Research on Mental Health

Main facts about people going through mental health now:

  • Mental Health is one of the main causes of burden disease on society worldwide. It counts as 28 % compared to cancer which is 16%, showing how many people are affected by this.
  • 1 in 4 people will experience mental health in any given year.
  • Mental Health services in the UK are over stretched, with long waiting lists and some lack the specialist service needed.
  • Mental Health problems constitute the largest single source of economic burden of £1.6 trillion.
  • 70 million working days are lost from people taking time off to recover or to help themselves.
  • People who are undiagnosed is a massive issue as, they do not know they have it until it gets too worse or unmanageable for them.
  • 17 in 100 people have suicidal thoughts
  • In 2015 the NHS funding for mental health has fallen 8.25% and continues to fall.
  • 15% of adults over 60 suffer the most from mental health.

From research about how many people are effected by mental health is very worrying, as it seems that this is something that most people will go through at some point in their lives. However, the funding for help is being reduced, which means that they will not get the help that they need. This has shown me that there should be something done to help them, while they are waiting for counselling or while they are on it, just to help them help themselves before they get worse. Also, the world spends a lot on mental health but, it doesn’t seem to be enough, so there must be another way to help them. This is what I am going to focus my research on, looking at ways that people suffering with mental health can help themselves, and retrain by looking at the positive to avoid getting them getting worse.

To develop my research further I looked into the different types of mental health and what are the techniques used to treat it. One of the common ways to treat mental health is CBT. CBT is cognitive behaviour therapy. This is a type of therapy that can help you manage your problems and change the way that you think and behave.  It is based on your thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how negative thoughts can trap you in a vicious cycle. This will help to break down overwhelming problems in to smaller parts. This differs from using other therapies as it is; pragmatic, highly structured, focused on current problems, and collaborative.

From researching this further I came across the Society of Clinical Psychology, which had papers on CBT and applying it to the different types of mental health.

  • CBT and Anxiety
    • This focuses on techniques to modify the catastrophic thinking patterns and beliefs. For example, the way that they look at themselves, or how they think some social situations will play out.
    • It will mainly be about relaxation training
    • To help them to develop more they will need to have worry time, but this can be at certain times of the day, which allows them to think about this but also develop from it.
    • The aim is to help the person to learn that their feared outcome will not come true and to experience a reduction in anxiety
    • If a patient is in session with a therapist then normally they would have 1-2 weekly session, as you want to keep on track with more positive thinking.
  • CBT and Panic Disorder
    • This is aiming to help the person to identify, challenge, modify the dysfunctional ideas
    • A good starting point is to recognise the panic cues, then think of ways to avoid them. This could be through exposure exercises. This is …
    • According to the paper this would normally take about 12-16 sessions to treat.
  • CBT and Depression
    • Depression mainly comes from an inaccurate/unhelpful core beliefs about themselves.
    • It is important for them to develop skills so they can develop more accurate beliefs by positive thinking
    • From being about to rethink in a positive way then the patient could become their own therapist
  • CBT and Eating Disorders
    • This employs behavioural strategies which could be including the establishment of regular patterns of eating. Also, understanding what is the healthy amount and way to eat.
    • It will mainly be helping them to motivate themselves to change, as it will help for them to have positive reinforcement from themselves, and realising what they are doing isn’t good for them.
    • A way this could be approached is by reducing dietary restraint by self-monitoring and normalizing patterns.
    • Something else that could be helpful is looking at their pathology. What was the cause and effect of the start of the disease.
  • CBT and Schizophrenia
    • Establishing a collaborative threptic relationship
    • Setting goals
    • Teaching techniques and strategies to reduce or manage symptoms
    • Aim to reduce distress
    • Self-monitoring
    • Planning for relapse prevention
  • CBT and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Focuses on why the trauma occurred and the effect
    • They will need psychological debriefing. Could also help to be in groups to share experiences
    • Crisis intervention approaches
    • Critical incident stress debriefing
  • CBT and Bipolar
    • Systematic treatment enhancement programme
    • Identifying negative thoughts
    • Promoting regular sleep
    • Setting goals
    • Understanding the biological roots
    • Knowing what the common triggers are.

From reading these papers on how each mental health issue needs to be treated creates a correlation between some that have the same process. This is helpful as, this could make it easier to organise what are the main features that the product/service will need to have. For example, Anxiety, Depression and Panic Disorder is mainly looks at relaxation and how to motivate themselves. This will be more realistic to look at as, the other disorders are more biological or chemically based, as a result, will need an increasingly more amount of help. To focus more within my project, I will mainly look at Depression, Anxiety, Eating disorders, and Panic Disorders. However, there are still relations between the others which means, that they can continue to use the product as, it can relate to them. This will help to narrow down to figure out my main primary target audience, but also can accommodate to a secondary audience.

Research on Mental Health

Looking at TED Talks

These are the TED Talks that I looked at within my theme for the project. I found this really useful, as it shows me that this is a topic that people are passionate about, and want to spread the word about how it affects people. It suggests that mental health is still a stigma, that no one really wants to address, but I would like to contribute to help to change that. From listening to Hunter Kent, it has shown me that for people suffering with mental health they can overcome it themselves. This makes them feel more accomplished and empowered, which could also help them to know the signs of when they start to get worse.
To apply this to my project I would like to focus on helping users help themselves, as this is a way that they can do it with help but also on their own. This will lead my research into looking at different skills or techniques they can do.

Looking at TED Talks


Go Green has always been an issue that I have been passionate about, as I feel that we need to focus on these problems to help make the world more sustainable. I could only think of three main issues of food wastage, up cycling and volunteering. Thinking of ways to progress further in this project with this topic did not seem likely as, I could not think of a technology or a possibility to overcome this. However, this would be a project that I could carry on with outside of university.

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This idea to help physiotherapists or patients is a concept close to home, as my mother is a physiotherapist, and I have gone through a lot of physiotherapy due to a lot of injuries. My first initial thought was to find a way to help make their job easier, as there are times when the patient does don’t do their stretches. This then creates the problem of making it harder for the physiotherapist as, they cannot offer the help required. This could then lead into helping them to stay motivated at home, or keep them up to date when they should be doing their exercises. From talking to my Mom about these ideas, she then introduced me to cognitive behavioural therapy. This is to help retrain the patient by the way they think and behave. From researching about CBT lead me to exploring mental health.

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From looking at CBT I then decided to look into mental health more as, I found it very interesting. I found from my research that there were so many issues with people trying to overcome their mental health and the lack of help they received. I thought this is something that needs to addressed as, a person’s state of mind is very imperative. It effects themselves and people around them. I found more on this topic and knew that this is what I wanted to work on.

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Starting the Project

The project for this semester is to create/ think of an idea to help the community and encourage social change. It would focus on the categories from the European Youth Award. We are mainly focusing on the concept and research of this idea, to help prepare for third year. Deadline is on the 7th of April.

The topics were; Health, Social, Economics, Education, Go Green and Active Citizenship. The main topics that really caught my eye was, health and go green, as I feel the most passionate about the problems/issues surrounding them. From this my aim is to brainstorm and research on each section to see what appeals to me the most and what could have the potential. I would start by looking at the main issues. This will then help me to evaluate what direction to go in.

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Starting the Project