Recovery Research Network (RRN)

2021 RRN Emails

January 2021

Recovery Research Network eBULLETIN

January 2021

RRN Meetings

Due to the ongoing developments with regards to Covid-19, RRN in-person meetings are suspended at the present time.

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects both nationally and internationally.  During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, remaining connected to our networks is important.  Please can we encourage our readership to continue to submit material to e-bulletin using the detail below.  As ever, comments are welcome from the readership about articles included in the e-bulletins.

Thank-you. Please stay safe, and our best wishes to you all.

Please submit material to either Shula Ramon or Tony Sparkes. Their contact details are:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Mental Healh

The impact of coronavirus, and government measures to restrict its transmission, means that we have to pay particular attention to our mental health and wellbeing. There is a considerable amount of advice and information available online. In this edition, we have included some examples at the end of the e-bulletin.

RRN Membership Profile

Anyone who has an interest in recovery research can join the RRN, just fill in the online form available at:
https://www.researchintorecovery.com/events/rrn/join/

A Call to PhD Students and their Supervisors

Please could we remind the readership that PhD students (and their supervisors) are particularly welcome to join the RRN. The forum provides a unique opportunity to network and build research capacity. The network also provides a collegial environment to present doctoral work.

Recovery Research: We would like to learn from your experience of conducting recovery research. Therefore, would readers kindly get in touch with the Network to let us know about the things that have helped and the things that have hindered during your experience of undertaking recovery research. Please send your comments to either Tony or Shula.

Conferences and Events

In an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, limitations upon the free movement of people are evident in many countries throughout the world.  As you will no doubt be aware, such measures have impacted upon national and international travel and hospitality.

Whilst it is likely that face-face conferencing/events will not be taking place in their ‘traditional’ format, it may be that alternative or innovative platforms are being utilised to deliver such events going forward.

i)  The University of South-Eastern Norway are hosting a rescheduled seminar with the title: The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity.  Originally scheduled for later this month, the new date will be:  16th June 2021.  For more information please click here

ii)  Writing out of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the guest editors invite papers that orientate towards promoting a better understanding of the processes of recovery and concepts of citizenship and wellbeing for young people who live with substance use and mental health problems.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1st September 2021.  For more information please click here

iii)  A call for papers has been expressed by:  Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, prevention and early intervention.

Title for the Special issue: Peer support in mental health services
Internationally the past decade has seen a burgeoning of lived experience, peer support services often driven by changes in mental health workforce policy. This special issue will focus on research on peer support for consumers and/or carers, in mental health, Alcohol and other Drugs and gambling services.  This issue is particularly interested in gaining an international perspective on peer support. Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review studies will be considered. We welcome publications that report consumer-  or carer-led research and are authored or co-authored by peer support workers.  It is expected that the special issue will be published in Nov 2021.

Process for submission:
1.  Abstracts of 200-250 words due 31 January 2021. Please email these directly to Dr Kitty Vivekananda at Kitty.Vivekananda@monash.edu.au
We will inform you by 12 February, 2021  if your abstract has been accepted to submit a full copy of the article.

2.  Full manuscripts of no more than 5000 words  due 11 April 2021.  We will encourage authors to make accepted manuscripts available via a pre-print server so that research is as accessible as possible to the peer support community.

Please contact the Editors of the special issue Kitty Vivekananda if you have any queries about a potential submission.

Submission guidelines: 
Please refer to the Taylor and Francis website for submission guidelines for the journal:
http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ramh20&page=instructions#.VPOfx2ccR9N

Guest Editors
Professor  Steve Gillard (Professor of Mental Health Research, City University, London, UK ),
Dr Kitty Vivekananda (Psychology and Counselling Programs, Monash University, Melbourne Australia), Dr Phillip Tchernegovski (Monash University, Melbourne), and Ms Chiara McDowell  (Monash University Melbourne), Ms Cate Bourke (Eastern Health, Melbourne).

Papers and Publications

In addition to peer-reviewed literature and work of a purely academic nature, the e-bulletin also welcomes the submission of material that would include grey literatures (such as briefing papers, reports and so on) that attest to the broader impact of personal recovery.

i)  Griffiths, C., Walker, K., Reid, I.,  da Silva, K.M. and O’Neill-Kerr, A. (2021) A qualitative study of patients’ experience of ketamine treatment for depression: The ‘Ketamine and me’ project. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports.  Vol.4 April 2021. Online:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadr.2021.100079

Abstract
Background: There has been a lack of in-depth interviews investigating patient experience of ketamine treatment for depression. We examined participants’ pathways to receiving ketamine infusion to treat their depression, and their responses to, lived experiences of, and attitudes towards ketamine treatment.
Methods: Qualitative methods were used to conduct in-depth interviews with 13 patients (6 male; 7 female) diagnosed with treatment resistant depression (TRD) with experience of receiving ketamine treatment for depression. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed.
Results: For the majority of participants ketamine infusion causes a reported initial ‘high’, enhanced perception, and dissociative experience; followed by a lifting of mood and a reduction in or removal of suicidal ideation and depression symptoms lasting around 3–6 days. This leads to a reported increase in motivation, socialisation, and activity. All participants valued the therapeutic alliance with clinicians which enhanced the treatment experience and all advocated treatment access for those with depression who have not responded to other treatments.
Limitations: Small numbers, purposive sample, participant self-selection, and single site recruitment limit generalisability.
Conclusions: Ketamine for depression can have many beneficial effects, and it is potentially life-transforming for some. Ketamine may be a source of hope for patients for whom other treatments have not been effective. For some, ketamine is not tolerated or does not have anti-depressive effects. Further qualitative in-depth exploration of patient experience and consideration of how ketamine depression treatment access can be appropriately made available are warranted.

ii)  Karbouniaris, S., Abma, T., Wilken, J-P. and Weerman, Alie. (2020) Use of experiential knowledge by mental health professionals and its contribution to recovery: literature review. Journal of Recovery in Mental Health.  4(1) Online:
https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/rmh/article/view/35243

Abstract
Objective: This article explores the use of experiential knowledge by traditional mental health professionals and the possible contribution to the recovery of service users.
Design and Methods: The review identified scientific publications from a range of sources and disciplines. Initial searches were undertaken in databases PsycINFO, PubMed, and Cochrane using specific near operator search strategies and inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Results: Fifteen articles were selected. These were published in a broad range of
mental health and psychology journals reporting research in western countries. In the selected articles, a varying conceptualization of experiential knowledge was found, differing from therapeutic self-disclosure embedded in psychotherapeutic contexts to a relational and destigmatizing use in recovery-oriented practices. Nurses and social workers especially are speaking out about their own experiences with mental health distress. Experiential knowledge stemming from lived experience affects the professional’s identity and the system. Only a few studies explored the outcomes for service users’ recovery.
Conclusion: A small body of literature reports about the use of experiential knowledge by mental health professionals. The mental health system is still in transformation to meaningfully incorporate the lived experience perspective from traditional professionals. There is little data available on the value for the recovery of service users. This data indicates positive outcomes, such as new understandings of recovery, feeling recognized and heard, and increased hope, trust, and motivation. More research about the meaning of experiential knowledge for the recovery of service users is desirable.

iii)  Mosher, J.K. (2020) “I remember…so, let’s not forget”: remembering our past lest we repeat it.  Psychosis.  12(4), 368-376

Abstract
What happens when we, as a profession, forget our past, whether it is what history and research have taught or the values that motivated us to become healers? Here, I explore this question. First, I remember several experiences I have had that illustrate what can go wrong when we “forget.” Then, I review some of our history and research, critically examining it, to remind us of those lessons. Finally, I share examples from my own practice to show how remembering the past can guide us in the present.

iv)  Henson, C., Truchot, D. and Canevel, A. (2020) What promotes post traumatic growth? A systematic review.  European Journal of Trauma and Dissociation.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejtd.2020.100195

Abstract
People who experience major life crises often report post-traumatic stress. However, the literature suggests that traumatic experiences can also be “catalysts” for positive change (i.e., posttraumatic growth; PTG). PTG (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2006) can include improved relationships, new possibilities for one’s life, a greater appreciation for life, a greater sense of personal strength, and spiritual development.

While the general population isn’t confronted with traumatic events regularly, individuals such as firefighters, policemen, and EMTs are. But what factors foster the emergence of PTG? To answer this question, a systematic search of four major database (Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, and ScienceDirect) was conducted.

Some of the factors that promoted PTG included sharing negative emotions, cognitive processing or rumination, positive coping strategies (e.g. positive reappraisal), personality traits (e.g. agreeableness), experiencing multiple sources of trauma, event centrality, resilience, and growth actions. Other factors may be mediators of PTG rather than direct influencers (e.g., seeking social support coping, social support, optimism, etc.). Finally, studies show a positive correlation between PTG and support for aggressive behaviour suggesting that growth may be more nuanced than originally thought. By exploring systematically the factors that foster PTG in trauma-exposed professionals, we hope this systematic review would both provide avenues for future research and help design news methods of prevention and intervention for first responders

v)  Howlett, N., Bottoms, L., Chater, A., Clark, A.B., David, L., Irvine, K., Jones, A., Jones, J., Mengoni1, S.E., Murdoch, J., Pond, M., Sharma, S., Sims, E.J., Turner, D.A., Wellsted, D., Wilson, J., Wyatt, S. and Trivedi, D. (2021) A randomised controlled trial of energetic activity for depression in young people (READY): a multi-site feasibility trial protocol. Pilot and Feasibility Studies.  7(6).  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-00734-7

Abstract
Background: Prevalence of depression is increasing in young people, and there is a need to develop and evaluate behavioural interventions which may provide benefits equal to or greater than talking therapies or pharmacological alternatives. Exercise could be beneficial for young people living with depression, but robust, large-scale trials of effectiveness and the impact of exercise intensity are lacking. This study aims to test whether a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of an intervention targeting young people living with depression is feasible by determining whether it is possible to recruit and retain young people, develop and deliver the intervention as planned, and evaluate training and delivery.
Methods: The design is a three-arm cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial with embedded process evaluation. Participants will be help-seeking young people, aged 13–17 years experiencing mild to moderate low mood or depression, referred from three counties in England. The intervention will be delivered by registered exercise professionals, supported by mental health support workers, twice a week for 12 weeks. The three arms will be high-intensity exercise, low-intensity exercise, and a social activity control. All arms will receive a ‘healthy living’ behaviour change session prior to each exercise session and the two exercise groups are energy matched. The outcomes are referral, recruitment, and retention rates; attendance at exercise sessions; adherence to and ability to reach intensity during exercise sessions; proportions of missing data; adverse events, all measured at baseline, 3, and 6 months; resource use; and reach and representativeness.
Discussion: UK National Health Service (NHS) policy is to provide young people with advice about using exercise to help depression but there is no evidence-based exercise intervention to either complement or as an alternative to medication or talking therapies. UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines suggest that exercise can be an effective treatment, but the evidence base is relatively weak. This feasibility trial will provide evidence about whether it is feasible to recruit and retain young people to a full RCT to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an exercise intervention for depression

vi)  Pierce, M., Hope, H., Ford, T., Hatch, S., Hotopf, M., John, A., Kontopantelis, E., Webb, R., Wessely, S., McManus. S. and Abel, K.M. (2020) Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population.  Lancet Psychiatry 7. 883–92.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30308-4

Abstract
Background: The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population mental health is of increasing global concern. We examine changes in adult mental health in the UK population before and during the lockdown.
Methods: In this secondary analysis of a national, longitudinal cohort study, households that took part in Waves 8 or 9 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) panel, including all members aged 16 or older in April, 2020, were invited to complete the COVID-19 web survey on April 23–30, 2020. Participants who were unable to make an informed decision as a result of incapacity, or who had unknown postal addresses or addresses abroad were excluded. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Repeated cross-sectional analyses were done to examine temporal trends. Fixed-effects regression models were fitted to identify within-person change compared with preceding trends.
Findings: Waves 6–9 of the UKHLS had 53 351 participants. Eligible participants for the COVID-19 web survey were from households that took part in Waves 8 or 9, and 17 452 (41·2%) of 42 330 eligible people participated in the web survey. Population prevalence of clinically significant levels of mental distress rose from 18·9% (95% CI 17·8–20·0) in 2018–19 to 27·3% (26·3–28·2) in April, 2020, one month into UK lockdown. Mean GHQ-12 score also increased over this time, from 11·5 (95% CI 11·3–11·6) in 2018–19, to 12·6 (12·5–12·8) in April, 2020. This was 0·48 (95% CI 0·07–0·90) points higher than expected when accounting for previous upward trends between 2014 and 2018. Comparing GHQ-12 scores within individuals, adjusting for time trends and significant predictors of change, increases were greatest in 18–24-year-olds (2·69 points, 95% CI 1·89–3·48), 25–34-year-olds (1·57, 0·96–2·18), women (0·92, 0·50–1·35), and people living with young children (1·45, 0·79–2·12). People employed before the pandemic also averaged a notable increase in GHQ-12 score (0·63, 95% CI 0·20–1·06).
Interpretation:  By late April, 2020, mental health in the UK had deteriorated compared with pre-COVID-19 trends. Policies emphasising the needs of women, young people, and those with preschool aged children are likely to play an important part in preventing future mental illness.

vii)  Agenda (2020) Often Overlooked: Young women, poverty and self-harm.  A briefing by Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, and the National Centre for Social Research.  NatCen: London

Summary of report
Agenda draw upon new analysis of data carried out in three surveys (2000, 2007 and 2014) of 16-74 year olds living in England. Their briefing suggests that:

  • Since the year 2000, rates of self-harm in England have increased across the population; and in young women they have tripled.
  • Self-harm is more common among people who face poverty and disadvantage. This seems to be particularly the case for women.
  • Young women living in the lowest income households are five times more likely to self-harm than those in the highest income homes.
  • Most people who self-harm receive no medical or psychological help as a result, and this is particularly true for young people.

