Leveraging routinely collected and linked research data to study the causes and consequences of common mental disorders

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Technical Summary

Our vision is to link consented research studies and genomic resources with clinical and administrative data to create a structured secure infrastructure for studies into the causes and consequences of psychiatric disorders. Our ambition to implement this infrastructure across the whole of the UK.
We seek to accomplish our initial aims in Edinburgh, where there is world-leading health informatics, rich data resources covering the whole lifespan and a multidisciplinary environment with access to domain-specific knowledge and expertise. Our application builds upon key MRC and charitable investments, such as the Farr Network, HDR-UK, DPUK and important recent
developments in Edinburgh such as the Bayes Institute and the ‘City Deal’ (£1Bn funding).
A participant-unique NHS identifier is in universal use throughout Scotland, where there is existing and rapidly developing NHS and academic medical informatics capacity on which to build resources and expertise specifically in mental health. There are rich data resources, including prospective cohorts covering the whole lifespan, population-wide datasets, studies
covering specific patient and at-risk groups and developing biorepositories. This combination of
infrastructure and resources makes Edinburgh’s potential for mental health data science without
parallel in the UK.
An Edinburgh-based MRC Data Pathfinder award would facilitate a step-change in multidisciplinary mental health research, including collaborators and disciplines from throughout the UK. Our Pathfinder, in collaboration with other award holders, will form a major component
of a future UK Mental Health Platform.

Publications

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Alex B (2019) Text mining brain imaging reports. in Journal of biomedical semantics

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Alex B (2019) Text mining brain imaging reports. in Journal of biomedical semantics

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Altschul DM (2020) Playing Analog Games Is Associated With Reduced Declines in Cognitive Function: A 68-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study. in The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences

 
Title Risk game 
Description We have created a physical model and dice that convey the nature of genetic risk to psychiatric illness in general and depression in particular. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact We used this artwork to engage politicians (MSPs) in February 2019 at the MRC Scottish Parliament event and we will use the item again in April at the Edinburgh Science Festival 
 
Title Videos around data sharing, linkage and security 
Description We have prepared a series of videos, images and other materials around the safe use and linkage to non-research data that was collected from the NHS and other providers 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact We have noted, through our web page, twitter channels, and you tube site, growing interest and engagement from the public 
URL https://mhdss.ac.uk
 
Description The development of cognitive and emotional maturity in adolescents and its relevance in judicial contexts
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.scottishsentencingcouncil.org.uk/news-and-media/news/research-indicates-the-brain-does-n...
 
Description (CoMorMent) - Predicting comorbid cardiovascular disease in individuals with mental disorder by decoding disease mechanisms
Amount € 5,998,613 (EUR)
Funding ID 847776 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2020 
End 12/2023
 
Description CAHSS SFC ODA Global Challenges Internal Fund
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 01MacBeth CAHSS SFC ODA Global Challenges Internal Fund 
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 10/2019
 
Description Clinician training partnership (4 PhD studentships)
Amount £225,000 (GBP)
Organisation Alzheimer's Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 08/2022
 
Description Generation Malawi: A study of family, maternal and childhood mental health
Amount £3,736,689 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S035818/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 01/2024
 
Description Medical Research Council DTP Precision Medicine PhD
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2020 
End 09/2024
 
Description My depression, your depression - same name, different stories
Amount £65,600 (GBP)
Funding ID 217078/Z/19/Z. 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 12/2020
 
Description The Airwave Health Monitoring Study (AHMS). An Occupational Cohort Study of the British Police Forces.
Amount £1,988,965 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/R023484/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 06/2023
 
Description Turing Institute / HealTex grant (ESPRC) "Systematic review of text mining for radiology reports"
Amount £8,200 (GBP)
Organisation Alan Turing Institute 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 09/2020
 
Title DNA Methylation Analysis of samples from Generation Scotland 
Description We have assessed the DNA methylation profile of ten thousand samples from Generation Scotland 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We have published more than 20 papers using these data, and contributed to several international consortia 
URL https://rdcu.be/b2sjv
 
Title Attitudes to data sharing - UK-wide survey 
Description This is a dataset from Work Package 4 which contains approximately 1600 complete responses to a survey asking about attitudes to sharing (mental) health data. It includes participants from across the UK. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is a new dataset which we are currently in the process of analysing. 
 
Title Mental Health of SHARE Scotland participants 
Description As part of the MRC Mental Health Data Pathfinder project we intend to distribute an online mental health questionnaire to individuals on the SHARE Scotland research register. This questionnaire will collect information on psychiatric symptoms, health behaviours, previous experiences of mental ill-health, medication experiences, etc. A database shell has been constructed in which responses will be collected. Records will be pseudonimised; random indexes have been assigned to each potential participant which can be matched to other SHARE records using a look-up table held securely by the Health Informatics Centre, The University of Dundee. The database will be made openly available when constructed. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This database is being used to examine genetic and social predictors of mental ill-health, medication response, and sub-clinical symptomology. It will also be used to examine concordance of psychiatric diagnoses in medical records versus apparent diagnoses from questionnaire responses. 
 
