Tayla McCloud

About me: I did my undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, where my research project investigated how anxiety impacts attention in adolescents. I then moved to UCL for the Division of Psychiatry’s Clinical Mental Health Sciences MSc, and conducted a randomised controlled trial testing a mobile app for depression and anxiety in students. I also have 3 years of experience as a research assistant, where I’ve worked on various randomised controlled trials of interventions for people with psychosis.

My research: I am a full-time PhD student in the Division of Psychiatry, jointly funded by the ESRC and MRC. I have just started my 3 main PhD years, having undertaken a year of project rotations in the 2017-18 academic year. I am focusing on the mental health of university students, and will be conducting a longitudinal survey of university students in the UK. In particular, I aim to investigate how sociodemographic variables, university and course characteristics, and financial situation and debt impact the mental health of students. I am also interested in how these impact on academic achievement and help-seeking behaviours.

The difference my research makes: 48% of young people in England are likely to participate in higher education by aged 30, a figure that is steadily rising, and 80% of these students are between 18 and 25, the peak age of onset for most mental health disorders. Going to university is a period of transition, development and pressure, which leaves these large numbers of students particularly vulnerable to distress. By investigating the factors that impact the likelihood of developing a mental health problem, I hope to pave the way for future interventions and preventative strategies by universities. This would have wide implications both at individual and societal levels and in the short and long term.

Supervisor: Professor Glyn Lewis, Prof Claire Callender, Dr Gemma Lewis

Selected publications:

Pathway: Mental Health and Mental Health Care

Location: UCL Division of Psychiatry

Email: t.mccloud@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @taylamccloud