From their summary page, Agenda argue that: A cross-government response to prevention and support, that takes account of gender, poverty and disadvantage, is needed.

viii)  Niederkrotenthaler, T., Gunnell, D., Arensman, E., Pirkis, J., Appleby, L., Hawton, K., John, A., Kapur, N., Khan, M., O’Connor, R.C., Platt, S. and the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration. (2021) Suicide Research, Prevention, and COVID-19: Towards a Global Response and the Establishment of an International Research Collaboration.  Crisis. 41(5), 321–330

Summary
Niederkrotenthaler et al. offer a cogent and timely case for the establishment of an international research collaboration with regard to suicide research and prevention at a time of Covid-19.  Their editorial pulls to the importance and relevance of an evidence-based response that focuses upon assessing the impact of Covid-19 upon both mental health, and upon suicide and suicidal behaviour. The authors attend to a number of research considerations that have emerged due to the pandemic, before clearly setting out a case for international collaboration. It is concluded that such a collaboration represents an important step forward in better understanding the impact of suicide and suicidal behaviour at this time, and an appeal is made for colleagues to register suicide prevention research studies to facilitate this initiative:
https://www.iasp.info/covid-19/covid-19-suicide-research-studies

Other News

i) Following the successful online two half days conference on ‘Shared Decision Making 2020 and Beyond’, we attach a link to the website which has the recordings of all presentations, and slides of our distinguished speakers. You can take a look at the resources here:

https://www.health.herts.ac.uk/elearning/SDM2020/web/

The comments and questions are also included on the website.

If you wish to contribute to the website, please contact Prof. Shula Ramon (ramon@herts.ac.uk)

ii)  Recovery stories:
Mike Slade’s Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study has launched www.recoverystories.uka new interactive website which provides online access to mental health recovery stories. We have collected hundreds of stories from around the world, in text, video and audio form, and preliminary evidence suggests that these stories can help people feel connected to others including the storyteller. We are now running three trials using this website, the largest of which is called the NEON Trial.

RRN members can help us in two ways:

1.  Recruitment and participation
The NEON Trial is currently recruiting people who:-

  • Have experienced psychosis or psychosis-like experiences in the past 5 years
  • Have experienced mental health distress in the past 6 months
  • Live in England
  • Aged over 18 years
  • Have access to the internet
  • Can provide informed consent

If you or someone else you know meet the inclusion criteria, more information and eligibility checking can be accessed here www.recoverystories.ukWe would also like to recruit people who have cared for others experiencing mental health problems.

2.  Promotion of the Trial.  Would you help us to promote the NEON Trial through your networks? You can use any of the publicity materials available at www.researchintorecovery.com/neontrials/promotion or just tweet:
Can real-life mental health recovery stories help you with your own mental health? Access hundreds of recovery stories in the NEON Trial. Help researchers @InstituteMH understand the benefits of accessing other people’s recovery narratives. See recoverystories.uk

Follow us on Twitter (@neontrials), Instagram (@neontrials) and Facebook today!

iii)  Coronavirus and Mental Health (information)
The following links are intended to illustrate the range of information and advice that is currently available with regard to Covid-19.  It is neither exhaustive, nor is it arranged in any particular order. Apologies for any obvious omissions.

World Health organisation
Gov.uk
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Centre for Mental Health
Mental health Foundation
Mind
Rethink
Carers UK
National Service User Network
British Psychological Society
British Association of Social Workers
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal college of Nursing
Royal College of Occupational Therapists

iv)  Shula Ramon and Tony Sparkes co-produce the RRN monthly e-bulletin. Please email if there is anything you would like included in the next issue, as we are keen to receive and advertise more news, articles and website references. Information can be posted to either Shula or Tony at the following:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

February 2021

Recovery Research Network eBULLETIN

February 2021

RRN Meetings

Due to the ongoing developments with regards to Covid-19, RRN in-person meetings are suspended at the present time.

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects both nationally and internationally. During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, remaining connected to our networks is important. Please can we encourage our readership to continue to submit material to e-bulletin using the detail below. As ever, comments are welcome from the readership about articles included in the e-bulletins.

Thank-you. Please stay safe, and our best wishes to you all.

Please submit material to either Shula Ramon or Tony Sparkes. Their contact details are:
Shula: s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony: a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Mental Healh

The impact of coronavirus, and government measures to restrict its transmission, means that we have to pay particular attention to our mental health and wellbeing.  There is a considerable amount of advice and information available online.  In this edition, we have included some examples at the end of the e-bulletin.

RRN Membership Profile

Anyone who has an interest in recovery research can join the RRN, just fill in the online form available at:
https://www.researchintorecovery.com/events/rrn/join/

A Call to PhD Students and their Supervisors

Please could we remind the readership that PhD students (and their supervisors) are particularly welcome to join the RRN. The forum provides a unique opportunity to network and build research capacity. The network also provides a collegial environment to present doctoral work.

Recovery Research: We would like to learn from your experience of conducting recovery research. Therefore, would readers kindly get in touch with the Network to let us know about the things that have helped and the things that have hindered during your experience of undertaking recovery research. Please send your comments to either Tony or Shula.

Conferences and Events

 

In an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, limitations upon the free movement of people are evident in many countries throughout the world.  As you will no doubt be aware, such measures have impacted upon national and international travel and hospitality.

Whilst it is likely that face-face conferencing/events will not be taking place in their ‘traditional’ format, it may be that alternative or innovative platforms are being utilised to deliver such events going forward.

i)  Hertfordshire County Council, Public Health & the University of Hertfordshire Masterclass: Public mental health and the COVID-19 response
Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10am – 12pm. This is an online event which will be held via zoom.

The aim of this masterclass is to provide an overview of the work undertaken to support resident’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will draw on case examples and research from across the system demonstrating the need for a joined-up approach to address the complex issues impacting on people’s mental health and improve outcomes for the population of Hertfordshire.

To register, or to find out further information please visit the Eventbrite page (password:publichealth123) Please direct any queries regarding this event to publichealth@hertfordshire.gov.uk

This event is free for all relevant professionals working in Hertfordshire, whether statutory, private or voluntary sector.

ii)  The University of South-Eastern Norway are hosting a rescheduled seminar with the title: The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity.  Originally scheduled for later this month, the new date will be:  16th June 2021.  For more information please click here.

iii)  Writing out of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the guest editors invite papers that orientate towards promoting a better understanding of the processes of recovery and concepts of citizenship and wellbeing for young people who live with substance use and mental health problems.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1st September 2021.  For more information please click here

iv)  A call for papers has been expressed by:  Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, prevention and early intervention.

Title for the Special issue: Peer support in mental health services

Internationally the past decade has seen a burgeoning of lived experience, peer support services often driven by changes in mental health workforce policy. This special issue will focus on research on peer support for consumers and/or carers, in mental health, Alcohol and other Drugs and gambling services.  This issue is particularly interested in gaining an international perspective on peer support. Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review studies will be considered. We welcome publications that report consumer-  or carer-led research and are authored or co-authored by peer support workers.
It is expected that the special issue will be published in Nov 2021.

Process for submission:
1.  Abstracts of 200-250 words due 31 January 2021. Please email these directly to Dr Kitty Vivekananda at Kitty.Vivekananda@monash.edu.au
We will inform you by 12 February, 2021  if your abstract has been accepted to submit a full copy of the article.

2.  Full manuscripts of no more than 5000 words  due 11 April 2021.
We will encourage authors to make accepted manuscripts available via a pre-print server so that research is as accessible as possible to the peer support community.

Please contact the Editors of the special issue Kitty Vivekananda if you have any queries about a potential submission.

Submission guidelines: 
Please refer to the Taylor and Francis website for submission guidelines for the journal:
http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ramh20&page=instructions#.VPOfx2ccR9N

Guest Editors
Professor  Steve Gillard (Professor of Mental Health Research, City University, London, UK ),
Dr Kitty Vivekananda (Psychology and Counselling Programs, Monash University, Melbourne Australia), Dr Phillip Tchernegovski (Monash University, Melbourne), and Ms Chiara McDowell  (Monash University Melbourne), Ms Cate Bourke (Eastern Health, Melbourne).

v)  Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context: Request for participatory & or user-led research, commentaries & reports.

The Lancet Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context consists of a group of researchers, policy makers, clinicians , family members and service users convened to produce a comprehensive knowledge synthesis and vision for future research and development focused on psychosis. As part of the overall Commission, the lived experience/psychosocial disabilities involvement workgroup will be conducting a systematic review of studies and reports focused on psychosis that have utilized participatory methods (spanning user/survivor-led research, co-production, participatory action research and so on). While we will conduct traditional searches of the academic literatures, due to the variety of terms used internationally and variations in reporting of methods or lived experience/stakeholder involvement, we are seeking self-submissions of relevant work in the following categories:

  • Peer reviewed research studies of any kind (autoethnographic qualitative, quantitative, etc.) led or co-led by researchers who identify as service users/persons with psychosocial disability/lived experience;
  • Peer-reviewed research studies of any kind (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) that have included an explicit service user/psychosocial disability and/or family participation component;
  • Doctoral dissertations or theses that would otherwise meet the above criteria and have not (yet) been published;
  • Commentaries specifically focused on psychosis (language, subjective experience, service reform, innovation, human rights, etc.) and that are led or co-produced by authors with personal experience of psychosis, whether they appear in academic or non-academic venues;
  • Self nominated studies or evaluations using participatory methodologies that have not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal (ie ‘grey literature’ texts) but that include some description of methodology (who the sample is, what methods were used, how data was analyzed).
  • Note that submissions can be in any language – we are actively working on developing translated versions of the flyer and survey: please contact us to request a copy in another language.

