Increase in research funding is called for by mental health charity

  • A mental health charity has found that research into mental health receives less than 1% of the funding per patient that cancer gets.

    MQ: Transforming Mental Health, who call themselves the first UK major mental health research charity, have found that for every £1 the Government spends on mental health research, the general public donates just 0.3p, reports Care Appointments. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    The report found that nearly of quarter of the UK's population is affected by mental health problems and the economic and social cost of mental illness in England is estimated at £105bn, however there is little know about how to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illnesses.

    Its report found that £9.75 is invested in research per person affected by mental illness, while for cancer research it is £1,571 per patient.

    The majority of the £115m spent on mental health research each year comes from three funders; the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council.

    MQ chief executive, Cynthia Joyce, said: "As our analysis shows, current levels of research are not fit-for-purpose. This means that advances are being held back in areas that could make a real difference to people's lives, including the development of new treatments and opportunities to prevent mental illness in future generations. We are beginning to see important changes in our public dialogue about mental health, but any efforts to truly achieve parity of esteem will be held back without similar commitments to mental health research."

    Professor Roz Shafran, senior advisor to MQ and chairwoman of translational psychology at University College London (UCL), said: "This ground-breaking report highlights the scandal of under-investment in mental health research in general and psychological treatment in particular. Highlighting the gap between the paucity of research funding and enormous impact of mental health disorders is the first step in beginning to close it."

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