There is an alarming increase in cases of mental illness in Northern Ireland, costing the economy about £380m annually.
University of Ulster has launched the new Centre for Study of Mental Health in London which has derived its name from the well-known professor late David Bamford.
The centre will oversee the work of 40 academic and post-graduate students in the area of mental health.
Professor Brendan Bunting, director of the new Bamford Centre, is of the opinion that many people suffering mental health issues did not seek help for 20 years.
Further, the study revealed that one out of four people in Northern Ireland portrayed symptoms of mental health problems.
Professor Bunting said: "People with depression were among the most likely to seek treatment early, waiting on average a year, although over 25% of individuals in this category waited 10 years or more before seeking treatment. However, those with anxiety disorders waited on average 20 years before asking for help. Individuals with substance disorders waited on average 15 years."