The mental health landscape in North East England is shaped by a confluence of challenges and focused efforts to address them. This region experiences some of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, poor health, and early death in England.

It also has the third-highest rate of common mental health problems among adults and significant incidences of severe mental health conditions. Notably, the North East reports the highest rates of adolescent self-harm and the highest levels of heavy alcohol use and substance-related deaths in the country.

In response to these pressing issues, various organizations and research initiatives are working to improve mental health care and outcomes in the region. Public Health England provides data and evidence relating to mental health and wellbeing with a public health focus, highlighting risk and protective factors contributing to mental health. This includes a focus on vulnerable groups and reducing premature mortality while signposting to local resources for supporting mental health and wellbeing.

The Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for North East and North Cumbria is particularly active in expanding mental health research and capacity. Their work spans supporting researchers and practitioners in key areas such as homelessness, suicide prevention, emergency care, and mental health in schools.

ARC’s efforts are underpinned by a strong focus on early intervention to prevent mental health problems and supporting those in need, who often experience multiple deprivation and marginalization. In 2022, ARC secured an extra £750k of funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for applied mental health research across the region. This funding is aimed at expanding mental health research capacity and capability in areas of unmet need, with a focus on children and young people, ethnic minorities, and people with pre-existing physical health conditions.

These initiatives represent a concerted effort to address the complex mental health challenges in North East England, focusing on research, early intervention, and the development of comprehensive support systems for those affected by mental health issues​ (Gov UK)​​ (ARC)​.