Published 7 May 2017

This spotlight report highlights the positive difference medical research charities are making for mental health patients across the UK.

Each year 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health condition. This costs £70-100 billion to the UK economy and has a huge impact on individuals, their families and society more widely.

The report sets out how member charities are working in this area, and provides examples of the life-changing research they continue to support; from an app that incorporates mental healthcare into treatment for long-term conditions to more accurate diagnostic tests and interventions for mental health conditions such as autism.

Our data shows that many medical research charities identify mental health research as a priority, even those whose main focus is not mental health. Numerous people living with long-term physical health conditions also have a mental illness and thus charities have started to fund the integration of mental and physical health care to improve patients’ health outcomes and quality of life.

Data sources:

Starting from the top, left to right:

  1. 1 in 4: McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T., Bebbington, P., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England , 2007 Results of a household survey. London, UK.
  2. £70-100bn: Centre for Mental Health. (2009). The economic and social costs of mental health problems in 2009/10, 1–4. London, UK.
  3. 5.5%: UK Health Research Analysis 2014 (UK Clinical Research Collaboration, 2015)
  4. 38 charities: AMRC research portfolio database, active grants 2015
  5. 2,700 recruited: Patients recruited April 2015-March 2016 into trials linked to a mental health speciality. Data extracted from NIHR CRN ODP Weekly data cut 3 May 2017: NIHR CRN: Open Data Platform (ODP)
  6. Further funding: Data from 40 AMRC members using the Researchfish system to capture research outputs and outcomes to demonstrate the impact of charity funded research. Further funding linked to awards which started in the years 2012-2015.
  7. Map: AMRC research portfolio database, active grants 2015.