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UCL Institute of Mental Health

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Mental Health Research at UCL

In 2020, UCL Institute of Mental Health published the Mental Health Research Audit to identify the breadth of mental health research at UCL

 

Method

We undertook a systematic search of scientific and clinical journals for publications within the field of mental health by UCL-affiliated authors since 2016. We used the results to generate a list of authors, and individual Divisions and Institutes within UCL then validated this list. Specific research interests were gathered by examining each author’s IRIS profile and publication list. This process allowed us to create a comprehensive picture of UCL staff and affiliated clinicians who work in the area of mental health.

Results

Through this process, we found 981 publications produced between 2016 and 2020 by UCL authors on the topic of mental health. Many of these papers were in fields traditionally associated with mental health research such as psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology and neuroscience. We also identified a number of mental health-related publications from less traditional fields:  computer science, basic biological science, general practice and the built environment among others.

From those papers and by contacting individual UCL departments, we identified 798 members of staff across UCL who are engaged in mental health research.

Importantly we also identified the wide breadth of Divisions and Institutes where this work is undertaken, thereby demonstrating the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration within UCL.

Conclusions

The audit shows how interdisciplinary and widely distributed are UCL’s efforts in the field of mental health research. While the bulk of this activity is in the Faculty of Brain Sciences it extends far beyond that. We believe our audit provides a useful summary and a sound foundation for the new Institute of Mental Health.

Read the full report to see visualizations of the data found in the audit, showing the divisions and areas of interests identified.

“We knew that UCL was the most highly cited university in relation to work in mental health, according to the RAND review in 2015 but we wanted to dig a little deeper. Our audit began with publications from UCL and partners on any mental health topic and from that we identified a huge community of academics and UCL affiliated clinicians who have made contributions to the field. This showed the breadth and depth of our work and we used this to explore the themes we had been grappling with. The audit has provided us with a strong sense of where we are, but more importantly where we need to go to answer the big questions facing all those interested mental health and illness for the next decade.” – Anthony David, Director, Institute of Mental Health