Title Mental health and the Scottish Mental Survey 1947 cohort 
Description The historical research records of almost all individuals born in 1936 and attending a Scottish school in 1947 (age 11; N~70,000) has been linked to administrative birth records and routinely-collected health records. This captures all mental health-related hospitalisations since 1981 and all prescriptions since 2003. Such longitudinal data is allowing researchers to track mental health across older age for a large and representative cohort of individuals, and to examine the impact of childhood circumstances on later-life health. It is also being used to examine multimorbidity and polypharmacy in older age. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This longitudinal dataset is allowing researchers to track mental health across older age for a large and representative cohort of individuals, and to examine the impact of childhood circumstances on later-life health. It is also being used to examine multimorbidity and polypharmacy in older age. 
 
Title Mental health within the family: A large, representative intergenerational cohort 
Description The spouses and children of almost all individuals born in 1936 and attending a Scottish school in 1947 (age 11; N~70,000) are being traced in historic marriage and birth records (made available by the Digitising Scotland project) to construct a large, representative and intergenerational cohort. Routinely-collected health and non-health data will be linked together for these individuals to reconstruct their life-courses, from birth to grave, at scale. Furthermore, we will use historical data and modern census data to reconstruct their family units and to parse their shared and non-shared family circumstances. This longitudinal intergenerational dataset will allow us to examine mental health trajectories within families and between generations, and to do so on an unprecedented scale. Using this dataset, we will identify the shared and non-shared factors which predict the transmission of mental ill-health, as well as the factors which predict resilience within individuals. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This longitudinal intergenerational dataset will allow us to examine mental health trajectories within families and between generations, and to do so on an unprecedented scale. Using this dataset, we will identify the shared and non-shared factors which predict the transmission of mental ill-health, as well as the factors which predict resilience within individuals. 
 
Description Collaboration with Register for SHARE 
Organisation University of Dundee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided expertise in the identification, epidemiology and measurement of mental disorders - particularly depression, anxiety and their treatment
Collaborator Contribution Colleagues at NHS SHARE (https://www.registerforshare.org/) have provided materials, facilities and expertise to facilitate access to data on mental health problems across Scotland, the diversion of routine blood samples from NHS laboratories for research and navigating the necessary administrative and regulatory hurdles
Impact We are currently planning a pilot and a full Scotland-wide rollout in 2019/2020
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with the Administrative Data Research Centre Scotland regarding the preparation and use of historic data 
Organisation Administrative Data Research Centre for Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Our team provided the initial cohort for use as a feasibility case for preparing, tracing and linking historic administrative data (e.g., birth records from 1935-1937). We also prepared methodological documentation and applications for ethical, public benefit and data controller approval.
Collaborator Contribution The Administrative Data Research Centre Scotland have provided access to a project coordinator who has helped to prepare important documentation and has provided administrative support.
Impact Project-specific research protocols Project-specific tracing and linkage methodology Ethical, public benefit and data access approvals
Start Year 2018
 
Description Comparison of NLP techniques for radiology reports 
Organisation Mayo Clinic
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution All centres, including our own, have developed techniques for extracting phenotypes from radiology reports. Since it is difficult to share sensitive data, but important for determining comparability and transferability, there is an agreement to share the algorithms and to run on data from each site (sharing algorithms only and not data)
Collaborator Contribution We have currently run the Tufts/Mayo programme on local data and are in the process of sending our systems for those sites to try our local processes on their data.
Impact In progress
Start Year 2019
 
Description Comparison of NLP techniques for radiology reports 
Organisation Tufts University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution All centres, including our own, have developed techniques for extracting phenotypes from radiology reports. Since it is difficult to share sensitive data, but important for determining comparability and transferability, there is an agreement to share the algorithms and to run on data from each site (sharing algorithms only and not data)
Collaborator Contribution We have currently run the Tufts/Mayo programme on local data and are in the process of sending our systems for those sites to try our local processes on their data.
Impact In progress
Start Year 2019
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation King's College London
Department Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation Kings BRC
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation McPin Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Engagement with UK Mental Health Pathfinders and 3rd sector organisations 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided a webbed questionnaire, knowledge, expertise, a patient expert panel and a web-portal to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Collaborator Contribution The other pathfinders have provided a knowledge, expertise, their own web-portals to collect public attitudes to the use and sharing of health data for research
Impact Significant publicity and public engagement generated
Start Year 2018
 
