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09 February 2021

New research funded to explore the mental health difficulties experienced by young Black adults during COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Valentina Cardi has been awarded funding from UKRI to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in minority ethnic groups.


Dr Valentina Cardi, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s, has been awarded £235,000 in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to investigate the mental health difficulties experienced by young, Black adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Valentina Cardi
Dr Valentina Cardi

Dr Cardi’s pilot study, ‘A collaborative approach to understand and remediate the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in BAME communities’, will use a collaborative approach to explore the mental health difficulties young, Black adults have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will also investigate access to clinical services, and seeks to improve our understanding of how online carer training can be adapted to improve mental health wellbeing in families within this population.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with black ethnic minority groups to develop a more detailed understanding of how COVID-19 has affected the psychological health and wellbeing of younger people and how we can use online tools to support and address the needs of parents and guardians in their important caregiving roles.

Dr Valentina Cardi

Mental health difficulties have been widespread as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, evidence has shown that minority ethnic groups are disproportionately vulnerable to both the disease itself, and the socio-economic impacts.

Dr Cardi’s research is one of four projects funded as part of the UKRI’s call for COVID-19 and ethnicity research, with the aim to better understand the reasons for increased vulnerability to COVID-19, and the socio-economic impacts on minority ethnic groups. The UKRI aims to provide funding of up to £5 million for research in this area to help reduce the disparate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority ethnic groups.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated longstanding inequalities in health, employment and education in the UK. Emerging evidence suggests that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds have experienced the hardest economic shocks. We cannot ignore the social, cultural and economic factors that have shaped the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities throughout the pandemic. It is crucial that we understand the depth and breadth of the impacts of these factors so that we can take action to alleviate the consequences for these communities

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI Chief Executive

The UKRI is the UK’s largest public funder of research, bringing together seven different research councils, Innovate UK, and Research England to provide funding to a range of fields.

In this story

Valentina  Cardi

Clinical Psychologist, Research