London EC1V 0HB
Lewis is a first year MPhil/PhD student undertaking a funded PhD studentship looking at trauma screening and complex trauma among Black British mental health service users. He is particularly interested in trauma and trauma informed approaches, action research and addressing mental health inequalities experienced by groups when accessing and navigating care. He is supervised by Professor Steve Gillard, Professor Jacqueline Sin and Dr Jessica-Jones Nielsen.
Working PhD title - Complex adverse childhood and adult experiences in Black British people: understanding and improving assessment and access to services for complex PTSD.
- Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Interventions, University College London, United Kingdom, Sep 2019 – Sep 2020
- MSc Mental Health Studies, King's College London, United Kingdom, Sep 2018 – Sep 2019
- BSc Psychology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, Sep 2014 – Sep 2017
- MPhil/PhD in Health Services Research, City, University of London, Oct 2021 – Oct 2024
Title of thesis: Complex adverse childhood and adult experiences in Black British people: understanding and improving assessment and access to services for complex PTSD
Summary of research
There are long-standing ethnic disparities in mental health service access in the UK. Black and minority ethnic people are often under-represented in primary care mental health services and are less likely to be offered evidence-based psychological therapies than their white counterparts, while being over-represented in secondary care mental health services. Black British people are over four times more likely than white British people to be detained under the Mental Health Act. It has been suggested that lack of a trauma-informed approach to mental health assessment is associated with potentially re-traumatising experiences of care and can be a barrier to accessing appropriate care.
Little research exists focusing on how Black British groups experience assessments upon initial entry to services and how their trauma experiences are enquired and understood to inform the overall care formulation and planning. Early and accurate identification of complex trauma experiences in individuals is a crucial first step toward provision of tailored care, with NICE guidance also recommending that identification, screening and assessment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is culturally appropriate.
This research project therefore aims to explore Black British mental health service users' experiences of assessment (as well as clinician's experiences of undertaking this) for trauma at initial entry point to mental health services with a view of improving access to appropriate care for complex PTSD.
The research will involve:
i) Mixed methods systematic review
ii) Routine enquiry of trauma experiences investigating completion rates of routine assessment for trauma at entry to mental health services, subsequent referral pathways / outcomes and how these are differentiated by ethnicity
iii) Qualitative participatory study
- Steve Gillard, Professor of Mental Health
- Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen, Assistant Vice President (EDI- Race Equality)
- Dr Jacqueline Sin, Professor of Mental Health Nursing