A ROADMAP for mental health research in Europe

T3-02 – State of the art lecture, Tuesday June 23rd 2015, 11.30 AM

Marta Miret

Department of Psychiatry, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental. CIBERSAM, Spain. Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa (IP), Madrid, Spain.

Mental disorders place immense burdens on individuals, their families and society. This burden is increasing in Europe, especially when compared to the relative burden of physical health problems. Mental health research can help to resolve these burdens. Funding for mental health research in Europe is much lower than the population impact of these disorders, with spending being less than half the disability burden. But there is evidence of a large return on investment. ROAMER (Roadmap for Mental Health and Well-being Research in Europe) has developed a comprehensive and integrated mental health research roadmap, focused on improving the mental health of the population and increasing European competitiveness. ROAMER analysed existing resources in European regions, and obtained input from over 1000 individuals and stakeholder organisations. Evidence-based recommendations were prioritised through iterative feedback, consensus meetings, international advisory boards and surveys of researchers, experts and stakeholders in Europe. ROAMER designed research priorities to take advantage of Europe’s existing infrastructures and research strengths and to address timely challenges in European society. The answers to these research questions can guide European policy, mental health service provision and treatments. This will also provide the highest return on research investment, improve the lives people with mental health problems and their families, and increase European productivity. Analyses of contemporary European research produced six high level priorities for policy action that are practical, targeted, actionable, built on excellent European science and resolvable in the next 5 to 10 years. The answers to these proposed research questions will markedly improve the mental health of European citizens and tackle societal challenges. The six research priorities for policy action in mental health and well-being research are:
1. Research into mental disorder prevention, mental health promotion and interventions in children, adolescents and young adults.
2. Focus on the development and causal mechanisms of mental health symptoms, syndromes and well-being across the lifespan (including older populations).
3. Developing and maintaining international and interdisciplinary research networks and shared databases.
4. Developing and implementing better interventions using new scientific and technological advances.
5. Reducing stigma, empowering service users and carers in decisions about mental health research.
6. Health and social systems research that addresses quality of care and takes account of socio-cultural and socio-economic contexts and approaches.

Read more about ROAMER.
View or download the final Roadmap here (pdf, short version).

Learn more about Marta Miret.