There is a proliferation of self-report measures (eg, over 280 for depression alone), meaning it is challenging for researchers to compare findings across different studies from different laboratories. To begin to address this issue, a consortium of mental health research funders and journals have identified a set of common measures that all researchers are encouraged to collect, in addition to any other measures they require for their specific study. This Health Policy outlines the rationale, objectives, and potential challenges of this initiative, which aims to enhance the rigour and comparability of mental health research by promoting the adoption of standardised measures.

Historically, decisions about what research should be funded and how have been made without consulting people with lived experience (PWLE) of mental health issues. However, a recent survey from the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF) suggests that the tide is beginning to turn, with an increasing number of funding organizations recognizing the value of involving PWLE in their decision-making processes. The survey, which included 31 government and private mental health research funders, sought to find out how many funders are involving PWLE in their work, and what practices they have adopted.

This special feature was published in the Alliance Magazine's March 2022 issue on Mental Health Philanthropy. The article addresses why, despite the growing attention and recognition that mental health receives, funding levels for mental health research and care have stagnated. The IAMHRF calls for new structures, partnerships and alliances to unite the sector under an overarching strategy, one that links the disparate elements and disciplines of the mental health field.

This paper, published in European Neuropsychopharmacology, provides a bibliometric assessment of mental health research outputs from 1980 to 2011. By collating geographical information from publications, the study was able to measure the volume of mental health research conducted in different countries, as well as the level of international collaboration. Between 1980 and 2010, the authors observed a four-fold increase in the volume of mental health research publications with a large increase in international collaborations.

The Mental Health Retrosight Study, conducted in collaboration with RAND Europe, sheds light on what makes biomedical research more likely to benefit patients. By analyzing over 20 years of research in the field of schizophrenia, the report identifies research projects that successfully translated into patients benefit share certain characteristics, such as multidisciplinary researchers or teams, and clinically-oriented rather than basic research topics. These attributes could be selected for, promoted or nurtured to increase the impact of future research on improving patients' lives.

In collaboration with RAND Europe, our Project Ecosystem report looks into the global 'ecosystem' of organizations funding mental health research between 2009 and 2014. The report takes a bottom-up approach, building a picture of who the major funders are, what kinds of research they support and how their strategies relate to one another. The main report is accompanied by a set of 32 'deep dive' case studies of individual research funders, a set of six cross-cutting themes that emerged from the analysis and methodological appendices.

In this Health Policy paper, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, we present a comprehensive analysis of grant funding for mental health research globally. The paper explains the methodology behind our results, including our use of existing definitions and automated classification tools for mental health research. We argue that collaborative reporting of funding for mental health research globally could help to inform and evaluate efforts to increase investments, to improve strategic dialogue, and to achieve the best possible allocation of finite resources.

In this report, the IAMHRF presents the first ever global baseline for mental health research funding. By studying over 75,000 research grants from ~350 funders in over 35 countries, we provide crucial insights into how much money is spent on mental health research globally, who is funding it, and what is being funded. The report presents a series of inequities in the distribution of funding, with only a tiny fraction of funding received by low- and middle-income countries.