Mental Health Research Themes

Delivering socially and clinically relevant research that transforms lives, with people at the centre of our research.

IMHS comprises strong research excellence in each of the areas as described below. We undertake research on the myriad of biological, psychological and social factors that influence our mental health.

We examine the impact of our DNA, we study childhood experiences, and we explore the impact of interventions such as physical activity or counselling, on mental health. We study mental health, illness, and the effects of interventions, from “gene to gym”. We will apply our research to create positive change, to promote recovery and to understand and prevent suicide.

The key areas reflect our current strengths, but they are by no means fully representative of all of the range of outstanding mental health research at Ulster University.

The ethos of the IMHS is to build upon and grow existing areas, whilst also providing a vehicle by which new areas of research can be explored and supported to reach their full potential. Paramount to this is our investment in capacity building and the training of existing researchers and future generations of mental health research leaders. This research excellence will be maintained and strengthened by our ongoing commitment to multidisciplinary collaboration to produce game changing research with the service user and the public at the fore.

Our Research Themes

In this section


We are focusing on the study of mental illness and well-being in special occupational groups with high rates of trauma exposure.

Mental Health in Later-life and Cognitive Decline

Examining ways in which the care of older people can be managed and carers can be supported.

Suicidal Behaviour

We are working with policy makers and health care providers who look after individuals in crisis.

Care and Recovery

Our researchers have conducted outstanding studies of service users’ perceptions of care and recovery.

Mental Illness

Our work in the Psychology Research Institute has influenced the classification systems used for psychiatric diagnosis worldwide.

Resilience and Well-being in the Young

We have a number of research studies on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on mental health outcomes.

Big Data and Population Sciences

Using of novel analytic methods such as machine learning to better understand behaviour and service use.