Have something to submit? Click or copy the URL below or the  QR code to the right :
https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5ptxGnxIayEZhsy

Questions? : contact us at lancetcommissionpsychosis@gmail.com

Papers and Publications

In addition to peer-reviewed literature and work of a purely academic nature, the e-bulletin also welcomes the submission of material that would include grey literatures (such as briefing papers, reports and so on) that attest to the broader impact of personal recovery.

i)  Sofouli, E. (2020) Cross-cultural conceptualization and implementation of recovery in mental health: a literature review.  Mental Health and Social Inclusion. 25(1) 32-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-08-2020-0057

Abstract
Purpose:  The purpose of this paper is to review the literature in terms of the conceptualization of the recovery concept among cultural and ethnic minorities drawing on the connectedness, hope and optimism about the future; Identity, meaning in life, empowerment (CHIME) framework; highlight the cultural adaptations of supported housing – a prominent recovery-oriented intervention, as it was implemented in a multicultural western country; and delineate the future implications for research, policy and practice in regard to mental health recovery interventions for cultural and ethnic minorities.
Design/methodology/approach:  An online search was performed to identify recent empirical studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals.
Findings:  Included studies confirmed what the authors of CHIME had initially reported: spirituality and support networks could act as enablers or inhibitors in the recovery process of mental health services users with diverse cultural backgrounds. The stigma surrounding mental illness is a key challenge that skews the recovery experience. Other cultural-specific factors include linguistic peculiarities of the maternal language and gender. The cultural adaptation of a recovery-oriented intervention was feasible and effective but also challenging.
Originality/value:  By studying the cultural variations of mental health recovery, the intention is to inform mental health practitioners and other key stakeholders of the distinct cultural components that influence the recovery process, thereby promoting the development of culturally sensitive, accessible and effective recovery-oriented interventions. It is worth noting that providing culturally appropriate mental health services could be viewed as a human right issue for minority groups

ii)  Cochrane, C., Moran, N. and Newton, E. (2021) Exploring the impacts of a carers’ psycho-education group: personal insights from the family of people with early psychosis.  Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2020.1861073

Abstract
Introduction:  Carers (family and friends) are simultaneously impacted by a loved one’s experience of psychosis and influential in supporting recovery from psychosis. This study examines carers’ experiences and perceived impacts of a psycho-education group within one Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service in England.
Methods:  Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with seven carers who had attended a psycho-education group. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) for which a small sample is recommended.
Results:  Participants highlighted the importance of carers’ early access to information and of working around barriers to attendance at psychoeducation groups. They perceived that their attendance at the group had enhanced their confidence and independence in supporting loved ones with their symptoms, encouraged greater involvement in care planning, and overall improved carer wellbeing. Further, sharing experiences had increased their understanding of psychosis and helped with tackling stigma and feelings of shame.
Implications and areas for further research are discussed.

iii)  Leendertse, J.C.P., Wierdsma, A.I., van den Berg, D., Ruissen, A.M., Slade, M., Castelein, S. and Mulder, C.L. (2021) Personal recovery in people with a psychotic disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of associated factors. Frontiers in Psychiatry.  12:622628.  Online:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.622628/full

Abstract
Background: Personal recovery (PR) is a subjective, multidimensional concept, and quantitative research using PR as an outcome is rapidly increasing. This systematic review is intended to support the design of interventions that contribute to PR in psychotic disorders, by providing an overview of associated factors and their weighted importance to PR: clinical factors, social factors, and socio-demographic characteristics are included, and factors related to the concept of PR (organized into CHIME dimensions).
Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted from inception to March 2020. Quantitative studies that had used a validated questionnaire assessing the concept of PR were included. Mean effect sizes for the relationship between PR-scale total scores and related factors were calculated using meta-analyses. Sources of heterogeneity were examined using meta-regression tests.
Results: Forty-six studies, that used (a total of) eight PR measures, showed that in clinical factors, affective symptoms had a medium negative association with PR-scale total scores (r = −0.44, 95%CI −0.50 to −0.37), while positive, negative and general symptoms had small negative correlations. No association was found with neuro-cognition. Social factors (support, work and housing, and functioning) showed small positive correlations. Gender and age differences had barely been researched. Large associations were found for PR-scale total scores with the CHIME dimensions hope (r = 0.56, 95%CI 0.48–0.63), meaning in life (r = 0.48, 95%CI 0.38–0.58) and empowerment (r = 0.53, 95%CI 0.42–0.63); while medium associations were found with connectedness (r = 0.34, 95%CI 0.43–0.65) and identity (r = 0.43, 95%CI 0.35–0.50). Levels of heterogeneity were high, sources included: the variety of PR measures, variations in sample characteristics, publication bias, variations in outcome measures, and cultural differences.
Discussion: Most interventions in mental healthcare aim to reduce symptoms and improve functioning. With regard to stimulating PR, these interventions may benefit from also focusing on enhancing hope, empowerment, and meaning in life. The strength of these findings is limited by the challenges of comparing separate CHIME dimensions with questionnaires assessing the concept of PR, and by the high levels of heterogeneity observed. Future research should focus on the interaction between elements of PR and clinical and social factors over time.

iv)  van Bussel, E.M.M., Nguyen, N.H.M., Wierdsma, A.I., van Aken, B.C., Willems, I.E.M.G. and Mulder, C.L. (2021) Adult attachment and personal, social, and symptomatic recovery from psychosis: systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers of Psychiatry. 12:641642. Online:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.641642/full

Abstract
Despite growing evidence for the role of attachment in psychosis, no quantitative review has yet been published on the relationship in this population between insecure attachment and recovery in a broad sense. We therefore used meta-analytic techniques to systematically appraise studies on the relationship between attachment and symptomatic, social and personal recovery in clients with a psychotic disorder. Using the keywords attachment, psychosis, recovery and related terms, we searched six databases: Embase, Medline Epub (OVID), Psycinfo (OVID), Cochrane Central (trials), Web of Science, and Google Scholar. This yielded 28 studies assessing the associations between adult attachment and recovery outcome in populations with a psychotic disorder. The findings indicated that insecure anxious and avoidant attachment are both associated with less symptomatic recovery (positive and general symptoms), and worse social and personal recovery outcomes in individuals diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. The associations were stronger for social and personal recovery than for symptomatic recovery. Attachment style is a clinically relevant construct in relation to the development and course of psychosis and recovery from it. Greater attention to the relationship between attachment and the broad scope of recovery (symptomatic, social, and personal) will improve our understanding of the illness and efficacy of treatment for this population.

v)  Pipkin, A., Armitage, S., Knight, M. and Hogg, L. (2021) “A blank canvas of me”: an interpretive phenomenological analysis study of the experience of client self-disclosure in cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis.  Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1881597

Abstract
Background:  Client disclosure of emotionally salient information to a therapist may be an important factor in the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp). The present study explores how people engaging with CBTp make sense of sharing emotionally salient information with a therapist and considers how mental health stigma may influence how participants decide whether to share information.
Methods:  Eight participants were recruited for semi-structured interviews lasting 30–75 minutes. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used.
Results:  Two main themes were identified. I am responsible for controlling the negative impact of disclosure refers to participants’ awareness that sharing distressing experiences may have negative consequences. Participants worried about being judged, such as being seen as abnormal or having the potential to harm others. They also worried about feeling shamed or dis- tressed. Non-disclosure may be a way of avoiding these fears. The second theme, Therapy makes me feel normal, describes how participants viewed themselves more positively from their therapist validating and understanding their experiences.
Conclusions:  Internalized stigma-based beliefs may influence self-disclosure, and the therapeutic relationship may provide alternative, positive beliefs about the self as normal. Further research can explore beliefs about self- disclosure and consider micro-affirmations as a therapeutic process.

vi)  Bhavsar, V., Kirkpatrick, K., Calcia, M. and Howard, L.M. (2021) Lockdown, domestic abuse perpetration, and mental health care: gaps in training, research, and policy.  The Lancet. 8(3) 172-174

Summary
Situated at a time of Covid-19, Bhavsar et al provide commentary about the disproportionate impact of domestic abuse on children and women and its causal role in avoidable morbidity and patient safety.  Although the authors rightly caution about inappropriate causal attributions between mental illness and domestic abuse, they point out that mental health services may encounter populations that have a higher prevalence of people affected by domestic abuse than does the general population.  Drawing upon empirical work, Bhavsar et al make a strong case for ‘addressing the gaps in mental health services’ training and practice in responding to domestic abuse perpetration’. Moreover their call is comprehensive, cutting across many issues (such as idenitication and disclosure, and risk assessment for example) while stressing the need for maintaining engagement and safety.  The author’s comments also come at a time of Covid-19 which may have contributed to an increase in domestic abuse on the one hand, and decreased its visibility on the other.

vii)  Schout, G. (2020) Into the swampy lowlands. Evaluating family group conferences, European Journal of Social Work. Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2020.1760796

Abstract
A recent debate in the UK on the merits of randomised controlled trials in evaluating Family Group Conferencing is a reason to bring this debate to a wider audience than the UK. Other countries are also struggling with accountability and the desire to know what works in the light of public spending. This paper explores, debunks and rethinks ways of evaluating FGCs and how it is connected to our desire to predict and control future circumstances. For the latter insights of the Dutch philosopher Kunneman are used to understand what is going on. The rise of personalised medicine, however, holds practical reasons to rethink the value of population-based randomised controlled trials in social work in general. Where the field of medicine is moving from ‘one cure for all’ and population-based RCTs to individually tailored therapy and N-of-1 studies in order to meet the complexity of particular cases, some fields in the social sciences seem to have difficulties in moving from reductionism towards a more integrated view of life.

Other News

i) Led by Rai Waddingham, The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is currently co-ordinating a mapping exercise on the subject of Lived Experience Leadership.  To find out more about this initiative, please see:
https://www.nsun.org.uk/lived-experience-leadership

ii)  Recovery stories:
The Recovery Research Team at University of Nottingham is running the NEON trials, which are looking at whether access to online stories of recovery from mental health problems can help people affected by mental health problems. People can join the trials at https://www.recoverystories.uk.

We currently have over 1,600 participants from across England taking part, so many thanks to the Recovery Research Network for all the support. Trials will be closing to recruitment very soon, so if you know of anyone who might want to take part, please let them know. The three trials are:

  • People with experience of psychosis in the NEON Trial
  • People living with any other type of mental health problem in the NEON-O Trial
  • Carers of people living with ANY mental health problem in the NEON-C Trial

We have recently featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘All in the mind’ and on the BBC South East regional news. If you are interested in hearing more about the study you can take a look at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pfh3 and https://bit.ly/2MlQxoC

iii)  Coronavirus and Mental Health (information)
The following links are intended to illustrate the range of information and advice that is currently available with regard to Covid-19.  It is neither exhaustive, nor is it arranged in any particular order. Apologies for any obvious omissions.

World Health organisation
Gov.uk
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Centre for Mental Health
Mental health Foundation
Mind
Rethink
Carers UK
National Service User Network
British Psychological Society
British Association of Social Workers
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal college of Nursing
Royal College of Occupational Therapists

iv)  Shula Ramon and Tony Sparkes co-produce the RRN monthly e-bulletin. Please email if there is anything you would like included in the next issue, as we are keen to receive and advertise more news, articles and website references. Information can be posted to either Shula or Tony at the following:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

March 2021

Recovery Research Network eBULLETIN

March 2021

RRN Meetings

Due to the ongoing developments with regards to Covid-19, RRN in-person meetings are suspended at the present time.

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects both nationally and internationally.  During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, remaining connected to our networks is important.  Please can we encourage our readership to continue to submit material to e-bulletin using the detail below.  As ever, comments are welcome from the readership about articles included in the e-bulletins.

Thank-you. Please stay safe, and our best wishes to you all.

Please submit material to either Shula Ramon or Tony Sparkes. Their contact details are:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Mental Healh

The impact of coronavirus, and government measures to restrict its transmission, means that we have to pay particular attention to our mental health and wellbeing.  There is a considerable amount of advice and information available online.  In this edition, we have included some examples at the end of the e-bulletin.

RRN Membership Profile

Anyone who has an interest in recovery research can join the RRN, just fill in the online form available at:
https://www.researchintorecovery.com/events/rrn/join/

A Call to PhD Students and their Supervisors

Please could we remind the readership that PhD students (and their supervisors) are particularly welcome to join the RRN. The forum provides a unique opportunity to network and build research capacity. The network also provides a collegial environment to present doctoral work.

Recovery Research: We would like to learn from your experience of conducting recovery research. Therefore, would readers kindly get in touch with the Network to let us know about the things that have helped and the things that have hindered during your experience of undertaking recovery research. Please send your comments to either Tony or Shula.

Conferences and Events

In an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, limitations upon the free movement of people are evident in many countries throughout the world. As you will no doubt be aware, such measures have impacted upon national and international travel and hospitality.

