Dr Sian Oram
Reader in Women’s Mental Health
- Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health
Dr Sian Oram is the Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health and Reader in Women’s Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. Her research focuses on interpersonal trauma, its intersection with sex and gender and with institutional and societal structure, and its relationship to mental health. She has an interest in developing methods for safe, ethical, and participatory research with and by people affected by trauma and abuse, and has expertise in qualitative methods, evidence synthesis, and evaluation research.
Dr Oram is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); her thesis explored the UK public policy response to the health needs of trafficked people. Prior to this she studied BA Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and received an MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from LSHTM. She joined King’s College London in 2011.
Dr Oram directs the Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network, which works to understand, prevent, and reduce the impact of violence and abuse on mental health. She is a co-investigator of the Violence Health and Society (VISION) Consortium, which aims to works to improve the measurement of violence to reduce its impact on health and leads its lived engagement strategy. As Principal Investigator she directed the development of the Modern Slavery Core Outcome Set, which provides a minimum set of outcomes that should be measured as standard in future modern slavery research on interventions for survivor recovery and intervention. Between 2012-2015 she managed NIHR research to inform the NHS response to human trafficking. For more information, see the PROTECT (Provider Responses, Treatment, and Care for Trafficked People) project page.
- Human trafficking and modern slavery
- Domestic and sexual violence
- Mental health policy
Dr Oram leads the Women’s Mental Health module for the BSc Psychology programme. She supervises a number of BSc Psychology and MSc dissertation students annually.
Her PGR students are:
- Dr Lauren Waterman, an MDRes student investigating the mental health of detained asylum seekers.
- Laura Fischer, an ESRC-funded PhD student investigating the embodied experience of childhood trauma.
Prospective PhD and Visiting Research Students should contact Dr Oram directly to discuss.
Expertise and Public Engagement
In 2022, Dr Oram led the Lancet Psychiatry Commission on Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health. Her research on domestic violence and mental health informed the NICE PH50 guideline on domestic violence and health and reports of the Chief Medical Officer.
Dr Oram’s research on modern slavery is cited in national and international awareness-raising and guidance materials (e.g. Public Health England’s guidance on supporting victims of modern slavery, NHS England’s (NHSE) guidance on safeguarding victims of modern slavery; and a nationally disseminated NHSE video to raise awareness of modern day slavery. In 2019, Dr Oram collaborated with the artist Sara Shamma and the charity Helen Bamber Foundation to explore and visually present in a major art exhibition the meaning and experience of recovery for trafficked women.