Bridging Barriers: Understanding Ethnicity Intersectional Inequities in Mental Health Talking Therapies Access through LinkedData Analysis

Currently recruiting

Supervisor: Jayati Das-Munshi

Non-accademic partner: NHS Race and Health Observatory (NHS RHO)

Studentship start date: 01/10/2024

Application deadline: 23:59 on 26 February 2024

Application details:

In the UK almost 20% of the population may experience depression and anxiety which can cause suffering for both the individuals and those who care for them. These mental health issues can make it difficult for people to function, leading to time off work or, in extreme cases, self-harm or suicide.

Therapies where people talk about their problems, called psychological therapies, can help with depression and anxiety. But in the UK, not everyone gets these therapies equally. People from ethnic minority backgrounds might have a harder time accessing these therapies, even though these therapies are just as effective for them. This might be even worse when other aspects like age, gender, or religion are also considered. Until now, it hasn’t been clear why this happens.

A new research project will aim to understand why this inequality exists. A researcher who is undertaking a PhD will be supported by a team to use new data that connects information about mental health services in southeast London with data from the 2011 census. This is one of the first times such detailed data is being used in the UK. By looking at this data, the PhD student will try to understand why people from ethnic minority backgrounds, along with other factors like age, gender and religion, struggle to access therapies and don’t get good results. They will also try to understand specific experiences that make things worse.

The researchers will work closely with people who have experienced these issues and with a major independent national organisation, called the NHS Race and Health Observatory. The partnership with the NHS Race and Health Observatory will mean that relevant findings will be quickly shared with people and organisations who are well placed to act on the recommendations. This project will lead to practical solutions to make sure everyone gets the help they need, regardless of their background.

For more information including how to apply click here: Applications open for three new studentships at the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health – King’s College London (

Applicants from Black and minority ethnic groups are very strongly encouraged to apply.

Essential criteria

  • This is a +3 studentship; you should have a prior MSc-level degree in a relevant subject (e.g. Epidemiology, quantitative social sciences, statistics, or equivalent). We’ll provide training in the application of advanced statistical methods (such as Latent Class Analysis or Multi-level modelling). You should be able to demonstrate competencies in statistics and be conversant with multivariable regression approaches, (e.g. logistic regression), and able to work in at least one of these: STATA, R, MPLUS.
  • You should have a strong understanding of health inequalities, demonstrated through prior undergraduate/postgraduate training or equivalent.
  • You should be committed to involving people with lived experience of mental distress in the work.
  • You will be expected to undertake accreditation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) before accessing the data.
  • You will be expected to work on-site (Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neurosciences) in our ‘secure lab’. Remote working is not possible.

Application details: 

To apply, please complete and return the documents below to

  • A completed application form, available here
  • A CV (maximum 2 A4 pages)
  • Copies of academic transcripts for all relevant degrees
  • 2 references (either 2 academic references or 1 academic reference and 1 professional reference, maximum 1-2 A4 pages each)

Applicants should also complete the online LISS-DTP Diversity Monitoring form. This is available only to LISS DTP for reporting purposes.