Research ready data for action in youth mental health

14 January 2020


The Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform (ADP), a research infrastructure developed at Swansea University led by Professor Ann John, recently teamed up with the Cross Council Emerging Minds Network to showcase opportunities for research in the field of child and adolescent mental health. Swansea University welcomed over 50 attendees from academia, public sector and third sector to a special event held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019. The main purpose was to raise awareness of the wealth of ADP data available for mental health research, highlight upcoming funding calls and other opportunities, and to facilitate discussions around future collaborations among researchers, charities and public sector workers.

Curate, Create, Collaborate

The ADP, funded by MQ the mental health research charity and partnered with the SAIL DataBank, is an infrastructure with all the necessary permissions to securely house data. Following approval from the ADP’s research governance panel, researchers can use privacy protecting anonymised data, pooled and linked from multiple sources, to conduct research within a safe and secure platform.

Professor John and her team are currently developing algorithms and concepts to enable research ready data so the scientific community can concentrate on actually doing the research. Once published through peer review processes these code lists, algorithms and concepts will be freely available to the research community. These pioneering research and tools developed through the ADP will ultimately support children and young people’s mental health by informing policy and practice. This step into the real world is the driving force behind the ADP. It can take on average 17 years to translate research into practice- we aim to challenge these timelines using real world data to transform young people’s lives.

At the joint meeting ADP researchers Ms Amanda Marchant, Dr Marcos Del Pozo Banos and Dr Yasmin Friedmann, highlighted specific studies conducted in the ADP- an exploration of artificial intelligence techniques to identify risk and resilience factors in children’s mental health, the relationship of social media and wellbeing, as well as the link between deprivation, educational attainment and mental health.

Emerging Minds network

Emerging Minds is a mental health research network, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with the aim of encouraging research across sectors and disciplines. The Emerging Minds Network has a fund of £500,000 to distribute, in a competitive process in order to enable research collaborations. Like the ADP, their aim is to learn more about mental health in children and young people and understand more about prevention and early treatment.

As part of the event, and a highlight for many, was when Gemma Parry, a Service User, delivered an inspiring first-hand account of her experiences of living with mental health issues as a young person, her struggles and her successes.

Are you a researcher?

We offer…

  • A wealth of data from multiple datasets, which is pooled and linked
  • Data security and anonymity, ensuring ‘research-ready’ data
  • Information governance compliance – privacy protecting
  • Efficient data transfer systems and remote access

Do you have data?

We offer…

  • A safe haven for your data
  • Efficient and secure data transfer systems
  • Disclosure control
  • Concept library – research-ready algorithms to prepare data

The ADP are looking to collaborate with researchers who are interested in young people’s mental health, as well as organisations who can link their data with our existing data on the platform, allowing for innovative research into the field of mental health. For more information about the ADP, or if you would like to collaborate with the ADP, please email, or visit their website at

Are you aged 16-24 and want your views to #BeHeard?

We are keen to involve young people in our work at the ADP. We recently had two interns who created a video content for the ADP website and took over our social media platforms.

We are also very interested in hearing about how young people view the use of their data and what questions they would like answered. The survey is still open and only takes about 10 minutes.

Take part in our ADP survey with SHARE UK at:

Your experiences and stories are so valuable, and will help to improve young people’s mental health support services.