Preventing mental ill health

We've partnered with the Wellcome Trust, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc to test new approaches to preventing mental ill health.


Key stats

  • 1 in 4

    Number of adults who experience mental health problems in any given year

  • 1 in 10

    Number of children who experience mental health problems in any given year

  • 75%

    Percentage of mental health issues that start before a child reaches their 18th birthday

  • The challenge

    One in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental health problems in any given year. It represents the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Despite it affecting huge numbers of the population across all walks of life, there is unmet need for mental health services and preventions, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Mental health research funding receives 25 times less per person than cancer research, with only a very small percentage going towards prevention.

  • Our approach

    Preventing mental ill health is one of the priorities of our Early Action team. We believe that the combination of the best academic research, technology innovation and investment has the potential to unlock new opportunities for preventing mental ill-health and scaling those opportunities to help large numbers of people. We worked with the Wellcome Trust, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc to develop a new programme to test this approach.

    This collaboration led to a yearlong pilot, funded by Wellcome, which provided 12 ventures with research grants to test the impact of their products and services. These ventures work largely with digital tools and tackle issues including perinatal and childhood mental health, workplace solutions for employee wellbeing, and peer support platforms around mindful drinking and youth self-harm prevention.

    Learn more

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