Psychological interventions

Developing psychological interventions to improve the mental health of young people.

Theme Mental health

A teenage girl is talking during a meeting with her peers

This workstream focuses on developing interventions aimed at psychological processes (e.g., thinking style, behaviour) that contribute to the risk of certain types of mental illnesses. Getting people to engage with these interventions can improve their mental health. Our researchers are developing virtual reality and other digital interventions aimed at young people at risk of eating disorders, self-harm or depression.

These interventions aim to change how young people think before they develop an illness. For example, an intervention can challenge how a young person perceives their body and how satisfied they are with it. This can lead them to develop more helpful ways of thinking and reduce the burden of eating disorder symptoms. We are also testing whether making small changes to the environment (such as altering mannequin sizes in shops) can reduce body dissatisfaction and eating disorders in the general population.

We are assessing the impact of posting and blocking information about self-harm online and are developing a set of guidelines for social media companies around this topic.

We are also developing an intervention to help make accessing health care easier for people who have experienced significant trauma or abuse in their lives. We will examine whether this has the potential to improve access, experiences and health outcomes among patients and staff in mental healthcare settings.