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Professor Rachel Jenkins

Research interests

Rachel Jenkins is an academic of international standing and Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology and International Mental Health Policy at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London.


Professor Jenkins directed the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry for 15 years and continues to lead projects overseas, working with governments and international and national organisations to give support on mental health policy development and implementation, new legislation, training development and innovation, and in providing consultation and strategic advice to government and non-governmental organisations.  She is involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of a variety of capacity building and training projects across Africa (Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia), the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Oman), Asia (Pakistan) and Europe, including the former Soviet Union.  She also presents briefings, seminars and keynote and invited lectures around the world addressing mental health.


Professor Jenkins maintains an active research interest.  In the UK she initiated (in 1992) and continues to contribute to a series of epidemiological surveys investigating the mental health of the general population, children, carers, prisoners, the homeless, looked-after children and people living in institutions.  Overseas her policy work in low- and middle-income countries is backed by localised research projects (epidemiological and randomised controlled trials) in mental health.  Current research work includes RCTs of the integration of mental health into primary care in Iraq, Malawi and Kenya, and epidemiological studies in Kenya, Tanzania and UK.


Professor Jenkins trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital – where she is currently an honorary psychiatrist – and in research at the Institute of Psychiatry.  She was a consultant and senior lecturer at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, London, 1985-1987, and Principal Medical Officer for Mental Health in England’s Department of Health 1988-1996.  She initiated the British National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey Programme (1993-present) and led the mental health component of the UK government Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing project in 2008.  Professor Jenkins has been a member of WHO’s expert panel of advisors since 1995 and has sat on more than twenty WHO expert committees on mental health, as well as acting as a consultant to the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, and the African Development Bank.







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