Ahead of the General Election 2017, we’ve joined forces with thirteen mental health charities to call on all UK parties to commit to action on mental health research.
Right now, 1 in 4 people are facing mental illness and suicide is the leading cause of death in young people, but only £8 is invested in research per person affected. This compares to £178 for cancer and £110 for dementia.
As mental health rises up the public agenda and becomes part of the national conversation, we believe it is vital to invest in research to deliver the breakthroughs in understanding and treatment that are desperately needed.
To do this, as part of the Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders, we have written to all political parties asking them to pledge to:
Redress the current and historic imbalance in public sector research funding that undermine commitments to parity of esteem for mental health problems; and to work with the charity sector to catalyse charitable giving for mental health research.
Invest in a broad vision of mental health research that is transdisciplinary and promotes the voices of people affected by mental health problems and the communities at greatest risk.
Commit to unblocking the barriers to research. Mental health affects all aspects of public policy. Without better data sharing between different parts of the public sector it will not be possible to address the role of physical health services, social care, housing, education and the justice system in promoting good mental health and understand the costs of poor mental health to them.
Give priority to the research that will make the biggest difference to people’s lives, and that the people affected by mental health problems will be at the heart of deciding those priorities. We know that the biggest current gaps include children and young people’s mental health, and the most effective ways to prevent mental health problems developing and how to promote positive mental well-being.