Mental Health Awareness Week Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019. The theme this year is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

How does body image affect mental health?

Having body image concerns is a relatively common experience and is not a mental health problem in and of itself; however, it can be a risk factor for mental health problems. Research has found that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.

To read more about this go to: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/body-image-report/exec-summary

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

The 29th April – 5th of May 2019 marks this year’s maternal mental health awareness week. The Health and Europe Centre is the lead partner of a newly EU Interreg 2Seas funded project aiming to tackle to stigma surrounding perinatal mental health. Maternal mental health awareness week will be a week long Twitter campaign run by the UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance. Our project partners will be getting involved via our Twitter page @2SeasPATH and using the hashtag #2SeasPATH.

To read more about this awareness week, follow us PATH on Twitter or go to: https://maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/news/uk-maternal-mental-health-matters-awareness-week-2019/

Real People, Real Stories: Men’s Mental Health

A new awareness campaign by Samaritans shares real stories from men who have been through tough times to encourage other men to seek help.

Two in five men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 don’t seek support when they need to, because they prefer to solve their own problems. The survey also showed that men often don’t want to feel like a burden and don’t feel their problems will be understood.

Our Interreg 2Seas funded project SBS (Step by Step) is targeting men, in particular those who may be socially isolated and suffering from poor mental health or poor wellbeing, to help tackle this issue in the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

To read more about the Samaritans campaign, go to: https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/real-people-real-stories/

And to read more about the SBS project, go to: http://www.healthandeuropecentre.nhs.uk/home-3/projects/current-projects-2/sbs-2/

TABLO

TABLO: Training Staff in the use of Arts for the Benefit of patients with Long-Term Conditions

Long-term conditions (often known as chronic diseases) – as the name suggests – affect the sufferer over a long period of time and generally progress slowly. Some of them – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, mental illness – are leading causes of mortality. Care and treatment costs are high, the expectation of new pharmacological solutions is poor, and in any case can’t help issues such as patient isolation, loss of confidence and loneliness. Studies have shown that, for example, weekly group singing with the physical activity, social inclusion and peer support it brings, can achieve clinically important mental health and also physical health benefits. A major barrier to scaling-up participatory Arts initiatives is the training of Facilitators to deliver the sessions. Artists, health staff, care staff, educators and voluntary organisation staff all need to be trained to a professional level in the delivery of focused programmes targeted on health promotion and wellbeing. The success of a previous project Octavia encouraged its key partners to develop further opportunities for shared learning and on behalf of one of our stakeholders we have pulled together an extremely strong international team of partners and submitted a successful application to do exactly that. The EU funding stream Erasmus + which offers financial support for, amongst other things, cross-border vocational training and education proved to be a perfect fit and this project went live in the autumn of 2015.

It has developed an e-learning course of vocational training to allow people working with patients suffering from long-term conditions to integrate the arts as therapy into their day-to-day jobs. The broad range of countries involved in this partnership will ensure that the course is of the highest quality, taking diverse experiences into account and so ensuring its applicability to a wide group of people.

Visit the TABLO website to find out more

2 newly approved Interreg projects: PATH 2 and SHIFT

We are delighted that two more of our projects have been approved for funding by Interreg 2Seas.

PATH 2 has secured more than €5 million of European funding in its €8.5 million partnership involving 13 organisations from the UK, The Netherlands, France and Belgium and will enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and successfully manage mild and moderate PMI (perinatal mental health issues) via radical systemic change, developing an inclusive, holistic health structure: demand driven and co-created with existing patients and expectant/new parents.

To read more about PATH 2 go to: http://www.healthandeuropecentre.nhs.uk/home-3/projects/current-projects-2/path/

SHIFT has secured more than €2.5 million of European funding in its €4.2 million partnership involving 11 organisations from the UK, The Netherlands, France and Belgium (see below for partner details) and the project’s objective is to empower people aged 45+ to participate in sexual health services and to improve their sexual health and wellbeing, with an additional and specifically adapted focus on socio-economically disadvantaged groups across the 2Seas area.

To read more about SHIFT go to: http://www.healthandeuropecentre.nhs.uk/home-3/projects/current-projects-2/shift/

Promoting mental health in the workplace

25% of European citizens will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Absenteeism, unemployment and long-term disability claims due to work-related stress and mental health problems are increasing. Promoting good mental health at the workplace, not only helps protect employee’s mental and physical health and wellbeing, but also makes good business sense. A new European Commission document provides guidance for employers, employees and other stakeholders on the management of mental health issues in the workplace

To read the document go to: Publications catalogue – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission

A new report reveals need for more humane, personalised approach to Mental Health

WHO/Europe has released a new report entitled “Mental health, human rights and standards of care”. It assesses the quality of institutional care for adults with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in the WHO European Region.

A total of 75 institutions across 24 countries in the Region and Kosovo (in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 [1999]) were assessed using the WHO QualityRights Toolkit. Out of all the quality ratings made, only 25% showed compliance with international standards, meaning that long-term institutional care in the Region has significant room for improvement.

To read the new report in full go to: WHO/Europe | Mental health – New report reveals need for more humane, personalized approach in European Region’s long-term institutions for adults with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities

New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

A new web-based “feedback” technology which allows therapists to accurately monitor how patients with depression are coping has been found to reduce the probability of deterioration during psychological treatment by 74%, a new study has found. The study, which is the largest controlled trial of its kind, involved data from more than 2,000 mental health patients treated across multiple NHS Trusts in England.

Psychological therapy is offered to many people with depression and anxiety who seek treatment in the NHS, but while roughly half of these patients respond well to the treatment, up to 10% actually get worse.

To read more about this go to: New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

Dementia risk increased in 50-year-olds with higher blood pressure

A new study has found that 50-year-olds with blood pressure higher than normal but still below the threshold commonly used when deciding to treat the condition were at risk of developing dementia.

The long-running Whitehall II study comprised 10,000 civil servants between 35-55 years of age and found that increased risk of dementia was seen even when the participants did not have other heart or blood vessel-related problems.

To read more about this go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/dementia-risk-increased-50-year-olds-higher-than-normal-blood-pressure/86512/