How can research evidence have greater impact on mental health policy?

Discussion: 6.00-7.30pm, Wednesday 29th November 2017

Drinks reception: 7.30-9.00pm

Inner Temple Hall, Inner Temple, Crown Office Row, London, EC4Y 7HL

Is mental health research under-used by policy makers? Or are academic research findings too slow, esoteric and equivocal to be useful for informing policy? Can researchers communicate their findings more effectively, and can policy makers be supported to take more account of them? A constructive partnership between research and policy is required to implement effective services which can meet the mental health needs of the whole population.

In this Mental Health Question Time event, we explore how this can be achieved. What does policy-relevant research look like? How can academic researchers ensure their findings are heard and can be used by those in a position to improve services? How can lived experience and service users’ perspectives contribute to evidence-based policy making? We bring together a panel with expertise in policy-making, mental health research, campaigning, knowledge mobilisation, and service user and carer involvement in research. In conversation with an audience of service users, carers, health and social care professionals, researchers, journalists, policy makers, commissioners and others, they will discuss how evidence and policy will best work together. The event is free and open to the public, so we hope to have a wide range of voices shaping the discussion, either in person or via social media.

Chair: Paul McCrone (Kings College London)


  • Sarah Hughes (Centre for Mental Health)
  • Sarah Carr (Middlesex University)
  • Stephen Scott (Kings College London)
  • Stephani Hatch (Kings College London)
  • Annette Boaz (Kingston University)
  • Gregor Henderson (Public Health England)
  • Bobby Pratap (NHS England)

This event will mark the launch of the new Mental Health Policy Research Unit for England, commissioned by the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The PRU will be based at University College London and King’s College London, with collaborating experts and consultants across the country.

This initiative will be briefly introduced at the beginning of #MHQT by Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords) and the Policy Research Unit’s Director, Professor Sonia Johnson. We hope that this event is accessible to everyone who wants to participate. Free tickets can be booked here if you want to attend in person, or you can watch the live video stream of the discussion and join the conversation on Twitter at #MHQT.

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