MQ: Transforming Mental Health awards £1.5 million for four new psychological treatment studies
New flagship research programme aims to advance the scope of psychological therapies to improve effectiveness and access to treatment.
The mental health research charity MQ: Transforming Mental Health has today announced £1.5 million in funding awards as the first major investment of its new flagship research programme PsyIMPACT. The Awards will support innovative ways of providing more effective and accessible psychological treatments for common mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression and ADHD.
PsyIMPACT was developed following a major international meeting last year to channel scientific advances, including new computer-based approaches, to tackle the major access and treatment challenges in psychological therapies.
Four projects have been awarded funding:
- A team at King's College London, is developing new more accessible evidence-based psychological treatments for ‘worry and rumination’, a dominant symptom of depression and anxiety disorder across all cultures. This aims to address the fact that people with high levels of worry and rumination often do not get better through traditional CBT therapy.
- The first trial of a computer-based preventative intervention for 10-month old infants at risk of ADHD. The research team at Birkbeck, University of London hope that this novel early intervention approach will provide a much-needed and targeted approach to attention and behaviors thought to be hallmarks of ADHD.
- A public health approach, harnessing the internet to tackle social anxiety symptoms in the general population, at the University of Oxford. The research will determine, for the first time, if a fully self-directed Internet tool can reduce social anxiety symptoms in the general population.
- Investigators at the University of Pennsylvania developing a new analytic tool, The Personalized Advantage Index (PAI), that mental health professionals can use to predict which psychological treatments are likely to be the most effective for each patient.
Cynthia Joyce, Chief Executive of MQ: Transforming Mental Health said: 'Psychological treatments help so many people. And we know that they have the potential to benefit many more. Our PsyIMPACT awards are developing effective tools, opportunities to better target therapies, and brand new interventions in areas where current treatments are limited. Research in this area has the potential to transform the scale and impact of psychological therapy in the UK, meaning more people can get access to care in a way that works for them.’
Professor Chris Fairburn, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and MQ Trustee added ‘If we are to have the greatest impact with psychological therapies, it is critical that we explore novel ways of delivering and personalising interventions. I am delighted that MQ is funding four exciting projects to drive this agenda forward, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the internet and modern technology.'
Commenting on MQ's funding announcment, Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb MP said: "Mental health is a priority and psychological therapies are a lifeline for so many. That’s why we’ve invested over £450 million in improving access to these treatments. I’m pleased to see organisations like MQ investing in studies - we need to invest far more in understanding mental ill health and this is a brilliant initiative.”