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UK mental health experts come together to tackle treatment challenges

We’re pleased to be supporting a new collaboration of UK researchers, who will work with industry and charity partners to find new treatments and therapeutics.  

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration (TRC) brings together the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities, and the NIHR Mental Health MedTech Co-operative.  

The initial focus of the collaboration will be on trying to better understand treatment-resistant depression and better-identifying people deemed to be ‘at risk’ of developing mental illness. It will also develop well-defined patient groups who have consented to be recalled to future mental health research studies, in order to increase the numbers of people with mental health conditions taking part in experimental medicine studies and trials.

Working as a single partnership, the group will be able to explore research opportunities more easily and quickly and will provide a single point of contact for partners such as industry and medical research charities. The NIHR Mental Health TRC follows a similar operating model to that already established through the NIHR’s collaborations in joint and related inflammatory diseases, respiratory disease and dementia.

MQ will be the TRC’s charity partner and will be part of the steering group as well as providing financial support to assist with the running of the collaboration.   

Commenting on the launch, our Research Director, Dr Sophie Dix, said: “We’re delighted to support this important initiative, which further catalyses the UK’s world-leading role in mental health research. Importantly, it will significantly increase the scale and reach of innovative research so we can bring forward much-needed advances in our understanding and treatment of mental illness."

Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “Mental ill-health is the largest single cause of a disability in the UK and is a significant burden on people’s lives and on society. If we are going to improve people’s chances of living well and being able to work, we need to speed up the development of new treatments, particularly for those for whom current therapies do not work. The NIHR Mental Health TRC is bringing together the expertise of some of the best researchers in universities, the NHS, charities and industry to do just that. It will  play a key part in the development pathway for potential new treatments, hopefully bringing them to people living with mental health conditions faster." 

Professor Matthew Hotopf CBE, Director of the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and Chair of NIHR Translational Research Collaboration in mental health said: “There are enormous opportunities for innovation as science and technologies relevant to mental disorders are increasingly producing results, particularly in neurosciences and digital technologies. By working collaboratively, we can accelerate this innovation to help those with mental illness.”

Last updated: 17 September 2018

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