Northumberland volunteers needed for mental health study

The Language and Mental Health Project
The Language and Mental Health Project

Volunteers from Northumberland are needed for ground-breaking research which will help to understand the use of language in schizophrenia.

A new study, the Language and Mental Health Project, is being undertaken by researchers at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University.

Professor Douglas Turkington, leader of the North East team, said: “This three-year study is being funded by a £1million grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We are now looking to recruit 30 volunteers to take part in the study which will help us to inform current and future talking-based therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of schizophrenia.”

The study will look at the language profiles of patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia compared with that of siblings of patients with schizophrenia and a non-clinical control group.

It is divided into two phases, consisting of three sessions during phase one and two sessions during phase two. All volunteers will receive £10 as a token of appreciation at each session they attend and their taxi fair.

If you are aged over 16 and living in Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland and would like to take part in the study, contact Helen Spencer, doctoral researcher, on 0191 2468680 or email

In order to take part you must be able to answer no to all of the following:

A current mental health diagnosis

Schizophrenia present in a sibling

A primary diagnosis of alcoholism or substance dependency (Individuals using alcohol, cannabis and other substances without dependence are eligible)

A diagnosis of learning disability or severe dyslexia

A diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder interfering with language skills or autism with specific language impairment

A diagnosis of brain disease or condition (eg head injury, stroke, tumour and epilepsy).