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 a growing public health concern, with anxiety and depression among the leading causes of illness and disability, affecting millions globally each year and causing significant social and economic impacts. 

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 is helping to define a new era of mental health science that will speed progress by combining strengths from many areas of research. 

We’re funding cutting-edge science to understand how brain, body and environment interact in mental health problems, to unpick how successful interventions work, 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 agree common ways to measure mental health outcomes, so that researchers can compare and consider results across different studies and disciplines. We’re encouraging and enabling connections across the research community, and involving people with lived experience every step of the way so that the ways we address mental health challenges are meaningful to those most affected.

Wellcome also funds discovery research in 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 what we want to achieve in the mental health space in the next 30 years.

A new era of mental health science

that can find more effective solutions for mental health problems

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 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: 

Illustration of four people working in an office.

Workplace mental health

We’re collaborating with businesses and researchers to understand what type of approaches could support employees’ mental health. 

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.

Our team 

  • Dr Kate Martin, Lived Experience and Public Engagement Lead, Wellcome
  • Dr Cat Sebastian, Evidence Lead, Wellcome

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

Latest report 

Latest news and opinion