Sharon Stevelink
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Personal profile

Biographical details

Dr Sharon Stevelink is a Reader in Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. She formally trained in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Sharon joined King’s College London in September 2012. Over the years, she has built up a comprehensive research portfolio exploring work and mental health.

She is the Co-Principal Investigator on a landmark study exploring the impact of deployment on the mental health and wellbeing of UK military personnel and veterans that has been running for nearly two decades. In addition, she co-leads a longitudinal study exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of over 25,000 healthcare workers (NHS CHECK). Other studies that Sharon leads include an exploration of transition among female veterans (SUSTAIN) and a study that investigates the mental health and physical health needs of veterans accessing primary care (CPRD). Currently, Sharon holds a NIHR Advanced Fellowship exploring the impact of the welfare system on mental health service users, capitalising upon a first ever data linkage of administrative benefits records with electronic mental health records in the UK. In 2023, she was appointed by the Government as a scientific member of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

Sharon has led or been involved in various studies that have now finished. For example, she led the ENABLE study that explored the risk for progression from one long-term health condition to several, with a focus on socio-demographic, socioeconomic, psychosocial and health factors, thereby also exploring which long-term health conditions were most likely to lead to loss of work. Data from the South East London Community Health study were used to explore these research questions.

Further, Sharon co-led the TRIAD study, a longitudinal study focusing on how PTSD develops in UK Armed Forces personnel. This study capitalised on the health and wellbeing cohort study that has been run successfully by KCMHR over the last 20 years. She also led on the secondary data analysis of the Airwave study, thereby exploring mental health outcomes among over 40,000 police officers and staff and a study comparing mental health outcomes among emergency responders using data from the UK Biobank. In addition, she set up the KCL CHECK study, a longitudinal study that explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the King’s College London community, thereby also providing regular antibody testing to KCL staff and postgraduate research students who participated.

Sharon supervises various PhD and DClin Psych students in the area of work, mental health and welfare. She would be interested to supervise students who are interested in using longitudinal survey data, data linkage, administrative and healthcare record data to address questions that overlap with her research interests.

Education and training

  • 2019 Fellow, UK Higher Education Academy
  • 2019 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education
  • 2012 MSc Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • 2011 PhD Measuring health-related stigma in low-resource settings, VU University Amsterdam
  • 2011 MSc in Management, Policy-Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences (specialisation International Public Health), VU University Amsterdam
  • 2008 BSc Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam

Research interests

  • Work and health
  • Occupational mental health
  • Military health
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Emergency responders
  • Welfare system
  • Data linkage

Teaching

  • Research methods and statistics for the MSc in Psychiatric Research, IoPPN, KCL

Expertise and public engagement

Sharon started the Veteran Research Advisory Group for the King’s Centre for Military Health Research that brings together veterans to help shape and inform the research agenda of the Centre. As part of her NIHR Fellowship, she has embedded three members of the public in her research team who have lived experience of the welfare system and mental health services. She often works with stakeholders in the field such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Office for Veterans’ Affairs, Ministry of Defence, NHS England, local government, third sector organisations and charities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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