Lina Gega
Reader in Mental Health

Profile

Biography

Dr Lina Gega is a Reader in Mental Health at the University of York, in a joint appointment with the Department of Health Sciences and Hull York Medical School (HYMS). Lina completed her doctorate studies at the Institute of Psychiatry King’s College London, her behavioural psychotherapy post-graduate training at Sheffield Community Health NHS Trust and the Maudsley Hospital London, and her nursing degree at the University of Nottingham.

Previously, Lina held clinical academic leadership roles at King’s College London, as Course Director for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Brach Lead for Mental Health Nursing, and at Norwich Medical School, as Deputy Lead for Psychiatry. She was a Clinical Lead for the commissioning and provision of primary care psychological therapy services in Norfolk and Northumberland and a Research Ethics Lead for Social Work at Northumbria University. She received a Teaching Excellence Award and a Teaching Fellowship from King’s College London.

Lina has been a grant applicant and co-investigator with research teams that secured £5 million in funding from UK Research Councils and other sources. She has published peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and a Maudsley monograph in digital mental health and cognitive behaviour therapy. In collaboration with an Industry partner, Lina led the development of an innovative virtual environments system http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22994671 that has been applied to psychological therapy, forensic rehabilitation, dementia care and consultation skills training. Her work on technology-mediated interventions and training formed an impact case study http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/Results.aspx?val=gega submitted to 2014 Research Excellence Framework as part of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

Lina’s current research focuses on interventions with children and young people who are affected by, or are at risk of, mental health problems ASPECT; Young SMILES. She supports the Child Oriented Mental Health Intervention Centre COMIC and works with health services, social care, education and charities to upskill health and non-health professionals, as well as to train peers and parents/carers of service users, in delivering standardised interventions that can prevent and improve mental health problems. Lina is a tutor, senior advisor and mentor for medical students, and a research supervisor for Masters students in public health, applied health research and health economics at the University of York. She is an Editor for Cogent Psychology [6] and a reviewer for several UK and international journals and funding bodies.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Health Services Research. ‘Pragmatic Evaluation of Computer-aided Self-Help for Depression/Anxiety’ King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Health Services Research Department (Jan 2009)
  • BA (Hons) Adult Behavioural Psychotherapy. Sheffield Hallam University, School of Health & Community Studies with Sheffield Community Health NHS Trust (July 2000)
  • BN (Hons) Nursing Studies. University of Nottingham, Postgraduate Division, School of Nursing, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham (July 1998)
  • PGCert Behavioural Psychotherapeutic Studies. Sheffield Hallam University, School of Health & Community Studies with Sheffield Community Health NHS Trust (July 2000)
  • Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Practitioner. British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (renewed Feb 2011)
  • ENB 650 & ENB Higher Award Specialist Practitioner in Mental Health. English National Board (July 2000)
  • Registered Nurse in Mental Health (RMN). Nursing & Midwifery Council (July 1998)

University roles

  • Member of the Centre for Health and Population Sciences (CHaPS)
  • Senior Advisor and Mentor, Hull York Medical School Student Support Services
  • Member of the Department of Health Sciences Research Committee
  • Member of the University of York Student Mental Health Forum

Research

Overview

Lina’s subject expertise is in digital technologies and mental health, particularly in relation to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), supported self-managed care and standardised interventions in primary care and the community. Her current research focuses on interventions with children and young people affected by, or at risk of, mental health problems.

Her research work has been with a range of clinical populations, including phobias, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, intellectual disabilities and psychosis. Her publications are cross-disciplinary (nursing, medicine, psychotherapy, psychology) and methodologically diverse (RCTs, evidence syntheses, economic evaluations, tool validation, observational, case-control and qualitative studies).

Her methodological interests are in:

  • User-informed design of standardised interventions to prevent and improve mental health problems
  • RCTs to evaluate effects or feasibility of mental interventions and training
  • Economic evaluations, especially developing relevant economic data collection tools and interpreting cost-effectiveness results in the context of service provision and commissioning
  • Qualitative process evaluations, especially in relation to participant experiences and implementation issues
  • Evaluating mechanisms of mental health outcome change with complex interventions.

Projects

  • ASPECT: Alleviating Specific Phobias Experienced by Children Trial. Co-applicant & Site PI.  From July 2016 for 48 months, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Full title: A non-inferiority randomised controlled trial comparing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of one session treatment (OST) with multi-session cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in children with specific phobias. Lead applicant: Prof. Barry Wright, University of York & Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust).
  • Young SMILES: An intervention for children with mentally ill parents. Co-applicant and site PI.  From Jan 2016 for 36 months, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Full title: A Community-Based Intervention to Improve Health-Related Quality of Life in Children of Parents with Serious Parental Mental Illness. Lead Applicant: Prof. Kathryn Abel, University of Manchester and Manchester and Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust.

Research group(s)

Available PhD research projects

  • Component analysis and mechanisms of change in cognitive behaviour therapies for anxiety problems in children and young people (not funded)
  • Virtual environments to help young people overcome social anxiety (not funded)

Supervision

Lina is interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • digital technologies (internet therapies, virtual reality)
  • children and young people’s mental health
  • improving access to psychological therapies
  • supported self-managed care 
  • cross-sector delivery of evidence-based interventions (NHS, Social Care, Third Sector, peer networks).

Publications

Full publications list

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Scholarship & Special Interest Programme (SSIP), HYMS
  • Psychological Medicine, HYMS
  • Critical Appraisal, HYMS

Postgraduate

  • MSc in Public Health, DoHS
  • MSc in Applied Health Research, DoHS
  • MSc in Health Economics, DoHS

Other teaching

  • PhD co-supervisor at Northumbria University

Lina is able to supervise Masters projects that focus on children's and young people's mental health, psychological and behavioural interventions, digital health, research ethics, culturally adapted care, social determinants of mental health, targeted public mental health interventions for populations at risk or with emerging symptoms, and economic evaluations of mental health interventions.

External activities

Memberships

Editorial duties

Media coverage

Contact details

Dr Lina Gega
Reader in Mental Health

Tel: 01904 32(1870)

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