It’s an exciting time to be working in mental health within CLAHRC NWL. With quality improvement and the patient’s interests always at heart, looking at mental health through research is uncovering how integral mental wellbeing is to the success of all healthcare interventions. As mental health is gaining parity of esteem, specific days such as World Mental Health Day allows everyone to reflect on their mental health, as well as keep patients’ mental health at the forefront of interventions and interactions.
An excellent example of the impact which mental health has on some of the CLAHRC NWL projects is clear from the NIHR award winning Sickle Cell Disease Infographic that highlights the crucial role which mental wellbeing has for patients involved in the project. In our work analysing Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) data, we have an unprecedented opportunity to establish the most important factors in improving outcomes for patients suffering from Common Mental Health Disorders. It is thanks to the ongoing work and dedication to patient centredness which the NIHR CLAHRC NWL holds as a core value that these sort of projects can thrive and mental health receive the focus it needs. Crucially, the focus on mental well-being carries through day-to-day teamwork within the team, as well as being part of our research and our projects. Anxiety and depression amongst academics are common, and as a PhD student myself I feel that the team at CLAHRC NWL are considerate and practice what they preach with their work ethic.
Thanks to a better understanding of how mental health impacts overall health and consistent media coverage with celebrity support on mental health issues, mental health looks set to lose its stigma. The more people are empowered to consider their mental health and wellbeing as seriously as they would their physical one, the more likely they are to remain mentally healthy. This requires daily care and an awareness of where to get help, whether at work, home or in the community. – Federica Amati, PhD Student & Research Assistant for Mental and Physical Wellbeing at NIHR CLAHRC NWL and Imperial College London.