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Jul
4
2018

Co-production in Research: Barriers and Solutions

By Vanessa Pinfold

Here at the McPin Foundation, we are pleased to support the third year of the Social Care Institute for Excellence’ (SCIE) co-production week and its focus on learning. This year has seen the introduction of co-production in research principles from INVOLVE.

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Jun
11
2018

Maternal mental health peer support
by

Maternal mental health problems affect up to a fifth of all women

The NHS has recently announced it will be committing an extra £1.6million to help mothers with mental health issues during or after pregnancy. With maternal mental health problems affecting up to a fifth of all women, research has shown that peer support can help mums receive the emotional and practical support needed during this time.

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Jun
11
2018

Involving young people in research – why it matters
by

This week we released our second Right People, Right Questions national survey looking at the top ten questions people think are most important for researchers to answer about young people’s mental health. Rachel Temple reflects on the importance of making sure the views of young people are heard and on how McPin is making sure young people help shape this research project.

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Jun
11
2018

Virtual Reality and psychosis
by

Many people find social situations difficult. This includes people with psychosis. Virtual Reality (VR) may be able to help some overcome this, and the immersive worlds created by VR technology are now convincing enough (and affordable enough) to be used in psychology therapy.

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May
30
2018

Macmillan Peer Evaluator Training
by

Brighton September – October 2017 and May 2018

 

Co-design and co-delivery are part of the ethos of the McPin Foundation. We have just completed our second successful three-day training for Peer Evaluators with Macmillan cancer support. Running the training a second time gave us the freedom to improve and develop materials and content from the first time around.

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May
23
2018

Object-based storytelling can help start a conversation about mental health.
by

Object-based storytelling can help start a conversation about mental health.A pop-up exhibition by the Soul Relics Museum in mental health awareness week aimed to do just that, start conversations about mental health, using photographs of a wide range of

objects that have held special significance to their owners during times of distress.

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May
15
2018

Interviewing Peter Fonagy
by

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to interview Peter Fonagy as part of the #LetsTalkMentalHealth series by Louise Arseneault. Peter is a renowned clinical psychologist specialising in early attachment disorder and borderline personality disorder and CEO of the Anna Freud centre.

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May
11
2018

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018: are awareness dates useful for mental health?
by

 

Stress is a normal bodily response, but is usually considered a negative feeling. Stress is a major factor in survival and is an important part of the ‘flight or fight response’, which makes us react to dangerous situations such as moving out of the way of a reversing car.

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Apr
27
2018

Soul Relics Museum
by

 

The Soul Relics Museum project will be having a pop-up exhibitions in the SGDP for a month from 16th April – 20th May 2018

The Soul Relics Museum collects photographs of objects which relate to a time of personal struggle with mental wellbeing.

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Apr
4
2018

Words That Carry On: Lindsay’s Fund
by

 

On Saturday afternoon (24/3/2018) I went by bus across London to the memorial service of an amazing person I had never met, but wish I had. Lindsay Riddoch, who died on the eve of her 25th Birthday – late December 2017 – when she ended her life and her battle with mental health issues.

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Mar
20
2018

When two cultures collide: The reality of being British Asian
by

Disclaimer: this blog post is an exploration of mental health issues within the south Asian community, and is not intended to disregard the positives of being British Asian.

Racial discrimination is an issue that manifests in multiple ways and affects most people of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) background.

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Mar
12
2018

Psychosis and the Mortality Gap
by

Did you know that people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar or psychosis have a life expectancy lower than twenty years compared to the general population? This is a shocking statistic and more needs to be done to support the physical health needs of this group of people.

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Feb
15
2018

Social Anxiety: More than Shyness
by

Before Christmas, Radio presenter Iain Lee discussed his experiences of mental health difficulties on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. In particular, he talked about how living with social anxiety affects his daily interactions, especially in groups of people.

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Jan
8
2018

Developing peer support in the community: A toolkit
by

We have a new toolkit to use, launched in early December by Mind based upon work carried out by an evaluation team I know well at the McPin Foundation and St George’s, University of London. They had spent 2 years evaluating the Side by Side community peer support programme initiated by Mind and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

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Dec
15
2017

Our Yearly Round Up

McPin will be marking its 5 year anniversary in our current form. Before this the charity had no members of staff. It was essentially a grant making charity. The most important aspect of our work is working alongside people with mental health problems as colleagues, advisors and friends of the charity.

