Professor David Cottrell

Professor David Cottrell


David was appointed Foundation Chair in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Leeds in 1994. He was Associate Medical Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Leeds for many years and has a wide experience of the development, management, delivery and evaluation of child and adolescent mental health services. His research interests are in the evaluation of psychological interventions and of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. He was a co-author of the NICE guidelines on the management of depression in children and young people. He has been Chief Investigator of a large multi-centre randomised controlled trial investigating systemic family therapy following teenage self-harm (SHIFT, funded by NIHR), and co-investigator on a second multi-centre randomised controlled trial evaluating multi-systemic treatment for teenagers at risk of care or custody (START, funded by the Department of Health). His current research interests continue to focus on self-harm in young people.

David graduated from Oxford in 1976 and London in 1979. He trained as a lecturer at St George's Hospital Medical School and then worked as a Senior Lecturer at the London Hospital Medical College before he was appointed the Foundation Chair in Leeds. For many years he held an honorary consultant child and adolescent psychiatry post with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, but has now ceased clinical practice.

He was Director of Learning and Teaching in the School of Medicine with responsibility for all undergraduate and postgraduate learning and teaching activity from 1999–2006 and Dean of Medicine, from 2008-2013.

Most recent research project: A systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis of self-harm in adolescents (NIHR funded).

David retired from formal employment in 2020 but continues some research activity – funded research projects and research supervision.  


  • MA
  • MB BS
  • FRCPsych

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Psychological and Social Medicine