Month: September 2016

How are we doing? ONS update personal wellbeing indicators and figures at Local Authority level

How are we doing as a nation?  How is personal wellbeing in my area? The Office National Statistics (ONS) has been measuring wellbeing, or “how we are doing” as a nation since 2011. By looking beyond traditional measures of progress such as a healthy economy, we can provide further information on what matters most to the UK public. The Stiglitz Sen Fitoussi report, published in 2009, first acknowledged this and evidenced the increasing gap between objective measures such as economic indicators (such as GDP) and subjective measures such as individual perceptions of wellbeing and progress. The recent update to...

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Guest blog: How do Mental health non-profits use evidence ?

Here, Caroline Fiennes from Giving Evidence shares findings from a new study into evidence use in non-profit services for mental health. UK non-profits delivering mental health services are not great at producing or using scientific evidence. This is the main finding of a new study by Giving Evidence. We interviewed 12 such organisations to understand their ‘evidence system’, i.e., how evidence is: Produced Synthesized Shared, both ‘outbound’ from them and ‘inbound’ to them – and stored. These nonprofits talked of their growing interest in being evidence-based and focusing on impact (and we don’t doubt them) but in practice it’s not happening consistently. Some charities said that they struggle to find and use external research about what is effective in treating or preventing mental health conditions when designing their programmes. One reason given is the difficulty of accessing, interpreting and applying academic / independent research – for example, much academic research is behind paywalls, so charity staff sometimes resort to sneaking into their former universities to read it, and certainly much of it is pretty unintelligible to non-researchers. Another is the claim that there isn’t much research which is relevant, although that claim is disputed by some experts and researchers. However, charities delivering mental health services seem laudably interested in the views of their service users. Three-quarters of the charities we interviewed regularly collect user feedback, and over half have done so on a large scale....

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WALES The Wellbeing of Future Generations in Wales

In 2015 the Welsh Government passed the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. This sets out 7 wellbeing goals which 44 public bodies across Wales must work towards. This video sets out what the act is all about:   Welsh people were asked what mattered to them through the Wales We Want national conversation which informed the legislation. How do you measure a nation’s progress? The consultation on the indicators by which the progress towards these goals was open until 11th January...

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Making Hay While the Sun Shines: Promoting Wellbeing and Emotional Resilience with Hay Festival Goers

Professor Jo Smith shares her experience of talking on wellbeing and emotional resilience at this year’s Hay Festival. Since 2002, we have been encouraged by the Government to consume ‘5 a day’ to create and sustain healthy eating habits and this has now, 14 years later, become part of our everyday language and a metric we use for a physically healthy life. In 2008, the Government published the Foresight report on ‘Mental Capital and Wellbeing’, which offered a similar guide of 5 daily tasks to help us look after our mental health and wellbeing. One key problem for Public Health  is getting this message to the general public to get it similarly embedded and implemented in daily life. I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Worcester. I am also the Lead on a Suicide Safer Project working in partnership with colleagues from the University to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff as well as with local Health and Local Authority Public Health partners to contribute to a ‘suicide safer’ university, city and county through a range of wellbeing initiatives. On Tuesday, May 31st, 2016, I was given the opportunity to talk to a lay audience of over 900 members of the general public on the Telegraph Stage at the world renowned Hay Festival . The talk was one...

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Guest blog and report : World Mind Matters day

On World Mind Matters Day 2016, a global survey funded by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), of laws and policies in 193 United Nations (UN) member states reveals the level of discrimination faced by people with mental illness in the areas of marriage, voting rights employment and right to contract. The results were published as the ‘Social Justice for People with Mental Illness’ report in  the International Review of Psychiatry in August 2016 and include these findings: In 36 per cent of countries, people with mental health problems are not allowed to vote In nearly a quarter of countries, there are no...

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