Mental health research in Wales will receive a £3m boost over the next three years thanks to renewed funding for the National Centre for Mental Health.
The new round of funding will be provided by Health and Care Research Wales. The centre will continue to recruit thousands of people to take part in mental health research, and will also work to promote understanding of mental health issues among the Welsh public in order to help tackle stigma.
Since April 2015, NCMH has formed partnerships with the RCUK Centre of Excellence for Improvement in Population Health through E-records Research (CIPHER) at Swansea University (part of the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research) and the Centre for Mental Health and Society in Bangor University.
NCMH will also incorporate the successful activity of the Mental Health Research Network Cymru (MHRN-C), and the work of the Learning Disability and Autism Network (LDAN), with the latter allowing the centre to broaden it’s activities to take in learning disability research.
NCMH director Professor Ian Jones said:
“Over the next three years this funding will allow us to widen our scope to encompass learning disability and become a truly Wales-wide organisation, developing close links with colleagues at Swansea and Bangor Universities.”
“We hope to recruit thousands more members of the Welsh public to add to the 4,500 who have already helped us in our efforts to better understand mental health and illness. Through this greater understanding we believe that we can contribute to better diagnosis, treatment and support for the 1 in 4 of us who are affected by mental ill health at some point in our lives.”
“Alongside our work in this area, we will also continue working to tackle the harmful stigma that still surrounds many mental health conditions by engaging with the public throughout Wales.
“The renewal is a testament to the commitment and hard work of all involved with NCMH – both our staff and our research volunteers. This is a very exciting time for mental health research in Wales, and we look forward to taking NCMH forward to the next stage of its evolution.”
Laura Dernie, 31 from Cardiff, is a mum of two and an NCMH research volunteer. Her experience of depression led her to take part in the Centre’s research. Now she acts as a Research Champion for the Centre, helping to recruit new volunteers. “I think it’s brilliant that NCMH will be able to carry on with the work it’s doing” said Laura. “Their research has the potential to change lives, and one day in the future, the research they’re doing now could benefit my children, and thousands of others”