Stones balancing on a beach

Mental health

In the mental health research theme, our interests cover the entire the lifespan, encompass a variety of methodologies and include several research areas. These include bipolar disorder and related conditions, chronic neurological conditions that cause disability and ill-health and organisational health and well-being.

Our research

In the mental health research theme, our interests cover the entire the lifespan, encompass a variety of methodologies and include several research areas. These include bipolar disorder and related conditions, chronic neurological conditions that cause disability and ill-health and organisational health and well-being.

Working within the Faculty's high-profile Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, the Centre for Organisational Health and Well-Being (COHWB) and the Clinical Psychology doctoral programme, our interests encompass:

  • investigations of the psychological processes that underpin mental health conditions
  • sleep and circadian rhythms
  • development and evaluation of innovative treatments, ranging from collaborative care models through face-to-face therapy to web-based self-management approaches
  • understanding work-based stress
  • exploring effects of social media on well-being
  • psychological aspects of living with a chronic illness

We conduct our research across a wide range of community, primary, secondary and tertiary care NHS settings and with local charities and third sector organisations. We attract funding from international and national funding councils as well as charities and other funders.

A key theme through our research is active engagement and collaboration with service users. This ensures that the focus of our work targets issues of genuine significance to those affected by the condition being studied.

Research areas

Particular research areas within the theme include:

  • Psychological treatments for bipolar disorder and related conditions
  • Prevention, community and therapeutic approaches in clinical psychology
  • Collaborative care approaches to supporting individuals with severe mental health issues in primary care
  • Living well with a chronic illness
  • Understanding the effects of social media on well-being
  • Exploring stress at work and how to mitigate it
  • Understanding mental health across the lifespan
  • Exploring the influences of sleep and circadian rhythms on mental health

Research activity

Several funding bodies contribute to the range of research activity within this theme. For example, the Spectrum Centre, which has attracted £6million since its launch, has received funding from such bodies as NIHR, charities and third sector organisations. Other researchers' work is funded by charities such as Parkinson's UK and the European Huntington Disease Network.

Staff are interested in the potential of both quantitative and qualitative methods to answer key questions. For example, experience-sampling methods and advanced modelling have recently been used to inform our research.

A key part of all our activities is the need to demonstrate the impact of our research: we have made tangible and measurable differences to the lives of people affected by mental health issues.

Service user involvement

A key theme through our research is active engagement and collaboration with service users to ensure that the focus of our work targets issues of genuine significance to those affected by the condition being studied.

  • MRC funded research 'What are the impacts of service user involvement in health and social care research' (Lobban Co-I)
  • Two projects shortlisted for Mental Health Research Network Service User involvement awarded (Lobban)
  • Cochrane Reviews of Collaborative care for people with severe mental illness (Lead author: Reilly) and Psychological Therapies for pathological and Problem Gambling (Lead author: Cowlishaw)
  • Our research

    Our research

    In the mental health research theme, our interests cover the entire the lifespan, encompass a variety of methodologies and include several research areas. These include bipolar disorder and related conditions, chronic neurological conditions that cause disability and ill-health and organisational health and well-being.

    Working within the Faculty's high-profile Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, the Centre for Organisational Health and Well-Being (COHWB) and the Clinical Psychology doctoral programme, our interests encompass:

    • investigations of the psychological processes that underpin mental health conditions
    • sleep and circadian rhythms
    • development and evaluation of innovative treatments, ranging from collaborative care models through face-to-face therapy to web-based self-management approaches
    • understanding work-based stress
    • exploring effects of social media on well-being
    • psychological aspects of living with a chronic illness

    We conduct our research across a wide range of community, primary, secondary and tertiary care NHS settings and with local charities and third sector organisations. We attract funding from international and national funding councils as well as charities and other funders.

    A key theme through our research is active engagement and collaboration with service users. This ensures that the focus of our work targets issues of genuine significance to those affected by the condition being studied.

  • Research areas

    Research areas

    Particular research areas within the theme include:

    • Psychological treatments for bipolar disorder and related conditions
    • Prevention, community and therapeutic approaches in clinical psychology
    • Collaborative care approaches to supporting individuals with severe mental health issues in primary care
    • Living well with a chronic illness
    • Understanding the effects of social media on well-being
    • Exploring stress at work and how to mitigate it
    • Understanding mental health across the lifespan
    • Exploring the influences of sleep and circadian rhythms on mental health
  • Research activity

    Research activity

    Several funding bodies contribute to the range of research activity within this theme. For example, the Spectrum Centre, which has attracted £6million since its launch, has received funding from such bodies as NIHR, charities and third sector organisations. Other researchers' work is funded by charities such as Parkinson's UK and the European Huntington Disease Network.

    Staff are interested in the potential of both quantitative and qualitative methods to answer key questions. For example, experience-sampling methods and advanced modelling have recently been used to inform our research.

    A key part of all our activities is the need to demonstrate the impact of our research: we have made tangible and measurable differences to the lives of people affected by mental health issues.

  • Service user involvement

    Service user involvement

    A key theme through our research is active engagement and collaboration with service users to ensure that the focus of our work targets issues of genuine significance to those affected by the condition being studied.

    • MRC funded research 'What are the impacts of service user involvement in health and social care research' (Lobban Co-I)
    • Two projects shortlisted for Mental Health Research Network Service User involvement awarded (Lobban)
    • Cochrane Reviews of Collaborative care for people with severe mental illness (Lead author: Reilly) and Psychological Therapies for pathological and Problem Gambling (Lead author: Cowlishaw)

What we do

Research centres and groups

People

A wide range of individuals contribute to our understanding of mental health and represent a number of different academic disciplines. For example, we have psychologists, sociologists, public health specialists, geographers and other social scientists who are all undertaking meaningful research designed to make a difference to people's lives.

Professor Susan Cartwright

Dr Fiona Eccles: cognitive difficulties associated with neurological conditions and their treatments, experiences of living with chronic neurological illness, and illness beliefs

Dr Naomi Fisher

Dr Ian Fletcher

Dr Sabir Giga

Professor Chris Hatton

Dr Suzanne Hodge

Professor Steve Jones: the psychology and psychological therapy of bipolar disorder and related conditions to provide a choice of evidence based interventions matched to individuals values and needs 

Dr Fiona Lobban: psychological approaches to mental health problems - understanding, development and evaluation

Dr Elizabeth McDermott

Dr Craig Murray

Dr Guillermo Perez Algorta

Dr Siobhan Reilly: the evidence base for the delivery of health and social care services, in particular the role of primary care, case management and collaborative care for people with severe mental illness and people with dementia

Dr Heather Robinson

Professor Bill Sellwood

Dr Jane Simpson: the wellbeing and mental health experiences of people with adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dementia

Dr Ian Smith

Dr Elizabeth Tyler: research which focuses on developing accessible, evidence based interventions for individuals and families with bipolar disorder who have previously found it difficult access psychological care