Delivering a genuine breakthrough in our understanding and treatment of mental health requires an increased and sustained investment in research.
However, our analysis shows funding currently falls far short of what is needed – and lags well behind that for other conditions per person affected.
In 2016, we published a new analysis comparing research spending across conditions. This follows our 2015 Funding Landscape review – looking at UK mental health research grants, and comprehensive estimates of the amount spent by condition and by different types of research.
- On average, the UK invests approximately £115 million per year in mental health research - 85% of which is provided by three funders: the Wellcome Trust; the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR); and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
- The vast majority of funding for mental health supports underpinning research. Considerably less funding goes directly to the prevention, detection and screening, or the development of treatments for mental illness
- Approximately £8 is invested in research per person affected by mental illness. 22x more is spent on research into cancer, and 14x more on dementia
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