Network Events

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LSIMHRN Annual Research Webinar 2023

Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network Annual Research Webinar 2023

We were thrilled and enjoyed the Annual Research Webinar that took place on May 17 2023 during the Mental Health Awareness Week. A range of talks discussing loneliness and social isolation among people with with mental ill health and among different age groups along with a panel discussion on the future of loneliness research and intervention were presented. 

For those of you who missed it, below are the PowerPoint presentations from each presenter and a recording of Kim Samuel's talk. 

Speaker Presenting at the Event: 



Kim Samuel 

Kim is an activist, educator, and a leading voice in the global movement for belonging. She founded the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness, which works with advocates and researchers to fight social isolation and build belonging around the world. She is Visiting Research Fellow at Green Templeton college, Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and the Fulbright Canada Ambassador for diversity and social connectedness. Kim is the author of On Belonging: Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation, an exploration of the crisis of social isolation and our birthright of Belonging.  

Recording for Kim's talk



Dr Kana Grace Umagami: Trapped in a no-win situation”: exploring the unique experiences of loneliness in autistic adults 

Kana is an Honorary Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at University College London (UCL) where she completed her PhD on loneliness in autistic adults, specifically examining measurement tools and lived experiences. Prior to her PhD, she completed her Master's in Counselling at Boston College (USA), PgCert in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University (UK), and Bachelors in Science at Northeastern University (USA). Kana is autistic and ADHDer and active in research, support, and advocacy in the field of autism and neurodiversity in the UK, Japan, and worldwide.




Timothy Matthews: The developmental course of loneliness in adolescence: Implications for mental health, educational attainment, and psychosocial functioning

Dr. Matthews is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Greenwich. He completed his PhD at King’s College London in 2017, having conducted a programme of research into the experience of loneliness in adolescence and early adulthood. In 2019, he was awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship by the British Academy to continue his work in this area. Dr. Matthews’ research focuses on the emergence and development of loneliness in young people, and its impact on health and functioning. He also supervises postgraduate students conducting research on childhood social isolation and workplace loneliness.

PPT presentation for Timothy



Hanna Slack

Hannah Slack: U-Belong: Developing Concepts and Methods to Understand Loneliness, Social Connection, and Belonging in a Student Population  

Hannah is a postdoctoral quantitative research assistant at King’s College London. She is part of U-Belong, an interdisciplinary research project which aims to improve the way that we conceptualise and measure students’ social connection, loneliness, and belonging at university. Hannah is also finishing up a PhD in Psychology at the University of Nottingham where she used mathematical modelling techniques to explore age-related changes in young people’s experiences of agency. 


Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley: U-Belong: Developing Concepts and Methods to Understand Loneliness, Social Connection, and Belonging in a Student Population  

Michael is a qualitative post-doctoral Research Associate on the U-Belong project exploring concepts and methods to understand student social connection, loneliness, and belonging. Michael recently completed an ESRC-funded PhD from Durham University School of Education exploring a whole university approach to student wellbeing. Michael is Student Involvement Coordinator for the Charlie Waller Trust and an Assessor of the University Mental Health Charter award scheme.  

PPT presentation for Hannah and Michael 


Farhana Mann: Loneliness and risk of relapse in mental health crisis service users: findings from two UK cohorts 

Dr Farhana Mann is an adult psychiatrist in London and member of the LSIMHRN at the Division of Psychiatry, UCL. She will be sharing some findings from her Wellcome Clinical Research Fellowship work on loneliness in people experiencing a mental health crisis. Farhana was previously invited onto the Technical Advisory Group on Loneliness to the UK Government, and work she was involved in has directly influenced e.g. international guidance on lifestyle interventions in depression. She has won a number of awards, including for public engagement and entrepreneurship. She is co-founder of a children’s mental health start-up, and advises social impact companies.      

PPT presentation for Farhana   


Sharon Eager: Promoting social inclusion in mental health supported accommodation: developing and testing the online SInQUE 

Sharon is currently a research assistant, working in the UCL Division of Psychiatry. Sharon previously studied a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Sciences at UCL and recently has got an ESRC studentship to continue to pursue a PhD in UCL’s Division of Psychiatry on loneliness among younger people.  

PPT presentation for Sharon



Sarah Ikhtabi: The experience of Loneliness among people with Complex Emotional Needs (CEN) 

Sarah Ikhtabi is currently undertaking a Ph.D. at University College London, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Sarah's research programme focuses on exploring loneliness among people with Complex Emotional Needs using a mixed-methods. This project aims to contribute to the development of loneliness interventions and is the stepping-stone towards developing co-produced interventions tailored to the social needs of people with Complex Emotional Needs. Sarah is also the LSIMHRN coordinator. 

PPT presentation for Sarah 


Alexis O’reilly: Coping with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of farmers in an Irish border community 

I am a PhD student in the Geography Department in Maynooth University. My research is in farmers' quality of life, wellbeing and rural isolation. My research is quantitative and qualitative. For the first part of my study, I have analysised farmers wellbeing and mental health sores in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, comparing outcomes to other workers in rural regions before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The second component of my study has involved conducting semi-structured interviews with 28 farmers and key stakeholders seeking to understand the stresses inherent in farming and the positive psychological resources for farmers including their nature and greenspace connection and strong social networks. I have published an article based on this work in a special issue of the Journal Sociologia Ruralis. This work is supported by Teagasc, a state body supporting agriculture in Ireland.

PPT and recording for Alexis's


Gloria Mittmann

Gloria Mittmann

I am a psychologist and researcher at Karl Landsteiner University. My research interests lie in social psychology, with a particular focus on media, digitalisation and serious games. My work primarily revolves around the development of digital interventions aimed at enhancing mental health and fostering social connectedness.



15th June 2022 LSIMHRN Summer Showcase Symposium

Summer Showcase Symposium image

We thoroughly enjoyed our Summer Showcase Symposium, which took place on Zoom 10am-5pm on Wednesday 15th June 2022, during Loneliness Awareness Week (13th-17th June). The results of the 12 fantastic plus projects that we're funding were be presented alongside other research coming from the network. 

You can also catch up on all the Twitter activity from the day here.

Daisy Armitage from the Mental Health Research Matters team has written a great blog summarising her reflections from the day: 5 things I learned from the LSIMHRN SHowcase.

Recordings of the talks

You can catch up on the talks from the main and parallel sessions on the Mental Elf YouTube channel.

Video Abstracts

We're delighted to present some fascinating bonus material in the form of video abstracts about research conducted by members of LSIMHRN. You can watch these short 3-5 minute videos on the Mental Elf YouTube channel.