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Doctor of Science for Dame Til

Professor Dame Til Wykes, Vice-Dean of Psychology and Systems Science and Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation at King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), has been awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the University of Sussex. The doctorate was conferred at its Winter Graduation by the university’s Chancellor, writer and actor Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE, pictured with Dame Til.

Dame Til said: ‘’I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been awarded a Doctor of Science degree from Sussex. Sussex was always a very welcoming university and Sanjeev Bhaskar gave some very thoughtful and entertaining advice to new graduates that I will quote for some time to come!”

Professor Dame Til Wykes has been an international leader in understanding and advancing the rehabilitation and recovery for people with severe mental illness. She founded, and is Co-Director of, the King’s Service User Research Enterprise (SURE), which is the first unit in the UK to focus on including the service user perspective by employing people who have experience of using mental health services. She was the founding director of the Mental Health Research Network, which delivered a dramatic increase in opportunities for service users to participate in mental health research.

Dame Til has degrees in Psychology and Clinical Psychology from Nottingham, Sussex and London universities and is a practising clinical psychologist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, working mostly with people with psychosis. The main focus of her clinical research is the development of better treatments for people with schizophrenia but her investigations stretch across all mental health conditions.

She concentrates on discovering new psychological mechanisms and uses them to develop better treatments, following this up with studies showing how to implement them in the day-to-day work of the NHS. Among treatments developed are those for hearing voices; for thinking problems; and for bolstering self-esteem. She is currently leading a major national project supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) that will investigate the best way to provide computerised thinking skills treatment (cognitive remediation) to young people with a first episode of psychosis.

She is executive editor of the Journal of Mental Health which encourages service user submissions and has people with experience of mental health services on the board. She is a Fellow of: British Psychological Society, Academy of Social Sciences, Academy of Medical Sciences, US Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an NIHR Senior Investigator. In 2015 she was presented by the British Psychological Society with the Promoting Equality of Opportunity award.