Whilst it is likely that face-face conferencing/events will not be taking place in their ‘traditional’ format, it may be that alternative or innovative platforms are being utilised to deliver such events going forward.

i)  The University of South-Eastern Norway are hosting a rescheduled seminar with the title: The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity.  Originally scheduled for later this month, the new date will be:  16th June 2021.  For more information please click 

ii)  Writing out of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the guest editors invite papers that orientate towards promoting a better understanding of the processes of recovery and concepts of citizenship and wellbeing for young people who live with substance use and mental health problems.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1st September 2021.  For more information please click here

iii)  A call for papers has been expressed by:  Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, prevention and early intervention.

Title for the Special issue: Peer support in mental health services

Internationally the past decade has seen a burgeoning of lived experience, peer support services often driven by changes in mental health workforce policy. This special issue will focus on research on peer support for consumers and/or carers, in mental health, Alcohol and other Drugs and gambling services.  This issue is particularly interested in gaining an international perspective on peer support. Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review studies will be considered. We welcome publications that report consumer-  or carer-led research and are authored or co-authored by peer support workers.
It is expected that the special issue will be published in Nov 2021.

Process for submission:
1.  Abstracts of 200-250 words due 31 January 2021. Please email these directly to Dr Kitty Vivekananda at Kitty.Vivekananda@monash.edu.au
We will inform you by 12 February, 2021  if your abstract has been accepted to submit a full copy of the article.

2.  Full manuscripts of no more than 5000 words  due 11 April 2021.
We will encourage authors to make accepted manuscripts available via a pre-print server so that research is as accessible as possible to the peer support community.

Please contact the Editors of the special issue Kitty Vivekananda if you have any queries about a potential submission.

Submission guidelines: 
Please refer to the Taylor and Francis website for submission guidelines for the journal:
http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ramh20&page=instructions#.VPOfx2ccR9N

Guest Editors
Professor  Steve Gillard (Professor of Mental Health Research, City University, London, UK ),
Dr Kitty Vivekananda (Psychology and Counselling Programs, Monash University, Melbourne Australia), Dr Phillip Tchernegovski (Monash University, Melbourne), and Ms Chiara McDowell  (Monash University Melbourne), Ms Cate Bourke (Eastern Health, Melbourne).

iv)  Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context: Request for participatory & or user-led research, commentaries & reports.

The Lancet Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context consists of a group of researchers, policy makers, clinicians , family members and service users convened to produce a comprehensive knowledge synthesis and vision for future research and development focused on psychosis. As part of the overall Commission, the lived experience/psychosocial disabilities involvement workgroup will be conducting a systematic review of studies and reports focused on psychosis that have utilized participatory methods (spanning user/survivor-led research, co-production, participatory action research and so on). While we will conduct traditional searches of the academic literatures, due to the variety of terms used internationally and variations in reporting of methods or lived experience/stakeholder involvement, we are seeking self-submissions of relevant work in the following categories:

  • Peer reviewed research studies of any kind (autoethnographic qualitative, quantitative, etc.) led or co-led by researchers who identify as service users/persons with psychosocial disability/lived experience;
  • Peer-reviewed research studies of any kind (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) that have included an explicit service user/psychosocial disability and/or family participation component;
  • Doctoral dissertations or theses that would otherwise meet the above criteria and have not (yet) been published;
  • Commentaries specifically focused on psychosis (language, subjective experience, service reform, innovation, human rights, etc.) and that are led or co-produced by authors with personal experience of psychosis, whether they appear in academic or non-academic venues;
  • Self nominated studies or evaluations using participatory methodologies that have not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal (ie ‘grey literature’ texts) but that include some description of methodology (who the sample is, what methods were used, how data was analyzed).
  • Note that submissions can be in any language – we are actively working on developing translated versions of the flyer and survey: please contact us to request a copy in another language.

Have something to submit? Click or copy the URL below or the  QR code to the right :
https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5ptxGnxIayEZhsy

Questions? : contact us at lancetcommissionpsychosis@gmail.com

Papers and Publications

In addition to peer-reviewed literature and work of a purely academic nature, the e-bulletin also welcomes the submission of material that would include grey literatures (such as briefing papers, reports and so on) that attest to the broader impact of personal recovery.

i)  Friesen, P., Goldstein, J. and Dixon, L.  (2021): A “blip in the road”: experiences of identity after a first episode of psychosis.  Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1876159

Abstract
Introduction: Psychosis can affect identity in fundamental ways. Increasingly, those experiencing psychosis for the first time are enrolled in early intervention services. We sought to explore how individuals enrolled in such services felt their identity was impacted by their experience of psychosis.
Methods: In-depth interviews exploring themes related to identity and psychosis were conducted with 10 participants from two early intervention services in New York City.
Findings: The experience of psychosis alienated many participants from themselves, although participants differed in whether these experiences were meaningful to their self-understanding. Participants also varied in how they sought to explain their experiences of psychosis; some participants questioned their diagnoses and the explanations offered to them, whereas others tried to negotiate between a clinical description of psychosis and their own understanding of their experiences. Many participants also experienced positive changes following their experience of psychosis, including greater maturity, empathy, and compassion.
Discussion: Some participants appeared to take on recovery styles of both integrating and sealing-over in response to their experience of psychosis, while most participants’ reports were suggestive of posttraumatic growth. Several struggled to make sense of the explanatory frameworks offered to them, drawing from various explanatory frameworks in a form of bricolage.

ii)  Longden, E., Corstens, D., Pyle, M., Emsley, R., Peters, S., Chauhan, N., Dehmahdi, N. and  Morrison, A.P.  (2021): Engaging dialogically with auditory hallucinations: design, rationale and baseline sample characteristics of the Talking With Voices pilot trial.  Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1884740

Abstract
The Talking With Voices (TWV) pilot trial assesses feasibility and acceptability of a novel dialogical intervention to ameliorate distress associated with auditory hallucinations. The single-site, single-blind (rater) feasibility randomised controlled trial recruited adult participants with a diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder who were allocated to either treatment as usual (TAU), or TAU plus up to 26 sessions of TWV therapy over six months. Participants were assessed at baseline and at six-month follow-up. The primary outcomes are quantitative and qualitative assessments of feasibility and acceptability amongst patients and healthcare staff. Secondary outcomes are clinical measures, including targeted instruments for voice hearing, dissociation, and emotional distress. Recruitment figures and baseline characteristics of the sample are reported (N = 50). The TWV pilot trial aims to extend the evidence-base for interventions which use techniques such as dialogue, formulation, and trauma-informed working to improve relationships between hearer and voice, with results intended to inform a definitive, randomised trial to assess clinical and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Current findings demonstrate that recruitment and treatment allocation targets were met. If shown to be acceptable, the intervention may provide new therapeutic options for voice hearers with a diagnosis of psychosis.

iii)  Orsi, J.A., Malinowski, F.R.L. Kagan, S., Weingarten, R., Villares, C.C., Bressan, R.A., de Oliveira, W.F.,  Andrade, M.C.R. and Gadelha, A.  (2021)  Evaluation of ongoing participation of people with schizophrenia in a mutual support group as a complementary intervention to outpatient psychiatric treatment.  Psychiatric Quarterly. Online:
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11126-021-09893-z

Abstract
This study aims to evaluate a group of people with schizophrenia undergoing outpatient treatment and who participate in a mutual support intervention, compared to another group of people with the same diagnosis, but attending only the usual outpatient treatment. This is a prospective study, with two measurements between six months. The mutual support group was initially composed of 16 people and the treatment as usual group was composed of 15 people. Clinical (medication adherence and functioning) and Recovery (hope, well-being, recovery and internalized stigma) outcomes were assessed. Nonparametric tests were used to verify differences in measurements between groups and between two moments. A higher level of internalized stigma and a decrease in the adherence to drug treatment in the treatment as usual group were verified. When comparing the pre-post difference between groups, there was a greater increase in adherence to drug treatment in the mutual support group. Our data point to more favourable results in the mutual support group, showing that ongoing participation in these groups is an important tool for the recovery process and for the treatment itself.

iv)  Phillips, C., Tai, S. and Berry, K.  (2021): Experiences of acute mental health inpatient care in the UK: from admission to readmission. Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1881596

Abstract
Eight service users with experiences of psychosis were interviewed about the support provided by mental services before, during and after acute mental health inpatients admissions in the UK. All participants had at least one other admission to an acute mental health ward in the preceding six months. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three themes were identified: 1) Quality of therapeutic relationships, 2) Adjusting to sudden shifts in care, 3) Struggling without the ward environment. Although participants acknowledged positive care experiences within their narratives, significant challenges were evident in the abilities of services to effectively meet service users’ needs across the care pathway. Findings highlight the importance of consistent support centred on service users’ needs at all stages of care. Service users need support to build autonomy and coping skills to sustain meaningful recovery within the community and reduce the likelihood of readmission.

v)  Enticott, J.C., Shawyer, F., Brophy, L.M., Russell, G., Mazza, D., Wilson-Evered, E., Weller, P.J., Slade, M., Edan, V. and Meadows, G.N.  (2021) REFOCUS-PULSAR Recovery-oriented practice training in adult primary mental health care: exploratory findings including from a pretest–posttest evaluation. Front. Psychiatry.  12:625408.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.625408

Abstract
Objectives: Australian general practitioners (GPs) are pivotal in mental health care. The REFOCUS-PULSAR (Principles Unite Local Services Assisting Recovery) primary care study aimed to improve personal recovery outcomes in adults with mental health problems consulting GPs.
Design: Modified from an intended stepped-wedge cluster study, an exploratory (pre- and post-intervention) design employed cross-sectional surveys of patients consulting GPs.
Setting: Eighteen primary care sites (clusters) in Victoria, Australia in 2013–2017.
Participants: From 30 GPs recruited, 23 participated (76%), with 235 patient surveys returned from adults aged <75 years receiving mental health care.
Intervention: A co-delivered face-to-face training intervention for GPs in recovery-oriented practice (ROP), with personal recovery a key focus, used multimedia, mnemonics, and targeted interview schedules to encourage ROP—with availability of support sessions for 1 year.
Outcome Measures: Primary: the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery full-scale score (outcome). Secondary: INSPIRE (experience),Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) and Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) (outcomes). Other: General-practice-Users Perceived-need Inventory (experience).
Results: Small positive significant effects indicated primary-outcome post-intervention improvements [t-test (233) = −2.23, p = 0.01], also improvement in two secondary outcomes (WEMWBS t(233) = −2.12, p = 0.02 and K10 t(233) = 2.44, p = 0.01). More patients post-intervention reported “no need” for further help from their GP; but in those reporting needs, there was greater unmet need for counselling.
Conclusions: ROP implementation, internationally influential in specialist mental health care, here is explored in primary care where it has had less attention. These exploratory findings suggest better patient outcomes followed introducing GPs to ROP in routine practice conditions. Higher unmet need for counselling post-intervention reported by patients might be a sign of limited supply despite ROP facilitating better identification of needs. Challenges in project implementation means that these findings carry risks of bias and flag the importance establishing research infrastructure in primary care.

vi)  Hornstein, G.A., Branitsky, A. and Robinson Putnam, E.  (2021): The diverse functions of hearing voices peer-support groups: findings and case examples from a US national study. Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1897653

Abstract
Hearing voices peer-support groups (HVGs) enable people coping with voices, visions, or other unshared perceptual experiences to explore the particularities and potential meanings of their experiences while receiving support from others facing similar challenges. HVGs have now spread to 30 countries on five continents, and many members report profound life changes as a result of participating. Yet systematic research exploring how and why these groups work is still in its early stages. To understand the diverse functions that HVGs can serve, we analyzed the experiences of 111 group members across the US, who provided detailed accounts of their voice-hearing histories and group participation. Using phenomenological and thematic analyses, our collaborative team of voice hearers and researchers identified key elements that make HVGs distinctive, including their prioritizing of self-determination; de-emphasizing behavioural targets or pressure to change; respecting and welcoming multiple frameworks of understanding; cultivating curiosity about perplexing experience in any form; and fostering egalitarian collaboration and genuine relationships among members seen as “experts by experience.” We illustrate the dynamic relations among these elements through case examples, and then outline comparisons between HVGs and other types of groups, as well as directions for future research.

