UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Dr Jean-Baptiste Pingault Awarded MQ Transforming Mental Health Fellowship

24 November 2016

Dr Jean-Baptiste Pingault, lecturer in the department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, has been awarded an ‘MQ Transforming Mental Health’ Fellowship for his three year project on peer victimisation and mental health. The project is investigating whether improving our understanding of mental health and bullying can lead to more targeted and effective support for young people.

"I was over the moon with the news and delighted to be able to contribute to MQ's amazing work in the field of mental health," said Dr Pingault.

‘Working across a range of scientific disciplines, our Fellows will be taking new approaches to address major challenges in mental health. From developing more effective, personalised treatments through to better integrating mental and physical healthcare, their work has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people worldwide,Cynthia Joyce, Chief Executive of MQ, commented.

More than one in five young people in the UK say they’ve recently been bullied, with cyberbullying in particular on the rise. Many young people who are bullied experience serious mental health problems, including self-harm. However there is currently very little knowledge of whether bullying directly causes these problems, or whether other factors – like genetic influences or home life – are more likely to explain the relationship.

The research will examine information from three UK data sets. These major studies focus on children and parents, and include comprehensive information on mental health, bullying and the factors that can put people at risk of being bullied.

Using innovative statistical techniques, Dr Pingault will explore the consequence of being bullied on the risk of developing various mental illnesses from childhood to early adulthood. He will also search for other risk factors – studying everything from physical health to education to economic background.

Through this analysis, he will build an evidence base that could transform our understanding of the links between bullying and mental health – as well as expanding what we know about the factors that put young people at greater risk from bullying.

Dr Pingault is among four MQ fellows from the fourth year of the awards, which supports the next generation of research leaders across scientific disciplines and countries. Each Fellow will receive £225,000 of funding for their three-year projects.

Images: (top) Dr Jean-Baptiste Pingault; (bottom) MQ logo - used with kind permission from MQ.