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Lina Gega

Reader in Mental Health

Department: Social Work Education Community Wellbeing

HLS_Northumbria -University -Staff _Lina -Gega _Reader -Mental -Health

She is a Reader in Mental Health at Northumbria University Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and a Research Ethics Lead for the Department of Social Work & Communities. Previously, she held leadership roles as Course Director for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Branch Lead for Mental Health Nursing at King’s College London, Deputy Lead for Psychiatry at Norwich Medical School University of East Anglia and Clinical Lead for the commissioning and delivery of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.

Lina has been a grant applicant and principal investigator with research teams that secured over £5 million in funding from UK Research Councils. She has published peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and a monograph in the field of digital and information-communications technology for mental health care and education. Her work on technology-mediated interventions and training formed the basis of an impact case study submitted to 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) as part of the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Unit of Assessment. Her current research focuses on interventions with families / carers, children and young people affected by, or at risk of, severe mental illness and common emotional problems.

In collaboration with an Industry partner (Xenodu Ltd), Lina has led the development of an innovative virtual environments system for psychological interventions; this attracted wide media coverage and is currently being applied across numerous NHS Trusts for forensic rehabilitation, dementia care and professional consultation skills training. Her published self-assessment questionnaire to triage referrals with depression and anxiety for low intensity interventions has been adapted and implemented by many psychological therapy services in the country.

Lina has extensive experience in doctoral / postgraduate, undergraduate and practice-based teaching, supervision and assessment of doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and non-clinicians. She received a teaching excellence award, a teaching fellowship, and a nomination for a national teaching award from King’s College London. She is an editor for Cogent Psychology and a reviewer for numerous international academic journals and funding bodies.

0191 215 6470


  • Jan 2009 PhD. “Pragmatic Evaluation of Computer-aided Self-Help for Depression/Anxiety”. King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Health Services Research Department.
  • July 2000 BA (Hons) Adult Behavioural Psychotherapy (upper 2:1). Sheffield Hallam University, School of Health & Community Studies with Community Health NHS Trust.
  • July 2000 PGCert Behavioural Psychotherapeutic Studies. Sheffield Hallam University, School of Health & Community Studies with Community Health NHS Trust.
  • July 2000 ENB 650 & ENB Higher Award Specialist Practitioner in Mental Health. English National Board
  • July 1998 BN (Hons) Nursing Studies (upper 2:1). University of Nottingham, Postgraduate Division,  School of Nursing, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. 
  • July 1998 Registered Nurse in Mental Health (RMN). Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC, pin. no 94J0867E).

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Lina’s subject expertise is in digital and information-communications technology for mental health care and education, in particular Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), self-managed / standardised interventions in primary care and the community, and e-learning. Her research work relates to populations with a range of mental health needs, including phobias, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, intellectual disabilities and psychosis. Her publications are cross-disciplinary (nursing, medicine, psychotherapy, psychology) and demonstrate her diverse methodological experience (randomised controlled trials - RCTs, evidence syntheses, economic evaluations, tool validation, observational, case-control and qualitative studies). Her main methodological skills and interests are in designing and conducting RCTs (to estimate intervention effectiveness or feasibility), with adjunct economic evaluations (esp. developing economic data collection tools relevant to the research population and interpreting cost-effectiveness in the context of service provision and commissioning) and qualitative process evaluations (esp. patient experiences and implementation issues).

Sponsors and Collaborators

Funding (research and teaching grants, PhD studentships, grants for conference organisation)

  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC), Clinical Research Network (CRN) National Coordinating Centre
  • British Academy for Arts and Humanities.
  • Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London
  • Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University


Collaborators (present and recent past)

  • UK HEIs: Universities of Manchester, Newcastle, York, East Anglia, Southampton, King’s College London, Imperial College London, Centre for Global Mental Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • NHS Trusts: Northumberland, Tyne & Wear (NTW), Tees, Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV), Norfolk & Suffolk (NSFT), South Tyneside, Southern Health (Southampton), Manchester Health and Social Care, Leeds and York Partnership, South London and Maudsley (SLAM).
  • Third Sector: NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Mind.
  • CTUs / Methodological Centres: Southampton Health Technology Assessment Centre (SHTAC), Centre for Health Economics Institute of Psychiatry, Norfolk & Norwich CTU, Sheffield CTU
  • International: Stanford University School of Medicine USA, Hallym University Medical Center Seoul S.Korea, Linköping University Sweden, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.
  • Industry: Xenodu Ltd.

Current/Recent Projects


December 2015: £1,408,823 over 48 months, from June 2016. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Study Title: A non-inferiority randomised controlled trial comparing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of one session treatment (OST) with multi-session cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in children with specific phobias. Co-applicant & Site PI.

July 2015: £485,126.60, over 36 months, from Jan 2016, by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Study title: A Community-Based Intervention to Improve Health-Related Quality of Life in Children of Parents with Serious Parental Mental Illness (COPMI). Co-Applicant & Site PI.