Description Health Data Research UK Sandbox Project 
Organisation Health Data Research UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our project "Detecting antidepressant treatment response from prescribing data" was selected as a Use Case for the development of the Health Data Research UK Innovation Gateway.
Collaborator Contribution HDR UK have developed a portal for discovering UK health data sets https://healthdatagateway.org
Impact We have participated in workshops (Pistoia Alliance, 13 Nov 2019, London; UK Health Research Alliance Symposium, Feb 4 2020, London) to give feedback on the development of the Gateway Portal.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NHS Service Division partnership on data linkage for mental health research 
Organisation NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have contributed knowledge, expertise and time to the identification of methods for health data linkage - and public engagement and social licence for any activities undertaken
Collaborator Contribution NHS NSS have contributed knowledge, expertise and time - including access to ethics and privacy committee reviews and advice.
Impact We have received approvals for work streams within our MRC funded Pathfinder project
Start Year 2018
 
Title repository of NLP annotation tools for text based radiology reports 
Description Rule based and non rule based systems for extracting information from radiology reports, download contains: EdIE-N: A neural network system EdIE-R: A rule-based system EdIE-viz: Contains code to run theweb interface paper: Contains scripts related to extracting results and plots 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact n/a 
URL http://jekyll.inf.ed.ac.uk/edieviz
 
Description Big Data Detectives - Edinburgh Science Festival Family Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our hands-on activities for families centred around how big data is being used in mental health research.
Who is at risk of mental illness? What role do genetics and life-events play? Could genetic testing help doctors to prescribe you the right drug?

We aimed to communicate 3 key messages:
Activity1 : Communication of Risk - Genetic and environmental risk factors add together to increase your chance of becoming unwell. https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-risk-and-resilience

Activity 2: The opportunities offered by Big Data - If we can find patterns in big data, we might be able to split people into treatment groups. We know that not everyone responds to anti-depressants in the same way - could a genetic test be used in the future, to find out which drugs people would respond to best? https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-stratified-medicine

Activity 3: Activity 3 - The complexity of dealing with big data - Dr Data - computer game. A brand new card-swiping computer game, where you are the researcher in charge of the project and must try to Money, Staff, morals, privacy etc in balance https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-big-data-research-processes

Almost every member of the Pathfinder Research Team was involved in this event in some way - either during preparation, set-up or delivery.

Several public engagement professionals (including those working in the National Museums Scotland where this activity was based), expressed an interest in the activities and invited us to future public/schools events. These leads are being followed up.

Members of the public opened up and discussed mental health, risk and resilience in ways that they claimed not to have done so before.

Children and adults alike reported learning new information about what research is currently ongoing and how the research process works.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mhdss.ac.uk/news-and-events
 
Description Big Data Detectives - Midlothian Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our hands-on activities for families centred around how big data is being used in mental health research. Who is at risk of mental illness? What role do genetics and life-events play? Could genetic testing help doctors to prescribe you the right drug? We aimed to communicate 3 key messages: Activity1 : Communication of Risk - Genetic and environmental risk factors add together to increase your chance of becoming unwell. https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-risk-and-resilience Activity 2: The opportunities offered by Big Data - If we can find patterns in big data, we might be able to split people into treatment groups. We know that not everyone responds to anti-depressants in the same way - could a genetic test be used in the future, to find out which drugs people would respond to best? https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-stratified-medicine Activity 3: Activity 3 - The complexity of dealing with big data - Dr Data - computer game. A brand new card-swiping computer game, where you are the researcher in charge of the project and must try to Money, Staff, morals, privacy etc in balance https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/09/18/talking-about-big-data-research-processes Members of the public opened up and discussed mental health, risk and resilience in ways that they claimed not to have done so before. Children and adults alike reported learning new information about what research is currently ongoing and how the research process works. Master's students and PhD students gained experience of public engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mhdss.ac.uk/news-and-events
 
Description Celebration of Scottish Health Research Cohorts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We held a celebration of Scottish health cohort research by inviting members of the Lothian Birth Cohorts, Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort, The Edinburgh High Risk Studies of Schizophrenia and Mood disorders and Generation Scotland to a day of focus groups and pubic lectures. The work, which featured in the MRC's own publications in late 2018, including surveying participants and accompanying family members about their attitudes to sharing health data with health practitioners, researchers and industry. We also identified whether people were keen to share data generated from their Guthrie (heel prick) cards, that have been stored in Scotland from the 1970s
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNKgsEbom_ZeNu7fsX75Ed5YzmfbLjBD3
 
Description Depression Study and Glad Launch - media activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The study was covered on:
BBC 1 Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive (x 2), STV News, Heart FM, West Sound Radio, Radio Borders and Forth FM

In various newspapers
(Pure link to follow)

