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Natasha Chilman

Natasha Chilman

PhD student


PhD Project Title: A mixed-methods study of mental and physical health multimorbidities in people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

'Social exclusion’ describes the process whereby certain groups are marginalised and excluded from mainstream society. People who have experienced homelessness have been described as an excluded group who experience severe health inequalities across mental and physical health conditions. This mixed-methods PhD will provide systematic assessments of mental and physical health multimorbidity for people who have experienced homelessness, enriched by the perspectives of people with lived experience. The non-academic PhD partner, Rethink Mental Illness, are a charity known for their commitment to tackling social exclusion in people with mental illness. The project aims are to:

  • Assess the prevalence of mental and physical health multimorbidities for people with a previous experience of homelessness.
  • Understand how mental/physical health multimorbidities interact with social exclusion, and barriers/facilitators for support.

Natasha's PhD is funded by the ESRC LISS-DTP CASE scheme and is in collaboration with the nationwide charity Rethink Mental Illness

Natasha has also been named a Data Impact Fellow for UK Data Service for 2023. You can read more about her research in her blog here

Prior to beginning her PhD, Natasha studied Psychology at the University of Sheffield and went on to complete an MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences at University College London. In between her studies, Natasha worked as a support worker in crisis recovery houses for people with mental illnesses for the charity Rethink Mental Illness, and later worked as the acting service manager for a 17-bed crisis house. In this setting she often worked to support people who were experiencing mental distress or illness and social exclusion. 

Natasha previously worked as a research assistant in the Department of Psychological Medicine, IoPPN, supervised by Dr Jayati Das-Munshi. Natasha worked on an interdisciplinary project which used natural language processing to text-mine occupations from mental health electronic health records for the first time. Natasha utilised this methodology to examine predictors of unemployment in patients with severe mental illness, with a focus on ethnicity. Natasha also worked on a data linkage between mental health electronic health records and the UK Census data. Natasha gained skills in working with large datasets, conducting statistical analysis using packages such as Stata, working with natural language processing applications, academic writing, and research dissemination through internal and external presentations.

Research interests 

Natasha’s research interests are in health inequalities, inclusion health, multimorbidity, innovative research methods, health informatics and the social determinants of health. 

Expertise and Public Engagement

Natasha will be writing blogs on mental health research for The Mental Elf