Results for 'mental health'
HATAMIAN Areenay, PEARMAIN Daniel, GOLDEN Sarah
The Active at 60 Community Agents programme was a Department for Work and Pensions fund to encourage community groups and their volunteers to help people approaching and post retirement (particularly those at risk of social isolation and loneliness in later life) to stay or become active and positively engaged with society. It was launched in March 2011 and ran until December 2011. This evaluation of the programme included surveys and interviews with local funders, group leaders, community agents (volunteers whose role aimed to empower and support older people to become and/or stay active) and older people. The report describes the background and methodology of the study and presents the findings, covering the role of Community Agents, reaching and engaging older people, what groups did with the funding, what difference the programme made to older people who took part and wider benefits, the legacy of the programme, and the role of local funders and programme management. It also discusses how far the programme achieved its aims and sets out key lessons learned.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to summarise two 2014 research papers that highlight the role of social interactions and the social world in recovery in the context of mental distress.
Design/methodology/approach: The author summarise two papers: one is about two theories from social psychology that help us understand social identity – our sense of who we are. The other brings together and looks at the similarities and differences between ten different therapies that can be called resource-oriented – that is, they focus on people's strengths and resources rather than what is wrong with them.
Findings: The paper on social identity gives a convincing case for incorporating teaching about social identity – and the social groups to which people belong – into the training of mental health professionals. The paper on resource-oriented therapies suggests that social relationships are a main component of all ten therapies examined. This second paper suggested a need for more research and theory relating to resource-oriented therapies. Social identity theory could help address this issue. Mental health services may be able to help people more by focusing on their established and desired social identities and group-belonging, and their strengths, than is usual.
Originality/value: These two papers seem timely given the growing recognition of the role of social factors in the development and maintenance of mental distress. More attention to social factors in recovery could help make it more self-sustaining.
FIELDHOUSE Jon, PARMENTER Vanessa, HORTOP Alice
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on an action inquiry (AI) evaluation of the Natureways project, a time-limited collaboration between an NHS Trust Vocational Service and a voluntary sector horticulture-based community interest company (CIC).
Design/methodology/approach: Natureways produced positive employment outcomes and an AI process – based on co-operative inquiry with trainees, staff, and managers – explored how these had been achieved.
Findings: Natureways’ efficacy was based on features of the setting (its supportiveness, rural location, and workplace authenticity), on its embeddedness (within local care-planning pathways, the horticultural industry, and the local community), and on effective intersectoral working. The inquiry also generated actionable learning about creative leadership and adaptability in the changing landscape of service provision, about the benefits of the CIC's small scale and business ethos, about the links between trainees’ employability, social inclusion and recovery, about horticulture as a training medium, and about the role of AI in service development.
Practical implications: The inquiry highlights how an intersectoral CIC can be an effective model for vocational rehabilitation.
Social implications: Community-embeddeness is an asset for mental health-orientated CICs, facilitating social inclusion and recovery. Social and therapeutic horticulture settings are seen to be conducive to this.
Originality/value: This case study suggests that AI methodology is not only well-suited to many practitioners’ skill sets, but its participatory ethos and focus on experiential knowledge makes it suitable for bringing a service user voice to bear on service development.
DARBYSHIRE Laura Valerie, KROESE Biza Stenfert
The pressure of becoming a parent for a person with intellectual disabilities (ID) may magnify the risks of social isolation and poor psychological well-being. This review examined the psychological well-being and social support among parents with ID, addressing three aims that explore the importance of these two factors in their lives. A search of electronic databases uncovered eight studies which met the inclusion criteria. Findings revealed that parents with ID experience poorer psychological well-being than the general parenting population and a relationship was found between psychological well-being and social support. Two of the intervention studies found evidence that by improving social support, psychological well-being was improved. The relationship between social support and parenting ability was supported by findings of a positive relationship between satisfaction with social support and positive maternal reactions. A number of recommendations for further research are suggested to more fully explore the relationship between psychological well-being and social support.
In this article, the author reviews findings in dementia care on interventions and on quality of life with the aim of identifying factors associated with quality of life which can form the basis for interventions enhancing quality of life for people with dementia. The article looks at evaluation of well-being and quality of life in people with dementia, including the importance of "hearing the voice of people with dementia", and the key factors predicting quality of life in people with dementia. Drawing on this, it suggests potential strategies and interventions for improving quality of life in people with dementia: improve mood, maintain health, hopeful staff attitudes, reduce use of anti-psychotic medication, enhance relationship with carer, encourage family involvement, cognitive stimulation and cognitive rehabilitation, and creative activities and approaches.
There is a widespread view, derived primarily from the lived experience of mental health service staff and service users, that housing has a significant impact on mental health. The aim of this purposive review is to describe the current state of evidence on the effect of housing circumstances, and housing-related interventions, on adult mental health and well-being. The review covers the entire range of health from chronic illness to positive thriving, and both individual and community-level/public health. It gives priority to research relevant to public policy considerations, in particular to the UK context. The complexity of methodological issues emerges as a key challenge for research in this field, and for the prospect of evidence-based national policy. The limited available evidence gives conditional support to: policies accentuating empowerment at individual and community levels; early intervention; locality or place-based interventions; and integrated working practice.
SEEBOHM Patience, et al
To explore the contribution of self-help/mutual aid groups to mental well-being this article draws on data from stage one of ESTEEM, a project which runs from 2010 to 2013. Stage one ran from 2010 to 2011 and involved participatory, qualitative research carried out in two UK sites. Twenty-one groups were purposively selected to include a range of focal issues, longevity, structures and ethnic backgrounds. Researchers carried out 21 interviews with group coordinators and twenty group discussions with members to explore the groups' purpose, nature and development. Preliminary analysis of the data suggested that mental well-being was a common theme across the groups. Subsequently the data were re-analysed to explore the groups' contribution to mental well-being using a checklist of protective factors for mental well-being as a coding framework. The findings showed that groups made a strong contribution to members' mental well-being by enhancing a sense of control, increasing resilience and facilitating participation. Group members were uplifted by exchanging emotional and practical support; they gained self-esteem, knowledge and confidence, thereby increasing their control over their situation. For some groups, socio-economic factors limited their scope and threatened their future. The article provides an evidence-base which illustrates how self-help/mutual aid groups can enhance mental well-being. If supported within a strategy for social justice, these groups enable people with varied concerns to develop a tailored response to their specific needs. The authors suggest that policy-makers engage with local people, investing in support proportionate to the needs of different populations, enabling them to develop their own self-help/mutual aid groups to enhance their sense of mental well-being.
HEMINGWAY Ann, JACK Eleanor
A UK charity established a network of 70 friendship clubs in the south of England, facilitated by volunteers, with the aim of promoting well-being for older people. The charity provides venues and transport for participants to meet and enjoy activities locally every week for 2 hours. This article reports on a 3 year research project exploring the impacts of the intervention, using qualitative research methods and including participant observation and individual and focus group interviews. The study was based on 10 of the friendship clubs and collected information from 82 members and 18 volunteers. The article describes the intervention and the study methodology. It presents the results, with illustrative quotations from participants, covering views on the risk of becoming isolated, feeling isolated, and friendship and support. It identifies additional factors that can predispose an individual to become socially isolated, including environment and safety fears, fear of falling, and loss of confidence, and notes that even when living with their families older people can still feel socially isolated. It reports that club members and volunteers viewed themselves as assets for each other, offering support, advice and friendship, and that, overall, the perceived benefits for attendees of attending the friendship clubs fell into 3 key areas: improved well-being, social relations, and mental and physical health.