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International Collaborators

Omid V. Ebrahimi

PhD, DClinPsy

Career Development Research Fellow

Critical incidents and mental health; Depression; Psychological dynamics; Networks and complex systems


My research focuses on the development and maintenance of common mental health disorders (i.e. depression and anxiety) using multi-level and systems-based approaches.

In particular, I examine how critical incidents occurring at the national and global level (e.g., infectious disease outbreaks, climate change, and economic recession) impact the development of common mental disorders and can alter human behaviour.

As the Principal Investigator of the Critical Incidents and Psychological Adaptation (CIPA) study, a prospective longitudinal investigation following over 20,000 individuals for the next 15 years (and 1 million individuals through population registries), I am committed to identify pathways through which adverse societal events increase the risk of mental disorders.

A large proportion of this research relies on understanding the granular mechanisms that lead to mental disorder onset. Therefore, I primarily design large-scale longitudinal and intensive longitudinal studies that enable the examination of sequential dynamical processes that predict disorder emergence and explain its maintenance. As a clinical psychologist, my hope and aim for this research is to obtain more precise insights and granular targets for how we can prevent and treat depression and anxiety.

Given the multifactorial nature of mental disorders, my research integrates variables across the biopsychosocial spectrum, leveraging a complex system and network analytic approach to study mental health.

Previously, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I led a large-scale longitudinal population study with more than 10,000 individuals to investigate the impact of social containment policies on mental health, with a particular focus on identifying subgroups of individuals that were most strongly affected by these policies. This work is continuing together with colleagues from Harvard University and elsewhere across the globe, where we aim to identify strategies that effectively mitigate infectious spread while simultaneously safeguarding against adverse mental health impacts.

Before joining Oxford, I studied at The University of Hong Kong, Bergen, and UC Berkeley. Later, I enrolled in the double-degree PhD program at the University of Oslo, which I partially undertook at the University of Amsterdam.

Beyond my day-to-day research, I view the communication of research as one of the most vital tasks of scientists, and have been fortunate to be featured in over 70 news reports including national television, radio, newspapers, and scientific documentaries.