Mental health project recruits 100 volunteers

A PROJECT aimed at understanding and improving the care and treatment of mental health in Wales says it has recruited its first 100 volunteers.

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) aims to sign up 6,000 for its work with academics and health staff.

It wants to enlist people across a range of disorders including autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

NCMH director Prof Nick Craddock, of Cardiff University, said: “Our research aims to use patients’ experiences.”

The £3 million centre, launched in July last year, is funded by the Welsh government’s National Institute for Social Care and Health Research.

Volunteers join the Wales Mental Health Network (WMHN), established to study the biological, psychological and lifestyle factors which contribute to mental health.

Prof Craddock said volunteers of all ages had an informal 20-minute interview with a researcher, often in their own home or at their local health clinic.

He said: “Traditionally, it’s been difficult for people to come forward to discuss their mental health problems to help others — we want to change that.”