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Professor Louise Arseneault


ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow

Professor Louise Arseneault’s research focuses on the study of harmful behaviours such as violence and substance dependence, their developmental origins, their inter-connections with mental health, and their consequences for victims. In the early stages of her career, she examined harmful behaviours as a developmental outcome, primarily in adolescents and in adults. Over time, the focus of her research broadened to include harmful behaviours as causes of mental health problems. She has taken a developmental approach to investigate how the consequences of violence begin in childhood and persist to mild-life, by studying bullying victimisation and child maltreatment. She has been developing an extensive evidence base on both the beneficial and deleterious effects of social relationships.

Her research aims are to answer questions relevant to psychology and psychiatry by harnessing and combining 3 different research approaches: developmental research, epidemiological methods and genetically-sensitive designs. Her work incorporates social as well as biological measurements.

Louise has been elected to join the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Science in 2018. Louise joins 47 new Fellows, who have been elected for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science, leading research discoveries and translating developments into benefits for patients and the wider society

ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow

Louise Arseneault is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Mental Health Leadership Fellow. In her fellowship, Louise plays a vital role in championing the role of social science in mental health research.  Louise works closely with the Government, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector and academics to best address the challenges that mental health poses for our society, communities and individuals.

Throughout the three year fellowship, Professor Arseneault is playing a vital role in championing mental health research. Louise provides intellectual leadership and strategic advice and is working to promote investment in the mental health field as part of her fellowship.

Louise is also investigating the impact of social relationships, in a contemporary Britain on mental health and wellbeing. The project specifically focuses on issues shaped by new technologies and social media including cyber harassment and bullying as well as social isolation and loneliness across the lifespan. It is anticipated that this project will identify potentially malleable targets for changing and improving the course of mental health throughout the lifespan, helping to promote mental health and build resilience.


Let’s Talk Mental Health

Louise Arseneault led a project of five interviews to broadcast the expertise of leading figures in the mental health field. This series entitled Let’s Talk Mental Health incorporates interviews with representatives from research, government, clinic and charity. The aim of this project was to disseminate knowledge, skills and expertise to the general public and those interested in pursuing careers in mental health including students, junior academics, clinicians and early career researchers.

The project also aimed to portray the skills and experiences of individuals with lived experiences of mental health problems, and utilised the knowledge of service users to conduct the interviews.  The McPin Foundation and Autistica recommended individuals to conduct the interviews and provided a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously learn and educate. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the interviews were launched from 14-20 May 2018 to garner attention of mental health.

Jack Welch, an advocate for people with learning disabilities, interviewed Sir Michael Rutter – hailed as the father of child psychology and founder of the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre.

Watch the full interview below:


Watch other interviews from the project:

Jonny Benjamin interviews Luciana Berger MP


Humma Andleeb interviews Peter Fonagy


Dr Kai Syng Tan interviews Sarah Hughes


Katy Pickles interviews Professor Lord Richard Layard

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