A report provided interim findings from the evaluation of the Family SMILES (Simplifying Mental Illness plus Life Enhancement Skills) service, a group work intervention programme for children aged 8 to 13 years whose parent had a mental health problem. The report said that: children reported increased self-esteem and less serious emotional and behavioural problems; parents reported increased self-esteem and lower levels of distress and unhappiness; and children found the group sessions helped them to understand that mental health problems were common, valued meeting others in the same situation, and wanted to be able to continue this peer support after the programme finished. The report said that barriers to change reported by families included: difficulty coping with their mental health; no perceived change in the child's behaviour at home; lack of engagement from the entire family; and the inability of the programme to address family dynamics. Ongoing evaluation would examine longer term outcomes and would include findings from a comparison group who did not receive the service.
Source: Rachel Cass and Prakash Fernandes, Evaluation of Family SMILES: Interim report, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The Scottish Government published an analysis of responses to its consultation on proposals for a Mental Health (Scotland) Bill.
Source: Consultation on Proposals for a Mental Health (Scotland) Bill: An analysis of responses, Scottish Government
An article examined the association between psychosocial, socio-demographic, and material determinants of positive mental health in Europe. Drawing on data on 34 countries from the European Quality of Life Survey, it said that the prevalence of poor positive mental health was 30 per cent in women and 24 per cent in men, and that material, as well as psychosocial, and socio-demographic factors were independently associated with poor positive mental health.
Source: Stefanie Dreger, Christoph Buck, and Gabriele Bolte, 'Material, psychosocial and sociodemographic determinants are associated with positive mental health in Europe: a cross-sectional study', BMJ Open, Volume 4 Issue 5
The government issued new non-statutory advice to schools in England regarding mental health and behaviour. It said that one in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven had problems at a less severe level. The advice had been developed to clarify the responsibility of schools and to identify how to support a child or young person whose behaviour may be related to an unmet mental health need. The advice would be reviewed in October 2014.
Source: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools: Departmental advice for school staff, Department for Education
A paper presented findings on the impact of the recession, cost of living increases, and changes to the social security system on people's financial situation, their family life, and their physical and mental health in Northern Ireland, drawn from the Communities in Action (CiA) Programme, a community-led research project with eight working class communities across the country. Key findings included: that people were using debt to pay for basic needs, trapping them in a cycle of debt; that few people were able to save; that money worries and fears over changes to social security provision were affecting people's physical and mental health, which placed pressure on family life and on relationships; and that there was a need for more locally based emotional and practical support for the people affected.
Source: Gabi Kent, Hard Times 2: Feeling the strain, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
The government responded to a report by a committee of peers on the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It outlined a range of measures to be taken forward, including: to consider the case for establishing a new, independently chaired Mental Capacity Advisory Board; to commission a review of existing guidance and tools to determine best practice for wider dissemination; to prioritize professional training; to ask the Law Commission to consult on and potentially draft a new legislative framework that would allow for the authorization of a best interests deprivation of liberty in supported living arrangements, and to consider any improvements that might be made to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards; and to increase the level of awareness and understanding of Lasting Powers of Attorneys.
Source: Valuing Every Voice, Respecting Every Right: Making the case for the Mental Capacity Act – The Government's response to the House of Lords Select Committee Report on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Cm 8884, Ministry of Justice/Department of Health, TSO
A report examined the prevalence and effects of living with anxiety and anxiety disorders, and made a range of policy recommendations, including for changes to the school curriculum, peer-led support, training for family doctors, and formal support.
Source: Paul Swift, Eva Cyhlarova, Isabella Goldie, and Chris O'Sullivan, Living with Anxiety: Understanding the role and impact of anxiety in our lives, Mental Health Foundation
An article examined the link between childhood perceived relative deprivation and a range of measures of mental health. It said that deprivation was associated with hallucination-proneness, paranoia and well-being, and measures of trust, social rank, and beliefs about justice. It noted the limitations of the study, and implications for public mental health.
Source: Sophie Louise Wickham, Nick Shryane, Minna Lyons, Thomas Dickins, and Richard Bentall, 'Why does relative deprivation affect mental health? The role of justice, trust and social rank in psychological wellbeing and paranoid ideation', Journal of Public Mental Health, Volume 13 Number 2
An article examined the impact of school moves on mental health, drawing on data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. It said that school mobility was associated with increased risk of psychotic-like symptoms, and noted the potential benefit of strategies to help students establish themselves within new schools and the closer monitoring of those at higher risk.
Source: Swaran Singh, Catherine Winsper, Dieter Wolke, and Alex Bryson, 'School mobility and prospective pathways to psychotic-like symptoms in early adolescence: a prospective birth cohort study', Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume 53 Issue 5
A report provided the findings from a review of deaths of children and young people through suicide in Wales. It outlined possible opportunities and actions for suicide prevention, including: access to means of suicide; improving partnership working; focusing on evidence based interventions; public awareness and stigma; and undertaking future thematic reviews. The panel made 20 recommendations, including: for measures to restrict access to alcohol; for an all-Wales child protection register, accessible by relevant services including emergency departments; further work on implementation of the national guidelines on the management of self harm; and for the development of statutory mechanisms for information sharing for the Child Death Review Programme.
