Mental Health Nursing Research Unit

Mental Health Nursing Research Unit

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (GMMH) Mental Health Nursing Research Unit (MHNRU) was established in 2020. We aim to conduct research that improves the health and wellbeing of people using mental health services and their families and advances the practice of mental health nursing. The MHNRU also aims to build research capacity amongst the GMMH nursing workforce.


The MHNRU is led by Dr Robert Griffiths (Clinical Research Fellow in Mental Health Nursing) in collaboration with Professor Karina Lovell and Professor John Keady, who are both based at the University of Manchester.

Since it was established, the research unit has created several posts for clinical staff within the Trust who are interested in incorporating research activity into their roles. These opportunities have been developed to support practitioners who are interested in pursuing clinical-academic careers. We are particularly interested in advancing the research careers of mental health nurses and addressing barriers that have previously limited opportunities for this staff group to contribute to clinical research.


The MHNRU also aims to support evidence-based clinical practice across the Trust by developing nurses’ capacity to identify and appraise research evidence that is relevant to their practice. One way that we achieve this is through a monthly online journal club where we ask nurse researchers to present an article for discussion. This group is well attended and open to anyone with an interest in clinical research.

Patient and public involvement (PPI) is central to the work of the MHNRU. We are committed to ensuring that the perspectives of service users, relatives, and carers are represented at all stages of the research process. We actively seek opportunities for people with lived experience of using mental health services to contribute to designing and conducting research.


One of the main projects the MHNRU is currently working on is called “Studying Potential Alternatives to Restrictive inpatient practices for Children who Self-harm” (or “SPARCS” for short). This project aims to explore the experiences of children, parents, and staff regarding the issue of self-harm carried out by children in inpatient settings. We are also aiming to understand more about how children who self-harm would like inpatient staff to respond in these situations.


We are also building networks with national and international researchers and institutions who share our goal of producing high quality research that improves outcomes for people using mental health services.

Please get in touch you have any questions about the work of the MHNRU. You can find us on Twitter at @MHNRU or email us at

Tel: 07500 915979 E-mail: