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Summer School

“Inspired me to think about a career in youth mental health research” – Wolfson Centre Summer School 2022

20 September 2022

Jemma Baker is a Research Assistant and aspiring Clinical Psychologist/Researcher based at the University of Oxford. In this blog, Jemma shares her experience of attending the Wolfson Centre Summer School and discusses how it has inspired her future research interests in the field of youth mental health.


I attended the Wolfson Summer School in Youth Mental Health Research in July this year. I had a great experience, even while trying to make it through the 40-degree heatwave!

With my fan on full power and Zoom at the ready, I joined the three-day virtual Summer School. Each day was filled with informative talks, interactive workshops, and lots of inspiring discussions between the researchers and the attendees.

I signed up for the Summer School as it sounded like a brilliant opportunity to learn about youth mental health research from the experts themselves.

I wanted to find out more about what research has already been established, as well as where it is heading next.

As I was soon to be starting a new role in youth mental health research, I was excited to learn more about this research to apply it to my work.

I am now a Research Assistant at the University of Oxford and I’m working on a study that aims to develop and evaluate a new method of identifying children with anxiety problems and providing effective support through primary schools (find out more here).

During the Summer School, I was particularly interested in hearing Professor Graham Moore’s talk about mental health interventions in schools as it was really relevant to my work and own research interests.

In this talk, Professor Graham Moore discussed the challenges of evaluating and implementing mental health interventions in schools and several key studies. Interestingly, the findings from studies that have evaluated mental health interventions paint a complicated picture of whether these interventions work in schools.


Some interventions seem to have small beneficial effects whereas some have neutral or even negative effects. Additionally, who’s delivering the intervention (e.g. school staff or external practitioner) and the type (e.g. universal or targeted) seem to play an important role.

Another key point that stood out to me was that interventions usually require additional resources and capacity, of which schools already have a limited amount. So even though an intervention may be effective, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the intervention will be feasible for schools to implement.

All in all, the Summer School has given me a lot of food for thought and has inspired me to start thinking about a career in youth mental health research.

Thank you to the Wolfson Centre for putting together such a brilliant event!


Special thanks to Jemma for sharing her experience with us.

Twitter: @jemma_baker