Young people will benefit from new mental health research unit
Date published: 21 December 2018
Pictured left to right (all from Pennine Care) are: Reagan Blyth, director of service modelling, research and innovation; Clare Nuttall, research clinician; Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist; Dr Sam Hartley, senior clinical psychologist; Dr Bernadka Dubicka; consultant psychiatrist and research lead; Dr Leo Kroll, child psychiatrist
A brand new young people’s mental health research unit has launched in Greater Manchester.
The unit has been set up by expert mental health professionals from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, who are passionate about improving mental health care for young people.
High quality research is essential in making sure that service improvements are right for the young people using them.
Despite this, currently less than 30-per-cent of all mental health research is focused on young people.
The research unit will buck this trend by solely focusing on young people’s mental health.
Working closely with local, national and international academic organisations, the unit leads will pursue as many research opportunities as possible.
They are committed to involving young people, parents, carers and professionals and to sharing key findings with partners.
The research unit was recently launched at a special event attended by nearly 100 people.
This included the unit leads, young people, parents, carers, professionals and partners from across Greater Manchester.
Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams shared her thoughts about the unit.
Her professional background is in health and she is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.
She said: “I was very impressed with the innovative research being carried out.
“It’s so important that we invest in researching the causes and effects of mental ill-health and wellbeing in our young people.
"I hope the research will also consider the mental health impacts of how wider policies, such as access to education, health services, and social security policies, impact different population groups including different age groups, ethnicities and disabled people.”
Emily Sykes, aged 17, and Taylor Rooke, aged 18, have both received care from mental health services provided by Pennine Care.
Emily said: “Over time mental health problems can also have an effect on people’s physical health.
"I think research will help people to be diagnosed sooner, so they get the right help quickly.
"I also think the research unit will help to break the stigma that surrounds mental health conditions, by allowing people to better understand.”
Taylor added: “The research unit will provide a really good opportunity for young people to get involved and help to develop services that really meet their needs.”
Dr Bernadka Dubicka is a consultant psychiatrist and research lead for Pennine Care.
She said: “It’s taken lots of time, effort and planning to set up the research unit, but it has definitely been a labour of love for all of us.
"We are already involved in quite a few exciting projects, which will deliver benefits for young people and those who care for them.
“It was wonderful to see so many people at our launch event.
"With their support we can make sure the research unit grows from strength to strength.”
The unit leads really want to hear from people across Greater Manchester who would like to get involved in research.
They can phone 0161 716 3086 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the unit is available at: www.penninecare.nhs.uk/ypmh-research-unit
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