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Helena Tuomainen

Job Title
Assistant Professor
WMS - Health Sciences
02476 5 28205
Research Interests

I am interested in young people and their mental wellbeing in high and low/middle income countries. I have an interest in schools as settings for promoting mental wellbeing, identifying problems and supporting young people. I am also interested in the role of parents and primary care in caring for young people with mental health problems and supporting them access care, especially during late adolescence/early adulthood. Due to my background in food/nutrition, I am also interested in the links between food/eating and mental health and wellbeing.


I am leading on a project focusing on school-based mental health research and the development of an assessment platform, currently enabling schools to undertake yearly wellbeing measurements, but with scope for broader research use. Previously, I was the scientific research manager on the EU-funded MILESTONE project (2014 to 2019), with nine interlinked work packages focusing on the transition of young people from child to adult mental health services. I coordinated the MILESTONE study, an 8-country cohort study with a nested cluster randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness of 'managed transition'. Under my leadership, the MILESTONE team was highly commended for Public Engagement activities (University of Warwick awards) and won the MQ/NIHR award for Service User involvement in research. I am keen to take this research forward, with a focus on supporting young people access care after being discharged from specialist mental health services. I am also developing a research project in the area of commensality (eating together) and (student) mental health. I have a multidisciplinary background and have held research posts at a number of internationally renowned research institutions in the UK and abroad. I enjoy PhD supervision and am currently supervising three projects: Experiences of the end of care at child and adolescent mental health services (Rebecca Appleton); Psychiatric hospital reform in the Indian context (Tasneem Raja); Mental health literacy of Sikhs in England (Ariana Kular).