Tagged / mental health

£2.5m funding available – SBRI Healthcare Autumn 2014

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.

Application process

For further details, including the application process click here. The deadline for applications is 9 December 2014

 

 

 

Fran Biley’s research project featured in the Dorset Echo today

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”.

Mental Health Week: The Rainforest Asylum

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.

Mental Health Research and Community Programmes

As part of Mental Health Week here at BU Dr Andrew Mayers from DEC has highlighted some of the work he is undertaking with local groups.

FirstPoint (Winton)

Run by Bournemouth Borough Council, FirstPoint work with community residents who have a range of mental health problems. Many of these individuals are not cared for by health services, often by choice. Using the ‘recovery model’ for mental health, the trained staff work to re-engage individuals and help them rebuild their lives. In the recovery model, individuals are shown how to regain enough self-confidence to find the coping skills and resources to return to better mental health. I am working with FirstPoint on a number of projects. We are evaluating outcomes in one-year longitudinal study, with BU students collecting and analysing the data. We aim to publish the outcomes in 2012/13. We also are working on arranging a series of work-experience placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Over the last months, FirstPoint have been working on a DVD that illustrates the benefits of the recovery model for mental health. The DVD will be used to inform mental health workers; I have made a contribution to that DVD. We will be launching the DVD for FirstPoint at BU in November.

Bournemouth and District Samaritans

The work undertaken by the Samaritans across the UK and Ireland is well known. The central focus of their work is to be a ‘listening ear’ to anyone experiencing despair, loneliness, or feeling suicidal. They are available 24-hours a day, every day of the year, via telephone, text, e-mail, letter, or face-to-face. I work very closely with the Bournemouth and District branch, acting as their Patron and I organise their publicity. We are working on a number of local projects, not least looking to establish closer ties between BU and the Samaritans. A number of our students volunteer to work at the Branch. The Samaritans have a presence at several BU events. We are currently working with several people at BU to establish a crisis nightline, and training (any) staff who have contact with students who may need emergency help (we have already had some crises with the current BU student intake). We are also looking to work closely with other agencies and charities locally. Some of this may lead to research opportunities, exploring ways in which mental illness, stress and despair can be reduced in our community. I am planning a number of projects focusing on suicide and mental health (including the particular problems faced in rural communities).

Barnardo’s (and Bournemouth Borough Council)

I am working with Barnardo’s Family Centres, in conjunction with Bournemouth Borough’s education services, to investigate the impact of maternal mental illness on young children. We are particularly interested in exploring attachment and mother-child interactions. We will be evaluating current programmes and working together on new ones. We have established a working party, with a view to design several research studies, and to explore sources of grant funding.

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

I am supervising a PhD project (Research student – Lauren Kita), working with the perinatal team within Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. We are exploring the extent that poor sleep may pose a risk factor for postnatal depression. We will be examining sleep objectively, using state-of-the-art EEG equipment, and subjectively, using sleep diaries. Women with a history of depression will compared to women without such a history, during pregnancy and at weeks 4 and 12 after the baby is born. The mother’s mood and other mental indicators will also be measured.

International Cultic Studies Association /New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling

I am working with a Chartered Counselling Psychologist to explore mental health of individuals who were born into exclusive cults (i.e. they did not decide to join that cult). Through this contact, and the International Cultic Studies Association (ISCA) we have access to several hundred former members. We will be using a series of questionnaires that measure key factors such as current mental illness, trauma, self-efficacy, coping skills, and general life function. We will present the findings at the Annual ISCA Conference in Montreal next summer. Several papers will be published soon afterwards.

If you would like to find out more about this work please contact Andrew Mayers.

World Mental Health Day

October 10th is World Mental Health Day and to support it BU is holding a week of activities around the topic of mental health.  The events are being organised in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust.  The week will provide an opportunity for staff to build and develop links with organisations in the area of mental health.

This week the research blog will feature stories from BU staff working in the areas of mental health.

Andrew Mayers from the Psychology Group in DEC is already working closely with the Samaritans and First Point on research projects and providing his students with the excellent opportunity to assist with the research.

There will also be a health and wellbeing week at BU from Oct 31st to Nov 4th and First Point will be launching their new DVD on the recovery model of mental health.

This link is the programme for this week.

 

 

Future directions of EU research….

 

Mental health research: The Head of Health Services & Population Research announced at a conference last week that mental health research is likely to be the next research field to be tackled on an international scale. Hopefully funding announcements released next year will reflect this!

Biological diversity:  The Swedish Research Council has announced that it will invest 36 million kroner (3.9m euros) from 2010-2014 to set up a database for researchers studying biological diversity. The LifeWatch is a national research infrastructure project which will tie up with a Europe-wide initiative to share biodiversity data. Four other partners in the consortium, including several universities, will put up between 2.5 million and 9.2 million kroner for the project.

Population and patient data sharing for mental health research funding available

The MRC invites proposals for a population and patient data sharing initiative for research into mental health. Projects should exploit high-quality existing data in novel ways to advance knowledge of factors affecting addiction and mental illness and inform research for new treatments. A total budget of £1 million is available; see the MRC website for more details.