And also online:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47118009
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/gut-bacteria-linked-to-mental-health-kfx2fvp39
https://inews.co.uk/news/gut-bacteria-may-have-an-impact-on-our-mental-health/
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17407967.hundreds-of-new-depression-genes-identified-in-huge-edinburgh-led-study/
https://www.thenational.scot/news/17408170.scottish-scientists-link-genes-to-depression/
https://www.technologynetworks.com/tn/news/neuroticism-could-lead-to-depression-says-largest-ever-genetic-analysis-314935

This was followed up with additional social media posting (including videos) for the GLAD launch at the end of Feb.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Engagement with Scottish Parliament MSPs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The event showcased the work of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Scotland. It brought together researchers from across the country into one place to talk with MSPs and other sector stakeholders about their work, the impact it is having in Scotland, the UK and beyond.

The event opened with speeches from Lewis Macdonald MSP (who hosted the event), Richard Lochhead MSP and Professor Fiona Watt, MRC Executive Chair.

During the event MSPs, key government officials and other sector stakeholders were able to explore the different exhibition stalls, speak to researchers and learn about the impact of their work. At our stand, we engaged directly with many MSPs including the Minister for Mental Health and the Minister for Sport. We held productive conversations and follow-on meetings were arranged.

The event provided an opportunity to increase understanding amongst MSPs of the MRC's strategic vision and the leading role it plays in improving human health, innovation and economic growth by seeing first-hand the research that is taking place and the researchers that make it happen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/104642.aspx
 
Description MQ Data Science Report to MRC on building a National Infrastructure for Mental Health Data Science in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In collaboration with MQ (mental health charity), we organised a meeting for researchers and other stakeholders involved in Mental Health Data Science.
Amongst the presentations, was one by Sue Fletcher-watson, who presented some of our preliminary results from our Pathfinder data research opinion survey.
In addition, our Knowledge Exchange Officer Iona Beange organised a discussion session, asking participants how they would envision a National Infrastructure for Mental Health Data Science. Participants were advised that their collected input would be fed back to the MRC to serve as a starting point for their full consultation on this topic. A formal report was written, given a d.o.i and delivered to the MRC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://twitter.com/i/events/1174320277322457096
 
Description Presentation and group discussion - ADRC-S Public Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We presented information on the intended data linkage study and methodology to the Administrative Data Research Centre Scotland's Public Panel, consisting of informed lay individuals. Around 10 people were in attendance, of various ages and backgrounds. The activity also included discussion on the purpose of data linkage for research, as well as individual's attitudes and opinions on the use of historic and health data for research purposes. Panel members also provided useful suggestions which have helped inform future engagement strategy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation and group discussion - Stakeholder Advisory Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We presented information on the intended data linkage study and methodology to Edinburgh's Mental Health Data Pathfinder Stakeholder Advisory Group, consisting of informed lay individuals, patients, and related third sector workers. Around 8 people were in attendance, of various ages and backgrounds. The activity also included discussion on the purpose of data linkage for research, as well as individual's attitudes and opinions on the use of historic and health data for research purposes. Panel members gave feedback regarding the proposed methods and asked further questions about the possibilities of health data linkage in Scotland, as well as the governance surrounding access to such data. Panel members also provided useful suggestions which have helped inform future engagement strategy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Videos describing Research (YouTube) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MHDSS YouTube channel which contains:
a) Videos which describe the research in an accessible way
b) Videos and animations which were used for recruitment to survey on opinions on big data research.
c) Videos describing the brand-new public engagement activities that were created for the project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdh0g1F-WBu-_yRwy9sRjKg/videos
 
Description Visit by Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 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.

The Cabinet Secretary, was welcomed by Vice Principal, Professor Jonathan Seckl, and 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."

In 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. She recommended several people that the researchers should contact, and these suggestions are being followed up.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/19/08/9/visit-jeane-freeman-cabinet-secretary-health-scotland
 
Description Visit from Dr Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, visited Mental Health researchers at the University of Edinburgh in January to hear about the projects the team is working on in Scotland and Malawi.

She was welcomed and accompanied on the visit by The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Peter Mathieson.
The researchers were keen to impress upon Dr Calderwood the importance of Big Data Science to the future of mental health research.

Dr Calderwood replied: "The time is now to talk about this. Everyone has Mental Health."

High on the agenda at the meeting was the pending public consultation around the use of Guthrie Cards [newborn blood spots] for research. The researchers asked Dr Calderwood to lend her support towards further action which would allow this wealth of blood and DNA data to be used to improve healthcare for all.
Dr Calderwood indicated a change in her view and a desire to expedite this consultation.

Dr Calderwood also mentioned her upcoming visit to Malawi and a desire to visit our researchers who are based there. We will continue to liaise with her team to arrange this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mhdss.ac.uk/news/20/02/27/chief-medical-officer-scotland-visits-researchers