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Our Approach

Innovative methods and co-production

In partnership with users and affected communities and with the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives and the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research at the University of Manchester, our innovative methods and co-production platform supports the use of cutting-edge statistical methods, novel qualitative approaches (e.g. digital diaries, walking interviews, photo-voice), and co-production with users to more effectively answer questions about the mechanisms and pathways that link society and mental health.


In partnership with the KCL Policy Institute and the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, our policy platform ensures our research is of direct relevance for policy, and that the policy implications of our findings are clearly articulated and effectively disseminated to policy makers.


In partnership with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) and the Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Research (CLOSER) at UCL, our cohorts platform maximises the use of existing longitudinal data to address questions of relevance to the Centre aims. CLS and CLOSER host 8 UK-based cohorts.

Social theory

Our social theory platform ensures our research programmes are interdisciplinary and informed by relevant contemporary social theory. It includes work to develop an integrated eco-social-neuroscience framework for understanding how constant interactions between individuals and their physical, interpersonal, cultural, and social contexts shape mental health across the life course.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Our research is identified and co-produced with affected communities and key stakeholders, and we are committed to building meaningful, fair and respectful relationships, both inside and outside our network, to help us undertake research with real-life impact.

In 2021, an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Working Group was established to review our activities and set priorities for further related activity over the life course of the Centre. The Group developed a staff survey and set up a series of consultations (led by Challenge Consultancy) with staff, students and stakeholders to develop a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This included the production of a CSMH Bullying, Discrimination & Harassment Report and Recommendations document (The Challenge Report). Next, we developed a series of outline comments, requests and suggestions which emerged from these consultations, and our responses (see “What you said, and what we did”).

In line with the Challenge Report recommendations, in 2022 we set up a Task & Finish sub-group to take forward recommendations into practical action over a 6-8 month period. This group identified three strands of action: “Organisational culture/climate”, “Reporting”, and “Code of Conduct”, as well as a cross-cutting theme of “Training and development” needed to support activity across the three strands.

This group is due to complete its initial work in October/November 2022 and will then undertake ongoing engagement and consultation with the wider Centre and partners, including signposting to/creating new training/development opportunities.

Current group members (alphabetical)

Dörte Bemme, Sanchika Campbell, Natasha Chilman, Virginia Elgar, Helen Fisher, Hanna Kienzler, Nathaniel Martin, Craig Morgan Nathan Stanley, Sonia Thompson, Emma Wilson, Charlotte Woodhead

Past members also contributing to set up of the ED&I group

Lucy Strang, Nkasi Stoll, Annahita Ehsan


Our ED&I Resources