Scientific Advisory Board Member
Sara is a mental health services researcher with a particular interest in the role of health services and social support in the prevention and treatment of mental illness and cross-cultural applications of this.
Sara’s research has focused on key issues of importance in global mental health using interdisciplinary methods integrating insights from public health, psychiatry and economics. Her research aims to improve access to care and support for young people with mental illness and to reduce the stigma associated with these conditions to positively impact their long-term mental health and socio-economic outcomes.
Her current and planned projects address this issue in a variety of ways. She uses longitudinal cohort data to estimate the social and economic consequences of mental health problems over the life course and to explore their interactions with key risk factors / precursors and other vulnerabilities. These findings can increase understanding of the dynamics of the life course to identify key time points for intervention and investment. She uses this evidence to inform how public policy can be better shaped to address the many personal, social and economic challenges posed by mental illnesses, across the life-course and throughout a range of contexts and high-, medium- and low-income settings.
Sara also develops and evaluates interventions to improve access to care and support. She is interested in leading new and diverse ways to deliver and implement tailored evidence-based interventions which improve the mental health of low-income youth and to disrupt the dynamic between mental health and poverty which generates and reproduces inequalities over the lifespan.
The issue of translating research findings so that the evidence produced is useful to governments, practitioners, people with mental health conditions and their families is of great importance. Sara works together closely with relevant stakeholders throughout her research to promote knowledge exchange and to consider potential facilitators and barriers to implementation.
The findings from her work have made impacts from the individual and local to the global level. At the global level, she has advised on national and state mental health plans and her work has been cited in key government reports in Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico and the UK and by international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
Sara has a PhD in Health Policy and Management, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.