Enhancing mental health and wellbeing support, and primary healthcare provision.

The Department of Primary Care and Mental Health’s (PCMH) goal is to enhance mental health and wellbeing support, and primary healthcare provision. PCMH engages in scholarly activity to develop theories, models and interventions for primary healthcare and to promote mental health and wellbeing. Our research and teaching activities aim to enhance excellence in primary, community, mental health and social care at a local and global level. 

PCMH seeks to enable and develop all our staff and students by providing research and learning opportunities, training, mentorship, and peer support.  Colleagues working in health and social care, experts by experience and members of the public are welcomed into our research and education activities, and research group meetings.

Our underlying principles include inclusion and diversity, multi-disciplinarity and co-production. We achieve these through various means including working closely with the department’s committees (e.g. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee, Postgraduate Research committee, Research committee, Education committee) promoting research equity. We adhere to robust governance and standards of professional and research ethics.

Our research programmes include, for example:

  • Global mental health
  • Chronic conditions and polymorbidity
  • Children and families
  • Older adults
  • Primary care and community mental health
  • Big data – CIPHA and System-P
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Dementia and ageing
  • Clinical psychology (including forensic, pain, dementia, physical health)
  • Visual impairment in acquired brain injury

Our challenges

Health Inequalities Policy Research Group (HIP-R)

Community based approaches to tackle health inequalities

How might we clarify what ‘community’ means to people, and ensure that ‘community-based’ approaches can adequately tackle socioeconomic determinants and structural inequalities, and human rights abuses?

Wellbeing, illness prevention, recovery and rehabilitation

How do we build links between efforts to promote physical and mental wellbeing, prevent ill health and support recovery and rehabilitation?

Increasing the clinical and health psychology workforce

How can we contribute to increasing the clinical and health psychology workforce to meet mental health needs in the face of public health emergencies?

Research centres

The Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC)

The Department hosts The Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC). A collaboration of health and social care providers, NHS commissioners, local authorities, universities and public advisers working together to tackle health inequalities through applied research. It works with its member organisations to implement research findings into practice which improves the health of both individuals and their communities.

Our institutes

Clinical Psychology Doctorate (DClin) programme

The Department is home to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClin) programme, which is delivered as a partnership between the University of Liverpool, the NHS and clinical psychologists across the North West of England region. This three year, full-time programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society. When you graduate, you’ll be eligible for Chartered Clinical Psychologist status, allowing you to practise as a Clinical Psychologist within the NHS.

Case studies


Community-based Sociotherapy Adapted for Refugees (COSTAR)

The project aims to culturally and linguistically adapt CBS for use with Congolese refugees, and evaluate its efficacy and cost-effectiveness for addressing the elevated levels of mental health difficulties experienced by populations that have been subject to conflict and displacement.

Improving access to psychological therapies for perinatal depression in low- and middle-income countries

Improving access to psychological therapies for perinatal depression in low and middle-income countries

Perinatal depression affects one in four women in low and middle income countries with over 90% not receiving any treatment for this condition. This has devastating consequences for the mothers and their infants. Our researchers published the Thinking Healthy Programme (THP), becoming the first fully manualised psychological intervention to be adopted by the World Health Organization for global dissemination.

Vision Research

Vision, Orthoptic and Brain Injury Research Unit (VISION)

The VISION group evaluates visual impairment in acquired brain injury and neurological conditions, explores and develops outcome measures in orthoptics, and seeks to explore the complexity of co-existent visual and functional impairments

Accreditations and partnerships

Our local and global partnerships provide vital support to our research activity.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

The University of Liverpool Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology trains applicants to become clinical psychologists, qualifying to provide psychological services with the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to people who are experiencing a wide range of mental health issues, physical health difficulties, learning disabilities, and relationship issues.

Liverpool Experts by Experience (LExE)

LExE (Liverpool Experts by Experience) is a strategic stakeholder group acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the University of Liverpool‘s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology training programme. The initiative aims to develop networks between ‘Experts by Experience’, university staff and students with the aim of improving the training experience.

Our research work and impact

Our research and impact

The department engages in a wide range of research that has a significant impact in primary, community, mental health and social care at a local and global level.