Mental Health Studies

Get involved

If you would like to take part in any of the studies, above, or would like further information, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively you can complete our online form



Prevalence of Pathogenic Antibodies in Psychiatric Illness (PPiP2)

Principal Investigator: Dr Fareed Abu-Sayf

Psychotic symptoms of 6-9% of patients with psychosis may be caused by pathogenic anti-neuronal membrane antibodies. Research has found that affected patients may respond to immunotherapy. This study aims to screen patients with psychosis to identify antibody-positive individuals who might be eligible for immunotherapy trial treatment.

We are looking for patients aged 16-60 currently experiencing acute psychotic symptoms to take part in this study. A researcher will take a single blood test and complete a brief assessment with the patient. The blood sample will be sent to Oxford to be tested for antibodies and the researcher will inform the patient/ clinical team of the blood results within 7-10 days. Antibody-positive patients will be invited to take part in a clinical trial using intravenous immunotherapy to treat patients. Participants receive a £10 voucher as a thank you for their participation.

For referrals and further information please contact:

Open Dialogue: Development and evaluation of a social network intervention for severe mental illness (ODDESSI)

Principal Investigators: Dr James Osborne and Dr Victoria Clark

This study is looking to evaluate whether Open Dialogue is more clinically- and cost-effective than usual NHS care in terms of reducing relapse and improving social networks for people who experience a mental health crisis. To do this, patients in crisis receiving Open Dialogue and CMHT care are asked to complete a series of 30-minute questionnaires at 4 intervals over a 2 year period with a researcher. Individuals receive a £15 voucher at each visit - £75 in total. Their care is not changed or affected. In some cases a patient’s carer can be invited to complete a questionnaire and also receive a £15 voucher.

The Research & Innovation team is identifying eligible patients for this study with the help of the Open Dialogue team and the Canterbury CMHT.

For further information, please contact

Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study

Principal Investigator: Dr Nigel Ashurst

GLAD is the largest ever study of individuals who have experienced or are currently struggling with depression and/or anxiety. This study aims to better understand the role that our genes play in the development and treatment of depression and anxiety.

Anyone aged 16+ who has experienced clinical depression or anxiety at any point in their lives can sign up via the GLAD website (here). Once registered, participants will complete a psychological screening questionnaire online, once complete they will receive a saliva kit in the post so that a biological sample (saliva sample) can be collected at home and sent back to the lab.

For further information please contact,

A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of pramipexole in addition to mood stabilisers for patients with treatment resistant bipolar depression (PAX-BD)

Principal Investigator: Dr Ekwere Umoh

The study aims to determine whether Pramipexole, in addition to mood stabilisers, is a cost effective treatment for patients aged 18+ with bipolar disorder whose depression has not responded to NICE recommended treatment. We will examine this drug compared to placebo over a period of 12 months.

For referrals and further information please contact:

DNA polymorphism in mental illness (DPIM)

Principal Investigator: Dr Hana Soliman

TheDPIM study is researching the genetics of Bipolar Affective Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder and Schizophrenia compared to healthy control samples. The project aims to find the genetic causes of mental illness so that future medication may be tailored to individuals’ genes.

People aged 18+ with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder may take part.  Participants will be invited to provide a blood or saliva sample and will take part in a 1 hour interview.

For referrals and further information please contact:

National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH)

Principal Investigator:  Dr Salma Elnahas

The aim of this research is to better understand the causes and triggers of a variety of mental health conditions, with a specific focus on mood and psychotic disorders, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose is to collect information and samples for genetic, biological, psychological and clinical research. This will allow the study team to look for genes and other factors which make some people more likely than others to become ill. The hope is that this study will improve understanding of these conditions and help find better treatments in the future.

In particular, we are looking for individuals aged 18 or over with a diagnosis of:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder (both Bipolar & Depressive Type)
  • Psychosis (particularly those with first episode psychosis through Early Intervention Services)
  • Postpartum Psychosis
  • PTSD
  • Any women recruited through Mother and Baby Units

For referrals and further information please contact:

Sage Skylark

Principal Investigator: Dr Bosky Nair

A study that aims to determine if a new drug can successfully reduce depressive symptoms in adults experiencing postpartum depression.

Who can we include?

Women ages 18-45, who are currently <12 months post-partum and experiencing a major depressive episode which began no earlier than the third trimester and no later than one month following delivery.

