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Blogs by Vanessa Pinfold

Dec
7
2017

A framework for mental health research – what next?
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We have been involved over the past 18 months in the development of a 10 year strategy for mental health research in the UK. Developing such a strategy was one of the recommendations in the 2016 Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report

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Dec
4
2017

INVOLVE at 21
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Last week we attended a public involvement conference organised by INVOLVE.  INVOLVE was originally set up by the Department of Health in 1996. It remains one of the oldest Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) organisations in the world. We had a stand promoting our own work championing expertise from experience in mental health research.

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Nov
28
2016

What do we mean by patient and public involvement in research?
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Vanessa Pinfold, Research Director

Vanessa Pinfold, Research Director & Co-Founder

Our charity is on a mission to improve the mental health of communities everywhere – through research. We obviously can’t do this alone, and thus collaborate with many others who share our goals. In the last three years, since we established our staffed research unit, we have seen some progress with the value and role of research being given greater prominence.

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Aug
19
2016

Sad but inspiring: In memory of Donald Campbell 
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Monday morning and I was on my way to work catching up with the news and social media. I had missed an excellent piece in the Sunday Times by Alistair Campbell about his brother Donald who died recently aged 62. Luckily it is available as a blog. Reading, I was immediately absorbed. That’s the power of the personal narrative. I also felt very, very sad. Another person dying far too early after years of treatment for schizophrenia.

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Aug
15
2016

Taking a challenge – cycling for research into suicide
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20x30-RLDR0352On Sunday 31st July I got up very early – 4.45am – and cycled to the train station to start my Ride London-Surrey Prudential challenge. Getting to the start line was quite an effort as I live in West London and it started in Stratford over to the east.

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Jul
13
2016

Implementing an online mental health toolkit for relatives– reflections from our first data day!
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There is an increased focus and interest in how to implement innovations into health care settings. And there should be! Call it improvement science or knowledge transfer or implementation – this area of work is how information developed through research studies or service improvement programmes can be used to achieve practical change.

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Mar
31
2016

Improving the quality of participant information sheets
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new hot off the pressResearchers at Kings College London have just produced an interesting paper, published Feb 2016.  It is available online, and can be easily accessed. It looks at the ease of reading participant information sheets over a 10 year period – June 2003 to October 2013.

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Dec
10
2015

How to reduce stigma and discrimination?
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Hot off the pressHow to reduce mental health related stigma and discrimination? This is a topic that we have been doing research on for several years, most recently working in schools to evaluate the Time to Change  children and young people pilot campaign. Time to Change have just released the next phase of their campaign targeting young people and parents in particular, building on the message ‘small things can make a big difference’.

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Dec
1
2015

Is collecting participant support preferences in interviews with vulnerable people helpful?
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Recently, we decided to take an audit across three separate projects to see how participants responded to our questions about their preferences for support. We decided to present what they told us as an infographic. CaptureWe would love for you to tell us what you think of this approach – do you think that asking participants for their support preferences as part of the research recruitment process is helpful?  Do you have any concerns ? Let us know your thoughts.  

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Oct
21
2015

Getting to know Linda Gask through her memoir; “The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression” – a book review and audio interview
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We profile a book written by a psychiatrist, academic and person with depression. Linda Gask has written a memoir that explores what it is like to live with depression, and we have interviewed her about the role of depression in her research career. We know Linda because we are working with her on a study about collaborative care. She is keen that her book can be used to reduce stigma and educate others about depression.

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Oct
21
2015

#RCTDebate – what did we learn?
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Our first ever public event was held on 8th October 2015 at the Jerwood Space. This was a chance to bring people with different expertise together to consider the role of the RCT (Randomised Control Trial) in mental health research design. It was also the launch of our Talking Point series of papers – a group of papers written by survivor / service user researchers on under discussed topics. Our launched paper by Alison Faulkner has a title that speaks for itself: “RCTs: the straitjacket of mental health research?

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Sep
30
2015

Mental health research priorities for Europe
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roamer croppedThere seems to be a lot of conversations at the moment about priorities for mental health research. What should funders fund to improve the lives of individuals and communities with regard to mental health? Where are the promising breakthroughs? How can we gain parity for mental health research funding alongside other health areas?

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May
13
2015

Research into practice – reflections from a primary care event
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Today we attended a learning and development event for primary care practitioners - GPs, practice nurses, information specialists in London. The opening session particularly addressed local practitioners about current changes in mental health - both local and national agendas including how funding is allocated and services join up. With the new mental health task force working away to create a 5 year forward view of the future it will be interesting to see how issues raised in local meetings can find their way to the task force because crucial concerns are being raised particularly about collaborative provision of solutions for people with mental health problems. How to remove the barriers between teams or system elements so that better care is provided? Can research help with some answers? I hope so. The importance of research linked to practice was mentioned several times.    

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Nov
25
2014

Understanding psychosis and schizophrenia – new report from the British Psychology Society
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Hot off press BPS reportThe end of November saw the launch of a new report by the, British Psychology Society (BPS) with the aim of challenging stereotypes of schizophrenia and psychosis. This is 14 years on from the publication of the first edition “Recent Advances in Understanding Mental Illness and Psychotic Experiences” which was a really useful overview emphasising the contribution of a psychological perspective to making sense of ‘serious mental illness’.

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Dec
20
2013

World Innovation Summit on Health (WISH)
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Last week I attended WISH as a guest of Lord Ara Darzi along with around 800 international delegates representing health fields across the globe. The Institute for Global Health Innovation at Imperial college London has posted some highlights online and Richard Horton provided a comment piece in the Lancet this week.

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