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Professor Raghu Raghavan

Job: Professor of Mental Health

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Nursing and Midwifery

Research group(s): Nursing and Midwifery Research centre

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 201 3831




Personal profile

Raghu’s clinical background is in health psychology and nursing, with expertise in participatory research and co-production. His research is encapsulated by four overarching, but inter-related themes which address issues in mental health, disability and wellbeing: improving access to services/interventions, user involvement, practice and service development, cultural diversity and inclusion.

His current research consists of exploring the conceptualisation of dementia in minority ethnic communities; faith, belief systems and mental health recovery; mental health literacy and research participation from diverse ethnic communities.

He has published widely on disability, ethnicity and service improvement. He is currently editing a book on Mental Health, Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity: Exploring narratives for transformative services. He is director of Mary Seacole Research Centre and is also co-ordinating the International Transcultural Mental Health Network

Research group affiliations

  • Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
  • Centre for Social Action
  • Mary Seacole Research Centre
  • Youth Community and Education
  • Health Policy Research

Key research outputs

  • Raghavan R and Griffin E (2017) Resilience and children and young people with intellectual disabilities, Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 11(3) 1-8


    Gobrial E and Raghavan R (2017) Calm Child Programme: Parental Programme for Anxiety in Children and Young People with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of intellectual Disabilities, doi/10.1177/1744629517704536


    Wales J, Brewin N, Raghavan R and Arcelus J (2017) Exploring Barriers to South Asian Help-Seeking for Eating Disorders, Mental Health Review Journal, 22, 40-50


    Raghavan R (2016) Active Involvement and Co-production with people with intellectual disabilities from minority ethnic communities. In Social Work in a Diverse Society: Transformative Practice in Ethnic Minority Communities (Eds. C. Williams and M. Graham) Policy Press#

Research interests/expertise

  • Mental health and intellectual disability
  • Resilience and mental health
  • Ethnicity, cultural Diversity and service access
  • Transcultural mental health
  • User and carer perspectives
  • Assistive technology  

Areas of teaching

  • Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Ageing and disability
  • User and family carer perspectives
  • Ethnicity and Cultural perspectives


  • PhD (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (University of Wolverhampton)
  • M.Sc. in Medical Psychology (University of Surrey)
  • BA in Psychology (University of Kerala, India)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID)
  • British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD)
  • Association for Research Training and Integration in Europe (ARFIE)

Professional licences and certificates

  • Registered Nurse (Learning Disabilities), East Surrey school of Nursing, Redhill, Surrey

Conference attendance

  • Imagining cultural competence in mental health services, International conference on Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Leicester, UK, 22-24 June, Conference abstracts, De Montfort University 
  • Co-production of mental health services for people from diverse ethnic communities: Emperor’s new clothes or transformative practice? Trans-Cultural Dialogues about Mental Health, Extreme states and Alternatives for recovery’ International Conference,  26 – 28 November 2016 – PUNE, INDIA
  • Beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of Schizophrenia among South Asian population: A review of evidence. Third International conference on Counselling, Psychotherapy and Wellness, 5-7, January, 2016, Christ University, Bengaluru, India.
  • Ageing and Intellectual Disability: A European perspective, European conference on Integrating different approaches in the neurodevelopmental perspective, Vienna, Austria, 2015 
  • Perspectives on ageing by people with intellectual disabilities and their family carers, New Horizons in Mental Health in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 12-14 September 2013, Estoril, Portugal
  • Resilience symposium: Review of resilience in young people with disabilities and mental health needs, 8th European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, September 2011, Manchester
  • Use of Nintendo Wii to promote fitness, social skills and behaviour of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and intellectual disabilities, (with Kath Dickinson) 8th European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, September 2011, Manchester
  • Calm child programme for children with autism and intellectual disabilities (with EGobrial), 8th European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, September 2011, Manchester
  • Evaluation of a short course training programme on mental health for health care professionals, 8th European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability, September 2011, Manchester
  • Culture, ethnicity and services for children with disabilities, December 2010, Royal Society of Medicine, London

Consultancy work

Prof. Raghavan provides consultancy for a range of health and social care organisations. His portfolio of activities includes specialist staff training on behaviour and mental health interventions, practice and service development, user and family involvement, and ethnicity and cultural perspectives

Current research students

Rosemary Woods: A case study in developing a vocal communication system

Naina Patel: Conceptualisation of dementia in multi-ethnic communities

Ntokozo Ncube: Mental health recovery and spirituality

Lillian Ohene: Perceptions of family centred care for children in Ghana hospitalised through road traffic accidents

Chris Knifton: A socio-history and genealogy of dementia and its conceptualisation.

