Article By: Rhys Gregory
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Swansea University is playing a leading role in a new UK-wide consortium to bring together vital mental health data.
DATAMIND – the Data Hub for Mental Health Informatics Research and Development – is the latest of a series of centres of excellence launched by Health Data Research UK.
Funded by the Medical Research Council, its aim is to maximise the value of the UK’s rich mental health data assets to provide co-ordinated research, with the ultimate aim of improving lives.
Professor Ann John, of Swansea University Medical School is the hub’s co-director and principal investigator.
She said: “We want to improve people’s mental health by changing the way the NHS, charities, industry and researchers use and share information that’s already out there.
“Now researchers will be able to find and use mental health data to benefit patients and the public and improve care. We will be working with patients and people with personal experience of mental health to understand who they trust to use their data and develop ways people can work together on mental health.”
The hub will be working with policy makers, charities and people in industry to understand what sort of data they require and has brought together experienced researchers from across a number of universities.
Professor John added: “Our work will make it easier for everyone invested in mental health to use data in safe, privacy protecting and innovative ways.”
This is the second of the research hubs working with the SAIL Databank. It is already a partner in BREATHE – Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health which aims to help improve the lives of millions with respiratory illness.
Swansea University’s Dean of Medicine Professor Keith Lloyd said: “The hubs are already proving to be vital assets in our understanding of many conditions and their effective treatment and management.
“DATAMIND is a timely addition to their number and will undoubtedly be instrumental in helping people and improving their care. We are very proud that Swansea is taking a leading role in such an important development.”
The hub will work with academia, the NHS, third sector charities, public body policy makers and industry including the Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform, King’s College London, Cambridge University, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, Psychiatry Consortium, McPin, Kooth, Catalogue of Mental Health Measures, Accelerate, National Centre for Mental Health, MQ: Transforming Mental Health and Medical Research Council as well as Chief Scientific Officers and Policy leads in all four nations.