Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Liverpool have teamed up to create the Mental Health Research for Innovation Centre (M-RIC). Our ground-breaking research facility based in Liverpool will impact directly on NHS mental health services.
Our aim is simple, to improve mental healthcare for all patients and service users. We will do this by making Liverpool a world leader in better mental healthcare from research embedded in care.
We have been awarded £10.5 million from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Office for Life Sciences to create a bold and ambitious ‘learning system’ where care is continuously improved the more treatments are used, studied and refined.
What will M-RIC do?
We will bring together academic researchers, healthcare providers, service users and industry to develop and evaluate new treatments and deliver innovative services.
This will include trialling new drugs and new uses of existing drugs. It will also involve researching digital therapies such as apps and artificial intelligence for delivering virtual talking therapies and new ways to support mental wellbeing.
We aim to improve mental healthcare by shortening the time it takes to translate research into real benefits for our local communities.
From the UK’s first Medical Officer of Health, William Henry Duncan, to the first x-ray department in the country at Liverpool’s Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool has a rich history of pioneering developments in public health. M-RIC is a chance to continue this legacy.
Liverpool also has one of the UK’s highest levels of social and economic disadvantage and poor mental health. Mental health service users in Liverpool live on average 20 years less than those in the rest of the UK. Despite this, there has been little mental health research in areas like Liverpool, which need it most.
M-RIC will tackle this inequality head on. The award of £10.5m provides a landmark opportunity to ensure that people from Liverpool City region can access mental health research and innovative, high-quality care.
Leading the UK in mental health innovation
One in four people will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their life, yet up to recently, UK public funding for mental health research has been just one twenty-fifth of that spent on cancer for each person affected.
M-RIC has been funded to bridge this gap. Our unique partnership will use the expertise of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and University of Liverpool staff together with the valuable insights of NHS patients who will be able to access, co-create and benefit from mental health research through M-RIC. We will also be supported by the third sector, industry partners, civic leaders, local government and other public services in order to help more people gain access to better mental healthcare and support.
Our new approach will offer a blueprint for developing a network of similar centres throughout the UK.