Our PhD student Orlanda Harvey is currently conducting her study on why people use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS). Since steroid use is a sensitive topic and its users are a hard-to-reach population we need as much help as we can get to get her survey distributed to as many as possible potential steroid users (aged 18 and over). We, as her PhD supervisors, would like to ask you to alert friends, family, neighbours, health care professionals working with this target group, etc. to the existence of this survey. Her questionnaire is available in paper version (from email@example.com or telephone Edwin van Teijlingen at: 01202-961564). However, the easiest and most anonymous way would be for people to complete it online using the following online link.
Thank you very much in advance!
Dr. Margarete Parrish
Dr. Steven Trenoweth
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
A new report, Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing, published by the Arts and Humanities Research Council highlights the important role that arts and humanities based research can play in helping to address complex issues around mental health.
The report brings to life a wealth of case studies that are contributing to the mental health debate. These include examining the work of academics at the University of Cambridge who are pioneering an innovative design of a personalised fragrance dispenser to help manage anxiety to a project being managed by the University of Essex to educate policy-makers on the issues surrounding impaired decision-making capacity.
Research around mental health is focused around developing a cross-disciplinary approach – and arts and humanities scholars have a key role to play. The AHRC has funded research in many different aspects of mental health research in recent years, with an investment of over £10m in seventy-six projects since 2010.
The new cross-disciplinary mental health research agenda sees the UK’s seven research councils joining forces to collaborate on mental health research. Published in August this year, the agenda paves the way for cross-council collaboration on mental health, highlighting the importance of including the arts and humanities in this area of research.
Location: London Date: 31 October 2017 Time: 09:00 – 17:00
Ahead of a planned cross-disciplinary research call on mental health, the research councils are holding an informal networking event at the Imperial War Museum in London on 31 October 2017. The aim of this event is for potential applicants to learn more about our expectations of the successful network plus awards, as well as meeting potential collaborators.
Attendance at this event will be capped at 100 spaces. In the event of oversubscription they will limit the number of attendees per organisation, and also by discipline to allow for even representation across the remits of the research councils. Therefore attendees will be expected to represent the wider interests of their organisation as well as their individual interests. Due to the cross-disciplinary nature of these awards, the aim is for attendees at the networking event to span the remits of the research councils.
They welcome attendance from potential applicants and collaborators representing academia and also charities, service providers, businesses, clinicians etc.
Registration will close at 16:00 on 12 October 2017. For further information on how to register please see the ESRC website
Date: 20 September 2017; Time: 14:30 – 15:30
This cross Research Council organised webinar is open to participants from across the remits of the Councils. It will provide further detail regarding the recently published Cross-disciplinary Mental Health Research Agenda (PDF on RCUK website), which was collectively developed by the Research Councils in consultation with a wider audience.
It will also provide details about a soon to be announced Cross-disciplinary Network Plus call, which will be led by the ESRC on behalf of the Research Councils, and will be open to applications from across the remits of the Research Councils. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a Q&A session towards the end of the webinar.
Participants will need to register in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the following information within your email:
- Full name
- Country you will be dialing in from
Once your place has been confirmed you will receive a confirmation email giving you the details needed in order to participate in the webinar.
The deadline for registration is 15 September 2017. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis within each Research Councils remit.
The UK’s seven research councils have announced they will be working together to encourage and strengthen mental health research. Mental health is recognised as a major societal challenge that requires novel cross-disciplinary research approaches, that is, research that spans more than one branch of specialist knowledge. They have published a new research agenda, paving the way for cross-council collaboration on mental health in the years ahead. Following the publication of the research agenda, a cross council call will be launched in early September 2017.
In 2016 an expert group was set up to advise the research councils on the development of a new mental health research agenda to strengthen cross-disciplinary research. The group was made up of leading academics in the field of mental health. It considered specific research areas that could be tackled through cross-disciplinary work and across the individual remits of each research council. A wider group was also consulted, including academics, funders, mental health charities, representatives of end users of research and service user organisations.
It is estimated that 23% of the UK population is affected by mental health problems at some point each year. In spite of recent progress, more research is needed to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illness. Only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem are deemed to receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority grappling with mental health issues seeking help or information on their own, and depending on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.
You can view the new mental health research agenda here .
RKEO will publish on the blog the calls related to this agenda; with the first expected in September. BU academics are well-placed to submit to upcoming calls. Watch this space!
The NIHRs Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme is seeking to appoint a member of the Mental, Psychological and Occupational Health (MPOH) advisory panel, one of the five Topic Identification, Development and Evaluation (TIDE) panels. These panels advise on the research agenda for the HTA programme based on the needs of the NHS. This opportunity is for a commissioner with a mental health background.
