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 among the biggest causes of disability in the world. Living with a mental health condition results in lower life expectancy, social and economic disadvantage, and a higher risk of social isolation.

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 build an ambitious, integrated field of mental health science that will combine strengths from many areas of expertise including lived experience.

We’re funding research that increases scientific understanding of how brain, body and environment interact, and develops better ways to respond effectively to the most common and most severe conditions: anxiety, depression and psychosis.

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.

A photograph of the person, Miranda Wolpert.

Miranda Wolpert

Director of Mental Health


What we're doing 

Over the next 30 years we will help drive a step-change in mental health science to find more effective mental health solutions. 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
  • encouraging and enabling connections across the research community
  • 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 Wellcome's ambitions for 2022 and beyond.

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

Work with us

We're looking for organisations to apply for contract opportunities that support our vision.

Research funding opportunities 

To help deliver our vision across three key health challenges, we support research through a combination of open calls and direct funding approaches.  

We work with and fund a diverse group of people who can bring innovative and creative insights to these urgent health challenges. 

We often have calls for specific research projects as part of our mental health work, open to applicants and teams in any country. Our funding covers both back-translation (working backwards from the evidence of what works to understand why) and forward-translation (developing new approaches from theories developed out of basic discovery research). 

This page will be updated regularly with the latest mental health funding information and the opportunities we have available for discovery research.

Wellcome Mental Health Data Prize

Teams in the UK and South Africa will explore existing data to find new insights and build digital tools that enable future research.  

Mental Health Award: Improving cognitive and functional outcomes in people experiencing, or at risk of, psychosis

This call will provide funding to individuals or teams from not-for-profit or commercial organisations for two types of applications: to support the development and evaluation of interventions and to test new or existing markers of cognitive functioning.

Mental Health Award: looking backwards, moving forward – understanding how interventions for anxiety, depression, and psychosis work

This call provides funding for teams of researchers investigating causal mechanisms underpinning effective interventions for anxiety, depression, and/or psychosis.

Stay up to date with funding news, policy changes and events with our monthly email.

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 two people sketching together on a large piece of paper.

Workplace mental health

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

Our team 

Latest report 

Latest news and opinion