The RAMP study is now open for participation across the UK

What does COVID-19 mean for our mental health

Take part in regular surveys and help us research the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of people all across the UK.

We are aware that COVID-19 is taking a heavier toll on BAME communities,who are 10-50% more likely to die from COVID-19 (Public Health England, 2020). We need more BAME voices to help us understand the impact of this on mental health.

For more information, please visit our Diversity Hub and our FAQ section

ABOUT THE STUDY

The Repeated Assessment of Mental health in Pandemics (RAMP) study is a research project assessing the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of the population. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many of us have undergone major changes to our daily lives, such as staying away from friends and family, and limiting time outside of our homes.

We don’t yet know what effect this new situation will have on how we all think, feel and act or the impact on our households, health and lifestyle. With RAMP, we will monitor the mental health and wellbeing of people across the UK during this pandemic and try to understand the impact of COVID-19 so that we can better support people in the future.

You must be a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and be over the age of 16 to participate in this study.

When you sign up, you will be asked a series of different questions about your current living situation, your wellbeing and your mental and physical health. We will then send shorter follow up surveys every month and may also send very short questionnaires after major government announcements.

We thank you for your continued participation. It’s as important as ever to continue completing our surveys as we move out of lockdown, to assess how these changes affect us. Keep up to date with our social media and e-newsletter to hear about the latest RAMP data findings.

If you're eligible to participate, you can take part here. You can also download the information sheet.

Follow us or contact us here

TEAM

RAMP is a collaborative effort led by a research team at King’s College London, in consultation with expert clinicians, service users, mental health charities and the NIHR Maudsley BRC. We are very grateful for generous donations of time and effort from many kind individuals.

Research team

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Dr Katherine Young

Primary investigator

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Dr Kirstin Purves

Core investigator

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Shannon Bristow, MSc

Core investigator

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Professor Gerome Breen

Co-investigator

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Professor Thalia Eley

Co-investigator

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Professor Matthew Hotopf

Co-investigator

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Keisha York

Research assistant and Diversity consultant

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Abigail Ter Kuile

Research assistant

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Camilla Ward

Research assistant

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Alicia Peel

Research assistant

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Jessica Mundy

Research assistant

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Dina Monssen

Research assistant

Laura Heggeman - Research assistant, Christopher Rayner - Research assistant and Elizabeth Lee - Research assistant

Collaborators

Prof Ammar Al-Chalabi, Dr Timothy Nicholson, Prof Ray Chaudhuri, Prof Mark Richardson, Dr Thomas Pollak, Dr Sharon Stevelink, Prof Adrian Martineau, Prof Ulrike Schmidt

Additional contributors

Molly Davies, Alicia Peel, Brett Adey, Henry Rogers, Christopher Huebel, Jessica Mundy, Katie Thompson, Dina Monssen, Gursharan Kalsi, Tom McGregor, Megan Skelton, Abigail Ter Kuile, Camilla Ward and the GLAD, NIHR Maudsley BRC and EDIT Lab teams

Advisors

We are very grateful for the advice and recommendations from various individuals during the design of RAMP, including: Prof. Peter Jones, Dr. Evangelos Vassos, Dr. Georgina Krebs, Prof. David Veale, Dr. Talar Moukhtarian, Prof. Louise Arsenault, Prof. Andrea Danese, Dr. Colette Hirsch, Prof. Barbara Maughan, Dr. Christine Parsons, Prof Ulrike Schmidt, Keisha York, the KCL Diversity and Inclusion Team, and the King’s College London Service User Advisory Group.

This research was reviewed by a team with experience of mental health problems and their carers. These individuals have been specially trained to advise on research proposals and documentation through the Feasibility and Acceptability Support Team for Researchers (FAST-R). This is a free, confidential service in England provided by the National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre via King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Our collaborators and supporters

This work was supported by the King’s Together Multi and Interdisciplinary Research Scheme (Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund). King’s Together is a fund by King’s College London to support new research ideas.

With special thanks to the following charities that have supported us in promoting the RAMP study and recruiting participants: Reach Society, Melanin Medics, Dope Black Mums, Dope Black Dads, the Black and Minority Ethnics in Psychiatry & Psychology (BiPP) Network, On Our Mind and BAATN.

FAQ

What will you do with my data and will it be safe?

Keeping your information secure is our highest priority. There are a number of regulations and policies that RAMP complies with to ensure data is protected.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was put in place to ensure the protection of all EU citizens’ data privacy. It also gives people the rights to access any information held about them.

Who can take part?

The RAMP Study is recruiting nationally, and you can participate as long as you are a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and are over the age of 16.

