Doctoral program in youth mental health leadership (The YouLead Program)

This doctoral training program focuses on youth mental health research. Mental health difficulties (including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia) account for approximately half of all causes of disability in individuals under the age of 35. Despite the fact that access to treatment is strongly associated with reduced risk of mental health difficulties later in life, people aged 12-25 years have the poorest access to treatment of all age groups. There are several reasons for this, including poor understanding of young people‚Äôs mental health, a failure to correctly recognise symptoms, underfunded health services that lack strategic organisation and delivery, and high levels of stigma. Each of these barriers to treatment have in turn been associated with a paucity of funding for youth mental health research. 
This project will address the national and international need to advance youth mental health by achieving a number of objectives. These include (1) To establish a cross university interdisciplinary curriculum in youth mental health research that will (2) Train five PhD candidates in interdisciplinary youth mental health research methodologies, leading directly to (3) the carrying out of 15 studies in five key thematic areas of youth mental health using state of the art methodologies. Doing so will further result in (4) the establishment of an Irish youth mental health research network representing major stakeholders (including researchers, individuals/families with lived experience of mental health difficulties, national health services, and national/governmental policy makers). In establishing, and then sustaining this activity, our final objective is to create a platform for knowledge exchange & dissemination to shape future service delivery, and national youth mental health policy.

Award Date
23 February 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Gary Donohoe
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Collaborative Doctoral Awards