Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


UK Research and Innovation launches new Mental Health Networks

6 September 2018

Eight new Mental Health Networks have been announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) today, Thursday 06 September 2018, to bring researchers, charities and other organisations together to address important mental health research questions.

Mental Health Network

The new Networks will embrace a collaborative ethos, bringing together researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including health, medicine, biology, social sciences, humanities and environmental sciences. Many of the networks will also include insight from charity workers, health practitioners and people with lived experience of mental health issues.

The Networks, which are supported with £8 million of funding and will be funded for four years (one for three), will progress mental health research into themes such as loneliness and social isolation, youth and student mental health, domestic and sexual violence and the value of community assets.

One of the Mental Health Networks is led by Dr Daisy Fancourt, Senior Research Associate within the Research Department of Behavioral Science and Health. She is leading the MARCH: Social, Cultural and Community Assets for Mental Health network.

Community assets such as the arts, heritage sites, libraries, parks, allotments, volunteer associations and community groups can play a huge role in building resilient individuals and communities. The MARCH network will bring researchers together with policymakers, commissioners and third-sector organisations to further understand how these social, cultural and community assets can enhance public mental health and wellbeing, prevent mental illness and support those living with mental health conditions.

Partners: Queen Mary University of London, Leeds Beckett University, University of Nottingham, University of Exeter, University of London, Beyond Skin, Social Farms and Gardens, Coin Street Community Builders, Community Catalysts Ltd, People Dancing, The Conservation Volunteers, Crafts Council, Greenwich Leisure Ltd, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, Libraries Unlimited, Live Music Now, Museums Association, NCVO, National Trust, Royal Horticultural Society, Sing Up Foundation, The Reading Agency, The Wildlife Trusts (UK), Think Local Act Personal, Voluntary Arts, Youth Music, Youth Music Theatre UK, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Local Government Association, Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance, NESTA, Public Health England, Public Health Wales, Royal Society for Public Health, Social Prescribing Network, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Action for Children, Action for Happiness, Age UK, MIND, MindOut, Mosaic Youth, Rastafari Movement UK, The Children's Society, The Listening Place, Wonder Foundation, Natural England, The Eden Project, NHS Health Scotland, Mental Health Foundation, UK Theatre.

For further information and statistics on UK public mental health, view the Chief Medical Officer annual report 2013: public mental health.

View Daisy Fancourt's blog piece via the IEHC Blog