Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Health and wellbeing research – mental health

The research councils have a collective interest in mental health research. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) fully supports this and will work, both independently and with the other research councils, to ensure mental health research remains part of our broader strategies.

Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The scope and what we're doing

Widening cross-disciplinary research for mental health

The research councils have a collective interest in mental health research, and in August 2017 launched a cross-disciplinary agenda to highlight opportunities for working in this area between disciplines and across the councils’ individual remits called Widening cross-disciplinary research for mental health.

AHRC fully supports this agenda, and will work, both independently and with the other research councils, to ensure that mental health research remains part of our broader strategies.

Why we're doing it

Mental ill health is acknowledged to be one of the most significant challenges that societies currently face. In the UK, it accounts for over 20% of the overall disease burden – more than either cancer or heart disease – and is one of the leading reasons for taking sick leave from employment. In 2015 alone, for example, 17.6 million working days were lost to mental ill health in the UK making it a serious economic as well as a social concern.

Globally, the World Health Organization projects that by 2030 mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity.

Opportunities, support and resources available

There are currently no funding opportunities.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Projects have come from areas as diverse as the creative arts, design, law, ethics and history, as well as a range of interdisciplinary approaches, and originated as a variety of standard funding opportunities and targeted funding opportunities.

Standard (sometimes known as ‘responsive’) funding opportunities are open to a wide range of research and approaches within AHRC’s remit.

You can apply at any time.

Apply for an AHRC standard research grant.

Case studies

You can read a selection of case studies from work we have supported in our 2017 booklet Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing: The Role of Arts and Humanities Research.

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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