How did the pandemic impact the populations which the UKRI mental health networks are trying to help? How did the networks respond to the pandemic? What does good mental health research look like and how would they like the research landscape to change for the better?

The co-video series explores how the UKRI-funded mental health networks responded to the pandemic.


SMaRteN network aims to better understand student mental health. Hear from Dr Alyson Dodd, part of the SMaRteN leadership team, and Becky Petley from the SMaRteN student team. They discuss the impact the pandemic had on student populations, why researchers should work together with students for better mental health outcomes, and their hopes for the future for mental health research.

Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health

When the lockdowns started, many people felt a sense of togetherness with their communities, but how about for people already struggling with feelings of loneliness and social isolation? Jackie Hardy, a member of the co-production group, and Professor Sonia Johnson, Lead Investigator at the Loneliness and Social Isolation Network share their thoughts on loneliness, the pandemic and the real-world impact of research.


TRIUMPH network focuses on the mental health and well-being of young people aged 10-25. TRIUMPH lead Dr Jo Inchley and Dr Christina McMellon talk about how the pandemic affected young people and their work on the UN convention on the rights of the child. Their hope for the future for research on young people? Involving young people at every step of the research journey!

Emerging Minds

Professor Cathy Cresswell, Emerging Minds Network Lead Investigator, and Yasmeen Zaman, a Parent Advisor at the network, tell us about the impact of the pandemic on children and young people, how the network has sought to help children, young people and parents throughout the pandemic, and where we go from here.

Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN)

Dr Sian Oran, the Network Lead at VAMHN, and Justin Coleman, a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group at VAMHN, sat down with the #MentalHealthResearchMatters team to talk about how the pandemic impacted people at risk of violence and abuse, lived experience in research, and where we go from here.

MARCH Network

Professor Helen Chatterjee, Co-Investigator at the MARCH network, and Mah Rana, Artist Researcher at the network, discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted community spaces and the people who rely on them. They also discuss how the network responded to this crisis and how the mental health research landscape can change for the better.

Closing The Gap

Professor Simon Gilbody, the Network Lead at the Closing the Gap network, and Gordon Johnston, Peer Researcher at the network, chat about how the pandemic impacted people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) and how the network responded.