrivalled breadth of mental health Master’s programmes based in London. These are led by renowned experts, government advisers and NHS clinicians and ensure we build capacity for mental health research and treatment in the future.

Ava Mason

VIDEO | My experience as a PhD student in mental health

Ava Mason is a PhD student in the Division of Psychiatry, interested in understanding the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying trauma and psychosis. 

Jack Krull

Q&A with Jack Krull

Jack is an American student on the Psychology with Education BSc, class of 2019. He talks about mental health and discovering a love for psychology.

Dr Vanessa Putz

Meet Dr Vanessa Putz

Dr Vanessa Putz is Programme Co-Director of the UCL Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychology and Neuroscience in Practice.

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