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Dec
15
2017

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Insomnia
by

A good night’s sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Several years ago, I was involved in writing a report for Mental Health Awareness Week, based on findings from the Great British Sleep Survey. The report argued that insomnia and poor sleep were public health concerns.

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Dec
7
2017

A framework for mental health research – what next?
by

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
by | |

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
6
2017

Bipolar research – working together to decide which outcomes matter.

When researchers are developing a study that involves a trial in order to compare treatment A to treatment B, they need to decide on what outcomes to measure. Often this is through a series of questionnaires with research participants and sometimes through tests like measuring weight, blood tests or saliva samples.

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Nov
1
2017

Managing stress: It’s personal
by

Today is International Stress Awareness Day, I thought I’d share my personal ways of coping with stress and highlight while there are underlying themes to some of these coping techniques, the exact measure we employ are likely to be personal to our own preferences.

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Oct
25
2017

Friends in Europe: A mental health conference with a difference
by

A warm welcome awaited me when I arrived at the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (more commonly referred to as ENMESH) recently. ENMESH develops and maintains a network of active researchers in mental health service research in Europe. I met service users and carers, junior researchers, professors and international policy experts.

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Oct
16
2017

Sweating it out for mental health research

Kat Berry, Operations Manager at the McPin Foundation talks to us about her 30 DAY hot yoga challenge and why she’s raising money for mental health research.

 

Where did the idea to do hot yoga for 30 days come from?

I’ve always wanted to do the 30 day challenge but I have always found an excuse not to – either the time commitment or just the fear of knowing how tough it was going to be held me back.

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Oct
10
2017

Workplace wellbeing: a no-brainer?
by

Taking steps to enhance wellbeing in the workplace seems like a no-brainer. It can improve productivity, create happy teams and generally make Monday mornings feel worth getting out of bed for. If you are contending with mental health problems, it can make finding your workplace ‘zen’ even more pressing yet, unfortunately, harder to achieve.

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Oct
5
2017

Another step forward – Research into wellbeing networks
by

The places we go, the things we like to do and the people we know all play an important contribution to our wellbeing. Yet, this is not a key focus of current clinical mental health interventions. We are hoping our research will change this.

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Sep
27
2017

Are Coercion and Co-Production Compatible?
by

I was fortunate to attend a very stimulating seminar entitled ‘Co-production in Coercive Environments’ on 6th July 2017 at the University of Huddersfield. The key question for the seminar was the possibility, or impossibility, of co-production in the conditions of detention under the Mental Health Act (MHA).

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Sep
25
2017

Refugee and migrant inclusion in community mental health project evaluation
by

Refugees and migrants experience poorer mental health outcomes compared to native-born populations. This can be due to traumatic experiences of persecution or dangerous journeys to the UK as well as stresses of adapting to a new environment including social isolation, language barriers, and various forms of discrimination.

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Sep
7
2017

Being a part of the Right People, Right Questions ‘Young People’s Advisory Group’.
by

Before becoming involved in any of the McPin Foundation’s work, I had originally held a position on the NHS Hertfordshire Young Peoples Mental Health Council. I was actively involved in a process which enabled those at the “bottom” (the service user or carer) unlike those in top positions (the clinician and institutional researcher) to have a voice in transforming the way we treat and understand young people’s mental health.

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Sep
7
2017

Social media: The next big thing in research?
by

With the boom of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the use of social media in research has received much attention in recent years. As some of our keen-eyed followers may have noticed, we’ve been using social media to spread the word about a survey as part of the Right People, Right Questions project.

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Aug
30
2017

Everyone’s business: research councils unite on mental health
by


Last week, the UK research councils published their agenda for working in partnership on mental health research. For me, it is interesting to see how mental health has united all seven research councils, not just the traditional “key players” like the Medical Research Council (MRC, who have their own mental health research strategy) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

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Aug
17
2017

Men’s mental health: Research into online stress support for men
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Online Support for Men

Research consistently finds that men are less likely than women to reach out for support for their mental health, or even recognise it as a problem. In June 2016, The Men’s Health Forum created ‘Beat Stress Online’ to offer an anonymous and confidential chat support and signposting service for men experiencing difficulties with mental health such as stress, anger and depression.

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Aug
2
2017

Evaluating the Side by Side peer support programme
by

Over the last 2 years the McPin foundation has been working with St Georges University of London and the London School of Economics to evaluate the Side by Side programme of peer support. Funded by the Big Lottery and delivered by a collaboration between Mind, Bipolar UK and a number of smaller organisations, it aimed to make peer support available to people across nine regions in England.

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Aug
2
2017

Finding the right people to ask the right questions: new survey on young people’s mental health  
by

What do we really know about young people’s mental health? We know it’s a big issue. Around 1 in 10 young people have experienced a mental health difficulty. Around 75% of people with a mental health problem start developing it before the age of 181.

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Aug
2
2017

Research in the News
by

When we wrote our last ‘Research in the News’ update in early April the General Election was not even in prospect. It’s fair to say that there has been a lot of news since. The jury is still out on the impact it will have on mental health research.

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Jul
27
2017

RideLondon 2018 – ride for Mental Health research!

Are you up for a challenge? Do you want to raise money for life-saving mental health research?  McPin has places for RideLondon 2018 and we would love for you to join our team. Over the last three years our riders have raised thousands of pounds to support life-saving mental health research, and had great fun doing it.

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Jul
18
2017

“Good Work” and good mental health
by

Our jobs are central to many of our lives. They provide us with money; but also social interaction, an identity, a sense of worth or value. It is not surprising that our work and our mental health are often inter-connected. Generally unemployment is bad for your mental health.

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Jul
13
2017

“The question is not if patients should be remunerated, but how”
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This recent BMJ blog explores the topic of paying patients to advise on health research, policy and service design. I was surprised to discover that there was still a debate about whether to pay patients or not!

The question of whether to pay people who bring ‘expertise from experience’ to research is nothing new.

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Jun
30
2017

Why I’m doing Ride London to support Mental Health Research
by

Our policy manager Ian writes about why he is doing RideLondon, and the special challenges of doing it whilst in recovery from anorexia.

‘You are MAD…’

That was my Mum’s response to the news that I am doing RideLondon 100 mile bike ride at the end of July.

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May
25
2017

Using Lived Experience in Evaluating Mental Health Peer Support
by | | | |

This essay was originally published as the afterword to the early research findings of the evaluation of the Side by Side programme. In it the researchers who used their lived experience of mental health problems and peer support whilst working on the evaluation reflect on how including that expertise from experience strengthened the research. 

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May
19
2017

Manifesto Commitments To Mental Health Research Are Great – Action Will Be Even Better.
by

We have reached the stage of the General Election were the main parties have published their manifestos and charities check whether their issues have made the cut. When the election was called we worked with the Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders to send a joint letter to all the parties setting out the case for including mental health research in their manifestos (read it here).

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May
10
2017

Thriving or surviving? Our work on personal wellbeing network mapping to help people thrive #MHAW17

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme ‘Thriving or Surviving?’ is a reminder that good mental health and wellbeing is about more than the absence of a mental health problem, but the opportunity to live a full and meaningful life. This means more than simply ‘getting by’, or managing symptoms of mental distress, but supporting people to thrive and flourish – develop positive resources for mental health such as resilience, social support, and a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

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Apr
12
2017

Our Evaluation News

 

Over the last few weeks we’ve been giving our website a bit of a spring clean. As part of that we’ve added a new page showcasing the work we do for partner organisations including our work on evaluations. This is a growing part of what we do, helping other organisations to understand what impact their work is having and how it can be improved.

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Apr
7
2017

Depression: Let’s Talk (About How We Talk About It)
by

Today (7 April) is World Health Day, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). They have picked the theme of “Depression: Let’s Talk”.

It would be easy to be cynical. Yet another campaign about talking about mental health. Between Time to Talk Day and the new HeadsTogether campaign it feels like we are not short of people urging us to open up about our mental wellbeing.

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Apr
5
2017

The glass ceiling of Patient and Public Involvement
by

In his first blog for us our new Head of Research and Evaluation Dan Robotham explains one of the reasons he decided to join McPin.

Health and social care research has a good public image. Polls suggest that university-based researchers are trusted by up to 90% of the public (Ispos Mori, 2014).

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Mar
23
2017

Why we should include everyone and everywhere in mental health research
by

Our new policy briefing Everywhere and Everyone Included? describes the wide disparities in the research activity of NHS mental health trusts in England. This is despite the government’s commitments to create a “culture of innovation and research that is embedded at every level” of the NHS, with a “workforce that embraces research and innovation”.

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Feb
16
2017

“Yes, and” – mental health research funding needs both better evidence and better public and patient involvement
by

Ian examines a call for a new ’empirical’ approach to mental health research funding, and finds that the voice of people affected by mental health problems seems to be missing.

