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#LetsTalk

26 May, 17 | by rkeynejad

7th April 2017 was World Health Day, and the start of a one-year global campaign by the World Health Organization about the leading cause of disability worldwide (1). The disease responsible? Depression, which now affects 300 million people globally, an increase of 18% between 2005 and 2015.

In the same month, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Heads Together campaign was launched, as an umbrella charity for mental health partner organisations including Best Beginnings, Mind and the Anna Freud Centre. A range of high-profile awareness-raising conversations included a podcast interview with Prince Harry discussing bereavement (2) and Prince William Face Timing Lady Gaga to discuss mental health stigma (3). These welcome efforts at normalising the most stigmatised aspect of health received deserved attention from President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), Professor Sir Simon Wessely. He wrote that “No, it’s not rocket science. No, it won’t eradicate all mental disorders and no, it won’t work for everyone. But it’s a good place to start” (4).

At a time when the public may be starting to overcome the stigma of talking about mental health and wellbeing, there is a pressing need for practitioners to do the same. Following a bitter junior doctor contract dispute (5), morale among NHS staff is low. Many clinicians turn to the ephemeral social media community for support, with groups like ‘Tea & Empathy’ attracting thousands of members, despite being public (6). This month, the Royal College of Nursing said its members are “exhausted, morale is low and it’s affecting the care they are able to provide”. Its unprecedented poll showed support for a ballot on strike action, following a 1% cap on nursing pay in the face of 2.3% inflation (7).

This month, the RCPsych Psychiatric Trainees Committee (PTC) published “Supported and valued”, a review of morale among its trainees (8). The findings of their national survey and 28 focus groups, like the insights of Lady Gaga, weren’t rocket science either. Asked what changes would improve their work life and training, trainees asked for access to phlebotomy, electrocardiography and pharmacy services in the hospitals where they work. They asked for ergonomic rotas issued with a minimum of 12 weeks’ notice, and provision of work and rest facilities, 24 hours per day, including hot food and drink. If the health service cannot meet the basic needs of its employees, how can they be expected to do their best for the vulnerable adults and children they serve?

The recent announcement of a UK general election in June, focused attention on these issues (9). The Mental Health Foundation’s mental health awareness week (10) came at the perfect time, focusing on why many people are “surviving” rather than “thriving”. Widespread discussion and recognition of mental health in the public domain can only be welcomed, as an opportunity to challenge stigma and encourage early help-seeking. At Evidence-Based Mental Health, we support these efforts by WHO, Heads Together, RCN, the PTC and Mental Health Foundation wholeheartedly. We all need #timetotalk (11).

 

 

References

(1) World Health Organization (2017). “Depression: let’s talk” says WHO, as depression tops list of causes of ill health. Accessed 23.04.17 at: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/world-health-day/en/

(2) Bryony Gordon’s Mad World (2017). Mad World: Prince Harry. Accessed 23.04.17 at: https://bryonysmadworld.telegraph.co.uk/e/mad-world-prince-harry/

(3) Heads Together (2017). The mental health marathon. Accessed 23.04.17 at: https://www.headstogether.org.uk

(4) Wessely S. (2017). Princes William and Harry break mental health taboos for a new generation. Accessed 23.04.17 at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/19/princes-william-harry-taboos-mental-health

(5) Keynejad R. (2015). Medicine’s social movement: #JuniorContract. The Lancet Psychiatry 2(12):1058-9.

(6) Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017). Supported and valued? A trainee-led review into morale and training within psychiatry. Accessed 23.04.17 at: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Supported_and_valued_final_20_April.pdf

(7) Facebook (2017). Tea & Empathy (PUBLIC GROUP). Accessed 23.04.17 at: http://www.facebook.com.

(8) The Independent (2017). Nurses vote on strike action after NHS pay cuts leave staff ‘struggling to make ends meet’. Accessed 23.04.17 at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/urses-strike-vote-nhs-pay-cuts-royal-college-nursing-ballot-janet-davies-low-income-a7681441.html

(9) The BMA. This is more than a Brexit election. Accessed 23.04.17 at: https://www.bma.org.uk/connecting-doctors/b/the-bma-blog/posts/this-is-more-than-a-brexit-election

(10) Mental Health Foundation (2017). Mental Health Awareness Week. Accessed 09.05.17 at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

(11) Time to Change (2017). National Time to Talk Day. Accessed 23.04.17 at: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-us/about-our-campaign/time-to-talk

New EBMH Digital Communication Assistants

3 May, 16 | by Kelly Horwood, BMJ

 

Meet the new EBMH Digital Communication Assistants…

V

Who are you?
I’m Veronica Heney. I graduated two years ago from the University of Oxford with a BA in History and English. I loved my degree, particularly the opportunity to explore topics and texts from an interdisciplinary perspective. I work as Communications Assistant for SAPPHIRE (Social science APPlied to Healthcare Improvement REsearch) at the University of Leicester. In my role I produce reports, academic publications, web content, presentations, and press releases for academic and non-academic audiences and run SAPPHIRE’s social media accounts.