vii)  Wynter, E., Meade, T. and Perich, T. (2021) Parental and partner role functioning and personal recovery in bipolar disorder.  Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23127

Abstract
Objectives: Bipolar disorder research has primarily focused on clinical outcomes but there is increasing understanding of the importance of personal recovery. This study aimed to explore the relationship between functioning in key social roles including parenting and intimate relationships with personal recovery.
Method: Participants with bipolar disorder (N = 393) were recruited to participate in an online survey. Participants provided clinical information and completed measures of personal recovery, parental and intimate relationship functioning.
Results: Parental functioning and intimate relationship functioning were found to be significantly associated with recovery scores with higher scores being associated with greater recovery. Parental functioning was also found to have a predictive effect, with higher parental functioning predicting greater recovery scores.
Conclusions: This study suggests that greater parental functioning may have an important role in the experience of personal recovery for people living with bipolar disorder. Future studies should further assess how supporting parenting may contribute recovery outcomes.

viii)  Aga, N., Rowaert, S., Vander Laenen, F., Vandevelde, S., Vander Beken, T., Audenaert, K. and Vanderplasschen, W. (2021)  Connectedness in recovery narratives of persons labelled Not Criminally Responsible: a qualitative study.  International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2021.1880503

Abstract
Objective: Connectedness is placed at the heart of the recovery process in mental health care. However, in regard to persons labelled not criminally responsible (NCR), considerations of recovery and connectedness remain in the background. The aim of this study is to under- stand and explore how individuals labelled not criminally responsible experience connectedness.
Research method: Sixty-seven in-depth interviews were examined and thematically analyzed.
Results: Interviews revealed emotional, functional and personal connectedness as categories of connectedness, each with different qualitative determinants.
Conclusion: This study shows that connectedness should be considered as an essential ingredient of the recovery process by practitioners as well as policy makers. We recommend a shift from an individualistic, punitive approach toward a recovery-supportive rhetoric and more ‘shared decision making’ between service users and providers at all levels

Other News

i)  Led by Rai Waddingham, The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is currently co-ordinating a mapping exercise on the subject of Lived Experience Leadership.  To find out more about this initiative, please see:
https://www.nsun.org.uk/lived-experience-leadership

ii)  Recovery stories:
The Recovery Research Team at University of Nottingham is running the NEON trials, which are looking at whether access to online stories of recovery from mental health problems can help people affected by mental health problems. People can join the trials at https://www.recoverystories.uk.

We currently have over 1,600 participants from across England taking part, so many thanks to the Recovery Research Network for all the support. Trials will be closing to recruitment very soon, so if you know of anyone who might want to take part, please let them know. The three trials are:

  • People with experience of psychosis in the NEON Trial
  • People living with any other type of mental health problem in the NEON-O Trial
  • Carers of people living with ANY mental health problem in the NEON-C Trial

We have recently featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘All in the mind’ and on the BBC South East regional news. If you are interested in hearing more about the study you can take a look at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pfh3 and https://bit.ly/2MlQxoC

iii)  Coronavirus and Mental Health (information)
The following links are intended to illustrate the range of information and advice that is currently available with regard to Covid-19.  It is neither exhaustive, nor is it arranged in any particular order. Apologies for any obvious omissions.

World Health organisation
Gov.uk
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Centre for Mental Health
Mental health Foundation
Mind
Rethink
Carers UK
National Service User Network
British Psychological Society
British Association of Social Workers
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal college of Nursing
Royal College of Occupational Therapists

iv)  Shula Ramon and Tony Sparkes co-produce the RRN monthly e-bulletin. Please email if there is anything you would like included in the next issue, as we are keen to receive and advertise more news, articles and website references. Information can be posted to either Shula or Tony at the following:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

April 2021

Recovery Research Network eBULLETIN

April 2021

RRN Meetings

Due to the ongoing developments with regards to Covid-19, RRN in-person meetings are suspended at the present time.

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects both nationally and internationally.  During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, remaining connected to our networks is important.  Please can we encourage our readership to continue to submit material to e-bulletin using the detail below.  As ever, comments are welcome from the readership about articles included in the e-bulletins.

Thank-you. Please stay safe, and our best wishes to you all.

Please submit material to either Shula Ramon or Tony Sparkes. Their contact details are:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Mental Healh

The impact of coronavirus, and government measures to restrict its transmission, means that we have to pay particular attention to our mental health and wellbeing.  There is a considerable amount of advice and information available online.  In this edition, we have included some examples at the end of the e-bulletin.

RRN Membership Profile

Anyone who has an interest in recovery research can join the RRN, just fill in the online form available at:
https://www.researchintorecovery.com/events/rrn/join/

A Call to PhD Students and their Supervisors

Please could we remind the readership that PhD students (and their supervisors) are particularly welcome to join the RRN. The forum provides a unique opportunity to network and build research capacity. The network also provides a collegial environment to present doctoral work.

Recovery Research: We would like to learn from your experience of conducting recovery research. Therefore, would readers kindly get in touch with the Network to let us know about the things that have helped and the things that have hindered during your experience of undertaking recovery research. Please send your comments to either Tony or Shula.

Conferences and Events

In an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, limitations upon the free movement of people are evident in many countries throughout the world.  As you will no doubt be aware, such measures have impacted upon national and international travel and hospitality.

Whilst it is likely that face-face conferencing/events will not be taking place in their ‘traditional’ format, it may be that alternative or innovative platforms are being utilised to deliver such events going forward.

i)  The University of South-Eastern Norway are hosting a rescheduled seminar with the title: The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity.  Originally scheduled for later this month, the new date will be:  16th June 2021.  For more information please click here.

ii)  Writing out of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the guest editors invite papers that orientate towards promoting a better understanding of the processes of recovery and concepts of citizenship and wellbeing for young people who live with substance use and mental health problems.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1st September 2021.  For more information please click here

iii)  A call for papers has been expressed by:  Advances in Mental Health: Promotion, prevention and early intervention.

Title for the Special issue: Peer support in mental health services

Internationally the past decade has seen a burgeoning of lived experience, peer support services often driven by changes in mental health workforce policy. This special issue will focus on research on peer support for consumers and/or carers, in mental health, Alcohol and other Drugs and gambling services.  This issue is particularly interested in gaining an international perspective on peer support. Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods and systematic review studies will be considered. We welcome publications that report consumer-  or carer-led research and are authored or co-authored by peer support workers. 
It is expected that the special issue will be published in Nov 2021.

Process for submission:
1.  Abstracts of 200-250 words due 31 January 2021. Please email these directly to Dr Kitty Vivekananda at Kitty.Vivekananda@monash.edu.au
We will inform you by 12 February, 2021  if your abstract has been accepted to submit a full copy of the article.

2.  Full manuscripts of no more than 5000 words  due 11 April 2021.  
We will encourage authors to make accepted manuscripts available via a pre-print server so that research is as accessible as possible to the peer support community.

Please contact the Editors of the special issue Kitty Vivekananda if you have any queries about a potential submission.

Submission guidelines: 
Please refer to the Taylor and Francis website for submission guidelines for the journal:
http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=ramh20&page=instructions#.VPOfx2ccR9N

Guest Editors
Professor  Steve Gillard (Professor of Mental Health Research, City University, London, UK ),
Dr Kitty Vivekananda (Psychology and Counselling Programs, Monash University, Melbourne Australia), Dr Phillip Tchernegovski (Monash University, Melbourne), and Ms Chiara McDowell  (Monash University Melbourne), Ms Cate Bourke (Eastern Health, Melbourne).

iv)  Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context: Request for participatory & or user-led research, commentaries & reports.

The Lancet Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context consists of a group of researchers, policy makers, clinicians , family members and service users convened to produce a comprehensive knowledge synthesis and vision for future research and development focused on psychosis. As part of the overall Commission, the lived experience/psychosocial disabilities involvement workgroup will be conducting a systematic review of studies and reports focused on psychosis that have utilized participatory methods (spanning user/survivor-led research, co-production, participatory action research and so on). While we will conduct traditional searches of the academic literatures, due to the variety of terms used internationally and variations in reporting of methods or lived experience/stakeholder involvement, we are seeking self-submissions of relevant work in the following categories:

  • Peer reviewed research studies of any kind (autoethnographic qualitative, quantitative, etc.) led or co-led by researchers who identify as service users/persons with psychosocial disability/lived experience;
  • Peer-reviewed research studies of any kind (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) that have included an explicit service user/psychosocial disability and/or family participation component;
  • Doctoral dissertations or theses that would otherwise meet the above criteria and have not (yet) been published;
  • Commentaries specifically focused on psychosis (language, subjective experience, service reform, innovation, human rights, etc.) and that are led or co-produced by authors with personal experience of psychosis, whether they appear in academic or non-academic venues;
  • Self nominated studies or evaluations using participatory methodologies that have not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal (ie ‘grey literature’ texts) but that include some description of methodology (who the sample is, what methods were used, how data was analyzed).
  • Note that submissions can be in any language – we are actively working on developing translated versions of the flyer and survey: please contact us to request a copy in another language.

Have something to submit? Click or copy the URL below 
https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5ptxGnxIayEZhsy

Questions? : contact us at lancetcommissionpsychosis@gmail.com

Papers and Publications

In addition to peer-reviewed literature and work of a purely academic nature, the e-bulletin also welcomes the submission of material that would include grey literatures (such as briefing papers, reports and so on) that attest to the broader impact of personal recovery.

i)  Boden‐Stuart, Z. V., Larkin, M., and Harrop, C. (2021). Young adults’ dynamic relationships with their families in early psychosis: Identifying relational strengths and supporting relational agency. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12337

Abstract
Objectives: Most existing research on the family context of psychosis focuses on the ‘burden’ of caring for people experiencing psychosis. This research is the first to ask young people experiencing early psychosis to ‘map’ and describe their experiences and understandings of their family relationships, and how they have related to their psychosis and recovery.
Design: The research took an inductive, multimodal hermeneutic–phenomenological approach (Boden, Larkin & Iyer, 2019, Qual. Res. Psychology, 16, 218-236; Boden & Larkin, 2020, A handbook of visual methods in psychology, 358-375).
Method: Ten young adults (18–23), under the care of early intervention in psychosis services in the UK, participated in an innovative relational mapping interview (Boden, Larkin & Iyer, 2018), which invited participants to draw a subjective ‘map’ of their important relationships. This visual methodology enables subtle, complex, ambivalent, and ambiguous aspects of the participants’ experiences to be explored.
Results: Findings explore the participants’ accounts of how they love, protect, and care for their families; how they wrestle with family ties as they mature; and their feelings about talking about their mental health with loved ones, which was typically very difficult.
Conclusions:  This paper advances understanding of recovery in psychosis through consideration of the importance of reciprocity, and the identification and nurturance of relational strengths. The capacity of a young person to withdraw or hold back when trying to protect others is understood as an example of relational agency. The possibility for extending strengths-based approaches and family work within the context of early intervention in psychosis services is discussed.

ii)  Mbanu, J. (2021) Understanding how patients with psychosis would prefer to be contacted about research.  Psychosis,13(1) 71-77.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2020.1798490

Abstract
Background: There has been no published research exploring the attitudes of people with psychosis to different communication methods for being contacted about research.
Methods: Fifty patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, psychosis and related disorders completed an open ended questionnaire about: The method(s) by which patients with psychosis would prefer to be contacted about research opportunities; attitudes towards texting as a proposed method for informing patients about research studies; attitudes towards being contacted from a private number; and preferred contact method(s) for research appointment reminders.
Results: Emergent themes from the questionnaire are presented.
Conclusions: The implications for improving research engagement within the psychosis population are discussed and scope for further research highlighted.

iii)  Hurley, J., Jolley, S., Gibbons, O., Williams, A., Nath Varma, S., Bhandari, S., Mukherjee, K., Garraway, H., Jones, C., Aker, N., Appiah-Kusi, E. and Weaver, T. (2021) A five-year prospective evaluation of a new community psychosis service in North London: introducing the Recovery and Enablement Track (RET) Psychosis, 13(1) 1-12
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2020.1803954