The Lancet Psychiatry published a comment piece last week arguing that in a ‘post-truth era’ mental health research funders should adopt a more ‘empirical’ approach to their work [requires registration].

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Feb
9
2017

Run for McPin in Vitality London 2017

three people watching

The McPin Foundation is looking for runners to take part in Vitality London 10k, to raise money for life-saving mental health research. The event takes places on 29th May 2017, and we would love for you to join us!

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Jan
13
2017

Thrive Employment Survey

Thrive Survey 2Thrive London is a citywide movement for mental health supported by the Mayor of London, the London Health Board, and the Greater London Authority. They want to find out how to better support people with their mental health at work, and also how to help people with mental health problems find work.

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Jan
9
2017

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s speech on Mental Health
by

Today’s speech by the Prime Minister on mental health is important, but delivering her promises will need a new commitment to evidence and research.

My conclusion on mental health policy in 2016 was that we should see it as a glass half full.

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Jan
6
2017

Lived experiences in research – opportunities and problems
by

The roles of a therapist and a research interviewer have different goals, but both involve personal conversations. And both challenge us to think about how we use our lived experience to facilitate the conversation, how it may affect what is said to us and how we interpret that.

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Jan
4
2017

Expertise from Experience in Peer Review – Dolly’s Experience
by

Earlier in the year MHRUK asked for our help in reviewing applications for three PhD Studentships. They wanted to strengthen the peer review process by including reviewers who could contribute their expertise from experience. We asked Gary, Dolly and Ryan to reflect on their experience of acting as reviewers, and we publish their blogs here.

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Jan
4
2017

Expertise from Experience in Peer Review – Gary’s experience
by

Earlier in the year MHRUK asked for our help in reviewing applications for three PhD Studentships. They wanted to strengthen the peer review process by including reviewers who could contribute their expertise from experience. We asked Gary, Dolly and Ryan to reflect on their experience of acting as reviewers, and we publish their blogs here.

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Jan
4
2017

Expertise from Experience in Peer Review – Ryan’s Experience
by

Earlier in the year MHRUK asked for our help in reviewing applications for three PhD Studentships. They wanted to strengthen the peer review process by including reviewers who could contribute their expertise from experience. We asked Gary, Dolly and Ryan to reflect on their experience of acting as reviewers, and we publish their blogs here.

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Dec
16
2016

Research in 2016
by |

research-image-codesign-is-vitalTo mark the end of 2016, we’re taking a look back at some of what the McPin team has learned over the past year.

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Dec
16
2016

Mental health policy and research in 2016 – a glass half full?
by

policy-image-mapAt McPin we know that research and evidence are vital to improving the lives of people affected by mental health problems. But research does not take place in a vacuum. Decisions about what questions are seen as relevant, and what research (and how much) is funded are driven by people and how they respond to events in the outside world such as Brexit.

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Dec
16
2016

Reflections on Patient and Public involvement (PPI) at McPin in 2016
by

ppi-talking-point-imageThis year has seen the expansion of our mental health science theme of work. We have engaged with scientists developing new treatments and testing them in research studies. Are these treatments that patients want? What are the ethical considerations of developing the treatment?

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Dec
16
2016

McPin Methods
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event-image-notes-and-coffeeThe 30th of November saw the first of what we will hope will be a series of methods workshops. It brought together over 70 researchers to discuss how to integrate ‘lived experience expertise in mental health research teams’. The event was massively oversubscribed and if the fact that we had to cut short discussions before we were physically kicked out of the venue is any guide, it succeeded in its aim of stimulating debate and the sharing of ideas.

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Dec
2
2016

Power, Capital & Control: Co-production in research
by

The subject of power and control within the field of social research has long held a fascination for me. Professionally as a social researcher; as a participant in social research; and finally as disability rights activist for the past 10 years.

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Dec
2
2016

Using your lived experience as a researcher, “both a Blessing and a Curse”
by |

Richard Currie is a researcher who is working with McPin on a number of projects that make use of both his research skills and his expertise from experience. In this brief video produced for our PPI in research week he talks with Rose about how he does this.

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Dec
2
2016

Who is a Peer Anyway?
by

In this blog Rajvi reflects on the nature of the ‘peer’ in peer research. It is the latest in a series of personal reflections by McPin researchers on the use of lived experience of mental health problems  in research published as part of our week on Patient and Public Involvement in Research.  

