Broad and long-term research in the field of children’s and young people’s mental health is to study, among other things, methods to prevent mental illness in preschool and school, early brain development, and specific problems like autism. The commitment is a collaborative initiative involving the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS), the Swedish Research Council Formas, the Swedish Research Council, and Research and Innovation for Sustainable Growth VINNOVA.
Decisions have now been made in the call regarding children’s and young people’s mental health.
- Swedish research in this field is comprehensive in many disciplines. At the same time there are major gaps in our knowledge regarding research that can provide a basis for assessing and understanding what promotes good mental development, says Erland Hjelmquist, Secretary-General at FAS.
- The goal of this commitment is to bring about pioneering and high-quality research in a field that is vital to society. Broad collaboration between research teams and disciplines is part of this ambition.
The international assessment panel proposed funding of SEK 30 million each for eight six-year programmes and of SEK 3 million each to seven three-year projects.
- Among other things, this research will deal with establishing a fundamental understanding of specific problems like the emergence of autism, more general questions about the early development of the brain, and the use of methods for preventing mental illness in preschool and school. Examples of other areas are the learning environment in the schools, support for parents, and connections between social networks, abuse, and mental health.
- The methodological variation is great: intervention, experiment, and use of cohort and population data.
With their joint initiative, the research councils FAS, Formas, the Swedish Research Council, and VINNOVA are now laying the groundwork for broad and long-term research in the field of children’s and young people’s mental health.