Mental health

Our vision is a world in which no one is held back by mental health problems.

A woman wearing a swimming cap swims in cold water with her eyes closed

Depression, anxiety, and psychosis are holding millions of people back every day. We still know far too little about how and why these conditions develop, and how they can best be resolved. 

But it doesn’t have to be like this. 

We want to create transformative change by finding better ways to intervene early so that people experiencing these mental health challenges can thrive. 

To do this, we fund a diverse range of researchers, and collaborate with others, including policy makers. 

We are committed to working with lived experience experts to shape the direction of our mental health strategy and the research we fund.

What do we want to achieve? 

We want to: 

  • gain a better understanding of how the brain, body, and environment interact in depression, anxiety, and psychosis so that we can spot potential points for early intervention.  
  • find better ways of identifying and grouping people with – or at risk of – these conditions so that we can provide more timely and personalised interventions. 
  • find new and improved ways of intervening. This could involve things that an individual does for themselves, are provided by a healthcare professional, or are provided by policies or practices in wider society.

"Mental health science is on the cusp of transformative change. Wellcome is privileged to work with a wide range of researchers to find innovative ways to intervene as early as possible in depression, anxiety, and psychosis in order to improve the life trajectory of millions of people globally."

Miranda Wolpert

Director of Mental Health


Connect with Miranda:

How can we help create a transformative change in early intervention for anxiety, depression and psychosis? Share your ideas about our strategy via the link.

Our work  

We fund research tackling complex mental health issues, seeking new insights and breakthroughs.

We unite people across the field and work with lived experience experts to understand problems and find solutions.

We standardise measures and data collection to analyse patterns and trends in a consistent way.

We also advocate for science-based policies, empowering us to shape global mental health.

Work in progress
Work in progress

Lived experience is helping to drive innovation in mental health data

5-minute read

Data has the power to uncover crucial insights in mental health research – especially if you build a team that reflects the people you are trying to support. Shuranjeet Singh shares three ways we’ve been embedding lived experience expertise in our Data Prize in Mental Health.


A new approach for treating schizophrenia

6-minute read

A potential new treatment for schizophrenia – backed by Wellcome-funded research – may change the lives of millions of people living with the condition globally.


What funding do we provide? 

We fund research that enhances our understanding of how biological, psychological, and social factors interact in the development and resolution of depression, anxiety, and psychosis - including OCD, PTSD, bipolar, and schizophrenia - as well as projects to find new and improved ways to predict, identify and intervene as early as possible.

We are interested in all interventions, pharmacological or non-pharmacological, provided through healthcare systems or by other systems, such as workplaces, educational organisations, or undertaken by an individual themselves. 

We support initiatives to build a more inclusive and coherent mental health science community. This includes funding necessary infrastructure, such as improved databases and platforms for trials.

This is in addition to funding that is already available via our Discovery Research programme, which is open to applications relating to all mental health conditions.

Find out what mental health research we are funding – now and in the future.

Mental health funding calls in progress

We’re funding research to help create transformative change in early intervention for anxiety, depression and psychosis. 

There are currently no open funding opportunities for Mental Health. Learn more about the funding we provide. 

Does my project fit the criteria for funding?

For a more detailed description of what projects we will and won’t fund, visit our Mental Health remit page. 

Other initiatives

In addition to awarding grants, we are working with other funders and publishers to agree core measures of people’s mental health, removing one of the biggest barriers to developing a more coherent evidence base.

Plus, we’re supporting the development of better data sets, involving more diverse populations, and collecting more detailed data over a longer period.

We also invite organisations to apply for contract opportunities that support our mission

How is Wellcome funded?

The Wellcome Trust is an independent charity. To find out where we get our grant funding from, visit our investments page

Why is early intervention a core focus for us? 

Depression, anxiety, and psychosis typically start in youth and can have a significant impact on all aspects of a person’s life. This can result in lower life expectancy, social and economic disadvantage, and a higher risk of self-harm and suicide.

Effective early intervention could stop the escalation of these conditions before they become lifelong, debilitating problems.

By addressing current gaps in our understanding, finding better ways to group people, and funding new and improved interventions, we hope to make this a reality.

Our team 

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