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Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in mental health research

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in mental health research
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Mental health and addiction research are broad fields with many different research areas and foci. One of the things we hear often, particularly from early career researchers and those getting into research for the first time, is that it can sometimes feel lonely and hard to meet researchers sharing your interests and passions.

Luckily there is almost certainly someone out there who is your research soul mate, and there are ways to find them. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) bring people with shared interests together, and are an amazing ways to:

  • network with like minded researchers
  • understand the current frontiers in your specific research area
  • find collaborators for projects, papers and grants
  • trouble shoot your research
  • keep up to date on developments and funding
  • share resources.

Some SIGs are based within professional bodies. For example, the British Association of Social Workers has an Alcohol and other drugs Special Interest Group.

And some SIGs are just for people in a certain organisation. But some are open to all to! And we’re on a mission to flag up all the mental health research SIGs we know about and enable mental health researchers to connect with others with the same interest areas.

Below are two examples SIGs we are aware of in mental health research, but we are sure there are many others. Perhaps they are interesting to you, prompt you about one you have heard of in your field, or, better yet – inspire you to set up your own!


DIS.connected is a SIG focused on research around dissociative disorders.

The group is lead by Dr Emma Černis, a clinical psychologist at the University of Birmingham (check out Emma’s career case study here).

If you want to know more about who they are and what they work on, check out their website: DIS.connected – An international network of early career researchers studying dissociative experiences. (

We will also have a guest blog from them soon, so watch this space!

Foulkes Special Interest Group

This special interest group (SIG) is led by Dr Lucy Foulkes and aims to bring together people from a range of disciplines and backgrounds who are interested in critically evaluating research into adolescent mental health and school mental health interventions.

Meeting are held online and are open to researchers all over the world. If you want to join the group then fill out this Windows Form.


Do you run a mental health research Special Interest Group?

If you have a group you are keen for others to hear about, please do let us know by:

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