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.
They 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.
NCMH 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 a higher risk of illness, they aim to help health professionals to identify at-risk patients earlier and give them access to the right support and treatment.
NCMH's biological research is an important step towards developing better diagnoses and treatments. Laboratory studies aim 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. NCMH utilise techniques like MRI to bridge the gap in understanding how the symptoms experienced in mental illness are linked to genetic risk factors.
NCMH also investigate the effectiveness of neuroimaging as a treatment for mental health problems as well as drug and alcohol addictions.