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Mina Fazel

DM FRCPsych


Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The main focus of my research is on how to improve access to mental health interventions for children and adolescents. I have a particular interest in school-based mental health interventions and each year since 2019 my team has been running the OxWell School Survey in order to better understand what school pupils need and also what they want. In 2021 we collected data on over 30,000 young people from 180 schools across 10 regional authorities. We work closely with young advisors to ensure that our findings are shared with school pupils. 

I also work with an incredible group of researchers on some other projects, all of which involve interventions and implementation - hence we call ourselves 'Team Intervene' and we welcome you to join us if you have interests in this area. We are working on the MindKind Study, part of a Global Mental Health Databank project funded by the Wellcome Trust examining which data governance models are most acceptable to adolescents for the collection and curation of data. One of our main goals is to ensure that our work is fully informed by young people's voices and opinions, and as this is a project in the UK, India and South Africa we hope the work is relevant across as many different contexts as possible. Furthermore, we are interested in the implementation of digital interventions and are looking at the many different mental mealth apps that have been developed. We are applying this understanding to the implementation of the MyMoodCoach App developed as part of the EcoWeb trial. I am also part of the Excluded Lives research team, which explores the causes and consequences of school exclusion, and the experiences of young people directly impacted by exclusion.

I am working with the Oxford and Thames Valley ARC to evaluate the changes in child mental health services across the region. I am particularly interested in barriers young people face in accessing mental health services and have previously spent some time at the Ethox Centre to explore some of the ethical challenges of mental health provision in schools. The findings of this work are currently being written up for publication.

Our Lancet Psychiatry series on school mental health interventions is freely available online and can be found here: http://www.thelancet.com/series/mental-health-interventions-schools. We have also made a poster for schools on 'COPING WITH YOUR LOW MOOD' which is free to download and can be printed or emailed to students and staff. 

Refugee mental health needs have been a longstanding interest of mine and I have previously examined the epidemiology of (and the risk and protective factors for) mental health difficulties in refugee children, I am concerned about the psychological impacts of immigration detention and have an active interest in Narrative Exposure Therapy for PTSD. For Children's Mental Health Week 2019 we made a 6-part Podcast Series on Mental Health Interventions for Refugee Children aimed at anyone wanting to learn more about the needs of these children. Do listen!

I previously completed an NIHR post-doctoral fellowship, during which I developed a mental health toolbox for schools that can be used by any front-line worker in the school setting (online). More than half of the children who require mental health input do not have access to services, and given that a substantial proportion of mental illness starts before the age of 18, it is essential that we find innovative ways for services to maximise children's emotional, cognitive and social development.

I work clinically as a child and adolescent psychiatrist in the Department of Children's Psychological Medicine at the Children's Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals. 

Links to my publications can be found here or via ResearchGate 

Key publications

Recent publications