UCL Institute of Mental Health


World Mental Health Day 2022

10 October 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO), recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October each year. We've collated a list of the various mental health research activities happening across UCL.

World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2022

Mental Health Research at UCL: key facts

  • 800+ researchers at UCL in mental health and wellbeing across 11 academic faculties and NHS partners
  • Over 1,000 UCL publications per year on mental health topics since 2016
  • Over £20m yearly grant income for mental health research projects since 2017

Why #MentalHealthResearchMatters?

In the last few years, a positive change has occurred in how people talk about mental health. We’ve come a long way in reducing the stigma around mental health problems, but many don’t think of research as part of the solution.

For this year's World Mental Health Day (Monday 10th October 2022), UCL Institute of Mental Health will be celebrating some of the mental health research taking place across UCL and how fellow researchers can get involved in key mental health themes, events and networks.

Research in mental health matters because the field concerns people’s feelings, beliefs, fears; because it is not a pure science but a biopsychosocial enterprise; because mental illness is stigmatised and hidden. Research is about finding the underlying truth while avoiding prejudice, preconceptions and propaganda; it’s about evidence of all kinds, data and testing hypotheses; and finally it’s about making the findings known and accessible and driving improvements in understanding and care which will last. The UCL Institute of Mental Health is the university’s response to the challenges posed by mental health research. It brings together academics, clinicians and other stakeholders from across disciplines to pool their knowledge and expertise, to push boundaries and to make a positive difference to people’s lives.            Prof Tony David, Director of UCL Institute of Mental Health

Future Leaders in Mental Health Research

Three of the nine UCL researchers to have been recently awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships will be looking into research in the field of mental health.

  • Dr Rick Adams (UCL Computer Science and UCL Psychiatry) is developing new ways of targeting drug treatments for schizophrenia, to improve their efficacy.
  • Dr Joseph Hayes (UCL Psychiatry) will focus on better outcomes for people with severe mental illness, allowing him to develop a team focused on pharmacoinformatics in this area using electronic health records from around the world.
  • Dr Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) will lead research investigating the mechanisms underlying psychosis associated with childhood trauma.

UCL Wellcome 4-year PhD in Mental Health Science

This programme, funded in 2019, is the first of its kind in the UK, representing an investment of over £5 million by the Wellcome Trust. The programme has 12 PhD researchers so far, with a further six joining UCL this October. You can read their bios and research ideas at www.mentalhealthscience.org/researchers

Our students have also written a blog series covering current mental health research themes and interviews with other UCL researchers about their work.

Pressing Research Themes

Some of our recent talks have been on pressing research topics that our mental health community are actively involved in. The Institute of Mental Health hosts a termly clincal-academic symposium open to UCL researchers, students and partner NHS clinicians. Past talks have been on:

  • Immunopsychiatry
  • Psychotraumatology
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Social Psychiatry - Black Mental Health
  • Dementia
  • Addiction
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Neurodiversity
  • Eating Disorders

You can watch some of our previous symposia on our Past Events webpage

Institute of Mental Health Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are made up of researchers and clinicians brought together by the interest in a common topic, offering a variety of disciplinary perspectives and expertise. The SIGs are a forum for discussion and exchanging ideas to encourage interdisciplinary thinking and foster future scientific collaborations in mental health research.

Current SIGs are:

If you are interested in setting up a Special Interest Group, please contact iomh.info@ucl.ac.uk

Being Well @ UCL

UCL Workplace Wellbeing have collated a range of services and resources to support your wellbeing for World Mental Health Day, including a series of events happening across the month on building resilience, work-related stress and managing your own self-care and wellbeing. Find out more on their news article


10 October 2022 12:00 – 13:00 (virtual): 

Mental Health and Wellbeing: HE Minds Matter

An Advance HE Webinar with an expert panel exploring the mental health epidemic specifically among academics, what is causing it and what institutions and individuals can do to support wellbeing.

10 October 2022 17:30 – 19:00 (virtual): 

How your mental health research can become more inclusive and tackle inequalities

For the first #MentalHealthResearchMatters webinar series, hear from researchers from across the UKRI mental health research networks, on how their work shines a light on inequalities, and how they make their research more inclusive.

11 October 2022, 11:00 - 13:00 (virtual):

Online Roadshow for The UCL Wellcome 4-year PhD in Mental Health Science

Want to know more about the The UCL Wellcome 4-year PhD in Mental Health Science? Hear from the Programme Directors and current students about the Programme and application process. Register on eventbrite.

11 October 2022, 17:00 - 18:00 (virtual):

Mixed-methods exploration of medical students’ mental health

This seminar by UCL Medical School will discuss the prevalence of different mental health issues in medical students and the factors in the medical school environment that can lead to or exacerbate these issues.

12 October 2022, 13:00 - 14:15 (virtual):

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Join us for the next Catalyst Seminar in Children and Young People’s Mental Health with speakers Dr Rosie Mansfield and Dr Lee Hudson.