The MPOH panel focuses on therapies relating to mental health and psychological disorders at all ages including diagnosis of mental illness or cognitive deficits and learning difficulty, as well as therapies used in any aspect of occupational health.
The term of office is four years starting in May 2017. Travel and expenses will be paid.
If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact Emma Catlin at email@example.com.
You will find advice on how to apply in the specification document, as well as a link to the application form and optional equal opportunities form at the top of the advisory group opportunities page.
Today we had our first training session of the final THET mental health in maternity care project. UK volunteer Dr. Flora Douglas spoke about key aspects of health promotion and focused particularly on notions of community-based approaches. Flora is based at the University of Aberdeen and she is also a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH). This was her first visit to Nepal. She was inspired to volunteer as she had been a MSc supervisor some years ago on a project that related to the Green Tara Nepal health promotion intervention. Bournemouth University has been working with Green Tara Trust, a Buddhist charity based in London for many years.
Yesterday Flora had visited one of the 20 birthing centres in Nawalparasi, the district where the THET training takes place. Flora was very humbled by the experiences of the community-based maternity care workers in the light of many constrains. She said: “I have seen pictures of such birthing centres and read about them in the literature, but it is not until you see them first hand that you realise how staff have to work with such limited resources.
The attendees, who are nearly ANMs (auxiliary nurse midwives) were highly enthusiastic and very keen to discuss and learn. They shared some very personal and touching stories about their practice. Flora added: “I am very struck by their understanding of the importance of the social and cultural determinants of both psychical and mental health.” Many found they had learnt something in previous THET sessions in 2016 about communication with women and counselling family members about mental health, and perhaps most importantly, listening more to women. Last, but not least, Flora commented on the dedication of the participants: “At least two of the participants told me they travelled ten hours to get here for our one-day workshop. This really shocked me, particularly having seen the quality of the roads and public transport!”
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Yesterday we come down from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to our THET training area in Nawalparasi. Today we are starting our sixth and last training session on the Mental health training for community-based maternity care providers. Interesting we are starting training on a Sunday as Nepal is largely a Hindu country and most workers have only a one-day weekend (which is the Saturday). This BU-led project is a collaboration between the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), Tribhuvan University (Nepal’s oldest university) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The project receives funding from DFID, and is managed through THET and supported locally in Nepal by a charity Green Tara Nepal.
The landscape in the photo gives an idea of how rural this part of Nepal is. Nawalparasi is situated in the south of Nepal the India border. It is also largely very flat, not like the Nepal most people envisage namely that of the Himalayans and of Mount Everest. The flatness makes a Dutchman feel at home though.
The project depends on volunteers who work in the health sector in the UK to come out and spend their time and energy preparing and delivering the training. Our project also could not work without the logistical support from Green Tara Nepal and our academic colleagues at Tribhuvan University. The last photo shows one of the UK volunteers Dr. Flora Douglas with the translator Shiwani Manandhar on the way to the training venue.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen (from Nepal)
Today saw the latest publication on our BU-led THET in Nepal. The paper ‘Needs assessment of mental health training for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives: a cross-sectional survey’ was published the Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences . This paper reports on a quantitative survey with nearly all Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in Nawalparasi District in the southern part of Nepal. The findings illustrate the lack of training on mental health issues related to pregnancy and childbirth in this group of health workers. Thus the paper’s conclusions stress the need for dedicated training in this field.
This is the third publication linked to our mental health and maternity care project. In Nepal mental health is generally a difficult to topic to discuss. THET, a London-based organisation, funded Bournemouth University, and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK and Tribhuvan University in Nepal to train maternity workers on issues around mental health. This latest paper and the previous two papers are all Open Access publications. The previous two papers raised the issue of women and suicide  and outlined the THET project in detail .
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Simkhada, B., Sharma, G., Pradhan, S., van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Simkhada, P., Devkota, B. & the THET team. (2016) Needs assessment of mental health training for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives: a cross-sectional survey, Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 2(1): 20-26. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/15793/12738
- Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Winter, R.C., Fanning, C., Dhungel, A., Marahatta S.B. (2015) Why are so many Nepali women killing themselves? A review of key issues Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 1(4): 43-49. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/12001
- van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Devkota, B., Fanning, P., Ireland, J., Simkhada, B., Sherchan, L., Silwal, R.C., Pradhan, S., Maharjan, S.K., Maharjan, R.K. (2015) Mental health issues in pregnant women in Nepal. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology 5(3): 499-501. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/13607/11007
Congratulations to colleagues on the recently funded project “Human Henge: Historic landscapes and mental health at Stonehenge”. This research led by the Restoration Trust. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage Trust and Wiltshire County Council and has multiple partners and contributors including Wiltshire County Council, Richmond Fellowship, English Heritage Trust and Bournemouth University. From BU, Prof Tim Darvill (Director Centre of Archaeology, Faculty of Science & Technology) and Dr Vanessa Heaslip (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) are engaged in this project.
