National Centre for Mental Health

What is the purpose of the research?

We are trying to understand why some people experience problems with their mental health, including PTSD. The purpose of this study is to collect information and samples for genetic, biological, psychological and clinical research. This will allow us to look for genes and other factors which make some people more likely than others to become ill. We hope that the NCMH study will improve understanding of mental conditions and help find better treatments in the future.

By comparing information from people who have experienced a mental illness with information from people who have not experienced such problems, we hope to learn more about the factors that may make some people more susceptible to these illnesses.  Over 10,000 people are part of the NCMH study.

What does taking part involve?

  • A meeting with a member of our research team.

  • An in-depth assessment lasting 90-120 minutes.

  • Giving a blood or saliva sample.

  • Completion of questionnaires that take about 30 minutes to complete.

  • With participants' permission, looking at their medical records in strict confidence.

  • With participants' permission, linking the interview and questionnaire data to other records (e.g., general practice records, hospital records, social services records).


What will the samples and data be used for?


Our research uses the samples and information provided to help understand mental disorders better. We study the huge number of tiny genetic differences found between one person and another.  We hope to find out if these genetic variations are related in any way to mental health problems. Technical terms for the methods we use are linkage, association and gene sequencing studies. In recent years, these kinds of studies have led to major advances in understanding many common disorders. For example, asthma, several types of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. 


Data confidentiality

All information and samples collected during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential.