Journal of Public Mental Health

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Children and young people’s mental health
  • Editorial
  • The Well-Connected Community – A networking approach to community development (3rd Edition) by Alison Gilchrist
  • The men’s wellbeing project: promoting the well-being and mental health of men

    Purpose: Comparatively, men have poorer physical and mental health outcomes than women, with a significantly higher suicide rate. Contributory factors are thought to be social and biological, leading to reduced access to health-care services. The study aims to develop and implement community-based support to increase awareness of and access to men’s mental health support networks and groups. Design/methodology/approach: The project involved three key work-packages discussed in this paper: raising awareness of men’s mental health needs in health care, educational and community settings; collaboration between National Health Services (NHS) and non-NHS health-care support organisations to build multi-sector partnership working; and developing a supported sports-based community intervention aimed at men living with mental health conditions. The acceptability and feasibility of these work-packages were pragmatically evaluated through mixed-methods surveys and qualitative content analysis. Findings: Overall, both community events and sports groups successfully engaged men living with mental health problems. Organisations interested in men’s mental health are continuing to engage in a partnership initiative. Community events were well-attended and received positive feedback, particularly regarding the educative and real-life experiences approach promoted in the events. The sports intervention is feasible and well-accepted by participants, who described feeling supported with their physical and mental health needs, with increased mental well-being reported. Research limitations/implications: The main limitations of this project are that the authors only evaluated a football group rather than all work areas. The project collected outcomes relating to participants’ demographics and qualitative reflections of participating in the football group along with a retrospective survey of perceived benefits, but the project did not undertake a pre- and post-comparison of well-being outcomes owing to low completion of these measures. Future work could focus on collecting more pre- and post-measures related to well-being, recovery and inclusion and compare these with men not involved in the football groups or public events. Practical implications: This paper discusses the development and feasibility of setting up community-based men’s mental health support networks, involving public events, partnership working and targeted-sports interventions. All initiatives were well-received and successfully attended by men living with mental health conditions. Evaluation of the programme revealed the value placed on education about mental health and the role that community sports interventions may play in men’s mental health care. Social implications: This project has demonstrated three different ways of supporting men’s mental health needs in the community. Community public events were held to raise awareness of men’s mental health needs and issues were well-attended and highlighted the need for health promotion and education in this area across all the communities. The men’s football group demonstrated the feasibility of moving mental health support out into a non-clinical and more community arena in a way that men engaged effectively. Finally, the creation of MensNet has bought together disparate multi-sector organisations successfully to lead public health mechanisms to support men’s mental health needs. Originality/value: This paper describes a new multi-disciplined approach to supporting health-seeking challenges among men, in particular, how partnership working across NHS and non-NHS sectors can successfully support an identified public health need pragmatically using existing services and organisations.

  • Guest editorial
  • Editorial
  • An interview with Géraldine Dufour
  • The Mentally Healthy Schools Workbook
  • “We need to slowly break down this barrier”: understanding the barriers and facilitators that Afro-Caribbean undergraduates perceive towards accessing mental health services in the UK

    Purpose: Undergraduates are highly susceptible to the development of mental health difficulties. Afro-Caribbean students are particularly vulnerable to the pressures of university yet are less likely than other ethnic groups to receive early intervention. This paper aims to understand the barriers and facilitators that Afro-Caribbean undergraduates perceive towards accessing mental health services in the UK. Design/methodology/approach: Critical Incident Technique was used as the qualitative method because it explores the critical factors that contribute to or detract from a specific experience. Seventeen Afro-Caribbean undergraduates participated in five focus groups. This involved engaging in a novel psychosocial activity that incorporated vignettes to encourage the identification of barriers and facilitators to service access. The data were analysed thematically to generate categories of critical incidents and wish-list items. Findings: Analysis revealed rich data from a sub-group rarely researched within UK literature. Fifteen barriers, eleven facilitators and five wish-list items were identified. The importance of mental health literacy, social networks, cultural sensitivity and concerns surrounding services underpinned many categories. Originality/value: Findings provide a new perspective on barriers reported in previous literature. Novel facilitators were highlighted where, although psychological and sociocultural factors were deemed valuable, structural changes were most desired. Recommended changes illustrate innovative interventions that could make services accessible for young adult Afro-Caribbean populations. Future research should explore the barriers and facilitators identified by Afro-Caribbean undergraduates across various universities who have successfully accessed and engaged with services. This could provide a holistic perspective on viable facilitators enabling access despite the presence of barriers.

  • Student drinking: is change possible?

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how the NUS (National Union of Students)’ Alcohol Impact programme is attempting to change patterns of student drinking using findings from the 2017 Students and Alcohol national survey conducted by NUS as context. Design/methodology/approach: The 2017 Students and Alcohol national survey results were gathered via the distribution of the survey using the NUS’ database of NUS extra cardholders. A total of 2,215 responses was collected. Using this information, the author has approached this paper as a case study of NUS’ Alcohol Impact Programme. Findings: Results from the 2017 Students and Alcohol national survey demonstrated that although there was a misalignment between what students perceived their peers were drinking prior to university and what they were actually reporting drinking, there was the persistence of harmful behaviours reported after consumption of alcohol. Feedback from partnerships involved in the Alcohol Impact programme has shown measurable improvements in areas including the inclusion of non-drinkers and anti-social behaviour. Originality/value: Rolled out nationally, Alcohol Impact could be used to take positive steps in addressing the harmful consequences of student alcohol consumption.

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