Abstract
Background: United Kingdom mental healthcare guidelines recommend recovery-focused services for people with psychosis. We evaluated a “Recovery and Enablement Track” (RET) aiming to promote recovery and well-being, reduce distress and maintain independence from secondary care following discharge, for people with established psychosis and long histories of secondary care.
Method: From March 2015 to December 2019, 214 individuals entered the RET and were followed up 12 months’ post-discharge. Recovery, wellbeing, and distress were measured at assessment, review, and discharge. Of 214 total people, 86 consented to inclusion for this evaluation.
Results: Well-being and recovery significantly improved from assessment to discharge – distress did not. Distress improved from review to discharge, suggesting improvement during service contact. 79% (68/86) of individuals were discharged to the care of their family doctor, and 22% of these (15/68) re-presented before 12-month follow-up.
Conclusion: Recovery and well-being improved from assessment to discharge, distress improved from review to discharge. Half of consenting participants were successfully discharged from secondary care following the RET, suggesting potential to promote recovery. Comparison to a formal control condition with systematic analysis of any biasing effect of missing data (i.e. through refusal to participate) is now indicated

iv)  Todd, T. (2021) “Epistemic injustice” in the administration of mental health legislation. Psychosis, 13(1) 85-88
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2020.1853204

Abstract
The concept of “Epistemic Injustice” was used as a tool to interpret practices applied during the administration of Mental Health legislation by the Mental Health Tribunal Scotland. This highlighted instances of being wronged on several occasions in my capacity as a knower. Example contributory factors included the Tribunal structure and suboptimal application of heuristics by panel members. Factors associated with an appeal process involving a “Designated Medical Practitioner” may offer some potential for improvement of routine application of administrative aspects of Mental Health legislation. Testimonial and hermeneutical issues should be considered.

v)  Nakanishi, S., Kurokawa, G., Niimura, J., Nishida, A., Shepherd, G. and Yamasaki, S. (2021) 
System-level barriers to personal recovery in mental health: qualitative analysis of co-productive narrative dialogues between users and professionals.  BJPsych Open. 7, e25, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.156

Abstract
Background:  No co-productive narrative synthesis of system-level facilitators and barriers to personal recovery in mental illness has been undertaken in Japan previously.
Aims:  To clarify system-level facilitators and barriers to personal recovery of people with mental illness. 
Method:  Qualitative study guided by thematic analysis. Data were collected through one focus group, which involved seven service users and three professionals. This group had 11 meetings, each lasting 2h at a local research institute, between July 2016 to January 2018. 
Results:  The analysis yielded three themes: barriers inhibiting positive interaction within personal relationship networks, roots of barriers from mental health systems and the social cultural context, and possible solutions to address the roots. Barriers were acknowledged as those related to sense of safety, locus of control within oneself and reunion with self. The roots of barriers were recognised within mental health services, including system without trauma sensitivity, lack of advocacy support and limited access to psychosocial approaches. Roots from social cultural context were also found. There were no narratives relating to
facilitators. A possible solution was to address the roots from systems. Social cultural change was called for that makes personalised goals most valued, with an inclusive design that overcomes stigma, to achieve an open and accepting community.
Conclusions: The analysis yielded system-level barriers specific to each recovery process. Roots of barriers that need transformation to facilitate personal recovery were identified within mental health services. Social interventions should be further explored to translate the suggested social cultural changes into action.

vi)  Hui, A., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Franklin, D., Walcott, R., Llewellyn-Beardsley, J., Ng, F., et al. (2021) Institutional injustice: Implications for system transformation emerging from the mental health recovery narratives of people experiencing marginalisation. PLoS ONE 16(4): e0250367.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250367

Abstract
Background:  Institutional injustice refers to structures that create disparities in resources, opportunities and representation. Marginalised people experience institutional injustice, inequalities and discrimination through intersecting personal characteristics and social circumstances. This study aimed to investigate sources of institutional injustice and their effects on marginalised people with experience of mental health problems.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 77 individuals from marginalised groups with experience of mental health problems, including psychosis, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations, complex needs and lived experience as a work requirement.  These were analysed inductively enabling sensitising concepts to emerge.
Findings:  Three processes of institutional injustice were identified: not being believed because of social status and personal backgrounds; not being heard where narratives did not align with dominant discourses, and not being acknowledged where aspects of identity were disregarded. Harmful outcomes included disengagement from formal institutions through fear and mistrust, tensions and reduced affiliation with informal institutions when trying to consolidate new ways of being, and damaging impacts on mental health and wellbeing through multiple oppression.
Conclusions:  Institutional injustice perpetuates health inequalities and marginalised status. Master status, arising from dominant discourses and heuristic bias, overshadow the narratives and experiences of marginalised people. Cultural competency has the potential to improve heuristic availability through social understandings of narrative and experience, whilst coproduction and narrative development through approaches such as communities of practice might offer meaningful avenues for authentic expression.

vii)  Slade, M. (2021) Management of a High-Performing Mental Health Recovery Research Group.  Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, 4007.
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084007

Abstract: A personal perspective is given on the processes involved in managing and sustaining a high-performing mental health recovery research group. The broader context of scholarship in the United Kingdom is outlined, in which academic productivity is commodified specifically in relation to peer-reviewed journal papers. Four leadership choices in developing a high-performing research group are discussed: optimal group size; sharing the workload; maintaining a programmatic focus; and performance expectations. Approaches to maximising innovation are identified, including emotional and intellectual engagement of team members, working with diverse stakeholders and convening communities of practice. We use a highly managed approach to publications from inception to acceptance, which is described in detail. The use of these approaches is illustrated in relation to the Recovery Research Team which was formed in 2009. Specific recovery-related issues covered include demonstrating the ability to develop a significant recovery research portfolio (our four current large [>UK£2 m] studies relate to recovery narratives, global mental health peer support work, digital interventions and Recovery Colleges); the positive implications of actively recruiting researchers with mental health lived experience; how performance issues are managed; our approach to involving lived experience co-authors in papers; and our decision to conduct mixed-methods rather than solely qualitative studies.

Other News

i)  Recovery stories:
The Recovery Research Team at University of Nottingham is running the NEON trials, which are looking at whether access to online stories of recovery from mental health problems can help people affected by mental health problems.

We are delighted to announce that we have now completed recruitment to all three of our trials, with 1830 people from across England taking part. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us out over the past year, we couldn’t have done it without all of the support we have received, much of which we will never know about.

We will now shift our focus to the continued running of the trials, which will enable us to understand how recovery stories can help people.
If you’re interested in keeping up with NEON’s progress, we’ll be posting regular updates to our News page. In late 2022 or early 2023, results from our trials will be made available on the NEON websitein the form of a research publication and a programme summary.

Thank you again for your support

ii)  Writing out of Canterbury Christ Church University, trainee Clinical Psychologist Becky Donne advertises the following research study:
 A research team from Canterbury Christ Church University is looking for participants for a study exploring voice-hearers’ experiences of reading narratives about hearing voices contained in the following books:

  • Accepting Voices by Marius Romme
  • Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery by Marius Romme and Sandra Escher
  • Young People Hearing Voices by Marius Romme and Sandra Escher
  • Learning from the Voices in my Head by Eleanor Longden
  • Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien
  • Recovery: An Alien Concept? by Ron Coleman
  • Working with Voices II: Victim to Victor by Ron Coleman and Mike Smith

We would like to talk to adults (18+) who identify as hearing voices (currently or in the past) and have read at least half of one of the above books. If you are interested in taking part in this study or would like some more information, please visit https://tinyurl.com/3bzbrswp or email Becky Donne (lead researcher) at b.donne204@canterbury.ac.uk  Participation is completely voluntary and all personal information will be kept confidential.

iii)  Prof. Steve Gillard draws attention to the recruitment of up to two PhD studentships at City, University of London, and writes:
 One project is on peer support in A&E, and the other about assessment for trauma and complex-PTSD in Black British people using mental health services. The latter is ring-fenced for Black British students. For more information please see:
https://www2.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_cityuniversity01.asp?s=4A515F4E5A565B1A&jobid=117115,3577123421&key=225047236&c=86480234528254&pagestamp=sewwxzbfwsnxhxrlds

The deadline is the 7th June, and it is advised that anyone interested would be encouraged to contact Prof. Gillard (or one of the other supervisors) in the first instance to discuss the application process.  Prof. Gillard can be contacted at:
sgillard@sgul.ac.uk

iv)  Focussed upon mental health recovery, wellbeing and social inclusion, the University of Nottingham are advertising for a Research Associate/Fellow (fixed-term).  For more information please see:
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/jobs/currentvacancies/ref/MED133221

v)  Coronavirus and Mental Health (information)
The following links are intended to illustrate the range of information and advice that is currently available with regard to Covid-19.  It is neither exhaustive, nor is it arranged in any particular order. Apologies for any obvious omissions.

World Health organisation
Gov.uk
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Centre for Mental Health
Mental health Foundation
Mind
Rethink
Carers UK
National Service User Network
British Psychological Society
British Association of Social Workers
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Occupational Therapists

vi)  Shula Ramon and Tony Sparkes co-produce the RRN monthly e-bulletin. Please email if there is anything you would like included in the next issue, as we are keen to receive and advertise more news, articles and website references. Information can be posted to either Shula or Tony at the following:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

May 2021

Recovery Research Network eBULLETIN

May 2021

International call to support the Trieste Mental Health Service Model
Due to the importance of the request, we are prefacing our May 2021 edition of the RRN ebulletin with an urgent appeal made by Dr Roberto Mezzina, Chair – International Mental Health Collaborating Network.

Dr Mezzina has written out for support following challenge to the Trieste Mental Health Service Model.  The Trieste model has been internationally renowned for its innovative way of working, which currently includes having peer support workers and employment co-operatives, with evidence demonstrating that community services can do well without the need for more than an 8 bedded ward in the general hospital for a population of 300,000 people.  The current challenge threatens a return to the old system, and re-opening the psychiatric hospitals.

Dr Mezzina’s letter (in full, below) is asking for support, with the request that the letter be signed and returned to him.  A link to the letter is hosted on the Change.org website, available here: http://chng.it/SMGHrcLj

The International Mental Health Collaborating Network (IMHCN) has put the English version of Dr Mezzina’s letter on its website too:
https://imhcn.org/news/call-to-add-your-support-for-triestes-current-challenges/

Mental Health disappearing permanently from the radar
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the already dramatic Italian situation consisting in a lack of resources in mental health services, has worsened further throughout all the country. Inaccessible mental health centers, contraction and even suspension of home visits, reduction of voluntary work and social cooperatives.

Nevertheless, it was thanks to the easy and quick access to Mental Health Centers, without waiting lists, that not only the services of Trieste, but those of the whole Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, had consolidated a national and international recognition and reputation.

The WHO has indicated again, in these days, the Trieste model (which now has become regional) as a global example of an integrated network of community services. This recognition will appear in an important WHO document to be published soon. Responses to people “in real time”, with an approach that is not only psychiatric in the strict sense but broadened to respond to the needs of life in its all aspects, respecting and promoting human rights, have been the pillars of Trieste model.

In many other Italian regions, on the other hand, residential structures are spreading, often looking as traditional closed institutions, often privatized and absorbing most of the resources; people are tied up in squalid hospital wards; no home visits are provided; psychotropic drugs are used almost as the exclusive intervention (and often badly); people’s daily needs are burdened on families. This is the situation shown a few years ago by the Parliamentary Commission, which instead rewarded our services. However, despite the multiple awards, the current regional government from the very beginning did not hide the desire to put their hand on the Mental Health Services, and the achievement of the improvement objectives established by the Regional Plan for Mental Health in 2018 became immediately difficult. Listening to the requests of citizens and associations has been also substantially interrupted. There was a reduction in the workforce of all professional figures. The desire to reduce and merge the Community Mental Health Centers became clear, taking a direction which is the opposite to what should be the ultimate goal of a Community Mental Health Service, and so doing blocking the process undertaken during many years, including the functioning of mental health services for 24 hours, with the possibility of welcoming people in crisis in a non-alienating environment. All this has been questioned by re-proposing old hospital wards. This will be achieved with the administrative measures which will break the continuity of the management line.