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Dec
1
2016

Public and patient involvement in research. Why not?
by

Thomas Kabir introduces the latest in our series of Talking Point papers: ‘Public Involvement in Research, Why Not’? by Kirsten Morgan. Our occasional series of Talking Point papers encourage people to consider key issues in mental health research, and provides a platform for their personal views.

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Dec
1
2016

First thoughts from the first #McPinMethods Workshop
by

Yesterday afternoon saw the first of our methods workshops on ‘integrating lived experience expertise in mental health research teams’. The event was massively oversubscribed. If the fact that we had to cut short discussions before we were physically kicked out of the venue is any guide it succeeded in its aim of stimulating debate and the sharing of ideas.

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Nov
28
2016

Who are the ‘Experts by Experience’ in Mental Health Research? – A personal reflection
by

Before Laura left the McPin Foundation in the summer to begin a PhD she wrote this blog exploring some of the issues about how we use our lived experience of mental health problems as researchers, and the labels we use as an organisation. 

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Nov
28
2016

What do we mean by patient and public involvement in research?
by

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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Nov
18
2016

Mental Health and Bullying – do we need to help teachers help children who are bullied?
by

This week (14th-20th of November) is anti-bullying week.  Bullying has an undeniable and immediate impact on young people’s mental health. But we also need to think about how we equip teachers not just to help children who are bullied immediately, but to also reduce the long-term impact on their mental health.

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Nov
11
2016

Is Scouting really the answer to mental wellbeing?
by

As a former Scout (and Cub Scout) with a history of mental health problems my eye was naturally drawn to the headlines declaring that ‘Scouts and Guides provide ‘mental health boost for life’. Yet again I am the exception to the rule!

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Oct
10
2016

Tackling stigma and discrimination on World Mental Health Day: What we now Know. What Next?
by

People continued to be discriminated against by the very systems that are supposed to support them. Within health services, welfare and housing, people reported no improvement or even more discrimination than they did in 2008.

Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day.

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Sep
30
2016

Long term impacts of medication for Bipolar
by

hot-off-the-press-pharmacy-shelvesMedication side effects are a burning issue for many service users and carers.  Yet research to date has failed to accurately reflect the prevalence of the adverse events and effects resulting from long term psychiatric medication use. This is a particularly urgent issue for people diagnosed with Bipolar, as influential guidelines on its management, including those of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Association for Psychopharmacology, advocate the long term use of medications.

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Sep
30
2016

Influencing the debate – peer research in academic journals
by

our-news-image-survey-and-dictaphoneA new special edition reporting findings from the Viewpoint survey was published in July. It includes a paper on our qualitative research into mental health discrimination experiences which was co-authored with four peer researchers. We reflect on the importance of experts by experience being named as authors, and why they are so often absent from peer reviewed journal articles.

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Sep
30
2016

The Inflamed Mind
by

the-inflamed-mind-scansThere is a growing amount of evidence that some mental health problems may be due in part to the brain becoming ‘inflamed’. In August BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme about this titled ‘The inflamed Mind’. You can listen to the programme by clicking here.

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Sep
30
2016

Ride London – Evan’s blog
by

thank-you-image-cycling

McPin Rider 2016

When I feel the black dog sniffing around I’ve learned to hit the gym. I suppose I’ve always dealt with depression, though generally it’s nothing too serious. I went through one period of doing every intensive aerobic session I could find at the YMCA in Montreal.

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Sep
14
2016

New Investment in NHS Research Infrastructure shows Mental Health research is gaining traction
by

On Wednesday the Government announced the next five years of funding for NIHR’s 20 Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). These are collaborations between universities and NHS trusts that provide facilities and support for medical research, and in particular experimental medicine. What is exciting is the prominence that Mental Health is now getting.

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Sep
1
2016

Involvement in Research on Loneliness
by |

Birdseye meeting - newsletter headerReducing loneliness – how do you do that then? Hopefully through recruiting the right Community Navigators! Here we reflect on how involving experts by experience in a recruitment exercise can add value and hopefully contribute to a successful research study

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Aug
19
2016

Sad but inspiring: In memory of Donald Campbell 
by

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
by

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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Aug
1
2016

Drawing up Research Priorities – different perspectives
by

One of the most significant aspects of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health was the Department of Health’s commitment to develop a ten year strategy for mental health research. We at McPin are now working with the Department on the process for drawing up the strategy.

