In its ‘Life Sciences Vision’ report, the UK government shared plans to make the UK the most attractive place in the world for Life Sciences innovation. These plans were summed up in a set of ‘priority statements’ – also known as ‘Missions’. The Mental Health Mission (£40.2M total) will increase capacity in mental health research through providing relevant training and creating better systems to support industry-led research and investment across the UK. Specific focus will be paid to addressing areas of unmet need and high burden of mental illness.
The MHM will provide specific funding to two demonstrator sites and Birmingham has been selected to be one of these, with an investment over 5 years of £9.92M to create the Midlands Translational Research Centre of Excellence (Midlands-TCoE). The application was led by Professor Rachel Upthegrove (Institute for Mental Health, School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC)), who will serve as Centre Lead together with Co-Lead Professor Steven Marwaha (IMH, SoP, LES, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT)). The aim of our Midlands-TCoE is to accelerate regional mental health research capacity and re-engage industry with initial focus on new precision interventions for Early Psychosis (EP) and Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) within the context of a young, superdiverse, deprived population.