Adolescent precursors to psychiatric disorders – learning from analysis of user-service engagement


Dates: 1 January 2014 - 31 December 2018
Funder: European Research Council

Project description 

Adolescence is a critical period in mental health development, which has been largely neglected by public health efforts. Psychiatric disorders rank as the primary cause of disability among individuals aged 10-24 years, worldwide. Moreover, many health risk behaviours emerge during adolescence and 70% of adult psychiatric disorders are preceded by mental health problems during adolescent years. However, delays to receiving care for psychiatric disorders, following disorder onset, avreage more than ten years and little is known about factors which impede access to and continuity of care among young people with mental health problems.

The APPLAUSE study is analysing current access models, reports of individual experiences of positive and negative interactions with health care services and the culturally embedded social factors that impact on such access. Addressing this complex problem from a global perspective will advance the development of a more diverse and innovative set of strategies for improving earlier access to care.


APPLAUSE’s aim is to produce a body of evidence that illustrates how young people with mental health problems currently interact with both formal mental health services and informal social and familial support structures. Careful analysis of data gathered in the UK and Brazil will allow formulation of globally relevant insights into mental health care delivery for young people, which will be presented internationally as a resource for future health care service design.

This study will allow the collection of an important data set that does not currently exist in this field, and will look to other disciplines for innovative approaches to data analysis.

Key Publications

Further project information

Principal Investigator: Dr Sara Evans-Lacko
CPEC Research team: Wagner Silva-Ribeiro
Collaborators: King's College London
Countries: England, Brazil

Keywords: mental health, young people


Sara Evans-Lacko