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Jul
25
2016

Getting our Report Card – asking people what they think of you and acting on their responses, the Your Experience in Mind Survey
by

Research and Evaluation Officer, Mind

Mind have been workiYour Experience in Mind pic 550x356ng together with the McPin Foundation since 2014 to evaluate the experience of people using our federated local Minds through the annual ‘Your Experience in Mind’ survey. We have 146 local Minds across England and Wales providing over 50 different types of service.

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Jul
13
2016

Implementing an online mental health toolkit for relatives– reflections from our first data day!
by

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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Jun
30
2016

Why did I take on the work with the McPin Foundation?
by

featureIn March this year I took on an exciting opportunity: working with The McPin Foundation as a Peer Project Assistant on a pilot scheme entitled ‘My Story, Our Future’. We will be exploring the stories of people who have themselves used or supported others accessing Early Intervention for Psychosis (EIP) services. 

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Jun
30
2016

Pregnancy and medication choices: new research published
by

hot off the pressMany women with severe mental illness take psychotropic medication. This can put them in a difficult situation if they become pregnant, or wish to become pregnant, as there are concerns about the possible effects of these medications on unborn children. Until now there has been a lack of evidence about the risks to the unborn child, putting the women and their healthcare professionals in a quandary.

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Jun
30
2016

Virtual Reality Helps Beat Paranoia
by

research in the news‘Paranoia’. It’s one of those words that retain their stigma despite all the good work of campaigns such as Time to Change. A reason for this might be the way that the word is used so much in everyday life.  The term your paranoid can be used as a response to so many statements.

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Jun
28
2016

Brexit and Mental Health Research: making the best of uncertain times
by

As we recover from Thursday’s referendum our thoughts at McPin have started to turn towards what it means for our mission to transform mental health research. As we enter a period of uncertainty it is easy to be downhearted. But it is also an opportunity to think again about how we make the case for research at a time when it is going to be needed more than ever.

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Jun
14
2016

What does the research tell us about how you talk about and beat stress? #MHW2016
by

‘How do you beat stress’? was the question for Men’s Health Week which ran 13th to 17th June 2016. How do men talk about stress? How do men manage it rather than let it build up and harm us? Read Daryl's blog on the role of research in answering this question. We link this to some of our work at McPin and we are keen to hear your views on how research can play a role in creating mentally healthier communities ....

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Jun
9
2016

Peer Research and Complex Needs: A Mental Health Perspective
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Read a new blog about how research on people with complex needs are using an approach that we champion at the McPin Foundation – peer research. Written by Agnes, a senior researcher in our team, it looks at some of the challenges and benefits of peer involvement in research. It was written for Revolving Doors, a charity that supports people with complex needs including mental health issues. We are really proud to support their work exploring the role of peer - otherwise known as experts by experience - contribution to research.

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May
13
2016

Relationships for Mental Health
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At the McPin Foundation, we’re gearing up for Mental Health Awareness Week, which provides an opportunity to join together to promote the importance of wellbeing and mental health for everyone, young or old. Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 takes place between 16th and 22nd May and the theme is ‘relationships’, because of the massive influence they have on our health and wellbeing. This connects with a number of projects that we are involved in at McPin, which sit under our theme of 'Wellbeing and Connectedness'. You can find out more by clicking here.

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Mar
31
2016

My Marathon Story
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Last year, on a cold, grey, drizzly day I found myself with thousands of other people on the start line for the London Marathon. I was suffering with a horrid cold, the last thing I felt like doing was going for a run, never mind one which would take me on a 26.2 mile route from Blackheath to Buckingham Palace. 

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Mar
31
2016

Mental Health and Support into Employment: Is it Working?
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research in the newsAs the recent report from the Mental Health Taskforce points out, only 43% of people with mental health problems are in work, compared with 65% of people with other health conditions, and 74% of people in the general population. The figures are far lower for people with severe mental illness – for example, the employment rate for people with schizophrenia is around 8%.

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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
10
2015

Children and young people’s mental health – we all have a part to play
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research in news YPIn recent months, the mental health of children and young people has hit the headlines. It is well established that most mental health problems begin during adolescence, with 1 in 10 young people (aged 11-16) thought to experience a diagnosable mental health problem.

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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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Oct
8
2015

Talking Point: RCTs- the straitjacket of mental health research?
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We had our first public event and the launch of our Talking Point series on Thursday 8th October 2015 at Jerwood Space in Southwark.  We looked at the role of the Randomised Control Trials in mental health research with the help of Professor Sonia Johnson from University College London and Dr Steve Gillard from St George's University of London. Alison Faulkner, survivor researcher and trainer provided an overview of her Talking Point paper and we hosted a discussion. We also had a live twitter discussion during the event: #RCTDebate.

