Why new research into mental health cures is paramount

At Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome their mental health issues if given the right help.

We believe that all mental health issues are symptoms of a prior trauma; that trauma being contextual and based upon cognitive development. For example, as an adult a trauma could be, being attacked, whereas, for a child, a trauma could be being laughed at in school assembly.

Knowing that different therapies work for some and not others, we want to ensure that those suffering have the very best chance of recovery. At Trauma Research UK, we believe if there are more recognised therapies available to the world, there will be more options available for sufferers to obtain the help they need. The knowledge that there are multiple avenues available to them also provides people with hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Our team are dedicated to identifying new therapies with a successful track record, to then fund further research – helping enable these promising new treatments to be available to all.

Currently, the most common way mental health issues are treated worldwide is through the prescription of medication, usually from one of the following four categories:

• Antidepressants

• Anti-anxiety medications

• Mood-stabilising medications

• Antipsychotic medications

Whilst these medications can sometimes help to control the symptoms, they do not fix the underlying causes of mental health disorders. Moreover, all medications have side effects, which sometimes can be unpredictable.

Currently, the two most common types of treatment offered via the NHS are medication (as detailed above) and talking therapy – usually Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – which whilst incredibly effective when delivered correctly, is still not a cure for all. With CBT being developed in the 1960s, to this day very few therapies have been acknowledged to this level since.

For the acceptance of new therapies to occur, they must have scientific backing and rigorous testing, which is potentially why few new therapies have made the grade.

One such therapy, developed in 1987, is Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Since numerous scientific studies have established EMDR as an effective therapy for trauma, in the last decade, more NHS Trusts have begun to offer this therapy. In addition, it has been more widely accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as their go-to therapy for trauma.

Funding research into new therapies can be difficult due to the costs that are involved, and sadly therefore many beneficial therapies remain overlooked and relatively unknown. Several of these up-and-coming therapies could however have the potential to assist those who are suffering and to allow them to go on to live a normal life.

Regrettably, research into trauma is vastly neglected despite the extensive worldwide suffering caused by its symptoms, together with the encumbrance on society, economics, and of course, the National Health Service.

At Trauma Research UK, our mission is to help shift that balance through funding research, whilst also continuing to support those who are currently suffering.