Why EBMH?
I think that we often don’t understand mental health conditions very well. This is partly because they’ve historically been understudied, but it’s also because of persistent stigma associated with mental health problems. This means that we often don’t talk about mental health openly, accurately, or sensitively. I think that it’s important that this changes. Dealing with a mental health condition is difficult enough without feeling isolated or contending with stereotypes and prejudice.  Part of achieving that change is research and the way we talk about that research, and I think the work of EBMH can really make a difference. I’m also interested in the connection between mental health conditions and social inequalities. We need more research, more nuanced conversations, and we need to listen, carefully and empathically, to the people for whom the combination of ill-health and social inequality is a daily reality. Being involved with EBMH is now a wonderful opportunity to contribute to much-needed change.

What aspects of the role are you looking forward to?
Well, I can definitely say that I am not looking forward to dealing with the inevitable technical difficulties generated by Google Hangouts! But more seriously, I’m really excited about all the new things I’m going to learn about mental health conditions and treatment and I think it’s going to be great to work with some of the wonderful people doing this important research. I also think that one of the aspects of the role that is likely to be both challenging and rewarding is running the blog – we’re keen to publish more content on it, and to present a range of perspectives from clinicians to patients to academics. If you have an idea for a blog topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to make EBMH as interactive as possible, and that means creating the content that you want and need. We look forward to hearing your ideas!

 

RWho are you?
I’m Roxanne Keynejad. I’m a CT2 Academic Clinical Fellow in General Adult Psychiatry at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. I studied graduate-entry Medicine at King’s College London after an undergraduate degree in Psychology with Philosophy at the University of Oxford. I am mental health co-lead for King’s Somaliland Partnership and help to run Twitter feeds for local junior doctors (@MaudsleyDocs) and a medical student teaching course (@ExtremePsych). I am interested in e-learning and the power of digital technology to transform health education.

Why EBMH?
As an Academic Clinical Fellow in the early stages of my research career, I was attracted to this opportunity to actively communicate research findings in accessible and engaging formats, since EBMH is at the forefront of growing educational, training and academic possibilities through the power of social media. EBMH’s aims resonate with me as the collaboration between BMJ, RCPsych and BPS represents a synthesis of disciplines which interact on a daily basis but do not always communicate as well as they might. The journal’s practical ethos, advocating best practice in our daily clinical work meets a real need for busy clinical staff. Through ever-expanding technology, I want to help to extend EBMH’s reach to students, clinicians and academics in low and middle income countries as well as in high income nations. I hope to develop resources and learning experiences which benefit junior trainees approaching examinations as well as more senior readers seeking continuing professional development.

What aspects of the role are you looking forward to?
Like Veronica, I anticipate a few technological teething problems, but am still excited by the ability of Google Hangouts to bring EBMH’s content to life. The potential to interact directly with article authors online and engage in personal discussion and debate is a great opportunity. Spending a not inconsiderable percentage of my time commuting, I really believe in podcasts as a means of communicating research and, inspired by other excellent BMJ podcasts, hope to develop these. Video projects are another avenue, alongside enhancing the blog and using Twitter to draw your attention to key publications and events. A downside of social media is feeling overwhelmed by information. Our goal is to make EBMH your one-stop resource for all the content you need to practise evidence-based mental healthcare.

Evidence-Based Mental Health seeks volunteer Digital Communications Editor

8 Feb, 16 | by Holly Millward, Associate Editor

 

Good at social media? Supporter of Evidence-Based Mental Health? We need you!

Evidence-Based Mental Health (EBMH) is a BMJ journal that is aimed at aims to engage psychiatrists and psychologists, particularly younger professionals, in the challenge of basing their practice on evidence.

Published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society and BMJ, the journal surveys a wide range of international medical journals, applying strict criteria for the quality and validity of research. Clinicians assess the relevance of the best studies and the key details of these essential articles are presented in a succinct, informative expert commentary on their clinical application. Evidence-Based Mental Health also publishes Editorials, Perspectives, Reviews and Original Content. You can find out more about the journal’s aims, here.

We are looking for a volunteer to work approximately an hour a week as Digital Communications Editor for the journal. You will have experience with sharing content on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels, with a good understanding of evidence-based practice and mental health care.

Evidence-Based Mental Health has an active Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and blog accounts that aim to engage psychiatrists and psychologists in the latest evidence. The journal broadcasts monthly expert Google Hangouts and tweet chats on the latest research. The Hangouts would also be a project that the Digital Communications Editor supports through advertising, providing technology support for speakers and running the live tweet chat during the hangout. You can find all our previous Hangouts on our YouTube channel, here.

If you think the next Digital Communications Editor could be you, email holly.millward@cochrane.nhs.uk explaining why you are interested in the position and documenting any relevant experience.

The role:

  • Advertise journal content on social media
  • Increase the journal’s social media following
  • Advertise, blog and support the monthly Google Hangouts & tweet chats
  • Communicate regularly with the journal’s Editor and Digital Content Editor
  • Attend yearly journal editorial board meeting

Deadline:

4th March 2016

The EBMH team looks forward to hearing from you!

Google Hangout: Ketamine in bipolar disorder

13 Nov, 15 | by Holly Millward, Associate Editor

Twitter ad - ketamine in bipolar disorders

Join Evidence-Based Mental Health to discuss ‘Ketamine in bipolar disorder‘ on Friday 20th November 2015 at 3pm GMT. There will be a panel of speakers live on Google Hangout discussing the topic and viewers can tweet the event and send in questions using #EBMHchat. more…

Evidence-Based Mental Health Blog homepage

Evidence-Based Mental Health

Evidence-Based Mental Health aims to engage psychiatrists and psychologists, particularly younger professionals, in the challenge of basing their practice on evidence.Visit site



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