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De Silva, Mary

Mary De Silva is a Lecturer in Epidemiology working in global mental health. She read Biological Anthropology at Cambridge (BA, 1999), and Epidemiology at LSHTM (MSc, 2000).

She then worked as a Research Fellow at LSHTM setting up the UK Directory of Clinical Databases (DoCDat), a web based research and policy tool which documents clinical databases in the UK and assesses their methodological quality.

Mary completed her PhD on social capital and maternal mental health at LSHTM in 2005, supervised by Sharon Huttly and Trudy Harpham. Her PhD used data from the Young Lives Study, an international project following children born in Peru, Indian, Ethiopia and Vietnam. She now holds an MRC/ESRC Interdisciplinary Post-Doctoral Fellowship.


Mary is a course organiser for the Global Mental Health Module, and teaches on the Basic Epidemiology and Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies study modules.


Mary's research is focused on global mental health. There are two main themes to her research. The first is the association between mental and physical health, with the premise that 'there is no health without mental health'. Projects include the association between maternal mental health and child physical health and development in low income countries, and the relationship between mental illness and injury/disability.

The second theme is the social epidemiology of mental illness, in particular the contextual determinants of mental disorders, primarily social capital. She has worked on a number of projects in this area exploring the association between social capital and mental health in low income countries.

Mary is currently conducting four Cochrane systematic reviews: psychosocial interventions for the prevention of disability following injury, psychosocial interventions for the prevention of mental health problems following injury, sports interventions for PTSD, and interventions to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of HIV orphans.

Mary is a member of the Advisory Board for the Global Movement for Mental Health, whcih was launched after the 2007 Lancet Series on Global Mental Health. The Movement seeks to use advocacy to scale up evidence based treatments for mental illnesses, particualry in low and middle income countries.

Mary is also the moderator of the LSHTM's mental health e-group which aims to bring together researchers with an interest in mental health at LSHTM.

Selected publications


London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Harpham, Trudy

Research interests Urban health in developing countries, environmental health, health services...

Huttly, Sharon

I became the School's Dean of Studies in January 2006, having played an active role in the...

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