UCL Mental Health brings together one of the world’s largest groups of scientific programmes of mental health research, teaching and cutting-edge clinical services. This unification of purpose addresses the fourth UCL Grand Challenge for cross-disciplinary research, human wellbeing.
Mental health is the primary determinant of mental capital. The Final Report of the Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project (2008) estimated that mental ill-health in England costs £77 billion per year, with £49 billion in costs to the wider economy. 1 in 6 adults and at least 1 in 10 children are affected by mental disorder at any one time.
The 2006 Cooksey Review of UK health research funding highlighted two key gaps in the translation of health research (i) from basic and clinical research to therapeutic innovation, and (ii) from innovation to implementation in clinical practice. A third gap is (iii) from implementation of clinical practice to patient and public engagement in/ uptake of, that practice. Lord Darzi’s 2008 NHS Next Stage Review recommended a focus on improving health as well as treating sickness by working in partnership with other agencies seeking to promote health. Improvement of mental health was identified as one of six key goals.
We have identified 6 priority areas where integration of effort has the greatest potential for institutional and population benefit:
(a) mental health and wellbeing in old age;
(b) normal emotion and disorders of mood (anxiety and depression);
(c) neurodevelopmental disorder in the psychoses;
(d) impulsivity as the core disorder of conduct problems and addictions;
(e) promotion of child and adolescent mental health
(f) implementation of research findings
Focused collaborative effort in these areas has the potential to enrich scientific knowledge, contribute directly to improving wellbeing in the local community, substantially enhance the large educational programmes in mental health with which UCL is already engaged, and inform national policy.
Download UCLP Mental Health Report to Directors (March 2012)