Help with our research

About the study

We are trying to understand why some people experience problems with their mental health. By comparing information from people who have experienced mental health problems with information from people who have not, we hope to learn more about the factors that may make some people more likely to become unwell than others. We hope that our study will improve the understanding of mental illness and help find better treatments in the future.If you decide to take part, we will ask you to provide us with some basic information about you and your mental health in order to help us answer these important research questions.

We also want to identify people who would be willing to be approached about taking part in further mental health research projects.

We need as many people as possible to take part – whatever your age, wherever you live, whether you’ve experienced a mental illness or not.

What will I have to do?

Taking part is voluntary: it’s up to you to choose if you want to sign up.

If you join us, you’ll be asked whether you would be willing to:

  1. Provide us with your contact details and some personal information (e.g. date of birth, ethnic group and employment status).
  2. Answer some questions about your mental and physical health and your lifestyle. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
  3. Allow us to access and use the information in your routinely collected NHS records. This is to gain further details about the kinds of symptoms and treatments you may have had. We would also like to look at your records in the future to see if there has been any change in your health.
  4. Allow us to contact you in the future about other studies that you may want to take part in. There will be no obligation for you to take part in these future opportunities.
  5. Allow us to contact you every 6-12 months, to invite you to provide more information about your mental and physical health and your lifestyle.
  6. Allow us to share anonymous information with other researchers providing they have scientific and ethical approval for the questions that they would like to answer.

We will use your answers, together with the information from your NHS records, to improve our understanding of mental illness and help find better treatments in the future. Once you have joined, you can choose if you want to take part in any of the questionnaires, studies, or events that we tell you about when we get in touch with you.


Who is doing the study?

NCMH is a Welsh Government funded Research Centre, led by Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities. It is being funded by Health and Care Research Wales, Welsh Government. The Director of the National Centre for Mental Health is Professor Ian Jones.

How can I join the study?

You will have the opportunity to join the study once you have read through and understand the information.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We hope that learning more about mental health will lead to new ways of diagnosing, treating or even preventing mental illnesses. However, these remain long-term aims and you will not benefit directly from taking part in the study.

Who will have access to my information?

Only the study team will have access to your data and only they will contact you directly. All information collected during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. There are strict laws that safeguard your privacy at every stage.

In accordance with the Data Protection Act, your personal information will be kept confidential by assigning a unique study code to your data. Your name and identifying information will not be passed on to anyone.

What questions will I be asked now?

When you agree to take part and sign up, you will be asked to provide contact details and some other information about yourself such as your age and ethnic group. You will also be asked to answer some questions about your mental and general health and lifestyle.

How often will I be contacted?

We will contact you every 6-12 months to ask you questions about your mental and general health and lifestyle. Sometimes we will ask for information that you haven’t given before. Sometimes we will ask you the same questions as before, so that we can see how your lifestyle and health is changing.

As well as this regular contact, the study team may contact you from time to time, to ask you to take part in new studies. You may also be contacted because you have a specific condition (for example, depression).

How long will it take?

First you need to join the study. This involves reading this information and then consenting below. This should take about 5 minutes. Take as much time as you need to decide whether you wish to take part.

Once you have joined, you will be asked some questions. This should take about 10-15 minutes to finish. We know that we get the best data if you are able to complete these questions in one go, but if for some reason this isn’t possible, then you can save your progress and come back to the website later.

Can I decline or withdraw from the study?

You do not have to take part in this study. If you do decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason. If you do decide to withdraw from the study, all details you have provided will be destroyed. These will not be used further in the research.

What happens when the study has finished?

This is a long term study that will allow us to learn a lot about the causes and triggers of mental health problems. The information that you provide will be stored for use on a long term basis (at least 15 years). To make the best use of resources, we will share data (which will be anonymous to exclude any personal details), with different groups of researchers from the NHS, universities and commercial companies.

You will not have any claim to any future commercial use of results from the study in which your data has been used.

Who has reviewed the study?

Ethical approval has been obtained from the National Research Ethics Service and NHS (Research and Development) permission has also been obtained.

Can I discuss the study with somebody independent of the project?

Yes, you can contact Dr Vanessa Davies on 029 2068 8340 or at You can also write to her at:

Dr Vanessa Davies
Institute Manager
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute
3rd Floor, Hadyn Ellis Building
Maindy Road
CF24 4HQ

If you are happy to take part in this study please visit our online survey platform to get started.


Under 18? You can still help, but not online. Contact us at or on 029 2068 8401 to find out more. 

National Centre for Mental Health, Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
+44 (0)29 2068 8401
The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) is funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales | Privacy Policy