NIHR mental health challenge

Mental health stats

*Figures from MQ Transforming Mental Health

Finding technological solutions for people living with mental health conditions

Mental illness inflicts a heavy toll on affected individuals, carers and society as a whole. 

In the same week that the Prime Minister announced plans to transform attitudes towards mental health, the NIHR i4i Programme launched a funding call challenging research teams, comprised of clinicians, academics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to develop innovative technological solutions that can influence the patient care pathway, and improve patient outcomes for people living with mental health conditions. The NIHR i4i Challenge Award could lead to the implementation of technologies that could transform lives for people living with mental health conditions. 

The NIHR is taking the opportunity during this call to highlight some key NIHR projects that are already leading the way in the field of mental health research. We will also be highlighting the challenges in this field, and the gaps that we hope future technology in mental health research could bridge, hearing from academic and industry experts in the process.

Follow the hashtag #NIHRChallenge to join our conversation and keep up to date with the research we are profiling and visit the competition page for more information about the Challenge Award.

Hear more about the call from Nicola Blackwood, Minister for Public Health & Innovation and Martin Hunt, i4i Programme Director:


Thanks to The Mental Elf for the podcast with Martin Hunt.


Below, you'll find features relating to some of the NIHR research that has focused on mental health to date. Watch the collection grow during the opening of the Challenge Award call.

Martin Hunt

Calling all medtech visionaries


Insight from i4i Programme Director, Martin Hunt, on the 2017 i4i Challenge Award in mental health.

Pictures of health

Improving care, reducing harm


Assessing self-harm and suicide in England to inform the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

ERP online

Online tool for bipolar disorder


Is digital the future of relapse prevention in bipolar disorder?

Prof. Matthew Hotopf

Bringing informatics to the bedside


Professor Matthew Hotopf, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre Director, explores the potential of informatics and 'big data' in mental health research; a field that could benefit from i4i Challenge Award funding.

BRC sign

Using big data in mental health research

Find out about the mental health database of unrivalled depth and breadth and the research it's helping.

Dr Claire Hill

Tackling child anxiety one click at a time

With NIHR Professorship funding Dr Hill and team are developing an online intervention for young people with anxiety. Find out how they plan to translate into clinical practice.

Children running

Putting ADHD to the Qb(Test)


The AQUA trial set out to put computer based QbTest through its paces asking whether its use could accelerate time to diagnosis of ADHD.

ProReal programme

NIHR MindTech : ProReal’s ‘guide through the labyrinth’