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Mental health ‘receives 100 times less funding than cancer’

Advances in mental health research are being stymied by underfunding, with charitable contributions from the public “virtually nonexistent”, according to an analysis carried out by the charity MQ.

In the UK, about £115 million a year is spent on mental health research, according to the report UK Mental Health Research Funding: MQ Landscape Analysis, which was published by MQ on 2 April. The report says that 85 per cent of that amount came from just three funders—the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council.

Overall, MQ said that about £9.75 was invested in research per person affected by mental illness. About 100 times more was spent on cancer research per patient—about £1,571. Also, for every pound spent by the government on mental health research between 2008 and 2013, the general public gave only a third of a penny. By comparison, cancer research receives £2.75 from the public for every pound spent by the government.

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