Our vision, beliefs and history

We want mental health to be better understood. Through our work, we explore what it means to be an expert, valuing lived experience as well as professional practice and research skills.

Our vision and goals

Our mission is to improve everyone’s mental health through research informed and directed by expertise generated through lived experience. We want the value of lived experience of mental health issues to be upheld and embraced, which is why we put it at the heart of all our work. 

Our goals

  • To be a mental health research pioneer 
  • To achieve change through influencing and research impact  
  • To help people we are connected with to develop and flourish  
  • To challenge inequality and injustice in society  

Our values

  • We oppose oppression. We stand against discrimination, abuse, inequality and violence in all its forms. We strive to equalise power imbalances in research and make McPin an inclusive organisation. 
  • We are compassionate. We care about the work we do and the wellbeing of everyone connected to us. We approach our work with careful intensions and kindness. We support our colleagues and partners to deliver impactful work.  
  • We are collaborative. We approach everything we do by centring lived experience and collective working to deliver meaningful research that improves lives. We listen to each other and value the expertise each person and organisation brings to our project or partnership. 
  • We are courageous. We are guided by our beliefs to act confidently and boldly – sometimes making difficult decisions. We encourage everyone working with us to be pioneers, following the best and most meaningful approaches while striving to be innovative and creative.    
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Our history

From a small family foundation to a specialist mental health research charity, McPin has grown but kept those with lived experience of mental health issues at the heart of the mission to transform research. 

We were established in 2007 by Dr Nick McNally and Dr Vanessa Pinfold (“McPin”) as a small grant-giving family foundation. Until 2012 we focussed on awarding grants to organisations undertaking education, research and community projects.  

In 2012, we refocussed our activities, becoming a dedicated mental health research organisation, with a focus on promoting lived experience expertise in research. 

From April 2013 we were joined by researchers from the Rethink Mental Illness research team. Today, we work with researchers as well as public involvement, policy and communications professionals to improve mental health through research. 

How we work

We put lived experience at the heart of everything we do, including research, public involvement, evaluation, training, campaigns, policy work and more.

A virtual reality rendering of a doctor's waiting room, with a virtual person stood to the left hand side of the screen.

Interventions • Psychosis


Improving lives through Virtual Reality therapy
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