The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) brings together researchers from Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities to improve understanding of the causes of mental health problems.
Professor Ian Jones, director at NCMH said, “We’re thrilled that so many people have given their time to help with our work. Every individual has made an important contribution, for which we’re extremely grateful.
While we’re beginning to understand the complex causes of mental health problems there is still a lot for us to learn, and to do that we need more people with and without lived experience of mental illness to help with our research.
Taking part in the research involves answering questions about a range of topics, including mental and physical health, lifestyle, employment and education. It may also involve providing a blood or saliva sample.
This allows researchers to look at potential social, psychological and genetic factors involved in increasing a person’s risk of developing mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder or psychosis.
Laura Dernie is a virtual personal assistant and founder of Cardiff-based charity My Discombobulated Brain. Following the birth of her son Jack, Laura was diagnosed with postnatal depression.
“Before my pregnancy I hadn’t experienced any problems with my mental health, and I was so happy to be starting a family, so experiencing depressive symptoms was a real surprise for me.
“Considering the impact illnesses like postnatal depression can have on people and their families, I think research in this area should be more of a priority.
When I heard about NCMH I didn’t hesitate to take part. If giving up some of my time and a bit of blood can help improve support and treatment for people going through what I did, then it’s a very small price to pay.
For more information on participating in NCMH research visit ncmh.info/help.