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Dr Alexandra Pitman
Division of Psychiatry
Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Rd
  • Associate Professor
  • Division of Psychiatry
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

Alexandra is an Associate Professor in the UCL Division of Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust. She gained her undergraduate degree in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford, her MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, and her undergraduate medical degree at Imperial College. She completed her core training in psychiatry on the West London rotation, and her higher training in General Adult Psychiatry as a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow on the North London/UCL rotation. Her PhD at UCL was funded by the Medical Research Council, and was followed by a MRC Centenary Early Career Award and a Guarantors of Brain post-doctoral fellowship. In 2017 she became a Senior Lecturer in General Adult Psychiatry in the UCL Division of Psychiatry. 

Her clinical and research interests are the care of people who feel suicidal; the links between loneliness, social isolation and mental illness; and the prevention of suicide attempt. Professor Sonia Johnson (PI) and Alexandra co-lead the Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health research network; one of eight UKRI-funded networks designed to broaden mental health research. 


Research Themes
Research Summary

I am interested in understanding risk factors for suicide attempt and in developing interventions to address them. I am currently working on the following areas:

suicide means restriction

suicide attempt risk in vulnerable groups (people bereaved by suicide; people with cancer; LGBT youth; migrants; construction workers; people who identify as lonely)

acceptable means of asking patients about suicidal thoughts 

My PhD at UCL was funded by a MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship, and involved conducting a national survey to investigate the impact of sudden bereavement on the mental health and social functioning of young adults. One of the key findings of this project was the increased risk of suicide attempt associated with suicide bereavement. Further work on this project was funded by a MRC Centenary Early Career Award and a Guarantors of Brain post-doctoral fellowship. Findings of this study to date are summarised here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/bereavementstudy/study-findings

I am currently funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to investigate mediators of suicide risk after suicide bereavement. 

Together with Professor Sonia Johnson, I co-lead the UKRI-funded Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health network. The work of this network is summarised here: 


Teaching Summary

Teaching responsibilities: 

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

2018-2019 & 2017-2018 UCL MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences - lecturing on Current research in depression and anxiety module: Suicide & self-harm 

2014-2015 module leader for clinical mental health module - UCL MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences 

teaching on UCL/Royal Free MRCPsych course (Epidemiology; Economic Evaluation;  Communication Skills; CASC teaching)

teaching on UCL Medical School MBBS course (Introduction to Psychiatry; Depression; Eating Disorders; Affective Disorders)

lecturing at Birkbeck College: Health Policy and Health Promotion (course organiser & lecturer)

lecturing at LSE: short course in Economic evaluation for public health clinicians and policy-makers

lecturing at Imperial College Management School: International Fellowship Programme in Health Policy

Postgraduate supervision:

PhD supervisory panel for a McPin Foundation & ESRC Doctoral Training Programme Co-Funded & Collaborative Studentship https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/study-here/researchdegrees/McPin_ESRC_PhD-studentship_info

PhD supervisor for the NIHR School for Public Health Research PhD programme

PhD supervisor for the ESRC PhD programme (UCL, Bloomsbury & East London Doctoral Training Partnership)

UCL MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences dissertations 

UCL MSc in Behaviour Change dissertation

UCL MSc in Psychological Sciences dissertation

Undergraduate supervision:

UCL BSc in Human Sciences dissertation

UCL BASc Arts & Sciences dissertation

UCL Medical School MBBS student projects

09-OCT-2017 Senior Clinical Lecturer Epidemiology and Applied Clinical Research Department UCL Division of Psychiatry, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2007 MRCPsych Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Psychiatry Royal College of Psychiatrists
2003 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Medicine University College London/Imperial College
1998 MSc Master of Science – Health Policy London School of Economics and Political Science
1995 BA Bachelor of Arts – Human Sciences University of Oxford
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