The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) brings together world-leading researchers from Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities to learn more about the triggers and causes of mental health problems.
We aim to help improve diagnosis, treatment and support for the millions of people affected by mental ill-health every year, as well as tackle the stigma faced by many. Key to achieving these aims is to engage with services and their users, the third sector and the wider public to increase understanding of mental illness, and by supporting and undertaking mental health research.
Mental health problems reflect a complex interplay of social, psychological and biological factors. This means that no single method of research can deliver all the answers, so we use a variety of techniques to investigate how these areas overlap and interact.
We use interview and questionnaire based assessments to gather information on social and psychological factors that may influence a person’s risk of becoming unwell.
By being able to pinpoint particular personality traits and social determinants or specific life events that are associated with higher risk of illness, we can help health professionals to identify at-risk patients earlier and give them access to the right support and treatment.
Our biological research is an important step towards developing better diagnoses and treatments. Laboratory studies help us to understand more about how mental illness might alter the way in which molecules, nerve cells and brain systems work.
Neuroimaging offers a powerful insight into the structure and function of the human brain. Techniques like MRI can help us to bridge the gap in understanding how the symptoms experienced in mental illness are linked to genetic risk factors.
We can also investigate the effectiveness of neuroimaging as a treatment for mental health problems as well drug and alcohol addictions.