The Human Henge research project is a therapeutic sensory experience of Stonehenge for two facilitated groups, each of up to 16 local people with mental health problems, plus carers, support workers, volunteers and staff. Over ten weekly three-hour sessions, one at night, each group walks the landscape, reaching through time to other humans whose traces are illuminated by accompanying pre-historians, curators and artists. Individual experiences cohere in a shared spoken epic which is augmented from session to session. The groups arrive inside the Stone Circle near the winter solstice and spring equinox; collaborating with their chosen artist, they decide what they do there.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
At the National Workshop on Mental Health Education & Research in Kathmandu organised by Tribhuvan University, Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University last week we had quite a few television camera crews and journalists present. Sabitri Dhakal, one of the journalists from The Himalayan Times an English-language daily newspaper in Nepal, wrote a nice feature length article. This piece was based on interviews with BU Visiting Faculty Padam Simkhada and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen conducted at our workshop. Her article with the title ‘Understanding Mental Health’ is available online.
Mental health in pregnant women and new mothers is increasing recognised on the global health agenda. In Nepal mental health is generally a difficult to topic to discuss. THET, a London-based organisation, funded Bournemouth University, and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK and Tribhuvan University in Nepal to train community-based maternity workers on issues around mental health. Thus far three groups of UK health and education experts have gone out to Nepal to train these communit maternity care providers, called Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs). ANMs, who are the key maternity service providers in rural birthing centres of Nepal, have received only 18 months of training and the training curriculum does not refer to dealing with mental health issues. The next group of volunteers is due to travel in September.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Today we completed the second day of training of health teachers, lecturers in nursng, public health and the like in Kathmandu. We called it the National Workshop on Mental Health Education & Research and this two-day workshop was held in a hotel in Kathmandu. It was organised by Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Mental health is high on the global agenda and want to raise the issue more in Nepal. The three universities are working together on an education intervention training Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in Nawalparasi on mental health issues and mental health promotion. The project is funded under the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) from DfID and managed by THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust).
Key speakers on the first day of the workshop included: the VC of Tribhuvan University, Dr Gangalal Tuladhar MP and former Education Minister of Nepal, Dr Khem Karki (head of the Nepal Health Research Council), Dr Chandra Kala Sharma, Prof Shyam Krishna Maharjan and Prof Krishna Acharya.
This workshop is part of this capacity building process and the audience of largely university and college lecturers will take some of the learning back with them to improve the education of health workers in Nepal.
The second day of the workshop concentrateed on research methods for community-based projects such as this our THET funded one in the mental health field. Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen reminded the audience that it is important that novel mental health interventions like ours are properly evaluated, and that the people doing the evaluations have the appropriate research skills. The next group of UK volunteers are due to travel to Nepal in September.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Media and Journalism students Chelsea Nwasike and Grace Brewer have developed an interactive documentary to illustrate the project including the two recent workshops that are helping to transform approaches to psychiatric genetic counselling.
Genetic counsellors and researchers who attended the European and international workshops were interviewed and included in an interactive platform, along with videos from Dr Kevin McGhee and a ‘mental health jar’ demonstration video.
Dr Kevin McGhee explained: “By expanding healthcare professionals understanding of genetics and mental illness and providing a way for people around the world to view these discussions from the workshops, we want to raise awareness and encourage people to take better care of their mental health.
Funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) find out more about this project on the BU Research Website.
On Thursday 14th April Dr. Bibha Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University & BU Visiting Faculty) and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen presented their education research in Liverpool. The work is part of a THET-funded project at the 14th Britain-Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) Nepal Study Days. The presentation ‘Mental Health Training and Education in Nepal‘ is part of an international project led by Bournemouth University. BU collaborates with Tribhuvan University (Nepal’s largest & oldest university) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The project receives funding from DFID, and is managed through THET and supported locally in Nepal by a non-governmental organisation called Green Tara Nepal. The project takes UK volunteers, people with experience in midwifery, mental health, higher education, nursing, health visiting, etc. to the southern part of Nepal.
Mental health is a difficult topic to discuss in Nepal (as it often is in the UK). This makes it hard for front-line health workers, especially non-mental health specialists, to start a discussion about mental health issues with patients.
As part of this THET-funded programme to train community health worker such as Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) on mental health issues related to pregnancy, we conducted a review of all relevant health curricula in Nepal. The key findings are that mental health issues in pregnancy and childbirth are often lacking in the curricula for both nurses and ANMs as a result community-based staff lack training in this topic. There is a great need for a curriculum to facilitate relevant training for ANMs.
