The Wolfson Foundation recently gave £10 million for the establishment of The Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health, a research centre that will be housed at Cardiff University. University experts have planned to work in partnership with Swansea University, Welsh Government, NHS Wales, and University Health Boards and schools across Wales.
According to Cardiff University Professor and co-director of the new centre, Frances Rice, ‘75 per cent of young people with an anxiety disorder or depression go unrecognised and receive no intervention.’
The Centre intends to build links to schools and health services across Wales, with research informed by the experiences of young people.
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, made the point that causes, prevention and treatment of mental health is especially underfunded in the UK. He said that the foundation should be seen as a statement about the importance of young people’s mental health – and of supporting high quality research on the subject.
His goal is that the award serves as a statement about the importance of young people’s mental health.
According to Rice on why he is delighted by the establishment of the centre, ‘For the first time we will be able to bring together experts in child and adolescent psychiatry, genetics, social science and public health in Wales to shine a light on adolescent mental health and develop much needed new interventions.’
Ramsbottom stated, ‘Our expert, international panel rated the proposal from Cardiff extremely highly. The research expertise that has been assembled is impressive, ranging from genetics to epidemiology.
The Wolfson centre aims to focus on five scientific areas that will be explored in partnership with young people, practitioners and policy makers. Their goal is to develop the next generation of youth mental health experts through partnership and continued education, meant to provide training in adolescent mental health research.