Working Together for Mental Health: MQ Guest Blog

Whilst MQ's time as Stockport Homes Group's charity of choice comes to an end, their impact and legacy lives on. The partnership has created opportunities for staff to build key relationships, understand mental illness in greater depths and fundraise for a cause that affects so many of us. 

We asked Lea Milligan, CEO of MQ Mental Health Research, to reflect on the past 2 years and also look ahead towards future key projects in this special guest blog. 


Cheque Presentation

MQ recently visited Cornerstone to receive their cheque for £37,461.46p, which will go towards vital research to better understand mental illness and how it impacts us.

We were delighted when the Stockport Homes Group named MQ as their charity of choice for 2020/21. The staff at Stockport Homes Group have been inspiring for the duration of the partnership, with their passion, the incredible work they do in the Stockport community and their motto ‘One team, transforming lives.’ 

The partnership faced the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic head on, as Stockport Homes Group quickly pivoted from their carefully laid in-person plans to a number of different virtual and alternative fundraising activities.  

Individuals organised quizzes, raffles and walks. Sarah Higgins from the team took on the Three Peaks challenge and raised £550. Whilst Jordan Lewis completed 1 million steps in just 8 weeks and raised £715. 

Walk For MQ 5

Charity Walk for MQ

Members of Stockport Homes Group came together for a charity walk to raise money for MQ. Being active, sharing laughs and conversation - the perfect fundraiser!

The Care Call team, who remained in the office, really kept the fundraising going and even set up an in-office nail salon! CEO Helen McHale raised an additional £10k through her fundraising and by donating her counselling fees to MQ. 

Even the families got involved with the children of staff organising a ‘something sweet’ sweetshop. 

MQ At Colleague Voice Image 20

MQ visited cornerstone to team up with Stockport Homes Group at their Colleague Voice session to share ideas on the We Swear You Swear campaign.

Overall, Stockport Homes Group have raised £37,461.46 for MQ Mental Health Research. An incredible amount that has helped to fund research that creates a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and, one day, prevented. 

For example, in 2020, the first year of the Stockport/MQ partnership, an MQ funded study called The IDEA project (Identifying Depression in Early Adolescence) successfully developed a tool to predict which young people are at risk of developing depression in later life. This tool can enable vulnerable children to get additional support early on, helping to prevent the onset of serious mental illness and a lifetime of depression. 

In 2021, the second year of our partnership, another MQ funded researcher, Dr Jennifer Wild from Oxford University, trialled a tool specifically for healthcare workers to prevent them from developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This tool has a 90% success rate in reducing PTSD symptoms, and her trial has now been extended to a wider cohort, including in Australia.  

Research like this is simply not possible without the support of groups like the staff at Stockport Homes Group. Without their enthusiasm and generosity MQ would not be able to fund the life changing and lifesaving research that impacts uncountable lives around the world. 

MQ’s focus for the next year is on our new ‘Gone too soon’ programme. We will be supporting research that aims to better understand the reasons why people with serious mental illnesses pass away on average twenty years earlier than their non-affected peers. This is not just due to suicide but also because of the little understood links between mental and physical health conditions. By improving our understanding, we can develop more effective interventions to save lives and prevent the tragedy of people being gone too soon. 

2021 Pennington Flash 10K 6

Pennington Flash 10K

Colleagues went all out in this 10k challenge, a brilliant effort from everyone involved!

I would like to personally thank every person from the Stockport Homes Group, who baked cakes, ran marathons and donated money over the last two years. I look forward to continuing our relationship into the future. 

Lea Milligan
CEO, MQ Mental Health Research.