Mental Health

In the mental health research theme our interests include bipolar disorder and related conditions, chronic neurological conditions that cause disability and ill-health and addictive behaviours (particularly gambling). Working within the Faculty's high-profile Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, the Centre for Organisational Health and Well Being, the Clinical Psychology research group and the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) research group, our interests encompass:

  • investigations of the psychological processes that underpin mental health conditions
  • epidemiological studies
  • development and evaluation of innovative treatments, ranging from collaborative care models through face to face therapy to web based self-management approaches

We conduct our research across a wide range of community, primary, secondary and tertiary care NHS settings. A key theme through our research is active engagement and collaboration with service users to ensure that the focus of our work targets issues of genuine significance to those affected by the condition being studied.

Research areas

Particular research areas within the mental health theme include:

  • Psychological treatments for bipolar disorder and related conditions
  • Prevention, community and therapeutic approaches in clinical psychology
  • Collaborative care approaches to supporting individuals with severe mental health issues in primary care
  • Effective treatments for gambling disorders

Research successes

Notable research successes include:

  • PARADES NIHR programme grant 2008-2014: Three RCTs of novel psychological therapies for bipolar disorder with additional work on suicide risk and use of the mental capacity act. (Jones CI, Lobban PI and co-lead for Psychoeducation definitive trial)

Service User Involvement

  • MRC funded research 'What are the impacts of service user involvement in health and social care research' (Lobban Co-I)
  • Two projects shortlisted for Mental Health Research Network Service User involvement awarded (Lobban)
  • Cochrane Reviews of Collaborative care for people with severe mental illness (Lead author: Reilly) and Psychological Therapies for pathological and Problem Gambling (Lead author: Cowlishaw)


Researchers working in this area, together with a short description of their research interests, are listed below.

  • Dr Sean Cowlishaw
  • Dr Alyson Dodd: exploring the psychological processes underlying mood swings and bipolar disorders, and developing and evaluating psychological interventions for bipolar and associated conditions
  • Dr Fiona Eccles: cognitive difficulties associated with neurological conditions and their treatments, experiences of living with chronic neurological illness, and illness beliefs
  • Professor Steve Jones: the psychology and psychological therapy of bipolar disorder and related conditions to provide a choice of evidence based interventions matched to individuals values and needs
  • Dr Fiona Lobban: psychological approaches to mental health problems - understanding, development and evaluation
  • Dr Siobhan Reilly: the evidence base for the delivery of health and social care services, in particular the role of primary care, case management and collaborative care for people with severe mental illness and people with dementia
  • Dr Jane Simpson: the well-being and mental health experiences of people with adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dementia
  • Dr Ian Smith
  • Dr Gerasimos Chatzidamianos: family-centred interventions in mental health practice, mental health and Deafness (focusing on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), the use of language and communication in clinical settings and clinical research ethics
  • Rita Long
  • Dr Catherine Malone
  • Dr Elisabeth Tyler: research which focuses on developing accessible, evidence based interventions for individuals and families with bipolar disorder who have previously found it difficult access psychological care
  • Laura Wainwright: the psychology of Mental Health, with a focus on Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder, relatives and Self-Management


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