Joe Rafferty“I am proud to announce the first NHS led Global Centre for Research on Mental Health Inequalities. The coronavirus pandemic has injected stark urgency into the need to understand and address mental health inequalities and their root causes. Led by Professor Nusrat Husain, Mersey Care’s Global Research Director the new centre will bring together international academics and clinical practitioners to support research, learning, develop expertise, training and community engagement and involvement on issues that lead to widening mental health inequalities.”

Chief Executive, Prof Joe Rafferty CBE (Pronouns: He/his/him)

Nusrat Husain“The aim of the centre is to reduce mental health inequalities for communities locally, nationally, and globally by producing high-quality applied research to inform action to reduce avoidable systematic mental health inequalities across the life course, improving outcomes and access to services.”

Professor Nusrat Husain

The centre is based at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in North West England: a region with a geographical divide of comparatively poor health and impacted disproportionately compared with the South of England. These inequalities have historical roots and have continued to increase and widen over recent years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the stark health inequalities in the North and poor mental health has increased and intensified the risk factors commonly linked with poor mental health. To address this, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is taking the lead with the centre to address mental health inequalities and is determined to be part of the solution, in ‘levelling up for the North.’

To achieve its aim, the centre brings together academics, clinical practitioners, patients, carers and wider public from all global regions and different research disciplines to advance research, learning, develop expertise, training, and engage and involve communities to:

  • Better understand the determinants of mental health inequalities
  • Develop and evaluate innovative approaches to address these mental health inequalities locally and informed globally through reverse innovation and bi-lateral learning
  • Disseminate existing and new knowledge in mental health inequalities to diverse audiences to inform action for greater mental health equity in the North West, nationally and globally
  • Ensuring participation in research is accessible, the active involvement of people from all walks of life in research, and partnership working
  • Embedding inclusive research across the North West, nationally and globally – that takes measured action to meet the mental health research needs of the local communities, address barriers to inclusion, and promote inclusion, respect, and value.

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Wes Baker

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

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Subodh Dave

Royal College of Psychiatrists


Cecillia Essau

University of Roehampton


Dr Sarah Edwards

University College of London


Saeed Farooq

Keele University


Dr Nadeem Gire

Manchester Global Foundation

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Dr Dung Jidong

Nottingham Trent University



Professor Cindy Lee

University of Toronto


Professor Karina Lovell

University of Manchester


Dr Maria Panagioti

University of Manchester


Professor Atif Rahman

University of Liverpool


Dr Roshelle Rankinson

University of Bolton




Population health

As a Trust serving people with complex physical, mental health, addictions and social needs, Mersey Care cannot improve the quality of our health services without taking into account the wider issues which impact on health and wellbeing.

This will include work, income, housing, communities and connections to other people and groups. To do this, we must work in a better way with our partners to make a real difference and by taking a population health management approach we can reduce unfair and unjust differences in access and outcomes for the communities we serve.