Source: Ann John, Beverley Heatman, Ciaran Humphreys, and Lorna Price, Thematic Review of Deaths of Children and Young People Through Probable Suicide, 2006-2012, Public Health Wales NHS Trust
A report examined the concept of wellbeing, its definition, and its measurement, and made a range of recommendations regarding mental health, community, income and work, and governance.
Source: Gus O'Donnell, Angus Deaton, Martine Durand, David Halpern, and Richard Layard, Wellbeing and Policy, Legatum Institute
A report by a committee of peers said that its post-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 indicated that, although the legislation was generally highly regarded, its implementation had not lived up to expectation. The report said that prevailing cultures of paternalism (in health) and risk-aversion (in social care) had prevented the Act from becoming widely known or embedded, and that the empowering ethos had not been delivered. The committee raised particular concern about the use of the Deprivations of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). It said that evidence suggested that many thousands of individuals could be deprived of their liberty without the protection of the law, and said that the DoLS provisions were sometimes used to 'oppress individuals' and remove their opportunity to influence what happened. The report recommended that a single body should be given responsibility for overseeing and monitoring the Act and called for a comprehensive review of the DoLS with a view to replacing them.
Source: Mental Capacity Act 2005: Post-legislative scrutiny, Report (Session 201314), HL 139, House of Lords Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, TSO
An article said that that higher rates of schizophrenia in urban areas could be attributed to increased deprivation, increased population density, and an increase in inequality within a neighbourhood. A one percentage point increase in either neighbourhood inequality or deprivation was associated with an increase in the incidence of schizophrenia and other similar disorders of around four per cent.
Source: James Kirkbride, Peter Jones, Simone Ullrich, and Jeremy Coid, 'Social deprivation, inequality, and the neighborhood-level incidence of psychotic syndromes in east London', Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 40 Issue 1
A report provided the results from a systematic review of the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and acceptability of community-based interventions to improve quality of life for children of parents with serious mental illness. It said that there was a lack of robust evidence and recommended work to establish feasible and acceptable interventions, with a randomized controlled trial to evaluate clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, using validated, child-centred quality of life outcome measures and high quality cost data.
Source: Penny Bee, Peter Bower, Sarah Byford, Rachel Churchill, Rachel Calam, Paul Stallard, Steven Pryjmachuk, Kathryn Berzins, Maria Cary, Ming Wan, and Kathryn Abel, 'The clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of community-based interventions aimed at improving or maintaining quality of life in children of parents with serious mental illness: a systematic review', Health Technology Assessment, Volume 18 Issue 8
An article examined the vulnerability of mental health of young people aged 1020 to neighbourhood factors that were theoretically associated with increased risk of common mental disorders. It said that material socio-economic deprivation and violence/victimization were associated with common mental disorders among young people, though the majority of studies were cross-sectional rather than longitudinal.
Source: Sarah Curtis, Rachel Pain, Sara Fuller, Yasmin Khatib, Catherine Rothon, Stephen Stansfeld, and Shari Daya, 'Neighbourhood risk factors for common mental disorders among young people aged 10-20 years: a structured review of quantitative research', Health and Place, Volume 20
A report examined the racism, discrimination, and identity confusion experienced by mixed race children and young people in England and Wales, with a focus on their mental health.
Source: Dinah Morley and Cathy Street, Mixed Experiences: Growing up mixed race – mental health and well-being, National Children's Bureau
A report examined the links between anti-social behaviour and mental health, and its impact in London boroughs. It said that mental health was widely recognised as related to ASB, that many boroughs reported an increasing impact, and that boroughs were firmly committed to supporting individuals with mental health needs, balancing this with the protection of communities and individuals. It said there was a range of promising practice in place, including examples of multi-agency triage that enabled appropriate care pathways to be identified. It discussed the need for further work.
Source: Anti-Social Behaviour and Mental Health, London Councils
A report for the Greater London Authority estimated the extent and impact of mental ill health in London. It said that almost £7.5 billion was spent each year in areas such as health and social care, benefits to support people living with mental ill health, and costs to education and criminal justice. Once indirect costs, such as lost productivity and reduced quality of life, were added, the report estimated the total cost to be £26 billion each year.
Source: The London Mental Health Report, Greater London Authority
An article examined the impact of living in green urban areas on the mental health of individuals who moved home in Britain. Drawing on data from the British Household Survey, it said that moving to greener urban areas was associated with sustained mental health improvements, which suggested that policies to increase the level of urban green space might bring public health benefits.
Source: Ian Alcock, Mathew White, Benedict Wheeler, Lora Fleming, and Michael Depledge, 'Longitudinal effects on mental health of moving to greener and less green urban areas', Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 48 Number 2