Children, young people & families programme, Public mental health programme, Places & communities programme, Health inequalities theme
Imperial College London
Rhiannon is interested in young people's mental health and the pathways and risk factors in development that lead to poor mental health.
What has been your career journey so far?
I have always been passionate about mental health and studied Psychology and Philosophy for my BA before specialising in Developmental Psychopathology for my MSc. Whilst studying I volunteered with NHS and charitable mental health organisations, and my first job involved running peer support programs for people with mental health problems.
Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?
I think the large-scale systems thinking that comes with public health research is really valuable when it comes to understanding mental health, because it is so complex, multifaceted, and multicausal.
What is your research focused on?
How adolescent mental health is affected by air pollution and the physical environment.
Why is it important?
This relatively understudied area has serious implications for environmental health policy and could be important for explaining why urban living is associated with worse mental health.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
There are really good opportunities to network and collaborate with like-minded researchers at different institutions and different career stages. Doing a PhD can mean being part of a relatively small bubble, but this isn’t the case with NIHR SPHR.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
During my PhD I have really developed my skillset in quantitative and qualitative analyses, as well as epidemiological research methods and public involvement in research. Once I have concrete results, I am keen to develop my presentation skills and learn to work with a variety of partners to disseminate research findings to a variety of audiences.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
I want to remain in the field of mental health and anticipate remaining in research during my next steps.