Gaynor Ward: Can people with learning disabilities report their own psychotic symptoms?

Ali Yildirim: The Experiences of recently qualified speech and language therapists in Inter-professional Collaborative Practice

Externally funded research grants information

  • Public Health Research (£200,000) Loneliness and social isolation in migrant communities (CI) ( PI Sarah Salway, University of Sheffield) 2017
  • Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) (£150,000Diagnosis of dementia in Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (CI) (PI Andrew Wilson University of Leicester) 2017
  • Hope against cancer (£61,500) Improving access and uptake of breast cancer screening and treatment services by Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) citizens in Leicester City  ( Ph.D. studentship) 2017
  • Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group and East Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network (£16,000) Toolkit  improving research participation  of people from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to  health research, 2016 
  • East Midlands CLAHRC ( Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care) (£55,000) Conceptualization of dementia in multi-ethnic communities (PI) (PhD studentship)
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (£10,000) Exploring South Asian young people perspectives on healthy eating, eating disorders and access to services (CI)
  • EU Lifelong Learning programme – Developing web-based training modules for professionals and front line staff caring for older people with disabilities. This is a two year study (Commenced in January 2012) in association with the University of Vienna and four service partners from Bologna, Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
  • Northumbria University research development fund - Mapping of emotional resilience activities by special schools for children and young people with disabilities (2011)
  • EU Grundtvig Lifelong learning programme – Elderly disabled integration gets new innovative tools in European Societies. In association with CADIAI, Bologna, Italy and other eight other European partners (2010 -2012)
  • From Services to Children and young people (Bradford District Council) – Access to inclusive play, sport and leisure provision for disabled children and young people as part of the Government initiative on Aiming High for Disabled Children. December 2009 to July 2011 (Raghavan) (£65000)
  • From Barnardos - To evaluate family carer training programme for supporting children with autism spectrum disorders, 2009 (£10,000)
  • From MENCAP -Leisure opportunities for young people with learning disabilities. This is two year action research project, 2007 to 2008 (Raghavan) (£55,000).
  • From Mencap – To investigate the issues and needs of older carers (60+) of people with a learning disability.(£10,000) September 2007  
  • From Joseph Rowntree Foundation – Application with International Centre for Participation Studies (Department of Peace studies, Bradford University) to investigate participation structures in the marginalised groups in the South Asian community in Bradford. This was a nine month project using participatory research methods (July 2005, £29.000).
  • From West Yorkshire Education and Training Consortium – production of a theatre  about transition of young people with disabilities from school to adult services with Mind the Gap theatre company (£15,000) (2005)
  • From Bradford District  Care Trust – To investigate lifespan perspectives – assessment and intervention – in the care of people with autism spectrum disorder (£10,000) in January 2003  (with Upadhyaya S, Dobson S, Bradford District Care Trust).
  • From Bradford District Care Trust - To explore the therapeutic aspects of touch in the care of people with profound and multiple disabilities (£5000) in January 2002 with (Dobson S and Upadhyaya, Bradford District Care Trust)
  • From the Foundation of People with Learning Disabilities (Mental Health Foundation) in July 02- The implementation of self-defined service models via a liaison worker in a multi-ethnic inner city population (£90,000). Two year study. (Raghavan R, Small N and Newell R) (2002 to 2004)
  • From the Department of Health – Learning Disability Research Programme to investigate social inclusion of children with learning disabilities from minority ethnic background in Bradford. Three-year research project (£140,000). (Raghavan R and Small N)  (2002 to 2005).

Professional esteem indicators

  • Editorial Board member for Journals: Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disability Practice
  • Reviewer for: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disability Practice, Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
  • Patron – School of Drama therapy, Kerala, India
  • Reviewer for NIHR and ESRC research proposals
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