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Network Researchers

Meet some of the individual researchers who are members of the network

Dr Sarah Markham

Dr Sarah Markham is an early career mental health researcher at King's College London with lived experience of mental health difficulties, isolation and loneliness. My research interests include the loneliness and isolation experienced by individuals detained for often long periods in secure settings and the barriers their forensic status may pose in relation to integration back into the community both before and after discharge from inpatient settings. I am especially interested in peoples' experience of disclosure regarding their index offence(s) and how this may impact on their ability to form relationships and gain access to social networks. I am keen to collaborate with researchers and organisations with an interest in the experiences and well-being of mentally disordered offenders and the problems they may encounter in terms of social integration and avoiding loneliness and isolation.

Dr Jingyi Wang

Dr Jingyi Wang is a Research Associate at the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL. She obtained a PhD at the Division of Psychiatry at UCL for her work on loneliness and mental health among people who have experienced a mental health crisis. Her work contributed to identifying loneliness as a promising target to improve recovery for people with mental health problems and evaluating the effect of a peer-provided self-management intervention on loneliness. She is particularly interested in loneliness, social isolation and their impact on mental health, pathways to loneliness and loneliness interventions for mental health service users.

Kana Umagami

Kana Umagami is a first-year PhD student at Centre for Research in Autism and Education, UCL Institute of Education. My doctoral research investigates loneliness in autistic adults with the aim to establish a new, validated measure of loneliness in autistic adults for practical use. I adapt the idea of neurodiversity in research, specifically viewing autism as a continuum of human diversity. As an autistic self-advocate, my research interest in loneliness comes from my strong desire to provide autistic people with a better sense of connection and belonging, and it also led to the first ever autistic peer group at UCL.

Email address: kana.umagami.18@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Gemma Wilson

Dr Gemma Wilson is a Health Psychologist, and Research Fellow in applied health at Northumbria University. My main specialism is older adults’ psychosocial well-being, but much of what I am doing now focuses specifically on both loneliness and social isolation. I also work within the Northern Hub for Veterans and Families Research within Northumbria University. I initially came into the hub as an expert in ageing, and I primarily work with aged veterans. However, with my work in social isolation and loneliness I now work across armed forces community with serving personnel, veterans of all ages, and their families, including war widows.   I am working on a number of projects listed below: Principal Investigator: Understanding unique factors of social isolation and loneliness of older military veterans: A Delphi study. Aged Veterans Fund, Ministry of Defence (£6,494.69).
Principal Investigator: Understanding the experiences of older adults using technology to stay connected: A facilitator or creator of new vulnerabilities? British Academy/Leverhulme Trust.  Principal Investigator: Keeping active people active: An evaluation to maintain older adults’ physical activity and social engagement. Sports England. Co-Investigator: Maintaining independence: A peer-led evaluation of the Royal British Legion’s Branch Community support programme for aged veterans. Aged Veterans Fund, Ministry of Defence. Co-Investigator: Primary research with practitioners and people with lived-experience to understand the role of home adaptations in improving later life. Centre for Ageing Better.

Katey Warran

Katey Warran is an Arts & Health researcher and Sociologist. Previously, Katey worked on a major study led by Dr Daisy Fancourt at the Centre for Performance Science (Royal College of Music & Imperial College, London) exploring the psychobiological impact of singing for people affected by cancer. Alongside the main study, Katey conducted qualitative research showing that group singing can improve resilience. Currently, Katey is based in the Sociology department at the University of Edinburgh where she is carrying out her doctoral research in partnership with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (AHRC funded), exploring how engagement with arts festivals fosters social solidarity. Alongside her research, she coordinates the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, is a member of the Arts + Health Network Scotland’s working group, a member of the Institute for Music in Human and Social development and tutors at Edinburgh College of Art.

Bouke de Vries

Bouke de Vries is a postdoctoral fellow at Umeå's philosophy department. Much of his recent work focuses on normative questions surrounding loneliness. Specifically, it considers what kinds of moral duties private individuals have to protect themselves and others from loneliness, as well as what the state’s responsibilities in this area are. HIs current research project, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council (2018-00679), is entitled ‘Empty Nests: The Ethics and Politics of Filial Association with Parents’. In this project, he asks when and how adult children should address the social and emotional needs of their parents, particularly as the latter reach old age.

For recent publications, see https://www.boukedevries.net/

Kate Filia

Kate Filia's research interests are centred around the multi-faceted concept of social inclusion, which overlaps significantly with loneliness and social isolation. Her work has been focused to date on improving understanding of social inclusion for people with mental ill-health, primarily psychosis, and identifying modifiable malleable targets for intervention at different stages of illness. She is also working to improve understanding of social inclusion in caregivers of people with mental ill-health in an attempt to reduce experienced burden. She would love to form collaborative partnerships with individuals and/or organisations working in social inclusion/social isolation and either mental ill-health, adolescents, and/or caregivers. Kate is based at Orygen in Melbourne, Australia – an adolescent mental health service and associated centre of research excellence.

Laurie Hare Duke

Laurie Hare Duke is a health services researcher at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham. He has recently completed a PhD involving the development and evaluation of a loneliness intervention for adults accessing secondary care mental health services. Laurie currently holds a post-doctoral position within the NEON trial. Targeted at adults with psychosis, this trial examines whether an online intervention giving participants access to other people’s stories of mental health recovery impacts upon their own recovery and quality of life. He is particularly interested in collaborating with others to develop new psychosocial interventions in mental health.