Don’t be left in the dark: children and young people’s mental health

Local Government Association, February 2018

This short guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people. It suggests least one in 10 children and young people are affected by mental health problems, and the unreported figures are likely to be even higher. Young people are increasingly struggling with problems like anxiety, depression and self-harm, with nearly 19,000 young people admitted to hospital after harming themselves in 2015 – a 14% rise over three years. It also considers current understanding how the increasing prevalence of social media in young people’s lives is negatively impacting their emotional health.

Click here to view the report.

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Supporting mental health for all

London Assembly, February 2018

Report that identifies four key problems that people in marginalised groups can encounter when trying to get mental health support.

  1. Physical barriers to accessing mental health services, in terms of where, when and how the services operate.
  2. The language used by health professionals can be offputting, intimidating or discriminatory – and this can prevent people from using particular services or discussing sensitive mental health issues with them.
  3. Many GPs and other primary care staff lack the skills and/or the capacity to deal appropriately with mental health issues in ways that are supportive and inclusive of diverse population.
  4. Specialist mental health services are being replaced by generalist services, which lack expertise in dealing with the needs of marginalised groups.

This report calls for the involvement of service users – and potential service users – from marginalised groups in the planning and discussions on developing services.

Click here to view the full report.

Homeless Adults with Complex Needs: evidence review

Public Health England, February 2018

This report is an independent review of the literature on homelessness, looking particularly at people living or begging on the streets to support efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness and the adverse outcomes associated with this.  The review is aimed at local authorities and other stakeholders who are developing strategies and interventions to prevent homelessness and support adults with complex needs. It advises a system-wide, integrated approach to dealing with homelessness and identifies some tools and guidance which may be of use to local authorities in developing their work in this area.

Click here to view the report.

Not by degrees: Improving student mental health in the UK’s universities

Institute for Public Policy Research, January 2018

Levels of mental illness, mental distress and low wellbeing among students in higher education in the UK are increasing, and are high relative to other sections of the population. This report calls on universities to make the issue a strategic priority and adopt a ‘whole-university’ approach based on prevention and promotion, early intervention and low-level support, responding to risk and crisis management, and referral into care and treatment.

Click here to view the full report.

Student Mental Health: The Role and Experiences of Academics

University of Derby, King’s College London and Student Minds, January 2018

To understand more about how academics are managing student mental health, this project interviewed 52 academics at five universities. Participants reported large numbers of students experiencing mental health difficulties. A number of the academics interviewed described experiences of student mental illness that carried high levels of risk and distress. Academics who had worked in the role for many years stressed that they were seeing an increase in the prevalence of mental health difficulties.

Click here to view the full report.

Visual arts, mental health and wellbeing: evidence review

What Works Wellbeing, January 2018

This systematic review looks at the subjective wellbeing outcomes of engaging with (taking part in, performing, viewing) visual arts for ‘working-age’ adults (15-64 years) with diagnosed mental health conditions? It also examines the evidence on which processes have an impact on subjective wellbeing. It identifies evidence that shows that engaging in the visual arts for adults with mental health conditions can:

  • reduce reported levels of depression and anxiety
  • increase self-respect, self-worth and self-esteem
  • encourage and stimulate re-engagement with the wider, everyday social world
  • support in participants a potential re-negotiation of identity through practice-based forms of making or doing.

Click here to view the paper.