After the numerous retirements, the management of the facilities, even of the Departments, has been entrusted to staff “acting”, or for short periods, with top functions often entrusted “to override” several services. At the same time, the competitions for the directions of the Mental Health Centers were suspended, and they will be reduced. In these days the competitions for leading positions in Trieste and Pordenone have restarted and quite bizarre rankings have come out: all those who were trained by Basaglia’s school have been penalized or excluded, despite years of commitment and excellent curricula, to the benefit of candidates, often unknown, who come from outside the region. We never thought that even in this region the spoils system would reach executive positions, in which skills and public health orientation should be fundamental elements.

We are entrusting our services to psychiatrists completely alien to consolidated – avant-garde experiences, and who, instead, come from backward situations, from psychiatric wards that are often closed and that still use physical restraint. In other words our services will be managed by people offering old-fashioned outpatient or hospitalization models instead of treatment and reintegration programs that respond to the needs of people with mental disorders. These self-defeating choices are harmful not only to the current system, but to citizens in general, and lead the way of the dismantling of the best services created by the psychiatric reform, resulting in the impoverishment and inefficiency of the public service which risks to become progressively privatized throughout Italy.

Citizens must be involved and restart from a strong alliance of users, families, professionals, services, putting together the experiences of yesterday and today before the breakdowns are irreparable and the huge heritage accumulated in 50 years of experience is dispersed. Freedom is therapeutic, it has been said and argued: it is a right, the greatest, for human beings the one which Franco Basaglia has given back to all Italians, closing the asylums and changing the law. For this reason, let’s not leave the services alone, and let’s prevent the mental health services of the region, from disappearing permanently from the radar, with serious damage for everyone.

Mauro Asquini, Renzo Bonn, Angelo Cassin, Peppe Dell’Acqua, Roberto Mezzina, Franco Perazza, Franco Rotelli (Ex Directores de los Departamentos de Salud Mental de Trieste, Gorizia, Udine, Alto Friuli e Pordenone) 

Grazia Cogliati, psichiatra 
Giovanna Del Giudice, presidente COPPERSAM “Conferenza Basaglia” 
John Jenkins, International Mental Health Collaborating Network
Mario Novello, psichiatra 
Sashi Sashidharan, psichiatra 
Benedetto Saraceno, past director department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse WHO 
Paul Baker, Secretary,  International Mental Health Collaborating Network

Please, add your name and affiliation.

RRN Meetings

Due to the ongoing developments with regards to Covid-19, RRN in-person meetings are suspended at the present time.

The coronavirus pandemic is having unprecedented effects both nationally and internationally.  During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, remaining connected to our networks is important.  Please can we encourage our readership to continue to submit material to e-bulletin using the detail below.  As ever, comments are welcome from the readership about articles included in the e-bulletins.

Thank-you. Please stay safe, and our best wishes to you all.

Please submit material to either Shula Ramon or Tony Sparkes. Their contact details are:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Mental Healh

The impact of coronavirus, and government measures to restrict its transmission, means that we have to pay particular attention to our mental health and wellbeing.  There is a considerable amount of advice and information available online.  In this edition, we have included some examples at the end of the e-bulletin.

RRN Membership Profile

Anyone who has an interest in recovery research can join the RRN, just fill in the online form available at:
https://www.researchintorecovery.com/events/rrn/join/

A Call to PhD Students and their Supervisors

Please could we remind the readership that PhD students (and their supervisors) are particularly welcome to join the RRN. The forum provides a unique opportunity to network and build research capacity. The network also provides a collegial environment to present doctoral work.

Recovery Research: We would like to learn from your experience of conducting recovery research. Therefore, would readers kindly get in touch with the Network to let us know about the things that have helped and the things that have hindered during your experience of undertaking recovery research. Please send your comments to either Tony or Shula.

Conferences and Events

In an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, limitations upon the free movement of people are evident in many countries throughout the world.  As you will no doubt be aware, such measures have impacted upon national and international travel and hospitality.

Whilst it is likely that face-face conferencing/events will not be taking place in their ‘traditional’ format, it may be that alternative or innovative platforms are being utilised to deliver such events going forward.

i)  The University of South-Eastern Norway are hosting a rescheduled seminar with the title: The Politics of Recovery: controversy and co-option in the era of austerity.  Originally scheduled for later this month, the new date will be:  16th June 2021.  For more information please click here.

ii)  Writing out of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the guest editors invite papers that orientate towards promoting a better understanding of the processes of recovery and concepts of citizenship and wellbeing for young people who live with substance use and mental health problems.  The deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1st September 2021.  For more information please click here

iii)  Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context: Request for participatory & or user-led research, commentaries & reports.

The Lancet Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context consists of a group of researchers, policy makers, clinicians , family members and service users convened to produce a comprehensive knowledge synthesis and vision for future research and development focused on psychosis. As part of the overall Commission, the lived experience/psychosocial disabilities involvement workgroup will be conducting a systematic review of studies and reports focused on psychosis that have utilized participatory methods (spanning user/survivor-led research, co-production, participatory action research and so on). While we will conduct traditional searches of the academic literatures, due to the variety of terms used internationally and variations in reporting of methods or lived experience/stakeholder involvement, we are seeking self-submissions of relevant work in the following categories:

  • Peer reviewed research studies of any kind (autoethnographic qualitative, quantitative, etc.) led or co-led by researchers who identify as service users/persons with psychosocial disability/lived experience;
  • Peer-reviewed research studies of any kind (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) that have included an explicit service user/psychosocial disability and/or family participation component;
  • Doctoral dissertations or theses that would otherwise meet the above criteria and have not (yet) been published;
  • Commentaries specifically focused on psychosis (language, subjective experience, service reform, innovation, human rights, etc.) and that are led or co-produced by authors with personal experience of psychosis, whether they appear in academic or non-academic venues;
  • Self nominated studies or evaluations using participatory methodologies that have not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal (ie ‘grey literature’ texts) but that include some description of methodology (who the sample is, what methods were used, how data was analyzed).
  • Note that submissions can be in any language – we are actively working on developing translated versions of the flyer and survey: please contact us to request a copy in another language.

Have something to submit? Click or copy the URL below: 
https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5ptxGnxIayEZhsy

Questions? : contact us at lancetcommissionpsychosis@gmail.com

iv)   From the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Michelle Funk announces the following event:

Online Launch Event
Thursday 10 June 2021 (15.00 to 16.45 CET)

“Is rights-based transformation truly possible in mental health? … Yes, and it’s already started!“

Many mental health services in high-, middle- and low-income countries around the world are failing people. Not only is access to services limited, but many people in distress and experiencing mental health crises are not receiving the support they need to feel better and move forward. Many people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities are disempowered by mental health services and denied the right to decide over their own health and life choices. Some are further institutionalized and subject to coercive measures such as involuntary admission, forced treatment, seclusion, and restraints. These practices negatively impact people’s physical and mental health.

There is a different path that countries and services can take – no matter what part of the world.  This is the path towards rights-based services that respect people’s right to make decisions about their treatment and lives, that are free from coercive practices, that consider people in the context of their whole lives, that support people to be included in their community. These services also learn from and utilize the vast expertise of people with lived experience in order to provide responsive care and support.

Join us on 10 June at 15.00 CET for the launch of WHO’s new guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches.  You will learn about innovative mental health services that are revolutionizing mental health practices and hear personal testimonies from people who use mental health services and service providers, as well as from national and international policy-makers who are calling for a sea-change in mental health. The event will include interpretation in Arabic, French and Spanish, and captioning will also be available.

  • The draft launch programme is attached (see below)

(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar)
 

Taken from the World Health Organisation website, and dated 24th May 2021, the following overview is provided below:

Overview
The WHO Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches is a set of publications that provides information and support to all stakeholders who wish to develop or transform their mental health system and services to align with international human rights standards including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The main reference source for all stakeholders is the Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches document which provides a detailed description of person-centred and human rights-based approaches in mental health, and summary examples of good practice services around the world and recommendations for integrating such services into national health and social care systems and services. This comprehensive document is accompanied by a set of seven technical packages focused on specific categories of mental health services and guidance for setting up new services.

This guidance aims to empower governments, policy makers, health and social care professionals, nongovernmental organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders, to introduce and scale up good practice mental health services that protect and promote human rights, ultimately improving the lives of people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities everywhere

Papers and Publications

In addition to peer-reviewed literature and work of a purely academic nature, the e-bulletin also welcomes the submission of material that would include grey literatures (such as briefing papers, reports and so on) that attest to the broader impact of personal recovery

i)  Slade. M. et al. (2021) Recorded mental health recovery narratives as a resource for people affected by mental health problems: development of the narrative experiences online (NEON) intervention.  JMIR Formative Research.  5(5) e24417

Abstract
Background: The internet enables sharing of narratives about health concerns on a substantial scale, and some digital health narratives have been integrated into digital health interventions. Narratives describing recovery from health problems are a focus of research, including those presented in recorded (eg, invariant) form. No clinical trial has been conducted on a web-based intervention providing access to a collection of Recorded Recovery Narratives (RRNs). 
Objective: This study presents knowledge produced through the development of the Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) Intervention, a web-based intervention incorporating the algorithmic recommendation of RRNs.
Methods: Knowledge was gathered through knowledge integration (KI) activities. KI1 synthesized previous studies to produce the NEON Impact Model describing how accessing RRNs produces health-related outcomes. KI2 developed curation principles for the NEON Collection of RRNs through consultation with the NEON Lived Experience Advisory Panel and the curation of a preliminary collection. KI3 identified harm minimization strategies for the NEON Intervention through consultation with the NEON International Advisory Board and Lived Experience Advisory Panel. The NEON Intervention was finalized through 2 research studies (RS). In RS1, mental health service users (N=40) rated the immediate impact of randomly presented narratives to validate narrative feedback questions used to inform the recommendation algorithm. In RS2, mental health service users
(n=25) were interviewed about their immediate response to a prototype of the NEON Intervention and trial procedures and then were interviewed again after 1 month of use. The usability and acceptability of the prototype and trial procedures were evaluated and refinements were made.
Results: KI1 produced the NEON Impact Model, which identifies moderators (recipient and context), mechanisms of connection (reflection, comparison, learning, and empathy), processes (identification of change from narrative structure or content and internalization of observed change), and outcomes (helpful and unhelpful). KI2 identified 22 curation principles, including a mission to build a large, heterogeneous collection to maximize opportunities for connection. KI3 identified seven harm minimization strategies, including content warnings, proactive and reactive blocking of narratives, and providing resources for the self-management of emotional distress. RS1 found variation in the impact of narratives on different participants, indicating that participant-level feedback on individual narratives is needed to inform a recommender system. The order of presentation did not predict narrative feedback. RS2 identified amendments to web-based trial procedures and the NEON Intervention. Participants accessed some narratives multiple times, use reduced over the 4-week period, and narrative feedback was provided for 31.8% (105/330) of narrative accesses.
Conclusions: RRNs can be integrated into web-based interventions. Evaluating the NEON Intervention in a clinical trial is feasible. The mixed methods design for developing the NEON Intervention can guide its extension to other clinical populations, the design of other web-based mental health interventions, and the development of narrative-based interventions in mental health.

ii)  Charles et al. (2021) Initial training for mental health peer support workers: systematized review and international Delphi consultation. JMIR Mental Health 8(5) e25528

