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MQ funds five pioneering projects in second round of Data Science Awards

Today we’re announcing £230,000 of funding for five innovative research projects.

These studies are harnessing the power of data to tackle the big challenges in mental health - providing vital new insights and advancing exciting areas of discovery.

From identifying the mental health needs of some of the most marginalised communities in the UK, to exploring how mental and physical illnesses develop together – these projects could pave the way for vital improvements in treatment and support.

The projects are:

Exploring how parent relationships and social media affect young people’s mental health
Professor Liz Twigg at University of Portsmouth wants to find out how young people’s mental health is influenced by their parent’s mental health and their relationship with their parents – and if social media could actually help their wellbeing. 

Improving the mental health of young people in care
Dr Rachel Hiller from University of Bath is using untapped data to understand the mental health conditions experienced by young people in care, so support services can give them the help they need.   

Could inflammation help us find links between mental and physical illness?
Dr Golam Khandaker and Professor Peter Jones at the University of Cambridge will use cutting edge statistics to test if inflammation can explain why people develop depression and heart disease together.

Providing better support to young Gypsies and Travellers
Professors Louise Condon and Ann John from Swansea University aim to identify the specific mental health needs of young Gypsies and Travellers, giving health services the tools to provide better, targetted support.

Could having access to a gun increase suicide risk in the UK?
Dr Aideen Maguire at Queen’s University Belfast will investigate the suicide risk of individuals who have access to firearms, so we can protect more people from taking their own lives.

These projects have been awarded as part of MQ’s Data Science Programme, which champions the use of data in mental health research and develops the skills base in this important field. Dr Maguire’s project was originally awarded in 2017 and is commencing this year.

Dr Sophie Dix, Director of Research at MQ, commented: “We know that data saves lives. And in these five high-quality projects we are driving forward the research to make this happen. These studies aim to rapidly inform policy change and kick-start new avenues of discovery into mental health – with the potential for much-needed improvements now and for future generations.”

Last updated: 27 June 2018

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