We would like to repeat our call for volunteers. If you are a health or education professional with an interest in mental health and/or maternity care and you are interested in volunteering later this year for a week to ten days in Nepal please contact Edwin van Teijlingen (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
On previous occasions we have written on the BU Research Blog about our THET-funded project, for example earlier this year on the first training sessions in Nepal. Bournemouth University is leading on a project in collaboration with Tribhuvan University (the largest and oldest university in Nepal) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The project receives funding from DFID, and is managed through THET and supported locally in Nepal by a non-governmental organisation called Green Tara Nepal. We have been working with this charity for nearly ten years.
This time we would like to highlight a regular research blog written by Ish Fawcett who went out to Nepal last month as one of the UK volunteers. She has written some lovely blogs on her time in Nepal, about the training sessions as well as her general experiences of and observations on Nepal. Her blogs can be accessed here!
We would like to take this opportunity to repeat our call for volunteers. If you are a health or education professional with an interest in mental health and/or maternity care and you are interested in volunteering later this year for a week to ten days in Nepal please contact Edwin van Teijlingen (email@example.com ).
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
SBRI Healthcare Autumn 2014
The National Health Service England and the NHS Academic Health Science Networks have opened multiple new SBRI competitions with a total of £2.5m funding available in Phase 1 to develop technologies and innovative solutions that can provide better health outcomes in the areas of:
- Innovation in child & adolescent mental health
- Improving care of diabetic foot ulcer
- Medical imaging
- Improving efficiency & experience of outpatient services
- Brain injury healthcare
Phase 1 is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept. Development contracts will be awarded for a maximum of 6 months and £100,000 (inc VAT) per project. Projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible for Phase 2 later in the year. Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1.
More information including briefs for the challenges can be found on the website.
For further details, including the application process click here. The deadline for applications is 9 December 2014
HSC’s Associate Professor Fran Biley’s recent research project has been recognised by the Dorset Echo today.
Working with Hannah Walker of the Dorset Mental Health Forum the project funded by a Big Lottery Fund, ‘Writing for Recovery’ aims to help mental health service users develop their creative writing skills. BU Occupational Therapist Lecturer Kirsty Stanley is also involved in the project which has 8 sessions over 8 weeks from May and is fully subsidised, so is completely free for the participants.
The project also has a branch in Eastbourne run by Dr Alec Grant of Brighton University and looks to make a real impact on participants lives as Fran is quoted “Creative writing has been shown to be very therapeutic and we are sure that this important initiative will be very enjoyable and it will also contribute to the health and wellbeing of course participants”.
As part of Mental Health Week here at BU Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree from HSC has highlighted the research that underpins her forthcoming book on psychiatric care in Malaysia.
The annual commemoration that is Mental Health Day this year promotes the theme: ‘The great push: investing in mental health’. As a theme it serves to underline both the enormous, global burden of mental illnesses that nations grapple with and the commensurate need for effective psychiatric services to keep pace with these needs. Another very important aspect of Mental Health Day is to highlight the hidden and stigmatised voices of the sufferers of mental illness. This was the inspiration behind my research into service user perspectives in Malaysia. The culmination of many years of research into this highly neglected issue has seen the completion of my book: A Rainforest Asylum: The influences of colonial psychiatry in Malaysia, which will be published later this autumn under Whiting & Birch publishers.
This study first started out as the basis of my doctoral research, but has since been revised to incorporate data that extends the scope of the topic both internationally and historically. To this end, the study used an intensive and extensive ethnographic methodology in the penetration and analysis of institutional care in the region, where the majority of psychiatric patients were long-stay residents. Within the walls of one particular psychiatric institution, where fieldwork was carried out close relationships with the residents, as well as the staff, enabled me to gather invaluable and hitherto untold narratives. These provided rich seams of information of sequestered lives and diachronic, as well as often anachronistic, institutional practices, which overturned many of my previously held assumptions. These stories, combined with triangulation data-gathering strategies, yielded unique insights into, not only contemporary institutional care in Malaysia, but even into its more distant colonial roots. The aim and relevance of The Rainforest Asylum, therefore, is that it captures the fascinating and otherwise lost voices of Malaysian service users, in a cultural context where a scientific, positivistic discourse prevails. However, its aims are more far reaching in that while providing an account that straddles the fault lines of both medical sociology and medical anthropology, it also critically engages with intriguing historiographic accounts of imperial psychiatry in the British Empire, as well as that of colonial France and the Netherlands. These serve to illuminate the ideologies and practices underpinning the colonial psychiatric mission across the nineteenth century in Asia and Africa, and which today hold identifiable influences, both for good and ill, in contemporary psychiatric services in post-colonial nations.
For details of Sara’s previous publications, see her profile on BURO.