For referrals and further information please contact:

Health & Wellbeing Physical Activity Questionnaire- (HWB-PAQ)

Principal Investigator: Emma Bowler

HWB-PAQ is a questionnaire study asking people about the barriers and facilitators to taking part in physical activity, their current physical activity levels along with some questions about diet and weight. The results will be used to inform the development of an intervention to help people with Severe Mental Illness increase their levels of physical activity.

In particular, we are looking for individuals;

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Have a recorded diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and associated disorders. (People who would appear on a primary care SMI register)
  • Have taken part in the HWB survey and have given their consent to be contacted again for future studies OR have consented to being contacted for the purposes of research.

For referrals and further information please contact:

Evaluating PerinAtal MenTal Health Online Resources (PATHOR): Improving knowledge and de-stigmatising perinatal mental illness

Principal Investigator: Bonny King

PATHOR is part of a series of PerinAtal menTal Health (PATH) studies aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of holistic and practical approaches to improving the understanding and recognition of mild-moderate Perinatal Mental Illness (PMI), as well as reducing the stigma associated with this illness. We have developed a suite of online resources to help healthcare professionals and employers better understand Perinatal Mental Illness (PMI), as well as to raise awareness and de-stigmatise PMI for new parents. In order to evaluate these resources, we have created two surveys; one for Healthcare professionals and Employers, and one for Mothers and Partners to gain an understanding of peoples’ level of knowledge, attitudes and experiences of PMI in England.

Who can we include

Survey for (Prospective) Mothers and Partners

  • Are aged 18 years of age or above
  • Are pregnant or have a partner who is pregnant
  • Have given birth or have become a parent less than one year ago
  • Have sufficient command of the English language
  • Have access to the internet

Survey for Healthcare Professionals and Employers

  • Are aged 18 years of age or above
  • Have access to the internet
  • A health or social care professional/practitioner/student who can provide care or support to pregnant women, women who have a child less than a year old, and their partners
  • OR
  • An employer (line manager, supervisor etc.) of female employees of childbearing age

For referrals and further information please contact:

Experiences of feeling exceptional (EOFE)

Principal Investigator: Dr Elsa Murphy, KMPT Principal Clinical Psychologist

This is a Questionnaire study which aims to understand the relationships between grandiose delusions and six psychological factors that may influence the maintenance of these delusions. Information collected from this study will later be used to develop specialised talking therapy to help those who experience harmful grandiose delusions. Participants will be compensated for their time with a £5 E-voucher/ cash. A small sub-section of participants will also be invited to complete some of the questions again 7 days later (if happy to and eligible) and will receive a further £5 e-voucher/ cash for their time. 

Who can we include?

  • Those willing and able to give informed consent
  • Aged 16 years or over
  • Diagnosed with non-affective psychosis or affective psychosis.
  • Participants can be inpatient or outpatients, and be symptomatic or non-symptomatic currently.

For referrals and further information please contact:

Making Positive Moves: What Support do People with Learning Disabilities need to remain living in the community after moving under the Transforming Care Programme.

Principal Investigator:  Emma Rye

The aim of the study is to understand the perspective of people with learning disabilities who have moved out of hospital to examine the impact on well-being of living in the community and identify the key factors that support and undermine the ability to sustain community living over time.

Who can we include

  • Have a Mild to moderate learning disability
  • Aged over the age of 18.
  • Have capacity to give or withhold consent to participate in this study as defined within the Mental Capacity Act.
  • At the time of recruitment, are under the care of a TC Team or Learning Disability Community Team
  • Have moved from a mental health hospital setting into the community (either a supported placement provided by private sector or social services or independent living) since the TC programme began in 2012.
  • Have spent at least 6 months living in the community through TC, even if the person has now been readmitted into an inpatient settings
  • Have sufficient means of communication (be that verbal, Makaton, talking mats or a combination of methods) to participate in the interviews.

For referrals and further information please contact:

Safer Online Lives

Principal Investigator: Emma Rye

This study will look at the benefits of using the internet for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), as well as the risks they might come up against while online and the barriers they might encounter. There is limited research around online safety for this vulnerable population. Further research evidence is needed to understand & respond to online safety issues. 

Who can we include

  • Adults with intellectual disabilities
  • Family, carers or safeguarding practitioners supporting people with intellectual disabilities

For referrals and further information please contact: