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Research projects

CMH Research Projects

(Critical Time Intervention for Severely Mentally Ill Released Prisoners:
A Randomised Control Trial)

The Critical Time Intervention for Severely Mentally Ill Prisoners (CriSP) project focuses on the transition from prison to the community and improving continuity of care during this period.

Studies have shown that there is a large drop out from mental health services after release from prison and that negative outcomes are common, with high levels of relapse and reoffending. The project will evaluate the efficacy of the Critical Time Intervention which aims to provide a bridge between prison and community services with a time-limited case management model. A pilot of the CTI has demonstrated that it is feasible in this context and a large scale randomised controlled trial aims to determine its impact on improving contact with services over a longer period of follow up.

For information on the Critical Time intervention website, please click this link:

To view the study protocol, please click this link:

Principle Investigator:  Professor Graham Thornicroft

(Decision Aid for young people who Self-Harm: A feasibility trial)

Image 1 for website_purchased 06.11.14

Self-harm is a term used when someone injures or harms themselves on purpose, rather than by accident. Unfortunately some young people may use self-harm as a way of trying to cope with difficult feelings that build up inside. Many young people who self-harm find it difficult to decide where and how to get help for their problems.

The DASH project is a feasibility trial assessing an online decision aid developed to help young people who self-harm to make a decision about where they can go for help and support.

The decision aid has been developed by a collaborative team from King’s College London (Dr Claire Henderson, Dr Sarah Rowe and Dr Dennis Ougrin) working in conjunction with the University of Bristol (Dr Paul Moran), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Dr Rebecca French), the NSPCC and Maldaba©.

Parents/guardians of young people aged 12-18 years attending The Charter School, in the London borough of Southwark, have been sent an information pack and consent form. The children of parents that have consented will be invited to participate in the study.  Participation is voluntary and confidential, it will involve the young person completing a short questionnaire (approximately 5-10 minutes on a computer) about their feelings and emotions, and a question about self-harm.

It is anticipated that the majority of young people that take part in the survey will not have self-harmed, and for these young people their involvement in the study will be limited to responding to the questionnaire. However, it is thought that a small group of young people may indicate that they have deliberately hurt themselves in the past year. This smaller group of young people will be asked to complete some additional questions about whether they have sought help for their problems (taking approximately 10 minutes). Participants in this group will then be randomly allocated to one of two sub-groups, and will either receive general information about their feelings and emotions, or be asked to complete the decision aid that will tell them about options for getting help and support for their self-harm. Approximately four weeks later, the group who used the decision aid will be asked to complete the same short questionnaire (approximately 10 minutes); this will allow us to see if any changes in their decision making have occurred.  

In order to ensure that young people in this study remain safe and are given appropriate support, any young person in the study that identifies them-self as self-harming will be referred to the school counsellor. In the event of this occurring, parents of the young person will be notified (in accordance with school policy). Young people will be informed of this safety precaution prior to consenting to the study.

For further information about the study please contact Dr Sarah Rowe ( or Krisna Patel (

Principal Investigator: Dr Claire Henderson

Funded by: Guys and St Thomas’ Charity

(Diagnosis in Emergency Departments for people with Mental Illness)

Funded by the Maudsley Charity, the DIADEM project studies the barriers and facilitators to diagnosis of physical illness experienced by people with severe mental illness in emergency departments.

DIADEM builds on research material gathered in the SPHERE project which:

  • (i) explored the views and experiences of emergency department health care staff regarding what impedes or facilitates the diagnostic process for people with severe mental illness who present with a physical complaint, and
  • (ii) investigated the occurrence and impact of diagnostic overshadowing – the process by which a person with a mental illness receives inadequate or delayed treatment due to the misattribution of their physical symptoms to their mental illness.

The DIADEM research team works across four hospital emergency departments with the aim of developing expert consensus on recommendations for treating people with known or suspected psychiatric illness at emergency departments.

Principal Investigator: Dr Claire Henderson

(Emerging Mental Health Systems in Low- and Middle-income Countries)

EMERALD brings together an international consortium of scientists and collaborators with the objective of improving mental health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries by enhancing health systems.

The project focuses on developing strategies for the implementation of mental health systems and structures to support improved mental health care delivery that is sustainable, equitable and integrated with physical health provision.

Led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, other partners of the EMERALD consortium include the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain), the World Health Organization, Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), the Public Health Foundation of India, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO, Nepal), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), Butabika National Mental Hospital (Uganda) and HealthNet TPO (The Netherlands). The research of the international consortium will be managed and supported in administrative issues by the German SME GABO:mi (Munich).

Please click on for further information on the project.

Consortium Co-ordinator: Professor Graham Thornicroft

(King’s Improvement Science)

KIS brings together wide-ranging expertise to find innovative solutions to real world local health challenges.

With a dual focus on quality improvement projects and a capacity building programme across its member organisations, the initiative, launched in January 2013, is led by senior staff at King's College London, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Projects target particular problems identified by clinicians, managers or patients and service users, employing an established, structured method for quality improvement to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of measures in context, encouraging the use of best practice and the implementation of most recent clinical guidelines.

