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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

BSMHFT will benefit from multimillion pound investment into mental health research

Published: 26/05/2023

BSMHFT is part of the Government’s new Mental Health Mission, designed to develop radical new treatments for mental health conditions that will improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis as well as increase the use of new technologies.

Birmingham will receive a £9.9m share of a £42.7m investment that has been granted by the Government in a bid to boost mental health research in the UK.

This funding will enable the establishment of the Midlands Translational Research Centre of Excellence, co-led by ourselves, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.

Delivered through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration, the research will focus on increasing recruitment to exploring treatments in early psychosis, depression and children and young people.

Our Chief Executive, Roísìn Fallon-Williams, said:

“It’s fantastic to be part of the Mental Health Mission which will hugely benefit our present and future service users. We look forward to working with NIHR, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham to research and develop innovative new treatments. It’s so important that those with experience of living with these conditions and those caring for them are partners the research and development of new treatments and that’s exactly what we will be doing in this exciting work”

Professor Rachel Upthegrove, Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health at the University of Birmingham and Mental Health Research and Development Lead at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We’re delighted that the Government is making such a significant investment in mental health research. Over the next five years, the Midlands Mental Health Mission Translational Research Centre of Excellence will accelerate and grow effective, regional mental health research capacity. Focusing on young, superdiverse, and deprived populations, we will engage with funders and industry partners to develop and deliver precision interventions for mental health disorders including psychosis and depression.”

The Mental Health Mission will promote collaboration across different sectors to bolster research and attract further investment from industry and research organisations.

Nationally, the Mental Health Mission will be chaired by Kathryn Abel and Husseini Manji. In a joint statement, they said:

“We are delighted to be working together to make the new Mental Health Mission a truly revolutionary force behind mental health research. We want the Mission to create tangible differences to the lives of patients, both in the UK and internationally.

“Alongside additional investment in mental health research and infrastructure, the Mission will foster a step change in the way we think about mental health, mental illness and its treatment. This will support development of the critically needed treatments across the spectrum of mental illness.

“We want the UK to be the most attractive place to conduct robust, high impact mental health research, ensuring people have access to the best, and newest, treatments. We are confident that the Mission will be unique in its ability to convene and challenge national partners to make this happen.”

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