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Our Approach

The Centre is structured around three research programmes and four underpinning research platforms. The programmes comprise of several linked projects in key areas where recent social, cultural,and economic transformations have produced substantial challenges for mental health.

Our platforms both support the research programmes and undertake independent conceptual and methodological work. These platforms ensure innovative approaches across and interdisciplinary interactions between the programmes and our researchers.

Innovative Methods

Lead by: Hanna Kienzler and Vanessa May

Our platform aims to support and promote awareness, application, and development of novel methods, spanning qualitative, quantitative, participatory, and arts-based approaches in co-production with service users, those with lived experience, key stakeholders, students, and researchers. Our priorities are to:

  • To further develop and refine innovative methods that combine traditional qualitative and quantitative approaches with novel technologies to allow in-depth characterisation of mental health among people living in vulnerable circumstances (e.g., walking interviews,photo, video, mental maps, digital diaries, and experience sampling).
  • To initiate an active and ongoing dialogue around the implementation of innovative approaches to: (a) build capacity in the Centre and among stakeholders and (b) facilitate new research collaborations.

See below for latest updates.



Lead by: Alexandra Pollitt

Through this Platform, the Centre, in collaboration with service users and partners at the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit and the Policy Institute at King’s, will:

  • conduct a scoping exercise to identify local-, national- and international-level strategies to promote mental health and evidence of their effectiveness
  • extend this through qualitative systems mapping (geographically and across social networks) to understand how local-level social system elements influence mental health prevention and early intervention
  • build on the ESRC What Works Centre for Wellbeing summaries of evidence from communities and on Popay’s NIHR-funded evaluation of community-centred interventions focused on empowerment and health, to incorporate current evidence into an innovative web-based digital tool detailing community-based strategies to promote mental health.

In addition, we also provide training and support on policy impact, run policy labs on specific policy relevant questions for the Centre, and convene the Centre's Policy Advisory Board.

See below for latest updates.


Maximising the Value of Existing Cohorts

Lead by: Jayati Das-Munshi and George Ploubidis

In collaboration with CLOSER/CLS, this platform aims to:

• To harmonise measures and variables related to novel social concepts in existing cohorts data

• Develop novel applications of quantitative methods to assess and understand inequalities in mental health outcomes

• Integrate with work underway to harmonise biomarker data collected as part of existing cohorts

• Establish additional linkages with other relevant data sources

• Create opportunities to extend projects to additional analyses of cohorts, including international comparisons

Our initial priorities are to catalogue measures and variables in existing cohorts that relate to social contexts,positions, and experiences being studied in the Centre’s research programmes and to establish additional linkages with other relevant but hitherto disconnected data sources,based on successful King’s-developed models for linking survey, electronic health records,and administrative data.

See below for latest updates.

Social Theory

Lead by: Dörte Bemme and Dominique Béhague

Our Social Theory platform aims to

  • To promote an inclusive and reflexive approach to social theory as practice based on dialogue and mutual learning
  • To develop and refine novel concepts grounded in social theory, innovative methods, and lived experience to underpin research and policy recommendations across the Centre
  • To foster interdisciplinary and inclusive conversations and collaborations and make available social theory resources

See below for latest updates.


Our ED&I Resources