We find, connect and support grass-roots innovations in global mental health.

The Challenge

Mental health is a pressing global challenge.

Together, Mental, Neurological and Substance Use (MNS) conditions are the leading cause of disability worldwide, and are responsible for more than 10% of the global burden of disease.

One in Four

One in four people will develop a mental health condition in their lifetime

neurological condition

One in six people are currently living with a neurological condition

Substance use

Up to 6.4% of the population struggles with a substance use condition each year

The world isn't investing enough in solutions.


Over 85% of those who are living with a mental health condition still have no access to treatment


MNS conditions will cost the global economy nearly $16 trillion in lost economic output by 2030 - $7 trillion of which will come from developing economies

What We Do

Project Ember is a collaboration between the Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) and The SHM Foundation, created to help mental health innovation grow and thrive in low- and middle-income countries.

Our mission is to find, connect and support innovators with the tools, resources and skills they need to scale up and sustain innovation.

The Pilot

Innovations in global mental health face a number of challenges that prevent them from reaching their potential. We'll take three of these challenges and pilot our incubation methodology in 2018.

Funding Loop

The Funding Loop

Mental health only receives 1% of all overseas development aid for health, and most of this goes to research.

We’ll invest in innovations stuck in this gap between seed and scale, and work with them to develop new, sustainable approaches to funding that allows them to move from ‘funding led’ to ‘funding enabled’.

Cross Roads

The Cross Roads

Innovators often reach a ‘cross-roads’ moment where pathway to scale isn’t clear, and they’re not receiving the recognition they deserve.

We’ll work with innovators to assess the potential of their innovation, increase their visibility and work out their options, so they’re equipped to make the right decision about which way to go.

Business Puzzle

The Business Puzzle

In some cases scale-up requires innovators to turn their idea from a research project to business or a social enterprise.

We’ll support innovators to make this transition, and link innovators into a network of experts who can provide in-kind support in financial planning, stakeholder engagement and capacity building.

Our Innovations

In 2018, we're investing in and supporting three grass-roots innovations from the MHIN community that we believe have the potential to be scaled up or replicated in new settings:

Who We Are


The Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) is a community of researchers, practitioners, policy makers, advocates and funders from around the world sharing innovative resources and ideas to promote evidence-based best practice in mental health.


SHM Foundation Logo

The SHM Foundation is a registered charity established by the business insights consultancy SHM Productions Ltd. SHM Foundation has developed its own mental health innovation: a psychosocial support group model for people living with HIV worldwide, which uses mobile health to facilitate peer-to-peer communication. SHM Foundation is headquartered in London, with global partners.


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