Abstract
Background: Initial training is essential for the mental health peer support worker (PSW) role. Training needs to incorporate recent advances in digital peer support and the increase of peer support work roles internationally. There is a lack of evidence on training topics that are important for initial peer support work training and on which training topics can be provided on the internet.
Objective: The objective of this study is to establish consensus levels about the content of initial training for mental health PSWs and the extent to which each identified topic can be delivered over the internet.
Methods: A systematized review was conducted to identify a preliminary list of training topics from existing training manuals. Three rounds of Delphi consultation were then conducted to establish the importance and web-based deliverability of each topic. In round 1, participants were asked to rate the training topics for importance, and the topic list was refined. In rounds 2 and 3, participants were asked to rate each topic for importance and the extent to which they could be delivered over the internet.
Results: The systematized review identified 32 training manuals from 14 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These were synthesized to develop a preliminary list of 18 topics. The Delphi consultation involved 110 participants (49 PSWs, 36 managers, and 25 researchers) from 21 countries (14 high-income, 5 middle-income, and 2 low-income countries). After the Delphi consultation (round 1: n=110; round 2: n=89; and round 3: n=82), 20 training topics (18 universal and 2 context-specific) were identified. There was a strong consensus about the importance of five topics: lived experience as an asset, ethics, PSW well-being, and PSW role focus on recovery and communication, with a moderate consensus for all other topics apart from the knowledge of mental health. There was no clear pattern of differences among PSW, manager, and researcher ratings of importance or between responses from participants in countries with different resource levels. All training topics were identified with a strong consensus as being deliverable through blended web-based and face-to-face training (rating 1) or fully deliverable on the internet with moderation (rating 2), with none identified as only deliverable through face-to-face teaching (rating 0) or deliverable fully on the web as a stand-alone course without moderation (rating 3). 
Conclusions: The 20 training topics identified can be recommended for inclusion in the curriculum of initial training programs for PSWs. Further research on web-based delivery of initial training is needed to understand the role of web-based moderation and whether web-based training better prepares recipients to deliver web-based peer support.

iii)  Griffiths, C. et al. (2021) A qualitative study of early intervention psychosis (EIP) service patient’s experience of sleep, exercise, sleep hygiene advice and fitbit.  Wearable activity and sleep tracker.  Open Journal of Psychiatry. 11. 91-106.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojpsych.2021.112009

Abstract
Background: In psychosis physical activity, sleep, mental health, physical health, wellbeing, quality of life, cognition and functioning are interconnected. People who experience psychosis are more likely than the general population to have low levels of physical activity, high levels of sedentary behaviour and sleep problems. This project was innovative in seeking to address these issues through provision of a wearable activity and sleep tracker (a Fitbit)
and sleep hygiene advice.
Participants: Participants using an early intervention psychosis (EIP) service took part in an eight-week intervention, which incorporated the provision of a Fitbit, sleep hygiene advice as well as three engagement, feedback and discussion points with a clinician.
Methods: A qualitative approach was used to conduct in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 of the 25 intervention participants (5 male; 7 female). Thematic and content analyses were employed to analyse the data.
Results: Participants provided valuable insights into their experience of sleep, exercise, Fitbit use and sleep hygiene advice use. It was found that participants placed a high value on effective night time sleep, recognized improvements in physical activity and noted a positive effect on mood and wellbeing as a result of Fitbit use. The negative impact of having ineffective night time sleep and insufficient physical activity was described. Participants demonstrated a good level of understanding of the connection between sleep, exercise, wellbeing, and health.
Conclusion: Participants reported the Fitbit and sleep hygiene advice received through an EIP service to be beneficial for improved levels of physical activity and exercise, and more effective sleep. This is a simple and low cost intervention which could be made widely available through EIP and other mental health services.

iv)  Skar-Fröding, R. et al. (2021) Relationship between satisfaction with mental health services, personal recovery and quality of life among service users with psychosis: a cross-sectional study.  BMC Health Services Research. 21:439.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06409-0

Abstract
Background: Mental health policy internationally emphasizes patient centredness and personal recovery. This study investigated the relationship between satisfaction with mental health services among service users with psychosis in Norway, and personal recovery, perceived support for personal recovery, and quality of life.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from 292 service users diagnosed with psychosis from 39 clinical sites across Norway. Satisfaction with services was assessed using the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8. A linear mixed model was estimated to explore the relationship between satisfaction with services and preselected covariates, and to control for confounding factors.
Results: A large majority of participants (89%) reported moderate-to-high levels of satisfaction. Satisfaction with services was positively associated with perceived support for personal recovery, but not with personal recovery or quality of life. In addition, service users under a Community Treatment Order (CTO) were significantly less satisfied than those who were not.
Conclusions: Satisfaction levels among service users were higher compared with similar, international studies. Those who feel supported in their personal recovery were more satisfied with the care they receive, which support the need for implementation of recovery-oriented practices for service users with psychosis. However, satisfaction with services was not related to service user-rated quality of life or level of personal recovery; thus, more follow-up studies are needed. The lower satisfaction of service users placed under CTOs shows the importance of targeted interventions to improve satisfaction with services among this group.

v)  Cooper, R. E. et al. (2021) Opinion piece: The case for establishing a minimal medication alternative for psychosis and schizophrenia.  Psychosis.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2021.1930119

Abstract
The development of severe mental health conditions is strongly linked to our environments, particularly experiences of trauma and adversity. However treatments for severe mental health conditions are often primarily biomedical, centred around medication. For people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis, this is antipsychotic medication. Although antipsychotics have been found to reduce symptoms and risk of relapse, some patients derive little benefit from these drugs, and they can lead to severe adverse effects. Subsequently, a high proportion of people do not want to take antipsychotics and request an alternative. Yet in the UK and in many countries there are currently no guidelines for stopping antipsychotics or formal treatment alternatives, despite such alternatives being available in some countries. For example, in Norway and Vermont (USA), in response to pressure from service user organisations, governments have mandated the establishment of “minimal medication” services. We examine whether everyone with a psychotic condition needs long-term antipsychotic treatment and evidence for alternative models of care. We recommend that healthcare providers should be encouraged to develop a psychosocial treatment package for people with psychosis or schizophrenia that provides a realistic possibility of minimising antipsychotic exposure.

vi)   Dawson, S., Muir-Cochrane, E., Simpson, A. and Lawn, S. (2021). Risk versus recovery: Care planning with individuals on community treatment orders. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Online (early view)
https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12877

Abstract
Community treatment orders (CTOs) require individuals with a mental illness to accept treatment from mental health services. CTO legislation in South Australia states that treatment and care should be recovery-focused, although justification for use is predominantly risk-based, and care often coercive. Although CTOs are contested, individuals, families, and clinicians frequently engage in care planning within this context. This paper examines how the concepts of risk and risk management impact care planning from the perspectives of individuals on CTOs, their families, and clinicians. Ethnographic methods of observation and interview provided a detailed account of the perspectives of each group over an 18-month period from two community mental health teams in South Australia. Findings show that care planning occurred within a culture of practice dominated by risk. Risk, however, was understood differently by each participant group, with the dominant narrative informed by biogenetic understandings of mental illness. This dominance impacted on the positioning of participant groups in care planning, focus of care contacts, and care options available. To improve care experiences and outcomes for individuals on CTOs, narrow conceptualizations of risk and recovery need to broaden to include an understanding of personal and social adversities individuals face. A broader understanding should reposition participants in the care planning context and rebalance care discussions, from a focus on clinical recovery to recovering citizenship.

vii)  Holtum, S., Wright, T. and Wood, C. (2021) Art therapy with people diagnosed with psychosis: therapists’ experiences of their work and the journey to their current
practice.  International Journal of Art Therapy.  Online:
https://doi.org/10.1080/17454832.2021.1893370

Abstract
Background: There was insufficient understanding of how art therapists experience their work with people with psychosis-related diagnoses, and of their practice development.
Aims: To understand art therapists’ perceived practise and its development regarding psychosis. 
Methods: Within a grounded theory framework, interviews and a focus group carried out in the years 2015–2017 elicited the experiences of 18 UK-based art therapists, working in a range of National Health Service (NHS) contexts, concerning art therapy in relation to psychosis and how they developed their current practice. Audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed to build theory.

Results: The grounded theory proposes how practice and its development intertwine. Training confers resilience but therapists learn greatly from their clients, enhancing their ability for alliance building. Therapists’ early struggles also spur further training. Skills for trauma are helpful. Clients may become stuck or disengage, and/or develop through ongoing engagement with art and the art therapist, who supports their journey. The service and wider societal contexts impact the art therapist’s work through their effect on clients and/or the art therapist’s ability to attune to clients.
Conclusions: The findings concur with previous research regarding common therapeutic factors, especially the alliance, and on other therapists’ practice development. Implications for practice and research: Understanding therapy processes should incorporate service and societal influences on therapist and client. Training needs to include understanding adversity and trauma, and working with trauma.

Other News

i)  Recovery stories:
The Recovery Research Team at University of Nottingham is running the NEON trials, which are looking at whether access to online stories of recovery from mental health problems can help people affected by mental health problems.

We are delighted to announce that we have now completed recruitment to all three of our trials, with 1830 people from across England taking part. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us out over the past year, we couldn’t have done it without all of the support we have received, much of which we will never know about.

We will now shift our focus to the continued running of the trials, which will enable us to understand how recovery stories can help people.
If you’re interested in keeping up with NEON’s progress, we’ll be posting regular updates to our News page. In late 2022 or early 2023, results from our trials will be made available on the NEON websitein the form of a research publication and a programme summary.

Thank you again for your support

ii)  Writing out of Canterbury Christ Church University, trainee Clinical Psychologist Becky Donne advertises the following research study:
 A research team from Canterbury Christ Church University is looking for participants for a study exploring voice-hearers’ experiences of reading narratives about hearing voices contained in the following books:

  • Accepting Voices by Marius Romme
  • Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery by Marius Romme and Sandra Escher
  • Young People Hearing Voices by Marius Romme and Sandra Escher
  • Learning from the Voices in my Head by Eleanor Longden
  • Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien
  • Recovery: An Alien Concept? by Ron Coleman
  • Working with Voices II: Victim to Victor by Ron Coleman and Mike Smith

We would like to talk to adults (18+) who identify as hearing voices (currently or in the past) and have read at least half of one of the above books. If you are interested in taking part in this study or would like some more information, please visit https://tinyurl.com/3bzbrswp or email Becky Donne (lead researcher) at b.donne204@canterbury.ac.uk  Participation is completely voluntary and all personal information will be kept confidential.

iii)  Prof. Steve Gillard draws attention to the recruitment of up to two PhD studentships at City, University of London, and writes:
 One project is on peer support in A&E, and the other about assessment for trauma and complex-PTSD in Black British people using mental health services. The latter is ring-fenced for Black British students. For more information please see:
https://www2.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_cityuniversity01.asp?s=4A515F4E5A565B1A&jobid=117115,3577123421&key=225047236&c=86480234528254&pagestamp=sewwxzbfwsnxhxrlds

The deadline is the 7th June, and it is advised that anyone interested would be encouraged to contact Prof. Gillard (or one of the other supervisors) in the first instance to discuss the application process.  Prof. Gillard can be contacted at:
sgillard@sgul.ac.uk

iv)  Writing out of the Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics at King’s College London, Dr Sarah Markham draws attention to current research at a time of Covid-19:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 3 million deaths worldwide. It has disrupted the lives of people across the world due to its rapid spread, mortality, disruption of social fabric, burden on health care systems, and devastating economic impact. There is widespread concern about the effects on mental health, particularly among vulnerable populations.

However, the rapid pace, volume, and limited quality of mental health evidence being generated and disseminated both through the media and academic channels during COVID-19 poses a barrier to effective synthesis and decision-making. We are conducting a series of living systematic reviews on mental health in COVID-19, including a review of randomised controlled trials of interventions to address mental health challenges in COVID-19 and longitudinal studies that compare mental health in COVID-19 to mental health prior to the pandemic or across points during the pandemic.

Here is a link to our COVID-19 Mental Health Living Systematic Review:
https://www.depressd.ca/covid-19-mental-health

v)  Coronavirus and Mental Health (information)
The following links are intended to illustrate the range of information and advice that is currently available with regard to Covid-19.  It is neither exhaustive, nor is it arranged in any particular order. Apologies for any obvious omissions.

World Health organisation
Gov.uk
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Centre for Mental Health
Mental health Foundation
Mind
Rethink
Carers UK
National Service User Network
British Psychological Society
British Association of Social Workers
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Occupational Therapists

vi)  Shula Ramon and Tony Sparkes co-produce the RRN monthly e-bulletin. Please email if there is anything you would like included in the next issue, as we are keen to receive and advertise more news, articles and website references. Information can be posted to either Shula or Tony at the following:
Shula:     s.ramon@herts.ac.uk
Tony:      a.sparkes@bradford.ac.uk