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New ideas for research in mental health mooted at meet up

PUBLISHED: 11:48 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 30 November 2017

Jon Wilson, research director at NSFT. Photo: NSFT

Jon Wilson, research director at NSFT. Photo: NSFT

NSFT

Mental health workers from across East Anglia met in Norwich to help improve NHS mental health services for children and young people through research.

Hosted by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and organised by the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) the Research Collaboration Workshop was held at the OPEN venue on November 22.

It aimed to inspire collaboration among NHS mental health researchers, academics, support workers and students.

The workshop saw ideas generated for research projects which could significantly help to improve care and treatments for children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties. After discussions about current studies and care improvements identified by existing research, groups focused on key mental health areas to identify issues which could be targeted, including early intervention, psychosis and public health.

In attendance were NHS researchers and students from across East Anglia, from Hertfordshire and Cambridge University Hospitals in the west of the region to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn and NSFT in the east. They were also joined by researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the NIHR.

As a result of the collaborative effort a number of study ideas have been generated and work will now be carried out to apply for funding to develop them further.

Dr Jon Wilson, Research Director at NSFT welcomed attendees to the event along with facilitators from the Trust, UEA and the NIHR.

He said: “Research is the foundation of NHS services, allowing new treatments and improvements in care to take place. Having so much knowledge and experience together in one room at the same time is an invaluable way to define and develop the best research which will have the greatest impact on our young people. It was an inspiring day and we look forward to seeing how the ideas ignited develop.”

One of the current studies discussed at the workshop is DECRYPT, the UK’s first study to look at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in children and young adults attending NHS child and youth mental health services. The study aims to test if a new kind of cognitive therapy which is currently used to treat adults with PTSD can also help those aged 8-17.

The study is funded by the NIHR and is led by Dr Richard Meiser-Stedman at the University of East Anglia. It is already taking place at NSFT and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust together with Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

For more information on this and other NIHR research taking place visit www.nihr.ac.uk/nihr-in-your-area/mental-health

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