Skip to content

New figures show mental health now accounts for 6.1% of UK health research budget

A report published today shows that in 2018 mental health research received 6.1% of the overall UK health research budget - an increase of 0.51% since a previous analysis in 2014.

This compares to 18.9% spent on cancer research and 9.7% on neurological and dementia research.   

The data, which includes MQ’s research activity, comes from the UK Health Research Analysis 2018 report - a collaborative effort led by the Medical Research Council on behalf of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC). The report analyses spending across all areas of health research and gives a detailed assessment of individual areas of health and disease. It is the fourth report of its kind since 2004 and builds on the most recent 2014 data.

In this analysis, mental health research received £155 million funding in 2018 – an increase of almost 30% between 2014 and 2018. While this increase is hugely welcome, the UK HRA 2018 analysis shows only modest growth in the proportion of research funding spent on mental health – 0.51% since 2014.

MQ’s Acting Chief Executive, Helen Munn said: “MQ has spent the last 6 years championing the need for more investment in mental health research to meet the scale of the challenge. We’re delighted to see progress, with greater public awareness around mental health finally turning into more funding for research.

Recent announcements including those from Wellcome and the Medical Research Council around research funding focused on mental health in young people will continue this upward trend.  However, we still have a very long way to go to see parity for mental health in relation to other conditions. 6% of research funding still does not do justice to the scale of the unmet need around mental illness. If we want to see long term advances, we need an unprecedented level of public support and investment. MQ is here to build a movement to make that happen, faster.”

You can read the full report on the UK Clinical Research Collaboration website.

Last updated: 28 January 2020

Subscribe to our newsletter. Get the latest news on mental health.

© 2020 © MQ: Transforming mental health 2016 | Registered charity in England / Wales: 1139916 & Scotland: SC046075 | Company number: 7406055