UCL Catalyst Seminar Series in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

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UCL Catalyst Seminar Series in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Seminars intended to spark fresh thinking & debate, featuring cutting-edge UCL research & facilitating new connections between scientists.

When and where

Date and time



About this event

Children and young people’s mental health is an area of considerable societal need and has been the focus of a number of recent research council and charity funding initiatives. It is also one of the UCL Mental Health Research Strategy priority areas. UCL has substantial research strengths, across multiple domains, that can and should be at the forefront of leading innovative, cross-disciplinary work in this area.

The UCL Catalyst seminar series is intended to spark fresh thinking and debate, featuring cutting-edge UCL research relevant for children and young people’s mental health and facilitating new connections between scientists working in different disciplines.

*NEW* - The Zoom link to join is now the same for each seminar, details below. Please still register for each event to receive joining instructions.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/99559090768?pwd=cDFtQ3JDK3RwSnJ4YStpYkFnZmo5Zz09

Meeting ID: 995 5909 0768

Passcode: 671308

Upcoming seminar:

Mental Health in Schools

Wednesday 14 December 2022, 1pm - 2.15pm


Dr Laura Crane: Dr Laura Crane is Associate Professor at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, where she is interim Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE). Central to all of Laura’s research is a commitment to ensuring that research makes a genuine difference to the lives of autistic people and their allies, particularly in relation to education experiences. Laura is also a champion of participatory approaches to autism research: ensuring that research is conducted with, as opposed to on, about, or for autistic people and their allies. Laura has won several awards for this work, including a UCL Provost Prize for Public Engagement, and the charity Autistica’s inaugural Community Engagement Award.

Professor Jessica Deighton: Professor Jessica Deighton is Professor in Child Mental Health and Wellbeing at UCL, Director of Applied Research and Evaluation at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit. Her expertise focus on 1) the evaluation of interventions and multifaceted programmes to support mental health and well-being in children; 2) factors that promote resilience in children and young people; 3) the interplay between mental health and educational outcomes. She leads the National evaluation of the National Lottery Community Fund’s HeadStart programme, and the Department for Education funded Children and Young People’s Mental Health Research and Evaluation Programme. She also co-leads the early intervention theme for the Department of Health’s Child Policy Research Unit.

Talk abstracts:

Dr Laura Crane: “Know Your Normal: Mental Health in Autistic Young People”. While it is important to develop whole school strategies to support the mental health needs of children and young people (CYP), it is also important to understand the unique mental health needs of specific groups of CYP. In this talk, CRAE’s Laura Crane will discuss an award-winning project on mental health in autistic young people, co-produced with autistic collaborators. As well as conducting research to better understand autistic young people’s mental health and the support they find most effective, the team developed resources to help autistic young people ‘Know Their Normal’ when it comes to their mental health.

Professor Jessica Deighton: “Young people’s mental health and the role of schools in prevention and early intervention”. The last 10 years has seen a sharp rise in mental health problems in children and young people, with a number of challenges contributing to this picture. There has been increasing focus on schools as site for mental health support, but what does the evidence tell us about the role of schools in preventing the escalation in mental health problems and providing early help? And how does this fit into a wider ecology of mental health support? This talk will round up the evidence base around mental health in the school context and raise highlight some thorny issues that remain for further consideration.