How do older people experience social care support?


Jill Manthorpe gets to grips with a systematic review of qualitative research to find out how older people experience social care support and calls on a surprising literary character for help.

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Woodland walks and your ‘Elf

walking in woods

Kirsten Lawson dons her walking boots and reports on the national Walks for Health (WfH) programme, which has been investigated in an observational study looking at the mental, emotional and social well-being of people who participate in woodland walks.

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'Strategies for Relatives': improving mental health for family carers of people with dementia


In her latest blog, Clarissa Giebel examines research into the effectiveness of the ‘Strategies for Relatives’ psychological and educational training programme for family carers of people with dementia and explores what the findings might mean for wider programme implementation.

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Quality of life and mental health: What questions should we ask?


In his debut blog, Martin Webber, Reader in Social Work at the University of York, asks how we can meaningfully measure quality of life with and for people living with mental health problems.

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Does racial discrimination affect the mental health of children and young people?


Recent adult mental health policy initiatives, such as the Delivering Race Equality programme (PDF) show the increasing recognition of racial discrimination in NHS mental health services. In 2012 the NHS Confederation issued guidance on achieving race equality in mental health, which was summarised on the Mental Elf a while ago. These UK policy developments on [read the full story…]

Systematic review shows higher quality RCTs needed on psychological effects of exercise for type 2 diabetes

shutterstock_114580729 (1)

In the UK alone it’s estimated over two million adults have type 2 diabetes. That clearly warrants some serious research into its prevention and treatment, including the valuable role of exercise.  We also know the effects of diabetes are not confined to physical problems, linked as it is to reduced quality of life as well [read the full story…]

Couple-based interventions may help improve the psychological wellbeing of cancer patients and their partners, but more research is needed

For Better Or Worse

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can have negative consequences for the psychological wellbeing of patients and their caregivers. This blog will summarise a systematic review on whether couple-based interventions make a difference for couples affected by cancer (Regan, 2012). The review tried to answer three questions: What is the efficacy of couple-based interventions on depression, anxiety, [read the full story…]

Measuring National Well-being: first annual report from the Office for National Statistics


The Measuring National Well-being programme was set up in 2010 with a focused aim, to ‘develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people understand and monitor well-being’. The idea here is that we need to add meaningful economic, social and environmental measures to sit alongside the traditional Gross Domestic [read the full story…]

NICE publish new guidance on the social and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children under five


These new recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) cover home visits, early education and childcare for vulnerable children. The public health guidance recognises that disadvantage before birth and in a child’s early years can have life-long, negative effects on health and wellbeing. It aims to ensure that both universal and [read the full story…]

NICE publish draft public heath guidance for social and emotional wellbeing in young children


This new guidance from NICE is aimed at people responsible for ensuring the social and emotional wellbeing of children aged under 5 years. It will be of interest to professionals who plan and commission children’s services, as well as midwives, health visitors, GPs, paediatricians, practitioners working in child and adolescent mental health services, social workers, [read the full story…]