Skellern Award and MHNAUK meet-up

My general election postal vote cast, June 8th began with a PhD examination at City University London moving as the day progressed to London South Bank University for this year’s Eileen Skellern Lecture and Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award.

As Skellern Lecturer Mary Chambers gave a fine, interactive, presentation emphasising the importance of making visible the invisible work of mental health nurses. Here’s Mary with Ben Thomas and Isaac Marks, no less. Amongst other things Mary talked about her work developing the Therapeutic Engagement Questionnaire, a tool designed to establish the value of mental health nursing.

Len Bowers was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He gave a deeply personal, altogether humorous, account of his career in mental health nursing, highlighting in particular the curious accidents which helped propel him to the forefront of the profession. Len’s Safewards programme, of course, was no accident and his contribution to improving mental health nursing practice through research of this type continues to be sorely missed in the months following his retirement. Here he is receiving his award from Alan Simpson.

Friday was a meeting of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK, hosted by Sally Hardy at London South Bank University. Detailed notes from the meeting will appear in due course on the group’s website. In the morning Katie Evans from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute talked about the associations between mental health problems and money difficulties, making the point that debt advice (which is a regulated activity) needs to be incorporated into care pathways where necessary.

MHNAUK is in the process of setting up permanent standing groups, covering the areas of: research; education; policy and practice; and communication. Each group now has a lead person, and each group has plenty to do. The education group, led by Anne Felton, will be coordinating MHNAUK’s response to the NMC’s consultation on proposed new standards for pre-registration nurses. At this last week’s meeting, under the education group agenda item, members heard about plans for this autumn’s #FutureMHN conference. The research group, led by Mary Chambers, will be coordinating MHNAUK’s work in the context of the future Research Excellence Framework. On Friday, as part of the research group update I gave a progress review for this year’s #MHNR2017 conference. The policy and practice group is led by John Baker, and members (John included) have been working on (amongst other things) safe staffing. The final group is communications, led by Steven Pryjmachuk and me.

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#WhyWeDoResearch

This afternoon, seeking a break from a concentrated effort working with COCAPP data with the aim of saying something useful about how and why care coordinators coordinate care, I drifted into a Health and Care Research Wales chat on public involvement in research. One of the hashtags being used for this discussion was #WhyWeDoResearch. This initiative now has its own website, which can be found here. In the context of health care, the #WhyWeDoResearch campaign exists:

to raise research awareness and opportunities to staff, patients and the public, and to start a conversation about research between all involved. 

A cause worth supporting. And, to nudge the effort along, here is a short video launched today by Health and Care Research Wales explaining what research is:

 

 

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Mental health awareness week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 has the theme of ‘surviving or thriving’, this also being the title of a new report from the Mental Health Foundation. Included in this document is a summary of research completed by NatCen, on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation, into the prevalence of mental health problems across the population and into the activities that people do to manage these.

Here’s a snip from the report, summarising the self-reported difficulties experienced by the 2,290 people who took part:

MHF thriving

Extracted from Surviving or thriving

Using their NatCen data the Mental Health Foundation goes on to highlight major health inequalities. Almost three quarters of those on the lowest household income report experience of mental health difficulties, compared to six in ten of the wealthiest. A large majority of unemployed people responding reported experience of mental health problems, with women and younger people also particularly affected.

These findings are broadly in line with those reported in the most recent Mental Health and Wellbeing in England Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, the data for which was collected in 2014. This is the latest in a series of studies dating back to 1993, involving (in the 2014 iteration) a sample of some 7,500 people. In the case of Surviving or thriving, the new (to me, at any rate) detail is the reporting of what actions people take to help themselves with their difficulties. Here’s another snip:

Surviving 2

Extracted from Surviving or thriving

Family and friends, outdoor physical activity and hobbies look to be the three most-used strategies. I can’t say I’m surprised by this, and am reminded of the value placed in relationships with others by people taking part in COCAPP.

Elsewhere during Mental Health Awareness Week, The Guardian has published a number of pieces including this one on the shortage of mental health nurses and this one on Hafal‘s Gellinudd Recovery Centre (about which I previously blogged here). Coincidentally, this is also the month that the full and final report from COCAPP-A has been accepted for publication: well done Alan Simpson for leading this work. This mighty tome, reporting from our cross-national study into care planning and coordination in acute mental health inpatient settings, has now proceeded to the production arm of the NIHR and is scheduled to appear in gold open access form towards the end of the year. In the meantime, work is progressing to produce papers for journals. More on these to follow in due course.

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PhD opportunity

KESS2With Nicola Evans and Rebecca Playle I’m on the look-out for someone to begin a full-time PhD in the autumn, investigating the interventions and processes that promote young people’s connection to their education, friends and families during inpatient mental health care. This is a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS2), which is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme. It has also been developed in collaboration with Cwm Taf University Health Board which is making a contribution to the award.

For those interested, the studentship has been explicitly designed to build on our RiSC evidence synthesis, about which I have previously written here, here and here. We found significant knowledge gaps in this previous project, which we’re now anticipating this PhD will begin to fill.

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#MHNAUK Lecturer wanted

The clock is winding down on the call for abstracts for the 23rd International Mental Health Nursing Research conference, taking place in Cardiff on September 14th-15th. As readers of the relaunched website of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK will know, nominations are currently being sought for the inaugural MHNAUK Lecturer. Reflecting the work of MHNAUK the Lecture will:

[…] be delivered by a mental health nurse in, or out of, the UK who in the opinion of the MHNR committee, the Chair and the Vice Chair of MHNAUK has made a significant contribution to the promotion and enhancement of mental health nursing education, research, policy and/or practice.

Perhaps, over the coming bank holiday weekend, readers of this blog might give some thought about possible nominees? We’re welcoming self-nominations, and nominations coming from others.

As always, spread the word!

 

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#MHNAUK meets at the University of Hertfordshire

MHNAUK met on March 31st at the University of Hertfordshire, hosted by Greg Rooney and chaired by Steven Pryjmachuk. Anne Trotter from the NMC was welcomed for a detailed discussion on the development of new standards for pre-registration nursing, and on the NMC’s wider work to create a framework for education of which this is […]

via #MHNAUK meets at the University of Hertfordshire  — MHNAUK

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Research ideas wanted

There are lots of reasons why researchers should collaborate with people with experience of using health and social care services. For an insight into public and patient involvement in research, from the perspectives of all involved, check out this repository of Healthtalk videos

For some years I have been a member of the National Centre for Mental Health Service User and Carer Research Partnership (SUCRP). Much as the Service User and Carer Group Advising on Research (SUGAR) based at City University London has been doing, SUCRP is now creating opportunities for mental health researchers to secure service users’ and carers’ views on their ideas and project proposals. Slots are available, right now, and information (including on how to book in) can be found in the flyer below:

This is an excellent initiative, which needs publicising and support. Spread the word. 

 

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