What are RAMP’s commitments to diversity in research?

RAMP is committed to encouraging, promoting and maintaining a diverse research base. We believe that we can only produce research that is relevant for the whole UK if we have voices that represent all of us, not just those who are White, European and middle class. We are doing everything we can to try and produce a truly representative research base.

Here are some of our key values and actions.

  • RAMP stands with the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • RAMP has sought and received funding to increase ethnic diversity in the RAMP study, as we highlighted this as a top research priority.

  • The RAMP core and extended team are active members and attendees of the KCL SGDP Diversity and Inclusion panel meetings.

  • The RAMP core and extended team are committed to be reflective practitioners and learn more about issues of diversity, cultural sensitivity and scientific mistrust among minority ethnic communities. RAMP have asked minority ethnic communities what they can do better to improve recruitment and diversity.

  • RAMP have hired a highly experienced research assistant to consult on issues of diversity and inclusion (as we recognise we are not best placed to do this).

  • RAMP intend to share this diversity campaign with wider research studies within KCL in order to promote institute-wide research diversity.

What have we achieved so far?

  • Begun collaborations with several Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnicity charities

  • Boosted the number of RAMP participants who identify as Black by 150%

  • Attended training for ensuring ethnic diversity in research

What are we still aiming for?

  • To recruit over 100 individuals who identify as Black

  • To continue to develop and maintain long-term partnerships with Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnicity charities and organisations

  • To work and collaborate with individuals from the groups that our research represents to inform our analyses

  • To continue diversifying our team of researchers

What is involved?

After a longer baseline assessment, we will send follow up surveys every two weeks and might send very short questions after any major government announcement. If any of the questions make you feel uncomfortable you can leave them out.

The survey covers a lot of different questions about your living situation, your wellbeing and mental health. We appreciate this can take time to complete, but with your help we hope to better understand the impact of this and any future pandemics on the mental health of our communities.

How long will it take me?

You should set aside about 35-40 minutes for the baseline questionnaire, and about 15 minutes for the follow up questionnaires every 2-weeks, although for most people it will be shorter.

Will the surveys be this long every time?

No, the very first questionnaire is the longest. All of our follow up questionnaires will be about half the time.

Do I have to do it all in one go?

No. You can leave the question and come back to it after a break. However, you do need to return to the questionnaire using the same browser (e.g. chrome), and it also needs to be done using the same computer or device as before.

Why should I take part?

Your participation will help us track the impact that this pandemic is having on mental health and wellbeing. This will help us work our how to react to help and support individuals and communities.

What sort of things will I be asked about?

We are going to ask you to answer questions about yourself, your health, your education/employment, your feelings and your mental health before and during the pandemic. We will also ask you some questions about your physical health that may be important factors in how you are feeling.

We are also interested in the things that you are doing that you are finding positive or helpful during this time, as we hope to identify and share those things that seem to help.

Who do I contact if I have a problem or question?

You can email the study team on rampstudy@kcl.ac.uk

Diversity Hub

With COVID-19 affecting many more individuals from ethnic minority groups, it has never been more important to record BAME voices and experiences to understand what might be causing this and its implications for mental health and wellbeing. Currently, just 0.34% of the almost 10,000 RAMP participants identify themselves as Black, and only 5% of the whole sample identify as any ethnicity other than white. Below are a list of charities and organisations which serve the BME community. Please visit their websites for further support or resources.

With RAMP assessing the mental health and wellbeing impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, and using our data to potentially inform the government response, taking part will help contribute your voice to national health and wellbeing policies.

We aim to develop long-term partnerships with the various organisations who have supported our work. A key aspect of this will be sharing findings with community partners which we aim to do via newsletters, email and speaking events/discussion sessions. We welcome feedback and suggestions.

RESOURCES

This is a difficult time for everyone, and many may find it overwhelming. If you are being affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, we have collated some helpful websites and sources of help and support.

Mind

The Mind website has really useful resources to help you cope if you are feeling anxious, worried or isolated.

Samaritans

The Samaritans have a frequently updated page which you might find helpful if you are worried about your mental health.

You can also contact the Samaritans day or night if you need someone to talk to without judgement.

NHS

The NHS has some hints and tips for maintaining your mental health while staying at home.

WHO

The World Health organisation have released a document detailing mental health and psychosocial considerations during this outbreak.

For researchers

The RAMP team invites collaboration and coordination across studies. Methods and novel scales are available for use by researchers . To acknowledge the use of novel scales, please follow the link and see the Overview of RAMP Procedures document.

Please direct any other questions about the materials to rampstudy@kcl.ac.uk