Solutions focused research

Improving mental health

Our world-leading research in mental health aims to understand the determinants of mental health with a view to improving the health and wellbeing of all and reducing health inequalities.

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Main contact

Prof Katie Robb (Mental Health and Wellbeing)

School of Health and Wellbeing research theme 

Solutions Focused Research

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Addressing Inequalities

The challenge 

It is estimated that more than 1 billion people globally are affected by mental health or substance misuse problems. While worldwide mortality rates from other causes of death have declined, premature mortality among those with mental health problems from suicide and comorbidities, has remained high. Inequalities are stark, with those from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds being most affected. One of the major challenges to prevention is the treatment gap, where there is a huge disparity between the number of people who need care and those who receive it. We need coordinated action to develop novel, scalable, accessible and effective interventions to tackle the global burden of mental health problems. 

The research 

Our research is organised around five specialist groups:

  1. The University of Glasgow Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities aims to reduce the health and social inequalities experienced by people with developmental disabilities;
  2. The Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory has a worldwide reputation for conducting ground-breaking theoretically grounded basic science and interventions-based research in suicide prevention;
  3. The Psychosis Research Group has a distinguished track record in the development of complex psychosocial interventions for those living with psychosis.
  4. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Centre conducts world-leading aetiological and intervention research on the psychiatric and developmental problems of maltreated children;
  5. Our globally renowned Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Research Group focuses on the application of new technology in cognitive rehabilitation and the treatment of mood disorder in the context of brain injury.

The results 

Our research has developed and evaluated a range of new psychosocial interventions for common and complex mental health problems, with trials of complex, face-to-face as well as digitally delivered interventions in adult mental health and suicidal behaviour, disability and in parent-infant mental health. These trials are underpinned by a programme of work aimed at the specification, measurement and validation of psychological, interpersonal and biological mechanisms of change. Further details can be found in our publications below.

The impact 

Our research has made significant impact locally, nationally and globally on the delivery of mental health care. Our work on psychosis, brain injury, children, people in distress, suicide prevention and supporting people with developmental disabilities has influenced policy and clinical practice nationally and internationally. 

The team

Related publications

Glasgow University Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab

Psychosis Research Group

Adverse Childhood Experience Centre

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Research Group