Professor Elizabeth McDermott

Professor Elizabeth McDermott

School of Social Policy
Professor of Mental Health & Society

Contact details

School of Social Policy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Elizabeth McDermott, MSc, PhD, is a public mental health interdisciplinary researcher, working in the fields of mental health inequalities, public health and health services research. She specialises in the mental health of LGBTQ+ populations and theory-led mixed methods research.

Professor McDermott is committed to theoretically-informed empirical work that aims to better understand how to tackle mental health inequality across diverse populations.

She is currently the Deputy Director of the Institute for Mental Health


PhD in Applied Social Science (2003), Lancaster University

MSc in Health Research and Policy (1998), Liverpool John Moores University

BA (Hons) Health, (1996), Liverpool John Moores University

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (2009), University of York


Professor McDermott has held academic posts in the Institute of Health Research at Lancaster University as a research associate/fellow. Then moved to the Dept. Social Policy & Social Work at the University of York, to take up post as a permanent lecturer in Health Policy. After seven years, she returned to Lancaster University as a Senior Lecturer in Health Research in the Faculty of Health & Medicine and subsequently was promoted to Professor of Health Inequality. Prior to an academic career, she worked in public health (mental and sexual health) (NHS) in Liverpool for a decade



MSc Mental Health

  • Service User and Carer Involvement in Mental Health
  • Mental Health & Society 


BA Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology

  • Sociology of Mental Health 

Postgraduate supervision

Elizabeth would welcome PhD students interested in aspects of the following: 

  • LGBTQ+ youth mental health
  • Mental health inequality (e.g. gender, ethnicity, social class)
  • Young people’s mental health help-seeking
  • Public health prevention and reduction in youth mental health
  • Mental health policy


  • LGBTQ+ mental health
  • Youth mental health
  • Mental Health Inequalitites (e.g. gender, ethnicity)
  • Mental Health Prevention and Promotion
  • Mental Health Policy
  • Mental Health Interventions
  • Theory-led Evaluation Methodologies 

Current projects: 

The Trevor Project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham led by Prof McDermott and the US-based charity to generate a UK Survey of LGBTQ+ mental health (2022-4). 

The Good Measure Project is an international collaboration across 6 universities that aims to advance the measurement of gender and sexual dimensions of adolescent mental health and wellbeing. It is funded by the Medical Research Council (2022-4)  

The Queer Futures 2 study (funded by NIHR 2019-2023) aimed to produce a model of early intervention mental health support for LGBTQ+ young people with common mental health problems (e.g. anxiety and depression). The project involved LGBTQ+ young people, CAMHS practitioners, schools, clinicians, local authority and the third sector. The major outputs from this study are available online including NHS commissioning guidelines for LGBTQ+ youth mental health services across a range of settings

The CLASS study funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research (2019-2022) aimed to evaluate the impact on young people’s mental health of interventions that tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Other activities

Member of the NIHR Public Health Funding Committee

Trustee of LGBT+ Consortium 


Recent publications


McDermott, E, Eastham, R, Hughes, E, Johnson, K, Davis, S, Pryjmachuk, S, Mateus, C, McNulty, F & Jenzen, O 2024, ''What works’ to support LGBTQ+ young people’s mental health: An intersectional youth rights approach', International Journal of Social Determinants of Health and Health Services, pp. 1-13.

McDermott, E, Kaley, A, Kaner, E, Limmer, M, McGovern, R, McNulty, F, Nelson, R & Spencer, L 2023, 'Reducing LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health inequalities: A realist review of school-based interventions', Journal of Mental Health.

McDermott, E, Kaley, A, Kaner, E, Limmer, M, McGovern, R, McNulty, F, Nelson, R, Geijer-Simpson , E & Spencer, L 2023, 'Understanding How School-Based Interventions Can Tackle LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Inequality: A Realist Approach', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 20, no. 5, 4274.

Cameron-Mathiassen, J, Leiper, J, Simpson, J & McDermott, E 2022, 'What was care like for me? A systematic review of the experiences of young people living in residential care', Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 138, 106524.

McDermott, ES, Eastham, R, Hughes, E, Pattinson, E, Johnson, K, Davis, S, Pryjmachuk, S, Mateus, MDCC & Jenzen, O 2021, 'Explaining effective mental health support for LGBTQ+ youth: A meta-narrative review', SSM - Mental Health.

Pattinson, E, McDermott, E, Eastham, R, Hughes, E, Johnson, K, Davis, S, Pryjmachuk, S, Jenzen, O & Mateus, C 2021, 'Tackling LGBTQ+ youth mental health inequalit: mapping mental health support across the UK', The British Student Doctor Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 20–29.

McDermott, ES, Nelson, R & Weeks, H 2021, 'The politics of LGBT+ health inequality: Conclusions from a UK scoping review', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 18, no. 2, 826, pp. 1-35.

Taylor, P, Dhingra, K, Dickson, JJ & McDermott, ES 2020, 'Psychological correlates of self-harm within gay, lesbian and bisexual UK University students', Archives of Suicide Research.,

Kneale, D, French, R, Spandler, H, Young, I, Purcell, C, Boden, Z, Brown, SD, Callwood, D, Carr, S, Dymock, A, Eastham, R, Gabb, J, Henley, J, Jones, C, McDermott, E, Mkhwanazi, N, Ravenhill, J, Reavey, P, Scott, R, Smith, C, Smith, M, Tingay, K & Thomas, JRV 2019, 'Conducting sexualities research: an outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten Wellcome-funded projects [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]', Wellcome Open Research.

McDermott, ES, Gabb, J, Eastham, R & Hanbury, A 2019, 'Family trouble: Heteronormativity, emotion work and queer youth mental health', Health.


McDermott, E & Rawlings, V 2024, Online Surveys. in AE Goldberg (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies. 2nd edn, SAGE Publications. <>

McDermott, E & Marzetti, H 2023, Preventing LGBTQ+ youth suicide: A queer critical and human rights approach. in J Semlyen & P Rohleder (eds), Sexual Minorities and Mental Health: Current Perspectives and New Directions. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 391–419.

Rawlings, V & McDermott, ES 2021, Pushing back on ‘risk’: co-designing research on self-harm 165 and suicide with queer young people. in V Rawlings, J Flexner & L Riley (eds), Community-Led Research: walking new pathways together.

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

McDermott, E 2024, Class. in AE Goldberg (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies. 2nd edn, SAGE Publications. <>

Other contribution

Hughes, E & McDermott, ES 2020, Mental health nurses can play a key role in supporting gay, bisexual and two-spirit men experiencing mental health challenges and inequalities..

View all publications in research portal