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Caroline Da Cunha Lewin

PhD Student


Caroline is both a general nurse and service-user researcher who joined Service User Research Enterprise, Health Service and Population Research department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, in October 2023. She is a recipient of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) studentship. Her areas of expertise include self-harm, mental health populations, Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and qualitative research methodology.

Caroline gained both her First Class Honours BSc in Adult Nursing and Distinction grade MSc in Mental Health Studies at King’s College London. She has worked in a variety of clinical, educational and academic roles in the NHS and higher education, specialising mostly in adult mental health. Most recently, she was based at King’s College London at the IoPPN Biomedical Research Centre as a mental health research nurse in the PPI theme. This involved managing research projects examining patient experience of mental health services. 

Research Interests

Caroline’s PhD project focuses on self-harm recovery in adults from a service-user perspective. Using qualitative methodology, she is examining how people with experiences of self-harm conceptualise recovery and how this could be summarised in a conceptual model. Through this work, she is interested in developing holistic understanding of self-harm experience to promote service-user wellbeing, improve care and support, and reduce stigma and health inequalities.

  • Self-harm
  • Recovery
  • PPI
  • Lived experience
  • Survivor led research
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Mental health advocacy

PhD supervisors

  • Dr Angela Sweeney
  • Dr Mary Leamy

Expertise and Public Engagement

Caroline is a Country Committee Representative at the Global Mental Health Peer Network. This is a lived experience advocacy role to express perspectives and ideas and contribute to local and global initiatives to advocate for change in mental health provision.

She currently lectures at South West London and St George’s NHS Foundation Trust on the post-registration support programme to improve nursing understanding of the lived experience of mental distress.


Fusar-Poli. P., Estradé. A., Stanghellini. G., Esposito. C.,, Rosfort., R., Mancini. M., Norman. P., Cullen. J., Adesina. M., Benavides Jimenez. G., da Cunha Lewin. C., Drah. E. A., Julien. M., Lamba. M., Mutura. E., Prawira. B., Sugianto. A., Teressa. J., White. L. A., Damiani. S., Vasconcelos. C., Bonoldi. I., Politi. P., Vieta. E., Radden. J., Fuchs. T., Ratcliffe. M. & Maj. M. (2023). The lived experience of depression: a bottom-up review co-written by experts by experience and academics. World Psychiatry 22(3), 352-365.

Da Cunha Lewin. C., Leamy. M., & Palmer. L (2023). How do people conceptualise self-harm recovery and what helps in adolescence, young and middle adulthood? A qualitative meta-synthesis. Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Da Cunha Lewin. C., Hudson, G. & Parri. L. (2023). “Anorexia-lite”: the dangers of weight classification in diagnosis. The Lancet Psychiatry. DOI:10.1016/s2215-0366(23)00263-8.

Da Cunha Lewin. C. (2022). Living with self-harm: Advice on offering compassionate, non-judgemental care to people who self-harm from nurse Caroline da Cunha Lewin, who has personal experience of this behaviour. Emergency Nurse 30, (2), 16-18.