What we do
The Mental Health Research Network is part of the National Institute for Health Research and our mission is to help make research about mental health happen within the NHS in England.
We work with everyone who needs to be involved in research projects – researchers, mental health professionals, people with experience of mental health problems, their families and research and development staff based in NHS trusts.
We support studies that are based within mental health services, within social care services and within primary care services.
We support randomised controlled trials, service evaluations, qualitative studies, epidemiological research, genetic research and e-science studies. We support multi-centre and multi-site projects as well as small single-site pilot studies.
We support both publicly-funded research studies and projects that are sponsored by industry.
We offer research teams very practical support
We are experts on recruitment and can advise researchers about the best way of designing a study to make sure they find the numbers of participants they need.
We can introduce research teams to people with experience of mental health problems and family members who are interested in advising or collaborating on research studies. Their insight can make a real difference to the relevance of the research and the practicalities of running the studies.
We have extensive knowledge of all mental health research being carried out in the NHS and can advise about other similar studies, trying to recruit the same sort of participants.
We work with about 60 NHS trusts running services for people with mental health problems – from community-based services to specialist services. We can put research teams in touch with mental health professionals working in those services who may be interested in being collaborators or investigators on a project.
We can help research teams organise local permissions and paperwork needed to arrange collaborations and recruit participants via NHS services.
We can advise on electronic data capture and have a team of e-science officers who are experts on systems used by NHS trusts throughout England. They can also help research teams set up websites to tell people about their projects, or to use for research purposes.
We employ teams of clinical studies officers who work in NHS trusts and help recruit participants to MHRN-supported studies.
We want to hear from people with experience of mental health problems and their family members and friends
Involving people who ultimately benefit from the research we support is one of our top priorities.
We have eight regional offices (called hubs) and the teams of staff based within them work with people who have experience of mental health problems and care-givers who live within their area. They work with both individuals and groups. Visit our Regional offices (hubs) pages to find details of your local MHRN team.
We also have a centrally-based organisation that people with experience of mental health problems can join, and a centrally-based organisation that care-givers can join. Service Users in Research and FACTOR (Families/Friends and Carers Together in Research) are both based within the MHRN’s coordinating centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and both keep their members up to date with opportunities to get involved in research, and offer support to enable people to do so.
Visit the Information for people with experience of mental health problems pages and Information for family members, friends or carers pages to find out more about Service Users in Research and FACTOR, and how to join.
Interested? Want to know more?
Browse this website to find out more about how we work, about the support we can offer, how to apply for that support, and about ways of getting involved with our work.
page last updated 1 October 2010