Team Professor Barry Wright

‘Professor Barry Wright is a Professor of Child Mental Health and runs a child mental health research stream.  This sits within the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (Lead by Simon Gilbody) in the Hull York Medical School and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York.

Barry runs a child mental health research network and coordinates a team of 12 researchers that focus on two main areas of work. 

The first is Child orientated interventions for child mental health problems.  Much research in the UK and beyond in the field of child mental health focuses on medication, neuroimaging, genetics, biological sciences and the trialling of adult interventions in younger age groups.  Barry’s team is unique in seeking to develop and research interventions that have been designed specifically for children and young people.  Children, young people and their families are always closely involved in the development and planning of research.  Interventions that the team have researched over the last few years include using social stories that write a child into a story about themselves to give them helpful social and emotional information; the use of technology and computers, friendly to young people, to deliver child mental health interventions, and we are about to start a study using LEGO based therapy in children on the autism spectrum.

The second main area that the team focuses on is internationally unique in that the team provides research resources for deaf children with mental health problems within the context of a National Clinical Deaf Child Mental Health Service across ten centres in the UK.  This team believes passionately in improving services for deaf children and has carried out research such as screening for mental health problems using questionnaires in children’s first language (e.g. British Sign Language), and the adaptation and validation of assessment tools for autism that are appropriate for deaf children, alongside considerable study to better understand autism spectrum disorders when it presents in a deaf child.

Barry also has considerable clinical experience.  He is Clinical Lead of the National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across ten centres in England and has worked in the NHS for 31 years supporting children and families with a range of mental health problems, developing a expertise in autism spectrum disorders, children with learning disabilities and sick children.  Prior to being a child psychiatrist he trained as a general practitioner.  He has also previously been Clinical Director running ten services within a large NHS Trust. 

He has written several books, most notably parent and professional guides for  supporting children with autism spectrum disorders (e.g. How to Live with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome) and undergraduate training texts (e.g. 100 Cases in Psychiatry).  He has published numerous peer reviewed papers in the fields described above.  He has also been closely involved in the development of undergraduate medical school curricula and the delivery of mental health teaching for doctors of the future with close emphasis on respectful and partnership practice with service users.  He Believes strongly in preventive services and the provision of good support for the social and emotional development of children in early life’