Share this

Scottish Government outlines mental health research ambitions

Scottish Government outlines mental health research ambitions

29th October 2019

Today, the Mental Health Directorate of the Scottish Government has published a paper describing ambitions for the mental health research landscape in Scotland.

The impact of poor mental health in Scotland is high: one in four adults experience mental health problems within their lifetime[i], mental health problems are the second largest contributor to Scotland’s total disease burden[ii], and they are a significant risk factor for poorer social and physical health outcomes including premature death [iii].

Mental health research in Scotland has potential to provide solutions that can reduce this burden of disease.

It has prompted the Scottish Government’s Directorate of Mental Health to produce a working paper - Developing the Mental Health Research Landscape in Scotland – setting out challenges, opportunities and a basis for wider engagement with academics, NHS, public sector and third sector partners on developing mental health research in Scotland.

The ambition is for strong connections between research and policy that will result in a higher profile for mental health research, greater research impact, and better policy making; helping to achieve the strategic aim of parity of esteem between physical and mental health.

Commenting on the release of the report at the NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Mental Health Annual Scientific Meeting , Catherine Deith, NRS Mental Health Network Manager said: “This report recognises the impact of poor mental health in Scotland and the need to do more. NRS Mental Health is fully engaged in the ambitions set out, and committed to enhancing collaborations with all partners to drive more world-leading research in mental health. We already support a diverse portfolio of commercial and academic studies, across a wide range of areas including imaging, psychosocial, genetic, clinical trials, and e-health research - some of which has been presented here today at our Annual Scientific Meeting.”

More info


[i] Vigo D, Thornicroft G, Atun R. Estimating the true global burden of mental illness. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;3(2):171-8.
[ii] Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO). The Scottish Burden of Disease Study, 2016: Overview report. Edinburgh: 2018.
[iii] Thornicroft G. Premature death among people with mental illness. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2013;346:f2969.

Go back to News