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  1. Carers week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution carers make to families and communities. Details about carers week and information about support for carers can be found by visiting the Carers UK website https://www.carersuk.org; information for carers is also available on the Carers Trust Solihull website  https://www.solihullcarers.org/carersweek/

    Information and support for carers is also available on our website.

  2. The Meriden Family Programme would like to invite you to participate in a current piece of research, outlined below.

    “Family workers’ experiences of delivering Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT) to service-users (and their families) with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and another mental health condition.” 

    What is the purpose of this research? 

    The current research will explore clinicians’ perspectives around delivering BFT to families of a service-user with ASD and another mental health condition (specifically, one presenting with psychosis). The ultimate aim is to identify ways in which BFT can be better implemented and the relevant training conducted more effectively.

    What are the requirements to participate? 

    The only requirement is that you have delivered BFT to at least one service-user (and their family) with comorbid ASD and another mental health condition (presenting with psychosis). If you have had contrasting experiences (i.e. positive with one family and negative with another), this would be especially advantageous, but is most certainly not essential.

    What will happen/what will I be asked to do? 

    You will be asked a series of questions relating to your experiences during an online or telephone interview, which will be recorded and subsequently transcribed. Please note that: (i) interviews should take no longer than half an hour and (ii) recordings will be kept securely and your personal details will only be shared with necessary parties overseeing the research.

    Who will be conducting the research/interview? 

    The interview (and, later in the process, data analysis) will be conducted by a research student at the University of Birmingham, under the supervision of the Meriden team.

    What if I wish to withdraw? 

    The Meriden team supports the practice of protecting participants and their emotional well- being. Should you wish to withdraw at any time, please be aware that you are free to do so without penalty.

    What happens afterwards? 

    A report outlining the findings of the study will be written, which you are welcome to have a copy of.

    If you have any further questions, or would like to get involved, please contact Lucy Moid (lucy-anne.moid@nhs.net).

  3. What is the training?

    Psychological therapies for people with severe mental health problems (PTSMHP) are a key part of the integrated offer for adults, as set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan. The Mental Health Implementation Plan and subsequent Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, provides a new framework to ensure services are integrated, “place based” and designed to meet specific local need.

    For those experiencing severe and/or complex mental health problems, the Framework advocates the provision of NICE-recommended psychological therapies and views these as critical in giving people the best chance to get better and to stay well. Funding to commission new courses has been made available to Health Education England (HEE) through NHS England (NHSE) and a national curriculum has been agreed for the training based on the best available evidence.

    The Meriden Family Programme is one of 4 training providers commissioned to deliver across England and will be offering a 12-month programme via Microsoft Teams to staff working in community adult or older adult services. The training will equip practitioners with the skills to deliver evidence based face-to-face FI sessions, as well as remote working where necessary.

    Please read HEE Cohorts 3 4 Brochure Brochure information with training application details.

    For further details on the course, please email us at bsmhft.meriden@nhs.net

    How to apply

    Applications can be made by submitting the booking form to bsmhft.meriden@nhs.net and we will then forward applications to HEE for authorisation and confirmation.

  4. Why not check out the collection of short and simple videos in the NHS National health and social care video library? The library includes a full range of videos about different conditions including Mental Health and Caring.

    You can access them online in your internet browser or download the new app – when opening select either your local area or the national library.

    Search for a condition or treatment, or scroll down the page until you find what you want.  Press the button and you’ll be presented with a range of relevant top tips and how-to videos.  All videos have been reviewed by NHS Clinicians.

    Particularly worth a view are the Mental Health and Caring videos – including Mental Health First Aid caring for someone with a mental health diagnosis who goes into crisis

  5. Figures released this summer from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that rates of depression have doubled in their survey group during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The figures are based on the number of adults reporting depressive symptoms in Great Britain between 4 and 14 June 2020, based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. This survey revisited the same group of adults both before and during the pandemic and shows how their symptoms of depression have changed over a 12-month period.

    Depression is among the most common types of mental disorders and can affect people in different ways, causing a wide variety of symptoms. These symptoms range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things they used to enjoy and feeling very tearful.  More information available on the NHS website  

    The ONS Survey showed that:

    Almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020 – this had almost doubled from around 1 in 10 (9.7%) before the pandemic (July 2019 to March 2020).

    Younger adults – aged 16 to 39 years – were more likely to have moderate to severe depressive symptoms when compared with other ages.

    Women were more likely than men to report moderate to severe depressive symptoms, with women having 1.7 times the odds of men reporting these symptoms.

    The odds of adults, who could not afford an unexpected but necessary expense of £850, reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms were around four times greater (4.4) than those able to afford this expense.

    The odds of adults, who were classified as disabled reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms, were six times greater (6.0) than those who were not classed as disabled.

    There was an increase in the proportion of working adults experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic – this increase included those working as key workers.

    Over two in five (42.2%) adults experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic said their relationships were being affected, compared with one in five (20.7%) adults with no, or mild, depressive symptoms.

    To find out more about how COVID-19 is affecting the UK – check out the ONS COVID-19 roundup which is updated as new statistics are released.

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