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Mental health and wellbeing

Mental ill health is one of the most significant challenges that society faces today. We want to ensure mental health is equitable to all, providing a better future for anyone affected by mental health problems.

Why we are taking on mental health research

Although there has been a reduction in the stigma associated with mental health, there is an urgent need for research and action to increase awareness and understanding, and to develop new approaches in prevention and early intervention for better mental health.

Unfortunately, there are stark inequalities in the prevalence of mental health issues, with individuals living in poverty, experiencing poor physical health, and belonging to minority communities disproportionately affected.

There has been a positive shift in the way people discuss mental health in recent years, leading to a reduction in the stigma associated with it. However, there is still much work to be done, and prioritising mental health in the research community is now more crucial than ever.

*McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey. The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre

Each year in the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem
Our research is driving change in mental health policy and practice, ensuring equity in health for all.

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What we want to achieve

Addressing inequalities in mental health is at the heart of our work. We are especially focussed on prevention, early intervention and gaining a comprehensive understanding of mental ill health throughout all stages of life.

Our research informs NHS policy and practices related to mental health, aiming to promote equal access, improve experiences, and achieve equitable outcomes for everyone.

We actively collaborate with individuals who have lived experiences of mental ill health, as well as service providers, to identify ways to improve mental health. Through this collaborative and inclusive approach, we ask the right questions, employ appropriate research methods, and deliver the most valuable evidence and tools to the NHS and policymakers, making a tangible impact on mental healthcare.

We are uniquely positioned to make a significant difference in our local communities, particularly those experiencing the highest levels of inequalities and consequently poorer mental health in the UK. As leaders in collaborative research across Yorkshire and Humberside, we work in partnership with the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) and NHS partners to carry out ambitious research projects on a large scale.

Furthermore, our research extends its influence globally, notably through the groundbreaking Centre for IMPACT. As an NIHR Global Health Research Centre, our mission is to enhance mental and physical health in South Asia, making a meaningful impact on a global scale.

Mental health researchers collaborating with each other
Mental health researchers from above

Our expertise in mental health research

Our expertise includes:

  • The Centre for Health and Population Sciences is a collaborative hub bringing together experts from research groups to address critical challenges in population health and healthcare. Their research encompasses statistics, epidemiology, mental health, evidence-based practice, patient safety, global public health, and primary care. With a commitment to generating robust research evidence, applying it to policy and practice, and fostering collaborative research, the Centre plays a pivotal role in advancing knowledge and improving health outcomes.

  • The Mental Health and Addiction Research Group conducts research that informs health policy and services, focusing on prevention, early intervention, and mental health care. They are leaders in collaborative research in Yorkshire and Humberside, working closely with NHS partners through the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) to deliver impactful research at scale. Their research also has a global impact, particularly in South Asia, through their NIHR IMPACT Global Health Research initiative.

Our researchers actively collaborate with the departments at the University of York, including Department of Health Science, York Trials Unit, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, and the Centre of Health Economics.

These powerful collaborations with experts and leaders in the field are integral to our work, supporting our drive for better mental health for all.

Thank you to our funders

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Explore our research groups contributing to mental health research