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Sep
30
2015

Reflecting on our mission to #transformMHresearch
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Just recently, the McPin Foundation have been reflecting on our mission to "transform mental health research". We have been busy in the past year as our info graphic shows: McPin Foundation 2014 2015.  We seek to build a community who share our mission to #transformMHresearch - and to do that we need to develop conversations on our twitter feed @mcpinfoundation on facebook, at events, in blogs, at conferences and in person. Please do join the conversation!

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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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Sep
30
2015

Marking world suicide prevention day
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Research in the news lanternsOn the 10th September 2015, across the globe, people came together to mark the 13th annual World Suicide Prevention Day. This saw reports of candlelight vigils in the UK, flash-mobs in India, the release of balloons across America, and in Ireland, famous landmarks were lit up in orange.

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Aug
5
2015

Genetic link to depression discovered?
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Genetic link to depression discovered? A consortium of researchers from Oxford and China has discovered two specific regions of DNA that have been linked to depression. These findings were published in Nature in July this year. The results are some of the strongest evidence yet that genetics do indeed have some part to play in depression. Our Public Involvement in Research Manager, Thomas Kabir shares his thoughts on this exciting research in our latest blog.

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Jul
3
2015

Reflections from working on an evaluation project: Your Experience in Mind
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We are keen to look at new ways of involving mental health service users and carers in research. Part of our commitment to developing new approaches has been to investigate the things that have worked well and not so well about the methods we have tried in our own research and evaluation studies. We will publish a series of methods papers describing our work. Our first methods paper describes the 'Survey Champion' approach used in an evaluation of Local Minds.

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Jun
25
2015

Research in the News – Mindfulness for the masses?
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research in the news - mindfulnessOver the past couple of months, mindfulness has been making headlines again. This is partly due to a new study, published in the Lancet that suggests that the practice is ‘as effective as pills for treating recurrent depression’.

It is fair to say that for some years now, there has been a lot of hype surrounding mindfulness – a type of therapy that draws on aspects of ancient Buddhist practices and is aimed at ‘increasing people’s awareness of themselves, their emotions and the environment around them, through meditation, yoga and breathing’.

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Jun
25
2015

Right Here Right Now: The CQC on the state of crisis care
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hot off the press - CCC logoThe Crisis Care Concordat was launched in February 2014 with the aim of improving the quality and availability of help and support for people experiencing a mental health crisis; support before reaching crisis point, urgent access to safe, respectful and effective care in an emergency, and support for recovery and the prevention of future crises.

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Jun
25
2015

A new area of work for the McPin Foundation – mental health sciences
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shaping mcpin - mh science research“Thomas – you need to look at a protein structure from lots of different points of view to understand how it works”. This was some of the most valuable advice I ever got when I was doing my PhD. I was studying how proteins stick to one another to form complexes at UCL in London.

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Jun
1
2015

Reflections from 10 years of service user and survivor research event
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On Monday (1st June, 2015), St George's University of London celebrated 10 years of doing service user and survivor research with a fantastic day of discussions attended by many inspirational leaders in mental health research, from a lived experience perspective. Three of us from the McPin Foundation attended. In one of the sessions, Sarah Carr, Peter Beresford, Diana Rose and Jayasaree Kalathil reflected on the place of collaborative and survivor research in Universities. Is it safe in universities?    

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May
30
2015

Reflections from my research placement
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Aebps a mental health student nurse, evidence based practice is a term that is regularly thrown about. But what does evidence based practice mean? It means that all the essential components of a nurse’s knowledge and skills, in providing excellent health care, is based on information emerging from the best available evidence- evidence which stems from research.

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May
24
2015

#mymadidea from West London Collaborative
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cfc2v2I attended a very interesting event at Chelsea Football Club on 21st May organised by the West London Collaborative – a new, independent organisation that is working with West London Mental Health NHS Trust to enable service users, carers and staff to work together in equal partnership to design, deliver and evaluate services following co-production as a way of working.

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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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Mar
26
2015

Involvement in research and trials: the participants’ perspective
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A crucial factor in making a piece of research successful or not is participant engagement. Do people want to take part and can you keep them engaged for follow-up if that is required? But very little research has been carried out of participant experiences of what’s involved in “taking part in research” and why people do.

