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Community interventions for improving adult mental health: mapping local policy and practice in England

Duncan, F; Baskin, C; McGrath, M; Coker, JF; Lee, C; Dykxhoorn, J; Adams, EA; ... Oliver, EJ; + view all (2021) Community interventions for improving adult mental health: mapping local policy and practice in England. BMC Public Health , 21 , Article 1691. 10.1186/s12889-021-11741-5. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Public mental health (PMH) aims to improve wellbeing and prevent poor mental health at the population level. It is a global challenge and a UK priority area for action. Communities play an important role in the provision of PMH interventions. However, the evidence base concerning community-based PMH interventions is limited, meaning it is challenging to compare service provision to need. Without this, the efficient and equitable provision of services is hindered. Here, we sought to map the current range of community-based interventions for improving mental health and wellbeing currently provided in England to inform priority areas for policy and service intervention. / Method: We adopted an established mapping exercise methodology, comparing service provision with demographic and deprivation statistics. Five local authority areas of England were selected based on differing demographics, mental health needs and wider challenging circumstances (i.e. high deprivation). Community-based interventions were identified through: 1) desk-based research 2) established professional networks 3) chain-referral sampling of individuals involved in local mental health promotion and prevention and 4) peer researchers’ insight. We included all community-based, non-clinical interventions aimed at adult residents operating between July 2019 and May 2020. / Results: 407 interventions were identified across the five areas addressing 16 risk/protective factors for PMH. Interventions for social isolation and loneliness were most prevalent, most commonly through social activities and/or befriending services. The most common subpopulations targeted were older adults and people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Interventions focusing on broader structural and environmental determinants were uncommon. There was some evidence of service provision being tailored to local need, though this was inconsistent, meaning some at-risk groups such as men or LGBTQ+ people from minority ethnic backgrounds were missed. Interventions were not consistently evaluated. / Conclusions: There was evidence of partial responsiveness to national and local prioritising. Provision was geared mainly towards addressing social and individual determinants of PMH, suggesting more integration is needed to engage wider service providers and policy-makers in PMH strategy and delivery at the community level. The lack of comprehensive evaluation of services to improve PMH needs to be urgently addressed to determine the extent of their effectiveness in communities they serve.

Type: Article
Title: Community interventions for improving adult mental health: mapping local policy and practice in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-11741-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11741-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Public mental health, Wellbeing, Community interventions, Mapping exercise, Determinants of public mental health, Health policy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135136
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