Our CLAHRC GM mental health programme closed in 2016; our work focussed on the physical health of people who suffer from mental health problems, as it has been widely reported that there is a link between mental health and physical health and the two should not be thought of in isolation, with people suffering from mental health problems having much poorer physical health than the general population.
The objectives of our mental health programme are:
- Increase the awareness of the need to implement evidence into practice within and across mental and physical health services, and develop capacity to do so.
- Further develop projects from our first round of funding (2008-2013) that facilitate a holistic and coordinated approach to patients with physical and mental multimorbidity.
A key research highlight was the publication of the COINCIDE study in the BMJ. To supplement this, a 24 month follow-up of participants from the original trial was carried out. A response rate of over 70% was achieved and the 24 month findings were available early in 2016.
We are also proud to have led on the development of the key local research priorities within physical health and severe and enduring mental illness (SMI). In collaboration with a number of leading academics, healthcare professionals, service users and carers, we hosted an interactive workshop to identify an initial 10 key priorities, which was then narrowed down to a top three of:
- What is the qualitative experience of hunger for people taking antipsychotic medication?
- How can psychiatrists and patients better collaborate to choose antipsychotic medication?
- How do we educate or help carers to deal with and understand physical health problems?
Other research highlights included the use of an antipsychotic medication leaflet developed as part of THINKphysical: Manchester Mental Health Festival in the CaFi study and the successful funding of a cross-national study on the development of a peer support intervention to improve the mental health of migrant workers, which was the direct result of the collaborations fostered through our work as part of a British Council grant.
Examples of impact and implementation highlights
The 2015 THINKphysical: Manchester Mental Health Festival was a key highlight of our work, and won a Greater Manchester Clinical Research Award in the public engagement category. Over 750 people attended events ranging from art classes to public lectures and even flash mob dances! As part of THINKphysical we were able to engage and develop close collaborations with over 20 local and national NHS providers and mental health charities.
Other key impacts of our work include the spread of the COINCIDE training programme to over 40 Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) across six different Improved Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) teams, and the roll-out of the improving the physical health of people with SMI project across all community mental health teams within Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. The project was recognised as a good case example by the BMA in their May 2014 ‘achieving parity of outcomes’ publication.
Please contact Michael Spence (Programme Manager).