Sonia Johnson

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Sonia Johnson studied medicine and also did an MSc in Social Psychology at LSE before training as a psychiatrist at the Maudsley. Her first academic post was as a Clinical Lecturer in Community Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. She then moved to UCL, where she is now Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry. Her clinical work is as a consultant psychiatrist in the Early Intervention Service for psychosis in Islington, which she helped to set up - currently she specialises in seeing people with early bipolar. Her research interests have been wide ranging, recently including crisis and early intervention services, digital mental health, women’s mental health and loneliness and social isolation. She is Director of the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit (@MentalHealthPRU) which provides evidence to inform policy and is currently working on a programme of rapid research related to the mental health care impact of COVID-19. She leads the UKRI Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network (@UCL_Loneliness) with Alexandra Pitman. She is also is the proud Director of the MSc programme in the UCL Division of Psychiatry (@MentalHealthMSc), a source of quite a number of Elves and others who have been achieving amazing things.


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Intensive home treatment in crisis: a randomised controlled trial from the Netherlands


Lucy Maconick and Sonia Johnson appraise a recent trial conducted in Amsterdam, which finds that intensive home treatment substantially reduces the use of hospital beds in acute psychiatry, without compromising patient safety.

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Mental health scientists stand up to COVID-19


Alexandra Pitman, Sonia Johnson and Michael Bloomfield respond to the mental health and COVID-19 research priorities set out in a new position paper published in The Lancet Psychiatry on 15th April 2020.

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How far is evidence-informed policy-making achievable?


On the day that the new Mental Health Act Review report is published, Sonia Johnson and Bryn Lloyd-Evans reflect on the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit contribution to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act.

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Research unit to bring evidence to forefront of mental health policy


Today we announce the launch of the new NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, led by Sonia Johnson from UCL & Paul McCrone from King’s, alongside researchers from City, University of London and Middlesex University.

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