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The Mental Health Academic Group (MHAG) is a multidisciplinary, multi-professional group of academics, clinicians and support staff. Professor Athula Sumathipala (Professor of Psychiatry) leads the group at MPFT. Professor Sumathipala also co-leads the wider mental health research programme at the School of Primary, Community and Social Care, Keele University with Carolyn Chew-Graham (Professor of General Practice Research). The MHAG works to deliver on the strategic research partnership between MPFT and Keele University. Through this partnership the team conduct research, develop innovative research proposals and grant applications, and deliver training and support to engage clinical staff in research.
The team focusses on a several research areas, maximising their broad range of expertise in terms of topics. Key themes of research include: medically unexplained symptoms, the physical health of people with severe mental illness (and more broadly physical-mental multimorbidity), dementia, and perinatal mental health. Members of the team also hold special interests in global health (particular focus on low- and middle-income countries), research ethics, mental health in post-disaster settings, rural health and bereavement experiences of adults with learning disabilities.