Social justice and inequalities in mental health

Our research group brings together scholar-activists, practitioners, artists and those with lived experience of mental health difficulties to tackle disadvantage and to bring about change in knowledge, practice and public understanding of mental health. Influenced by critical social theory, including critical psychology, community psychology, feminism, queer theory, critical race theory and critical disability studies) we strive to promote a psychosocial understanding of mental distress as a meaningful response to adversity (such as poverty, war/conflict, violence, trauma, abuse, and discrimination) and shaped by social inequality (in relation to race, class, sexuality, gender, disability, etc.).

Our research

Drawing on our strengths in, and innovative approaches to, qualitative methods, our research brings to the fore the lived experiences and voices of those who experience mental distress, their families and carers, and the professionals who seek to deliver effective and compassionate services under adverse conditions (under-funding/funding cuts, staff shortages, institutional restraints and hostile work cultures).

We work in partnership with ‘experts by experience’, NHS service providers, mental health professionals, third sector organisations, schools and arts organisations, to raise awareness of mental health discrimination through effective public engagement that promotes a holistic view of the individual/community in context, and enables sustainable and effective change in service provision.

Research projects

The PAPER Study

Principal investigator: Dr Lydia Poole

Start date:

End date:

Funding amount: £905,000

Meet the team

Research group lead

Hannah Frith profile image

Dr Hannah Frith

Associate Professor in Psychology

Research group members

Sharon Galiford


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Mary John

Head of Department of Psychological Interventions

Dr Goran Lukic

Admissions Lead & Teaching Fellow

Dr Jennifer Mance

Teaching Fellow

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Dr Lydia Poole

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Health Psychology

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Dr Laura Simonds

Senior Lecturer, Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme

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Professor Victoria Tischler

Professor of Behavioural Science