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Mar
26
2015

A Social Prescription a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
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“Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.” Paracelsus

With the next general election in less than two months’ time, mental health and wellbeing issues have recently become a political talking point with several parties promising to “bring mental health out of the shadows”.

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Feb
12
2015

Young People Rethinking Mental Health Conference
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A few of us from McPin attended the Young People ReThinking Mental Health event last week run by the Clinical Research Network: Mental Health. It was a really engaging event showcasing how young people can be involved in mental health research as active advisors and shapers of that research, rather than merely as participants. Read Naomi's blog about the event.

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Nov
25
2014

The genetics of schizophrenia
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Research in the news DNATo say that schizophrenia is a controversial diagnosis would be putting it mildly. Almost everything relating to schizophrenia has been contested, often ferociously. Putting that to one side, there is a lot of research into schizophrenia particularly to understand causation and treatments.

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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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Aug
13
2014

Suicide happens. We need to talk about it. And we need to research it.
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Robin Williams death is a tragedy. He was undoubtedly a comic genius who has brought so much laughter and joy to millions of people around the world in his memorable (and at times immortal) roles. So many of his films and prophetic musings have been powerful way markers for my childhood and early adulthood.

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Jul
29
2014

Personalisation and mental health – new research report launched
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A research project commissioned by Mind, the mental health charity has just reported its findings. It was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) as part of a programme of work on personalisation in mental health funded by the Department of Health.

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Jul
29
2014

Improving wellbeing for everyone – and the challenges for research
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Research in the news - wellbeingWellbeing is currently a buzzword in the world of public health. In July, CentreForum released a report on happiness and wellbeing which recommended that a focus on wellbeing be embedded across Governmental and community work, and that subjective wellbeing should be used to evaluate and allocate health resources.

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Jul
14
2014

Mental health intelligence network
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I attended the launch of the Public Health England pilot website a few weeks back – the National Mental Health, Dementia and Neurology networks. I found the event interesting, partly because I was involved in the PHE consultation report to gather people’s views  on the design and accessibility of the site, but also because I am keen to use this tool myself to campaign for change in my locality.

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May
27
2014

Ups and Downs
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We have been involved in a study looking at experiences of support and treatment in bipolar disorder. And it has recently been published in the Journal of Mental Health so it felt like a good time to reflect on this piece of work.

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Mar
28
2014

We are concerned about the mental health of PhD students. By Sarah Hamilton
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The McPin Foundation’s vision is to ‘transform mental health research’ to ensure that lived experience is at the heart of all research affecting people with mental health problems. This means making research accessible at lots of different levels to allow people with different interests and skills to have their contribution valued in research.

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Mar
19
2014

Hearing people’s stories: interviewing with the McPin Foundation
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Katherine Barrett describes her experience of working with the McPin Foundation to interview people about experiences of discrimination

I have just been involved in some very interesting research at the McPin Foundation.  I have been a telephone interviewer for the Viewpoint Survey  for two years now and in October 2013 I was invited to take part in a qualitative study using the Viewpoint questionnaire.

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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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Dec
2
2013

Does service user involvement in research make a difference?

A major interest of the McPin Foundation is how service user and carer involvement in mental health research, reaching beyond taking part as participants, improves any project. It is a topic that is of interest to research funders as well, with programmes of research being commissioned by the NIHR to answer this question.

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Nov
22
2013

Doing PPI better: why we are always learning
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Last week, I attended a fantastic conference on Patient and Public Involvement in Exeter, organised by the South Peninsula CLAHRC.

The conference was a very inspiring event with a wide variety of researchers, practitioners and people who have used health services and are engaged in Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research.

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Jun
6
2013

What helps personalisation flourish?
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It sometimes seems as though our health and social care systems are in a constant state of change. Queen’s speech announced more changes to social care, at a time of increasingly difficult financial constraints. One area which is being widely discussed is the need to improve integration between Local Authorities and the National Health Services.

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Apr
30
2013

Reporting stigma experiences – views of practitioners, families and people living with mental health problems
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In March, the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN) ran their Annual three day National Scientific Meeting in London. The scientific meeting is an opportunity for mental health professionals, researchers, service users and carers to get together and find out about the different research that is currently being supported by the MHRN.

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Apr
4
2013

Time to Change
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Findings from the evaluation of the first three years of Time to Change England’s biggest ever anti-stigma campaign, were published on 3 April in the British Journal of Psychiatry and commented upon by journalists at the Times and Guardian. This evaluation includes the Viewpoint Survey, run by King’s College London in partnership with the McPin Foundation.

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