Mental health

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

Why we're taking on mental health  

Mental health problems are holding back people of all ages, in all parts of the world. They are predicted to be the main cause of global mortality and morbidity by 2030 (World Health Organization, 2004).

Almost nine in ten people will experience a mental health problem by the time they’re 38 years old (Schaefer et al, 2017). While some treatments work for some people, some of the time, we urgently need to find better approaches that can help more people globally. 

Wellcome has a vital role to play. By bringing together expertise across science, innovation and society, we’re speeding up research to understand mental health better, and to develop treatments and approaches that are more effective and more personalised.

The world needs a more inclusive mental health science. Wellcome wants to widen science to include new voices and perspectives, and all forms of rigorous exploration of evidence, from the cellular to the social.

Miranda Wolpert, Director of Mental Health, Wellcome

What we're doing 

Over the next 30 years, we will help find the next generations of treatments and approaches to help prevent or treat mental ill health. 

Right now, we are supporting the mental health science community to align around common goals, foster creative research, and involve people with lived experience every step of the way. And we are developing a portfolio of innovations and building scientific evidence around how they work. 

Wellcome also funds discovery research into a broad range of disciplines, including mental health. Insights and tools from this research will contribute to solving this health challenge, as well as increasing broader understanding of life, health and wellbeing.

Read more about our current focus and what we want to achieve in the mental health space in the next 30 years.

£200 million over 5 years

for research into anxiety and depression in young people

A global databank

with evidence about what mental health approaches work  

Building a shared understanding

of the routes to positive mental health

How we're doing it 

We’re doing this through research, policy, advocacy, public engagement and innovation. 

We want the broadest range of people to contribute to and benefit from equitable solutions to mental health problems. That’s why we work with researchers, people with lived experience, policy makers, activists, community leaders and businesses in all parts of the world. 

We’re currently working on:

  • anxiety and depression in young people: we’ve commissioned research into what makes a difference in preventing and treating anxiety and depression in young people worldwide
  • workplace mental health: we’re collaborating with businesses and researchers to understand what type of approaches could support employees’ mental health
  • building a global mental health databank: we want to develop a sustainable and fair global databank to collect rich data about which approaches could help people better manage their mental health
  • transforming how we understand, address and talk about mental health: Mindscapes is our international cultural programme of artist residencies, exhibitions and events in different cities around the world.

Read more about our work.

Funding

Grant funding: If you’re looking for funding to support your research ideas, have a look at our discovery research funding schemes. These are open to applicants based in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries, and coapplicants from the rest of the world if applying as part of a team.

Commissions: We often have calls for specific research projects as part of our mental health work, for applicants and teams in any country. Our funding covers both back-translation (working backwards from the evidence of what works to understand why this is) and forward-translation (developing new approaches from theories developed out of basic discovery research). There is currently one active call on workplace mental health – find out how to apply.

Latest report 

Latest news and opinion 

Our team 

See everyone who's in our mental health team, or contact us at mentalhealth@wellcome.org