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BIOS+ Projects

Mental Health, migration and the megacity. Urban Transformation in China

Principal Investigator: Professor Nick Manning

Co-Investigators: Professor Nikolas Rose, Dr. Des Fitzgerald

Funding: ERSC

Award: £650,000

In another sign of the UK Government’s growing relationship with China across business, culture and academia, King’s College London’s Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine has been awarded £650,000 from the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Newton Fund and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The results will inform mental health policy interventions in every megacity. Megacities are classified as those with more than 10 million residents, and with rural to urban migration accelerating fast, they pose huge challenges to their population’s mental health.  The grant will fund the first ever research project looking at ‘Mental health, migration and the megacity’, in collaboration with Fudan University in Shanghai, which is also receiving matched funding. 

This major new grant will fund first of its kind research into the relationship between rural-urban migration and mental health in the Chinese megacity of Shanghai.  Research will influence mental health policy in every current and future global megacity – cities with over 10 million residents.  With huge migration into urban areas resulting from China’s rapid development, mental health in megacities is set to be one of the biggest challenges in future healthcare, with important productivity consequences

China has urbanised at an unprecedented rate in the last decade largely due to rural migrants moving into the cities, and these migrants seem to bear a disproportionately large share of urban mental illness. It is known that there is an association between living in a city and being diagnosed with a mental illness, but to understand the rates and determinants of urban mental disorder, given the huge scale of city growth in rapidly developing countries like China requires social as well as biological and geographical scientific analysis and tools.  

Exploring urban China: ESRC-NSFC research collaborations

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