Research

We are passionate about the transformative power of mental health research to create change in people’s lives, their communities and workplaces, in services and policy.

We aim to contribute to the mental health evidence base by:

  • undertaking original research
  • synthesising existing knowledge 
  • translating this research to further understanding of what works, transferring interventions to other populations and places at a scale that maximises benefit and impact, and including mental health in all policies

Our research covers work in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have offices in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast and conduct a variety of evaluations and research in these areas.

Explore all our research projects

Thriving Learners

This research study is one of the largest of its kind, looking into student mental health across Scotland.

See Me Scotland

See Me is Scotland's national programme to tackle mental health stigma across Scotland, with the Mental Health Foundation providing the research and evaluation for the programme.

Barnardo’s

The Mental Health Foundation are the evaluation and learning partners for the Barnardo’s Core Priority Programme in mental health and wellbeing.

Gaming and Mental Health

Using funding from Jingle Jam, we conducted an exciting new study exploring the link between video games and mental wellbeing.

Cancer and Mental Health

We are looking to develop support for the prevention and treatment for mental health problems amongst people living with cancer.

Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic Study

The Mental Health Foundation is leading an ongoing, UK-wide, repeated cross-sectional study of how the pandemic is affecting people’s mental health.

Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic Study in Scotland

Explore the Scotland Research team’s work as part of the UK-wide study.

Coronavirus and Adolescent Mental Health Study

The Mental Health Foundation and Swansea University are leading a repeated cross-sectional study of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of adolescents across Great Britain.

The COVID-19 pandemic, financial inequality and mental health

This briefing discusses the mental health effects of these financial inequalities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illustration of a light bulb on a teal background

Mental health A-Z

Explore our A to Z topics on mental health, where you can find more information on specific mental health problems and some of the things that can have an impact –good and bad – on our mental health.

Our Personal Experience Network

Our Personal Experience Network (OPEN)

OPEN is a diverse online community of people we ask to inform what we do, through anything from quick feedback on a social media post, to fully participating in a research project.

Our research reports

Nature: How connecting with nature benefits our mental health

This report provides a summary of the evidence of how and why our relationship with nature is so important and beneficial to our mental health.

Nature: How connecting with nature benefits our mental health - Scotland

This report from MHF Scotland highlights the unequal access to nature’s benefits for specific groups and the steps needed to address that inequality.

Our top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health

Research shows the role nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health. Read our tips on how you can build your own connection with nature and simple ways to bring nature into your everyday.

Loneliness report

This report explores what it’s like to be lonely: its causes, consequences and the groups of people who are more likely to experience severe and enduring loneliness.

Body image: How we think and feel about our bodies

Our research found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Healthy social media report

A report on personal experiences of social media and strategies for building a positive relationship between social media use and body image.

Body image: we are more than what we look like

This report highlights a series of key recommendations for helping young people across Scotland achieve good body image and recognise that we are much more than what we look like.

Kindness research briefing

Kindness can have real benefits for our mental health and wellbeing. In April of 2020, the Mental Health Foundation worked with YouGov to conduct an online survey of 4,246 UK adults.