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Violence, abuse and mental health: identifying research priorities

What is this project about?

In 2018, the Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN) was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is a group of researchers, charities and other organisations which aims to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems across people’s lives by addressing violence and abuse. VAMHN activities are organised into three overarching themes:

(1) Defining and measuring violence, abuse and mental health

(2) Understanding violence, abuse and mental health

(3) Finding effective ways to support people. 

Why is this important?

Unfortunately, violence and abuse are common in society and they can happen in almost any setting. Violence and abuse are obvious causes of mental ill health. Survivor perspectives are vital to understand how to change things for the better. 

How are McPin involved?

The Network commissioned a consultation to identify priority issues and potential research questions from the perspectives of people who have experienced violence and abuse. This consultation was led by the McPin Foundation and supported by staff from the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s (University of London), and an independent researcher affiliated with Survivors Voices.

What is the current status of the project? 

The project report is complete and is available here:

The research priorities for the network were identified based on the results from a survey and two workshops. Eighty questions within 9 themes were decided on. Themes included the impact of violence and abuse on mental health, helping people seek support, structural and systemic injustice (the biggest theme), resilience and coping, breaking the cycle of abuse and awareness. The next steps are to publicise these research priorities within the network and beyond.


“Be willing to envision systems that are based on radically new ways of doing things” – read a blog by Concetta Perôt, a peer researcher on the project here.

Read a blog on what McPin learnt from being part of the VAMHN here.