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As a network, we focus on the mental health consequences of child, early and forced marriage around the globe.  We work collectively to develop priority areas for research, policy and advocacy, to respond to the largely overlooked mental health needs of those who have been affected by this practice.  Our efforts are guided by three broad aims:

  •  To raise awareness of the often under-explored and unaddressed mental health consequences of child marriage.

  • To promote advocacy and action around the mental health consequences of child marriage, in high prevalence countries and communities.

  • To identify and fill the research gaps in our understanding of how poor mental health outcomes, linked to child marriage, are shaped by environment and context.




Network Director

Dr. Rochelle Burgess is a community health psychologist specialising in mental health of marginalised populations, primarily in African settings. She draws on qualitative, participatory, social science and social justice methodologies to understand causes, mental health needs, experiences of services and pathways to recovery within vulnerable groups.



Asma Ashraf is a registered nurse working in HIV and sexual health research. She teaches at UCL on an innovative module on gender-based violence and wants all health professionals to be able to support those facing forced marriage and honour based abuse.



Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation. She has been the General Secretary of the World YWCA since 2007 and prior to this served for ten years with UNICEF and UNIFEM.


Director of Public Engagement

After graduating from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with an MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research, Cristianne worked in maternal and newborn health research with a focus on West Africa. Cristianne now manages a mental health and violence project at the Institute for Global Health.


Dr Delan Devakumar is an Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Health in the UCL Institute for Global Health and is an Honorary Consultant in Public Health. His research focuses on child and adolescent health in a number of areas including migration, nutrition, air pollution, child marriage, and conflict and violence. He is currently working in Brazil, Lebanon and in South Asia.


An anthropologist and Director of the UCL International Disability Research Centre at UCL, Professor Groce is best known for her work in global health, international development and social justice with vulnerable populations, particularly among people with disabilities.  She is widely published and regularly works with UN agencies, national governments, scientific research councils and advocacy groups.


Dr Gemma Lewis is a psychiatric epidemiologist working in the UCL Division of Psychiatry. She is interested in the causes, treatment and prevention of common mental disorders (depression and anxiety), self-harm and suicidality across the life-course, with a particular interest in adolescents. Dr Lewis has methodological expertise in the design and statistical analysis of large epidemiological studies. She has led the analyses of several large randomised controlled trials, population-based studies and clinical datasets.


Dr Solomon Mombeshora is Director of Quality Assurance at Women's University in Africa.  He holds a PhD and an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and a BSc Hons Degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe.  His research interests include, inter alia, race, ethnic and gender relations; environmental governance, policy and livelihoods; monitoring and evaluation; and quality assurance in higher education.


Dr. Suzanne Petroni leads Gender Equality Solutions, a consultancy that supports donors, governments, UN agencies and civil society to design and implement high-quality and gender-equitable global health and development programs. An expert on adolescent, sexual and reproductive health and rights, Suzanne has nearly 30 years of experience in foreign policy and global development, having worked in the governmental, philanthropic, nonprofit and research sectors.


Kelly is a mixed methods social scientist and lecturer in global mental health at King’s College London. Her research focuses on developing and testing ways to improve child and adolescent mental health in resource-constrained settings. She co-leads an MRC/NIHR/DFID-funded project to adapt and test the feasibility of group interpersonal psychotherapy for adolescents in Nepal.


Fiona is a social anthropologist with extensive research experience crossing the fields of public health and social development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She currently focuses on linkages between health, poverty, risk and vulnerability with a particular interest in gender, adolescence, social protection and psychosocial well-being.


Max Johnson joined Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage with the vision and drive to improve upon our Non-Profit Organization, and focused on developing the organization with experience and integrity.

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