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New platform launches to boost recruitment in mental health research

We’ve just launched a new digital platform, Participate, to tackle the challenge of recruitment in mental health research.

Researchers often tell us that they struggle to recruit participants, sometimes risking the validity of their findings and even whether they can continue their study. Just 2% of people who use specialist mental health services are involved in NHS-funded research, compared to almost 20% of cancer patients. And these low levels of involvement in mental health research studies are acting as a major barrier to scientific advancement.

Participate provides, for the first time, an accessible online tool to connect mental health researchers with those who are interested in taking part.

The platform aims to bridge the gap between researchers and participants and increase awareness of opportunities to take part in studies and clinical trials. This will enable researchers to speed up the recruitment of participants to their studies and connect the public with the latest thinking in understanding, treating and preventing mental ill health.

Helen Munn, Acting CEO of MQ, said:

"Scientists can only deliver the best mental health research with the participation of the broadest range of people, both in terms of taking part in studies and shaping the research that goes on. Without the views of those affected, research won’t be able to deliver the progress we need, nor will it be focused on the issues that matter most.

We hope this exciting new tool will allow significantly more people to participate in mental health research, improving the quality and speed of research and fulfilling our aim to transform the lives of everyone affected by a mental health condition."

Participate has been generously funded by The Wolfson Foundation and Mishcon de Reya.

Find out more by visiting

Last updated: 20 November 2019

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