This is a category taken from the full feed of Musculoskeletal and Arthritis news provided by ARMA's members.

Tag: mental health

Public Health England are launching the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support the nation’s mental wellbeing with the encouragement that “When things aren’t so good out there, make inside feel better”. Aimed at adults, but weighted towards those most at risk of mental health problems, this “Make Inside Feel Better” 2021 phase of the campaign will run across across PR, radio, social and digital. The key message will be to encourage people to create a free NHS-approved ‘Mind Plan’.

The partner resources will include a range of materials that will direct to the Mind Plan tool and drive to Every Mind Matters content on NHS.UK.

  • Social media animations including a social toolkit
  • Social statics
  • Embedding instructions for the Mind Plan tool
  • Web banners
  • Radio

The campaign is being supported by the NHS, local authorities and a range of mental health charities, health organisations as well as other charities and commercial sector partners.

The Every Mind Matters platform has been continuously updated to support people during the COVID-19 outbreak, and has a COVID-19 hub that includes tips and support on how to deal with change, cope with money worries and job uncertainty and how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home. It also includes practical tips and videos from experts on dealing with stress and anxiety, boosting your mood, sleeping better and what you can do to help others – including advice for parents and for children and young people

As we all struggle to manage extended weeks of lockdown, it is more important than ever that you care for your mental wellbeing. If you are looking for some advice on how to keep your mental health in shape, visit Osteopathy for Health for some tips on how to help improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Last month, NHS England and NHS Improvement launched the ‘Help Us Help You – NHS Access’ campaign which looks to address the barriers that are deterring patients from accessing NHS services.

Since then, the mental health phase of the campaign has launched, aiming to increase awareness of NHS talking therapies services (IAPT). It will encourage adults with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression to seek help and consider accessing talking therapy via their GP or through self-referral. Campaign resources including posters, social media assets and a social calendar are available on the Campaign Resource Centre.

Study suggests women and young people have been hardest hit psychologically by coronavirus lockdown

A new study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, has looked at the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on population mental health.

  • It found that there was an overall increase in mental distress in people aged 16 years and older in the UK.
  • This did not affect all groups equally, with some subgroups showing marked increases. Factors most strongly linked with mental health deterioration were those associated with pre-existing health inequalities, such as gender and age.
  • Other factors were unique to the circumstances, such as being a keyworker.
  • The study found that being young, a woman, and living with children had a particularly strong influence on the extent to which mental distress increased.
  • Additionally, the increase in mental distress relative to previous trends was greater among those who were employed before the pandemic. This is likely due to a loss in income, furlough or a shift to homeworking.
  • The authors suggested that it is reasonable to expect the emergence of long-term effects of economic recession on mental health, such as increasing suicide rates and hospital admissions for mental health.
  • The study suggests that these problems are not necessarily new, but instead could result in pre-existing mental health inequalities becoming more entrenched.

 

Two new outputs have been published by the Q Lab and Mind on improving care for people living with both mental and physical health problems:

  1. A practical guide to improving care that includes ideas, challenges to prepare for and examples to learn from.
  2. A set of service principles that can be used to inform decisions about improving, designing or commissioning services across mental health and persistent back and neck pain.

The outputs are a result of the 12-month partnership between the Q Improvement Lab (part of Q, delivered by the Health Foundation) and Mind – the mental health charity – on improving care across mental and physical health. The work draws on the expertise and experiences of 150+ participants and five frontline teams across the UK developing and testing new ideas in their local contexts.

The guide and principles have been designed to be accessible to a range of people affected by this challenge. Download and use the outputs in your own work or feel free to share with colleagues and your wider networks.

You can find out more about this project, including the learning published so far, on the Q Lab website.

Designing care for people living with both mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain

by Jenna Collins, Marketing and Communications Manager, Q Labs, The Health Foundation

In September 2018, the Q Improvement Lab (part of the Health Foundation) and Mind embarked on a year-long collaboration to understand how care can be improved across mental health and persistent back and neck pain.

The Q Lab and Mind have recently shared the first insights from this work, drawing on the experiences of over 100 collaborators to give an overview of why this challenge warrants attention and promising opportunities to improve care. A small number of organisations are now developing and testing ideas and the findings will be shared later this year.

Read essays, learning and insights from the Mental health and persistent back and neck pain project.

Guest blog by Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health

Having a musculoskeletal condition increases your risk of having a mental health problem, and people with a mental health condition are more likely to have a range of MSK problems. Yet the way services for both are organised and the ways professionals in each are trained offers little recognition of the overlaps between them.

Mental health and MSK conditions share some common traits and challenges. Both are complex and diverse. Many are poorly understood. And neither has traditionally been afforded priority status within the NHS.

