The Charlie Waller Institute

IMAGINE developing effective new treatments for young people with depression. You can help.


The silent killer

Mental health problems can have a devastating impact on young people and their families. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35 in the UK. 1 in 4 people in any given year suffer from a mental health condition and 1 in 10 young people suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder.

It's critically important to tackle mental health problems early. Half of all adults with depression suffered their first episode as a teenager. The longer people go without treatment, the greater their chances are of having another episode of depression. The more episodes of depression people have, the greater their chances are of taking their own lives.

The time is now

People are waking up to the importance of mental health. Nearly £1 billion of UK government funding has been promised to tackle mental health issues and a new mental health survey of children and adolescents is being commissioned for final publication in 2018. Mental health problems are now being discussed in our schools and at work. We need to take advantage of this change.

Now is the time to improve the evidence base and establish effective therapies, so that new funding is spent on proven treatments. Here at Reading the Charlie Waller Institute is tackling these issues.

Working together

The Charlie Waller Institute is committed to research into preventing mental health issues and designing more effective treatments for depression. We train therapists in psychological therapies that have been proven to work.

We are a collaboration between the University of Reading, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was established in 1997 to educate young people on the importance of mental health by the family of Charlie Waller, a young Berkshire man who took his own life following an episode of depression.

You can help fund pioneering research to develop new and effective treatments for young people dealing with mental ill-health.

How you can help

We are working on a range of projects to ensure that the range of proven clinical therapies continues to grow, and that mental health professionals are trained to deliver them:

The Education Project

This training programme helps people who interact with children, such as sports coaches and child carers, to recognise common mental health problems, assess how serious they are and provide evidence based support.

Brief Behavioural Activation

This pioneering new treatment for young people with depression specifically targets reward systems through behaviour. We are currently trialling and developing the programme in local schools across Berkshire, and extra funding will enable us to train more therapists and increase our outreach to help more schools.

Sleep Management

Continuous sleep problems for teenagers are a strong predictor of future depression. Tackling sleep problems in teenagers will prevent many cases of depression. We want to develop an app designed specifically for teenagers to manage sleep problems.

PhD Scholarships

Funding for PhD students is extremely difficult to find and funded projects attract extremely strong and motivated students. We want to access a database that has tracked the lives of 26,000 babies born in 1990, and could provide new insight into causes of mental health. We need PhD students to use the database to research the effects of childhood sleep difficulties on mood in teenagers.

Funding need

Your donations can have a real impact on supporting young people with mental ill-health:


Our work can influence and improve mental health care on a global scale through its association with leading academics and relationship with the NHS. More donations will help young people suffering with mental ill-health not just locally, but also across the rest of the UK and beyond.

We see a future where teenagers and young people no longer deal with mental health issues in silence, and know that the burden can be lifted. Your continued backing can make a major contribution to the fight against mental ill-health across the world.

IMAGINE the possibilities. Together we can make it happen.

Key project facts and stats

£10,000 will employ a part-time therapist to work in a school.

1 in 4

1 in 4 young people will suffer with a mental health problem during their lives.


£1,000 will fund essential materials and resources for the university clinic.

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With your help, we can have a real and tangible impact on the key challenges facing society.

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Other impact stories

W M Childs

Universities are living things: they feel, think and do. They are centres of intelligence; they are concerned with ideas; they have outposts upon the frontiers of knowledge; they sometimes do beautiful and remarkable things; they dream and imagine.

W M Childs

First Vice-Chancellor, 1926-29

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