Toys on a table

Child Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Three quarters of all psychiatric disorders start in childhood and adolescence and a quarter of the total burden of mental ill-health in the UK is currently carried by children.

Services have limited availability and interventions often have limited effectiveness; autism spectrum disorder (ASD) alone costs the UK £27 billion annually.

The ambition of our theme in child mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders is to reverse these statistics.

We address mental health conditions in childhood and adolescence (such as anxiety and depression), alongside neurodevelopmental conditions (such as autism and ADHD).

To optimize development and support mental health across the lifespan, our aims are to:

  • drive innovation in the identification of mental health and neurodevelopmental difficulties;
  • obtain a better understanding of the brain processes involved;
  • improve assessment and monitoring;
  • expand the repertoire of interventions available and their delivery.

We will harness the advances made in precision medicine to promote individualized care, and exploit informatics and digital tools to scale up assessment, intervention and monitoring in our clinics and research programmes. 


Theme Lead

Professor Gráinne McAlonan

Professor of Translational Neuroscience, King's IoPPN; Head of Research, National ADHD and Autism Service for Adults, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke

Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King's IoPPN
Research and news

Child Mental Health & Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Read about our latest research and news stories in this theme.


Stories of Research

Discover how our research is making a difference to people’s lives, today and tomorrow.


Stories of Research

Digital innovation in child mental health

We are using the digital revolution to improve our ability to make research more efficient and thus to bring benefits to patients.
Stories of Research

Neurofeedback as a new treatment for ADHD

Helping children with ADHD to control brain activity and attention through neurofeedback
Stories of Research

Building targeted medicine choices for autism

We are seeking to develop new medicines which will target specific difficulties in autism more effectively.
Stories of Research

Promoting mental health in primary school children

CUES-Ed is an innovative mental health promotion and prevention programme for primary schools.