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Service user and carer DVD highlights the importance of mental health research

18 June 2009

A new DVD launched today at the House of Commons by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Research Network, aims to encourage service users and carers to get involved in mental health research.   

The DVD is called ‘One in Four’ reflecting the fact that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health problem at some time in their lives.  Research is essential in order for us to understand why people develop mental health problems and to discover how best they can be treated.  Every year more than 250,000 people are admitted to psychiatric hospitals and it has been estimated that improved mental health care could save the Government as much as £3.1 billion a year. Research is key to improving these services.

However, conducting research in mental health can often be difficult due to the challenges in getting service users to get involved in research studies. The new DVD aims to address this problem by raising awareness about mental health and mental health research.

Adam Black one of the service users who features in the DVD, believes passionately that more service users should get involved in research; he says; ‘Research is seen as a very distant thing by most service users, service users need to realise that research is their friend, and I hope that this DVD will encourage more people to get involved ’.

The DVD will be distributed widely across the country to be used as a way to encourage service users, carers  and healthcare professionals to get involved in mental health research. 

Professor Til Wykes, Director of the NIHR Mental Health Research Network states,

’We are committed to achieving a programme of research that reflects the needs and views of patients and the public. Treatments can only advance if we conduct studies and for that we need lots of participants. We also want to encourage more service users and carers to become involved in all aspects of research via our service user and carer arms, and this DVD outlines how people can get involved and the importance of doing so’.

The Mental Health Research Network is managed by a partnership between the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and the University of Manchester. It is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and is one of six topic specific networks. It supports high-quality research in mental health and social care in the NHS, the results of which inform policy and practice. The projects running through the network are investigating and testing treatments for a range of mental health problems including alcohol and drug addiction, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression, eating disorders, learning disabilities, psychosis and self-harm, for example. For more information visit

For further information on the MHRN or for a copy of the DVD please contact: or phone 020 7848 0644.



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