The KIS capacity building programme will concentrate on developing a new cadre of research staff who will bridge the clinical-research divide in healthcare improvement, responding to specific clinical challenges identified by the KHP Trusts, and who will be the next generation of leaders in this field, working to close the gap between applied health and social care research.

Please click on for more information on the project.

(MAPCAG Longitudinal Evaluation)

The MAPLE study evaluates the impact of a major management restructuring programme at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Hospital (SLaM).

Focusing on the effects of the introduction of Clinical Academic Groups in place of a geographically-based service provision (based on borough directorates), the study examines the impact of the introduction of the MAPCAG (The Mood Anxiety and Personality Clinical Academic Group Longitudinal Evaluation), a novel approach to managing mental health services.

Following the principles of realistic evaluation and using group interviews of staff, managers and service users, the research team will develop a ‘program theory’, in the form of a logic model, with quantitative analyses of data from SLaM’s electronic patient records providing the empirical underpinning to the final model. The aim is to identify the key context-mechanism-outcome relationships within the MAPCAG program in order to assess the possibilities of replicating the programme elsewhere.

Principle Investigator: Dr Alex Tulloch

MIND Welfare Benefits

Supported by Mind in Croydon, the Mind Welfare Benefits project explores the relationships between welfare benefits problems, mental health and health service use among clients of the Mind welfare benefits advice service.

Focusing on evaluating the practical and emotional impact of Work Capability Tests on mental health, and the effects of benefits work carried out by Mind on improving mental health, the overall aim of the project is to assess whether loss of income and/or threatened loss of income due to welfare benefits review are associated with deterioration of mental health status and increased mental health service use by people with mental health problems.

PrincipaI Investigator: Dr Claire Henderson

(Programme for Improving Mental Health Care)

PRIME is a consortium of research institutions and Ministries of Health in five countries in Asia and Africa (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa & Uganda), with partners in the UK and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Supported by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), PRIME is a six year programme which was launched in May 2011, with the goal of generating world-class research evidence on the implementation and scaling up of treatment programmes for priority mental disorders in primary and maternal health care contexts in low resource settings.

Led by Professor Thornicroft in collaboration with colleagues across the Health Service and Population Research (HSPR) Department, the PRIME research team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College played a significant role in the creation of international guidelines (the WHO’s 2010 Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Implementation Guide).

Synthesising knowledge gathered from 93 specially commissioned systematic reviews and from 150 experts based all over the world, the guidelines are designed to improve the treatment of mental health problems in low and middle income countries where there may be just a handful of psychiatrists – and in some cases no mental health specialists at all – and they target non-specialist primary health care practitioners with the aim of embedding mental health work into their everyday practice.

Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Panama, Jordan, Nigeria, Uganda and Honduras are among countries in the developing world that are beginning to train healthcare workers to use these guidelines for the treatment of mental health problems.

The mhGAP guidelines – sent to 194 UN member states and produced in a dozen languages – are complemented by a series of open access papers co-edited by Professor Thornicroft (with Professor Vikram Patel, Professor of International Mental health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) in PLoS Medicine. The series describes how non-specialist health workers can deliver effective treatments for mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia.

Please click on for further information on the project.

(Seclusion and Psychiatric Intensive Care Evaluation Study)

The Seclusion and Psychiatric Intensive Care Evaluation Study (SPICES) is led by Len Bowers, Professor of Psychiatric Nursing.

Module 1 of the project is led by Dr Alex Tulloch and will use data from the BRC Case Register (CRIS) to model individual level factors associated with the use of psychiatric intensive care and with the use of seclusion, and to model the effects of psychiatric intensive care and seclusion on service use, costs and subsequent violence. The SPICES project is funded by the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research scheme.

Time To Change

Launched in 2007, Time to Change is the most ambitious programme ever undertaken to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems in England. 

With a total award of £20 million, Time to Change is an integrated programme run by a consortium of three organisations - Mind, Rethink, and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London – and will involve thousands of service users over a four year period, bringing together people who have mental health problems with those who don’t in a programme of national and local projects working together to achieve common, shared outcomes.

The research team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), led by Professor Graham Thornicroft, were involved in planning the Time to Change programme, and continue to lead on evaluating its success. Working closely with the two other partner organisations and individual projects, the team focus on the evaluation of two overall aspects of the portfolio: (i) activity measures, including service user participation, and (ii) outcome measures.

As part of the Time to Change project we conduct The Viewpoint Survey, a telephone survey designed to assess the extent of stigma and discrimination faced by mental health service users. For further information please click the link below:

*Please note that our interviewers never cold call survey participants, and you should not provide personal details to any cold caller purporting to be a Viewpoint interviewer.  Please click this link for information on reporting fraudulent calls:

Please click on for further information on the project.

Principal Investigator: Dr Claire Henderson





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