Hosted by Professor Andrew McIntosh, the Cabinet Secretary met MRC researchers working on the MRC Mental Health Data Pathfinder award and the Generation Malawi project, both based at the University of Edinburgh.
[In a genuine two-way dialogue, the cabinet secretary not only heard about the two projects but was also able to offer her advice and input to the researchers]
The data pathfinder project aims to better understand the causes and consequences of common mental health conditions by using cost-effective data integration and analysis.
Generation Malawi seeks to build research training capacity and expertise by developing a cohort of 6,000 mothers, their children and wider families in two areas of Malawi. It will develop a large biobank with which to facilitate future studies of common mental disorders and attract inward investment in one of the poorest countries in the world.
The Cabinet Secretary heard from researchers about how the Scottish Government can support researchers in the vital work they are doing, for example by improving access to data.
Ms Freeman said: “These two projects being funded by the MRC are important. Improving mental health is a priority for the Scottish Government and research looking at the causes and consequences of mental health conditions, both in Scotland and abroad, is crucial.”
[This article is adapted from one written by Roxy Squire for the MRC Life publication]