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My research focuses on urban mental health and social and health inequalities. My work combines my training in the sociology of mental health and my postdoctoral training in Psychiatric Epidemiology. My research interests include inequalities in mental health and service use; social determinants and consequences of poor mental health, with particular focus on cumulative adversity, intersecting social statuses (e.g., race, ethnicity and migration status) and the impact of social context and place.
I use quantitative and qualitative methods to address questions about the experiences of social stress and the levels of need and functioning related to mental health among people living in the urban context. The development of innovative methods that use data linkages between survey and electronic health records and characterising the local environmental are integral to our approaches to studying urban mental health. Ultimately, I am interested in both identifying and addressing social and health inequalities in mental health and service use. Our aims are to identify drivers of inequalities, particularly those that are tractable, and develop evidence-based social and behavioural interventions to address these determinants.
2013 Co-Cluster Lead, Engagement, Population and Informatics Cluster, National Institute for Health Research, Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK
2013 Senior Lecturer in Social Epidemiology, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN); Internal Affiliation to the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine, King’s College London, UK
2008 Lecturer in Social Epidemiology, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK
2006 Non-clinical Research Fellow, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK
2005 Visiting Research Fellow, National Survey of Health and Development, Medical Research Council, UK
2005 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, US
2005 National Institute of Mental Health Post-doctoral Training Fellowship, Psychiatric Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY US
2002 National Institute of Mental Health/American Sociological Association Pre-Doctoral Fellow
2002 Research Associate, Social Psychiatry Research Unit, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, US
PhD Sociology University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland US
MA Sociology Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia US
BA Psychology (Minor: Sociology), Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana US
Along with Professor Matthew Hotopf, I am a principal investigator for the Mental Health BRC South East London Community Health (SELCoH) study. SELCoH is a prospective community survey of psychiatric and physical morbidity among residents served by South London and Maudsley NHS Service Foundation Trust (SLaM). SELCoH was developed by and in partnership with the clinicians serving the local population. I lead the social inequalities strand of the SELCoH study.
I also co-lead on public engagement within the Mental Health BRC and lead the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON), a network that provides a forum for local community members, service users, health practitioners, and researchers to engage in dialogues on health and social inequalities, as well as promote integrated approaches to participatory research, public engagement and youth outreach.
I am currently coordinating new BRC Youth Awards to encourage young people to stay in education and develop careers in biological, social and computer sciences. In addition to running workshops, seminars and conferences at KCL, in schools and the local community, HERON uses visual art, theatre and music to give people an opportunity to express the ways in which social and health inequalities impact their lives. HERON is also used to facilitate the translation of epidemiological research.