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Health and Community Sciences

Mental Health Research Group

A crowd or group seen from behind, perhaps representing intersections of society

Led by Professor Christopher Dickens, and Professor David Llewellyn, the Mental Health Research Group (MHRG) has the overarching aim of improving health outcomes for people in the UK and beyond, by conducting high quality research into various aspects of mental health, mental illness, dementia and brain health.

The MHRG consists of a number of distinct groups focusing on psychological medicine, suicide and self-harm, and personalised dementia medicine.

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Members of the Health Economics Group have interests in econometrics, preference elicitation, methods for economic evaluation, including economic modelling methods, applied research in health and social care, health outcomes (health valuation) research, decision-making and priority-setting, and in areas of neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases, mental health, and drug/alcohol abuse. New members to the group will be encouraged to develop their own research interests in these and other/related areas.

The Health Economics Group also supports the work of the South-West Research Design Service (SW-RDS), led by Professor Gordon Taylor. The Group has successfully hosted MSc students seeking placements.

Lead - Professor Chris Dickens

Research projects

Lead - Dr Christabel Owens

The Stranger on the Bridge research project is a partnership between the University of Exeter, Jonny Benjamin MBE, maker of the award-winning Channel 4 documentary of the same name, and Neil Laybourn, the original ‘Stranger on the Bridge’.

The aim of the project is to equip members of the public to recognise and reach out to someone in a public place who may be contemplating suicide.

To do this we are seeking to:

  • Understand the Stranger on the Bridge scenario from the point of view of those who have been involved, both those who have contemplated taking their own lives and those who have tried to stop them
  • Use this knowledge to develop some clear and simple public education resources.

The study has been funded by the Medical Research Council and will run for 12 months (June 2017-May 2018)

⇒ More about the study
⇒ Research team
⇒ Project partners

  • Lead -  Prof David Llewellyn - Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Digital Health
  • Dr Janice Ranson - Research Fellow in Dementia Prevention and Diagnostics
  • Dr Charlotte James - Research Fellow
  • Jan Alcott - Administrator

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Meet the team

Who we are

Member of staff Position


Beth Seager Personal Assistant to David Llewellyn

Professor Jonathan Burns Honorary Professor of Psychiatry
Georgina Hack PA/Secretary to Professor Chris Dickens
Professor Christopher Dickens Professor of Psychological Medicine
Sara Eddy Associate Research Administrator

Dr Jason Hancock

Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist & Joint Director of Medical Education Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Honorary Clinical Lecturer

Professor David Llewellyn Clinical Epidemiology / Director of Research and Impact
Dr Janice Ranson Senior Research Fellow
 Dr Penny Xanthopoulou Research Fellow



Tobit Emmens Honorary Research Fellow

Professor Paul Farrand Associate Professor
Professor Tamsin Ford Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Professor Willem Kuyken Professor of Clinical Psychology
Professor Rose McCabe Honorary Professor of Clinical Communication 
Dr Richard Laugharne Honorary Clinical Lecturer
Dr Colm Owens Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer