MQ are a startup charity from the UK with the ambitious mission to transform mental health.
With one in four of us experiencing mental health conditions and two thirds of people with a mental illness condition currently receiving no treatment, this cause is clearly both relevant and urgent. If the potential for dramatically improving lives isn’t important enough, the economic benefits also stack up with mental ill health being the number one cause of work sickness absence. The estimated annual economic and social costs in the UK alone is £105 billion (billion with a b)!
Despite the its importance, improving mental health receives less than 6% of the total UK health research budget.
A charity is clearly needed to change this and MQ have picked up the challenge. One easy way to think about them is as the cancer research of mental health. However the comparison has a major flaw and that is funding of their domain. For every £1 spent by the UK Government on mental health research, the public give just £0.003. The equivalent number for cancer is £2.75.
Very little of our time as a species has prepared us for the connected online digital world and the associated pressures we now face.
Research suggests 75% of mental health problems first occur in under 18s and that 3 children in every classroom will be living with a mental illness.
With most children today heavily using technology there is a temptation to be pessimistic about the future. However:
there are extraordinary opportunities for technologies such as telemetry (IoT), predictive analytics, and big data sources now freely available like social media to dramatically advance this important field and hence improve lives.
So how can we help?
- In early 2017 MQ are launching their first major public campaign. Let’s be on the lookout for it and do our best to amplify MQ on social media.
- As part of the campaign they are looking for people to pledge their support to transforming mental health with their “We swear to tackle mental illness” You can do this now, get your best selfie and get on over to the site.
- Volunteer your time and especially any charity expertise (they are a startup).
- Raise money any way you like and donate it here.
- Spread the word!
(All stats in this blog taken from MQ materials.)