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MQ and AMS convene expert group to rapidly develop a mental health research response to COVID-19

MQ and the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) have rapidly convened an expert group to develop mental health and neuroscience research priorities to COVID-19

The group will publish their outputs within approximately two weeks in The Lancet Psychiatry, with the intention of urgently mobilising and coordinating the UK’s mental health research response to COVID-19.

Yesterday, MQ’s CEO Helen Munn and Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, wrote to all UK Funders and related groups calling for the establishment of a high level co-ordination group to ensure that the mental health and neuroscience research priorities are addressed as swiftly as possible, and that a firm base is established for the necessary long term studies.

The significant mental health impacts of COVID-19 require an urgent research response.  The world is rightly focused on measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and protect the most vulnerable, along with research to develop a vaccine.  But it is vital that mental health and neuroscience forms part of all aspects of the research response to Covid-19.

The group of 18 people has been constituted to represent a broad range of mental health science expertise, together with lived experience representation.  The core co-ordinating group includes:  

  • Professor Ed Bullmore FMedSci, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge-
  • Professor Emily Holmes, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Karolinska Institutet
  • Professor Matthew Hotopf FMedSci, Professor of General Hospital Psychiatry, Kings College London
  • Professor Rory O’Connor, Professor of Health Psychology, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Hugh Perry, Emeritus Professor of Experimental Neuropathology, University of Southampton
  • Professor Irene Tracey FMedsci, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford
  • Professor Sir Simon Wessely FMedSci, Professor of Psychological Medicine, Kings College London

Public and mental health community input

As part of this project, MQ and the AMS have today launched a survey to gather comments and views on research priorities from those with lived experience, the wider mental health community and others. This survey will run from today until Friday at 5pm, so that the insights can feed into the group’s ongoing work.

Last updated: 26 March 2020

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