Adolescent mental health collaboratory: What works to protect adolescent mental health?

The Adolescent Mental Health Collaboratory aims to build an efficient platform for the evaluation of interventions to prevent mental ill-health, using the Age of Wonder cohort and the wider Born in Bradford programme.


Working with young people and families, the Collaboratory will co-produce a pipeline of initiatives that focus on early intervention, community and psychosocial interventions, and public mental health approaches to prevent mental ill-health. An efficient evaluation platform will be developed through the application of innovative evaluation methods, and the use of the Born in Bradford linked research and routine data, capturing the whole system of health, education, social care, environment and crime data.

The Adolescent Mental Health Collaboratory is led by Professor Simon Gilbody (University of York) and is co-led by Professor John Wright (Bradford Institute of Health Research) and Professor Scott Weich (University of Sheffield).


For further information please contact Dr Ruth Wadman (Research Fellow, University of York):


The Born in Bradford (BiB) Age of Wonder programme

Born in Braford (BiB) is a multi-ethnic birth cohort drawn from a socially- and economically-diverse population.  In coming years, the Born in Bradford cohort participants will enter adolescence and transition into adulthood.  An ambitious programme of research is already planned to map the social, environmental, genetic and economic determinants of health at this crucial period in the Wellcome-supported Age of Wonder BiB research programme. 

The BiB Age of Wonder programme will include 30,000 young people aged 13-19.  They will co-produce leading-edge research to understand the causes and consequences of adolescent health and well-being.  Mental health is at the heart of the BiB Age of Wonder programme and we have a unique opportunity to advance knowledge about ‘what works in mental health?’

A Mental Health Collaboratory

We aim to harness the unique opportunities afforded by the BiB Age of Wonder cohort that include

·     Targeting health inequalities. Two thirds of the BiB adolescents are from the most deprived quintile in the UK and over half from ethnic minority groups.


The Age of Wonder cohort aims to be an interventional cohort. In addition to deepening our understanding of the determinants and trajectory of mental ill health throughout adolescence and beyond, we want to find out how we can alter that trajectory and rigorously evaluate mental health interventions. We will use state of the art evaluative methods, including trials within cohorts (TWiCs), adaptive trial and quasi-experimental designs.  These are efficient methods of research which will rapidly drive forward knowledge on ‘what works?’ and deepen our understand of ‘what works for whom and in what settings?’.