Professor Louise Howard is a Professor in Women’s Mental Health at KCL and an Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She was awarded a prestigious NIHR Research Professorship in 2013 and became an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2019. She is President-elect of the International Marcé Society.
Professor Howard studied medicine at University College London and completed an intercalated BSc in Psychology before finishing her undergraduate studies in 1988. She trained in general medicine in Bloomsbury obtaining the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1991. After completing her general psychiatric training and obtaining the MRCPsych she obtained a Wellcome Trust Health Services Research Training Fellowship in perinatal psychiatry. She was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2004, promoted to a Reader in Women’s Mental Health in 2008 and to Professor in 2010.
She has won a number of prizes for her research including the Association of European Psychiatrists Research Prize, the Institute of Psychiatry Dennis Hill Prize, the Royal College of Psychiatrists Bronze Medal research prize and most recently in 2014 the International Marce Society’s Marce Medal for excellence in perinatal mental health research.
- Maternal Mental Health
- Violence and Health
- Perinatal Mental Health
- Gender differences in Mental Health
Professor Howard teaches and leads on the Perinatal Mental Health module within the small iBSc programme in Women’s Health. She also teaches on the MRCPsych programme, DClinPsy programme, and several MSc programmes. She teaches medical students and offers supervision to students carrying out research projects within their iBSc/MSc programmes.
Expertise and Public Engagement
Louise was Chair of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guideline Development Group (update) on Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health (2014), and was a member of the NICE/SCIE and WHO guidance development groups on preventing and reducing domestic violence (2013). In 2014 she edited a commissioned series on perinatal mental health for the Lancet. She also authored chapters of recent CMO annual reports (perinatal mental health 2014; violence and mental health 2013). She was appointed National Clinical Advisor NHSE Improving Access and Waiting Times Perinatal Programme 2015-2016 and was a Specialist Committee member for the Quality Standards Committee NICE CG192 (2015). She was a member of the Department of Health and Social Care Women’s Mental Health Taskforce 2017 – 2018 and a NICE Expert Adviser for the Centre for Clinical Practice (2016-2018).
Current policy engagement includes membership of the Perinatal Mental Health Project Steering Group Public Health England, NHS England & NHS Improvement Domestic Abuse and Violence Expert Clinical Reference Group 2019, NHSE CRG Clinical Outcomes group, NHSE CRG Research Priorities Group, Expert Committee to support development of WHO implementation manual for maternal mental health 2019. She is a member of several Editorial Boards including: Lancet Psychiatry; BJP Open; Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences (EPS). She co-chairs the new NIHR Mental Health Incubator.
A cross-sectional comparison of the mental health of people trafficked to the UK for domestic servitude, for sexual exploitation and for labor exploitation
10 February 2020
Psychological interventions for common mental disorders in women experiencing intimate partner violence in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis
01 February 2020
The Prevalence and Correlates of Self-Harm in the Perinatal Period: A Systematic Review
31 December 2019
Mental Health in UK Biobank - development, implementation and results from an online questionnaire completed by 157,366 participants: This paper is a reanalysis of data previously published in a paper - Davis KAS, Coleman JRI, et al. Mental health in UK Biobank, 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.12; corrections: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.19 and https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.47) - that was retracted on 17 June 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.46) for reasons of accuracy in the reporting of alcohol use disorders, as discussed in an editorial - Kaufman KR, Malhi GS, Bhui KS. When a corrigendum is not sufficient, 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.41)
17 December 2019
Mental disorders and intimate partner violence perpetrated by men towards women: A Swedish population-based longitudinal study
01 December 2019
Prevalence and clinical characterisation of pregnant women with eating disorders
28 January 2020
The characteristics and prevalence of phobias in pregnancy
27 November 2019
A qualitative comparison of experiences of specialist mother and baby units versus general psychiatric wards
16 December 2019
The association between prenatal maternal anxiety disorders and postpartum perceived and observed mother-infant relationship quality
01 December 2019
Maternal personality traits, antenatal depressive symptoms and the postpartum mother-infant relationship: a prospective observational study
01 January 2019