Nonetheless, both are finally gaining recognition by policymakers as causes of long-lasting distress, pain, poverty and disability. The NHS Long Term Plan, for example, includes a welcome focus on improving mental health support, including an extension of psychological therapy provision for people with long-term physical conditions. And a new five-year MSK strategy sets out a range of actions that statutory bodies such as Public Health England and charities including Versus Arthritis and ARMA will take to prevent MSK conditions and improve support for those living with them.

The MSK strategy specifically notes the links with mental health, citing a fourfold higher risk of depression among people living with chronic pain and a 50% higher risk of back pain among people with depression [1]. It goes on to note that integrated working may therefore help to support people with co-occurring needs more effectively, though gives little detail about what that might mean in practice.

Centre for Mental Health is now working with partners in both mental and physical health to highlight the often neglected physical health needs of people living with long-term mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or personality disorders through a collaborative called Equally Well [2]. Having a severe mental illness is known to cut short life expectancy by 15-20 years. But for many it also comes with chronic pain and disability. And too often people’s physical symptoms are ignored or overshadowed by their mental illness.

We want to change that by ensuring that people working in and using mental health services have a bigger focus on physical health, and that those working in physical health can work equally well with someone who has a mental health diagnosis as they can with someone who does not. For MSK professionals, this may mean being more aware of the nature and impact of mental health conditions, and being able to work in trauma-informed ways [3]. Building links with mental health professionals and service users can help to ensure people get timely help where possible to prevent MSK problems and whenever necessary to offer the right help and support to people who need it.

Some services, for example Sussex MSK Partnership [4], understand the importance of ‘no health without mental health’ (one of its three core values) and the value of people who use services being recognised as equal partners in designing and delivering this sort of support [5].

It is vital that people living with long-term mental health conditions get the same recognition for their physical health needs, with MSK professionals available to meet their needs in ways that they find helpful and convenient (including for those who may be in hospital for their mental health).

Achieving equal health for people with mental health conditions requires the whole health and care system to work differently. But ultimately, it is about the interactions professionals have with people day to day. And through Equally Well we hope to work with ARMA and colleagues across the MSK sector to enable people to bring about change at every level of the system and to ensure no one is left without the support they need for their physical and mental health.

References:

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/810348/Musculoskeletal_Health_5_year_strategy.pdf
[2] https://www.equallywell.co.uk
[3] https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/engaging-complexity
[4] https://sussexmskpartnershipcentral.co.uk/
[5] https://www.hsj.co.uk/patient-and-public-involvement/patient-leadership-for-real-the-sussex-model-for-patient-partnership/7022549.article

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is very much on my mind as I write this during RA Awareness Week. Yesterday I attended a roundtable discussing the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) and RA. Rheumatology doesn’t get a specific mention in the plan, but there is plenty of content on related issues. There is mention of chronic pain, for instance, which is very relevant to ARMA and to RA. Access to integrated pain services is something ARMA members have identified as a priority following the publication of our mental health report last month, and by the time this is published I will have presented at a meeting of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition.

MSK gets a number of mentions in the Long Term Plan but it’s easy to get the impression that this is all about osteoarthritis. ARMA is very clear that rheumatology is part of MSK, and just as important a part of our work as orthopaedics. I am part of an advisory group for the NHSE review of elective care access standards (waiting times in plain English) and I know that this is a vital issue for rheumatology. There are delays in patients recognising that their symptoms might be serious, and often further delays in GPs making a referral to rheumatology so, once referred, it’s vital that there isn’t a long wait to see a rheumatologist. But the roundtable heard that only 32% of RA patients are seen in a time recommended by NICE and almost 10% wait longer than the general waiting time target of 18 weeks.

The roundtable heard that three things impact on remission rates for RA and one of them is rapid access to specialist assessment.  Another is starting therapies quickly. The Long Term Plan talks about reducing delays in access to evidence based treatment. The example it gives is joint replacement surgery, but access to biologics in RA is another excellent example.

The final factor increasing chances of remission is a person centred holistic approach to care. The roundtable heard about unmet needs of RA patients, including pain, anxiety and depression. ARMA’s roundtable report on mental health and MSK has been well received in both MSK and mental health sectors. It’s very relevant to RA patients, and we will be pursuing the recommendations over the coming months.

After the meeting I was asked what would help rheumatology get the best out of the Long Term Plan. Part of my answer was that it needs to be clearly part of MSK, which is included in the plan. Which is why ARMA’s core offer for local NHS Plans includes rheumatology. Let’s be clear, no CCG, STP or ICS can say it is delivering good MSK services if it hasn’t included rheumatology, pain and mental health in their plans.