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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Mental Health

Meet the Team

Mental health research in the North East and North Cumbria spans across primary and secondary care, many participants are recruited into studies from multiple settings and under multiple care models, including hospitals, community settings and prisons or other settings associated with the criminal justice system.

As well as working across care settings, participants are recruited into studies that aim to target all mental health problems inclusive of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, any form of addiction, eating disorder or self harm behaviour. Mental health studies are also keen to recruit healthy participants and those newly diagnosed. 

Steve Pratt

Research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Professor David Ekers

Mental health specialty group lead

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Stuart Watson

Mental health deputy specialty group lead

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Pratt's research experience

I am the research delivery manager for children and young people's research, which includes schools, reproductive health and childbirth, genetics, mental health and dementias and neurodegenerative disease specialties for CRN NENC. Since joining the NIHR CRN in 2008 I have worked in a number of operational and strategic leadership roles supporting the delivery of health and care research.

Prior to joining the NIHR I worked as a postdoctoral academic researcher at Durham University and The University of Sheffield within the field of biomedical sciences. I am passionate about enabling the development, delivery and implementation of research that impacts positively on health and care outcomes, through partnership working. Tips to get involved in research include contacting your research and development and CRN specialty team and speak to colleagues who are already involved in research about their experiences.

Connect with Steve Pratt

Email Steve

Professor David Ekers's research experience

I am a nurse by background, currently working as clinical director for research and development in Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. I am a visiting professor at University of York, having been an active researcher for over 20 years.

My research focuses on accessible talking treatments for depression. Tips for getting involved in mental health research are as follows; Get in touch with your Research and Development team and ask what studies are happening in your interest area or drop a line to your friendly CRN speciality team. Find a colleague who is or has been research active and ask for some pointers and introductions. Reach out to researchers, as despite appearances, they are usually a nice bunch looking for friends

Connect with Professor David Ekers

Email David

Follow David on Twitter

Dr Stuart Watson's research experience

I qualified in Newcastle in 1992 and other than a brief sojourn into accident and emergency and neurology, I have worked in the North East across clinical and academic psychiatry since. I work in ECT and on the inpatient units and have an interest in using the e-pathway system to improve our management of bipolar disorder.

Connect with Dr Stuart Watson

Email Stuart

How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Funding opportunities

Take a look at funding opportunities

Do you work within the public health specialty?

Public health practitioners can explore the School for Public Health Research

Visit the mental health research incubator

Visit the incubator for mental health research where you can explore opportunities and progress your mental health research career.

Get in touch

Speak to your organisation’s R&D team