Professor Bernadka Dubicka

BSc MBBs MD FRCPsych

Professor of child and adolescent psychiatry

Role at Hull York Medical School

Chair of child and adolescent psychiatry and consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust.

Biography

I trained in child and adolescent psychiatry in London and Manchester and have always worked as a clinical academic, with a research interest in mood disorders, in particular brief interventions in adolescent depression. As past chair of the faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, I have been extensively involved in national policy, media and public engagement, particularly around mental health services, the environment and technology. I am Editor in Chief of the Journal of CAMH.

Research

I became interested in mood disorder as a clinical research fellow on the ADAPT trial of adolescent depression, where we found that treatment as usual was as effective as more specialised psychological treatment (CBT). During this time I collaborated with Professor Gabrielle Carlson of Stony Brook University, New York, on a cross-national study examining the diagnosis of mania in children, which has been replicated in a number of countries, including the US, Australia, Japan and the Czech Republic.

I have published on the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder and have conducted a number of meta-analyses on the treatment of depression. I was a principle investigator in a large psychological treatment study of adolescent depression (IMPACT, funding body HTA), which is one of the largest studies of its kind internationally. I co-authored a manual for a brief psychosocial intervention for depression for this trial which was as cost-effective as more specialised therapies in the longer term (CBT and psychodynamic therapy), and has been recognised by NICE.

In light of the ongoing constraints of service delivery in CAMHS, I am keen to optimise the use of brief interventions as a first-line treatment, including through remote delivery. Other research interests include the environment, technology and mental health, and inequalities.

Current projects:

  • Chief Investigator (CI) of a multi-site HTA trial of blended behavioral activation (BA) for moderate-severe depression in CAMHS (£2,089,442, 2022-2026, NIHR132808), where we are training clinicians to deliver BA who have no formal training in therapy.
  • Principle investigator (PI) in the HTA-funded multi-site STADIA trial, which aims to improve the detection of emotional disorders in CAMHS though remote assessments (CI Prof Kapil Sayal, University of Nottingham) - we will be examining whether this can lead to better outcomes for children and young people.
  • PI in the ARC multi-site Far Away from Home Study, which is investigating the experiences of young people being placed away from home in adolescent units or on adult wards (CI Prof Kapil Sayal, University of Nottingham).
  • PI in the INSIGHT study: Young women's perspectives on psychological distress in their population and priority actions for responding: A co-produced qualitative investigation, CI Olga Demkowicz, University of Manchester, 2022, funding National Institute for Health and Care Research
  • PI CAPPS early onset depression surveillance study (CI Adi Sharma, University of Newcastle)
Teaching

I will be teaching on the medical student program on adolescent mental health and medical communication.

Publications
Collaborations

I have longstanding collaborations with the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle and Cambridge.

Postgraduate research supervision

I plan to offer PHD supervision

External roles

Current roles:

Editor in Chief, Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Board member, Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

European Society Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, congress academic board

Member of steering group for NHS Digital CYPMH national prevalence survey

Child and adolescent faculty executive, co-opted member, Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych)

Member of CYP BioResource Study Expert Working Group (CI Anna Moore, University of Cambridge)

Member of advisory panel for i-Minds study (University of Manchester, CI Sandra Bucci): developing an online mentalisation intervention for young people exposed to online sexual abuse and exploitation

Child and adolescent mental health advisor to the Greater Manchester Health Innovations Mental Health Research Domain Operational Group (2020-present)

President Manchester Medical Society, Section of Psychiatry (2021-22)

Treasurer Union of European Medical Societies RCPsych child and adolescent psychiatry section (2021-present)

Previous roles:

Chair of the child and adolescent faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017-2021): extensive policy (e.g. Green paper on mental health in schools, giving oral evidence to parliamentary select committees), media and public engagement work (e.g. BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, all main news channels; online Hay Festival 2020, Barbican Battle of Ideas 2018), including leading on the publication of a position statement on the use of technology in children and young people, which attracted significant international media attention (e.g. NY times, Washington Post, Times of India). My ongoing work at RCPsych includes digital rights and safety for children and the RCPsych response to the eco-crisis including representing RCPsych at COP26 in Glasgow.

Advisor GenZ European survey of adolescent mental health 2022

Member National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology (HTA) mental health panel (2013-19)

Member of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry Task Force on Child and Youth Depression (2019)

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health/Health Education England advisor on competency frameworks for inpatient units (2020)

Member of BRIDGE (Building Research Implementation to Develop and Grow Evidence-based practice in CYP MH) national group: Emerging Minds (2021)

Advisor to the EU Parliament Adocare project on adolescent mental health service provision in Europe 2014

NICE panels e.g. depression 2013

Advisor on CBT for the Development of National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies, 2007-8

Honours and awards

MD thesis: implications of behaviour disorder in adolescent depression, gold medal 2009.

Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015

National ACCEA bronze award 2015, renewed 2022

North West CRN research award 2021