January 2011: £1,768,802, over 48 months, from Sept 2011, by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Study title: Obsessive Compulsive Treatment Efficacy Trial (OCTET).  Co-Applicant & Site PI

March 2009: £99,970, over 18 months, from July 2009, by the NIHR Research for Innovation, Speculation & Creativity (RISC) Funding Pathway. Study title: Development of a novel computer-based therapy for social anxiety in psychosis: preliminary investigations of feasibility and effectiveness.  Co-applicant & Co-investigator

September 2008: £249,161, over 24 months, from October 2009, by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme. Study title: Support for computerised therapy for patients with depression: a factorial randomised controlled comparison of brief vs. enhanced support given by clinician vs. assistant.  Lead Applicant & Chief  Investigator

February 2008: £250,000, over 24 months, from January 2009, by the NIHR RfPB Programme. Study title: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Young People.  Co-applicant.



Feb 2016: Northumbria University at Newcastle (3 years full-time). Social Care-Related Quality of Life in Children Of Parents with Mental Illness (COPMI).

April 2015: Northumbria University at Newcastle (3 years full-time). Community-Based Online Intervention to Improve Quality of Life in Carers of People with Severe Mental Illness.

Dec 2009: University of East Anglia (3 years full-time). An innovative virtual environments system to reduce social anxiety in young adults.

Dec 2009: University of East Anglia (3 years full-time). Cognitive and social processes underpinning paranoia: experimental studies and development of novel interventions.



Jan 2016: £3,000 awarded by the NIHR Clinical Research National Coordinating Centre to organise an event on current ethical and legal issues in engaging children and young people in mental health research.

July 2009: £23,000 awarded by the University of East Anglia, Faculty of Medicine & Health Science’s Executive Committee to develop a custom-made Virtual Environments System.

July 2006: £3,000 for the 2005/6 College Teaching Fellowship Award by King’s College London to develop and evaluate an e-training programme on psychological interventions for health professionals.

Key Publications

Lovell K, Bower P, Gellatly J, Byford S, Bee P, McMillan D, Arundel C, Gilbody S, Gega L, et al (in press) Clinical, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of low intensity treatments in the management of OCD: the OCTET randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment.

Gega L (in press) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. In Chambers, M. (Ed) Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing: The Craft of Caring. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Vereenooghe L, Gega L, Reynolds S, Langdon P (2015) Using computers to teach people with intellectual disabilities to perform some of the tasks used within cognitive behavioural therapy: a randomised experiment. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 76:13-23.

Vereenooghe L, Reynolds S, Gega L, Langon P (2015) Can a computerised training paradigm assist people with intellectual disabilities to learn cognitive mediation skills? A randomised experiment. Behaviour Research & Therapy. 71:10-19.

Gega L, White R, O’Neill A, Fowler, D (2015) Virtual Environments With Chroma-Keying Video Capture In Psychological Therapy. In: Riva G, Wiederhold BK, Cipresso P. The Psychology of Social Networking. Personal Experience in Online Communities (Vol. 1): De Gruyter.

Gega L, Gilbody S (2015) Software-Based Psychotherapy: The Example of Computerized Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (cCBT). In Aboujaoude, E. & Starcevic, V. (Eds) Mental Health in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gellatly J, Bower P, McMillan D, Roberts C, Byford S, Bee P, Gilbody S, Arundel C, Hardy G, Barkham M, Reynolds S, Gega L, et al (2014) Obsessive Compulsive Treatment Efficacy Trial (OCTET) comparing the clinical and cost effectiveness of self-managed therapies: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 15:278.

Mobini S, Mackintosh B, Illingworth J, Gega L, Langdon P, Hoppitt L (2014) Effects of Standard and Explicit Cognitive Bias Modification and Computer-administered Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy on Cognitive Biases and Social Anxiety. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 45: 272-279.

PGR Supervision


2012-15: Leen Vereenooghe (PhD, University of East Anglia): A picture-based computerised assessment and training paradigm for cognitive behaviour therapy skills in adults with intellectual disabilities.

2010-15: Richard White (PhD, University of East Anglia): The role of social anxiety and core beliefs about self and others in psychosis

2008-10: Sirous Mobini (ClinPsyD, University of East Anglia) Effects of cognitive bias modification and computer-aided cognitive-behaviour therapy on modifying attentional and interpretive biases and anticipatory social anxiety.

2007-09: Joanna Smith (ClinPsyD, University of East Anglia) Exploring individuals’ experiences and therapeutic processes in computerised vs. conventional cognitive behavioural therapy for depression.


2016: To be appointed (PhD, Northumbria University) Social Care-Related Quality of Life in Children Of Parents with Mental Illness.

2015: Amy Johnson (PhD, Northumbria University) Community-Based Online. Reaching out to carers of friends and family with psychosis: A model for an online intervention to improve carer wellbeing and quality of life

2015: Jack Nichols (PhD, Northumbria University) Newly qualified social workers’ perceptions and experiences of social justice as an ideal and a practice reality: a qualitative study.

2015: Christina Dodds (PhD, Northumbria University) Health and Social Care-Related Quality of Life and Needs of Female Veterans in Transition to Civilian Life.

2014: Cathryn Meredith (PhD, Northumbria University) Case Application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by Safeguarding Adults Practitioners: a Micro-Ethnographic Study.

2014: Allan Brownrigg (PhD part-time, Northumbria University) Success Stories of Psychotherapy with Young People who Self-Harm: An Interpretive Phenomenological Study


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