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Why we need you to take part in research

We’ve just launched Participate, a new research recruitment platform - and we want every person affected by mental illness to get involved. Here's a quick guide to what you can expect...

Right now, one in four people in the UK are living with a mental health condition. All the treatment and support they receive has been developed with the help of research.

But we know there’s so much more that needs to be done. Many people are still waiting too long for an accurate diagnosis, and don’t always receive the treatments they need straight away. And we still need to find reliable ways to prevent mental illness developing in the first place.

Why should I get involved?

It’s only through research that we will be able to address these challenges. But fortunately, we can all support research to improve mental health services. One way to do this is by taking part in research studies.

By participating in research, you could:

  • Improve the treatments and support available for people living with mental illness, now and in the future
  • Push forward research into how mental illness develops, and how it can be prevented
  • Gain access to new therapies for your own condition, and have more regular check-ups
  • Understand your own mental health better 

Who can take part in research?

Everyone! Right now, there’s research taking place into a wide range of mental health conditions.

Each study will have its own set of criteria for who the research team are looking to recruit. For example, you may need to be a certain age, live in a particular area, or have experience of a specific condition or therapy. The information available for each study will make clear who will and won’t be eligible to take part.

Does it matter if I don’t have experience of mental illness?

Not necessarily. In fact, there are some studies which are open to everyone, or are looking for people without any experience of mental illness. In the past, some studies have aimed to recruit people with other specific experiences, such as being a new father or having a relative facing mental health problems.

What kind of things will I be asked to do?

There’s a huge range of tasks you might be asked to do – each study is different.

You might be asked to take certain medicines or receive new support services. You may be invited to have brain scans or perform tests to assess how your brain works. You could be contributing to a focus group or filling out questionnaires about your mental health. All of this could take place at a hospital or university near you, and some studies can even be done online or at home. 

Whatever the study entails, you will be given lots of information about what you will be asked to do and why. You’ll be told what information, data, or samples will need to be collected. And you’ll be able to ask the research team any questions before you agree to be a part of the study.

How can I find out more? 

If you’re interested in taking part in mental health research – or just want to have a browse to see what’s on offer – head over to our research recruitment platform Participate.

Last updated: 25 November 2019

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