Dr Alexandra Pitman

Dr Alexandra Pitman


Division of Psychiatry
Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Rd


  • Associate Professor
    Division of Psychiatry
    Faculty of Brain Sciences
  • Honorary Research Associate
    Division of Psychiatry
    Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL


Research Themes

I am interested in understanding risk factors for suicide attempt and in developing interventions to address them. I am currently working on the following areas:

suicide means restriction

suicide attempt risk in vulnerable groups (people bereaved by suicide; people with cancer; LGBT youth; migrants; construction workers; people who identify as lonely)

acceptable means of asking patients about suicidal thoughts 

My PhD at UCL was funded by a MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship, and involved conducting a national survey to investigate the impact of sudden bereavement on the mental health and social functioning of young adults. One of the key findings of this project was the increased risk of suicide attempt associated with suicide bereavement. Further work on this project was funded by a MRC Centenary Early Career Award and a Guarantors of Brain post-doctoral fellowship. Findings of this study to date are summarised here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/bereavementstudy/study-findings

I am currently funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to investigate mediators of suicide risk after suicide bereavement. 

I co-lead, with Professor Sonia Johnson, the UKRI-funded Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health network. The work of this network is summarised here: 


Award year Qualification Institution
2007 MRCPsych
Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Psychiatrists
2003 MBBS
Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery
University College London/Imperial College
1998 MSc
Master of Science
Health Policy
London School of Economics and Political Science
1995 BA
Bachelor of Arts
Human Sciences
University of Oxford

Alexandra is an Associate Professor in the UCL Division of Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust. She gained her undergraduate degree in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford, her MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, and her undergraduate medical degree at Imperial College. She completed her core training in psychiatry on the West London rotation, and her higher training in General Adult Psychiatry as a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow on the North London/UCL rotation. Her PhD at UCL was funded by the Medical Research Council, and was followed by a MRC Centenary Early Career Award and a Guarantors of Brain post-doctoral fellowship.

Her clinical and research interests are the care of people who feel suicidal; the links between loneliness, social isolation and mental illness; and the prevention of suicide attempt. She and Professor Sonia Johnson (PI) co-lead the Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health research network; one of eight UKRI-funded networks designed to broaden mental health research. 



self-harm|*|stigma|*|sudden bereavement|*|suicide attempt|*|suicide prevention|*|suicide risk factors