• Mental Health and Primary Care

      Sharma, Vimal; University of Chester (Insight Medical Publishing Group, 2017-07-21)
      Mental ill-health is a leading cause of disability and most people with mental health problems approach their primary care doctors for help. One in four consultations in primary care is mainly due to mental health related issues. Yet mental health hasn’t received due attention so far in primary care setting. The main challenges in taking mental health services at primary care level include limited mental health specialists, low priority given to mental health, Inadequate training and skills of primary care workforce, Inadequate specialists’ support to primary care workers as well as negative attitude and stigma towards metal illness. Investing in work force’s training and education in identifying and managing mental disorders at primary care is the only way forward to address the huge treatment gap exists for mental illness. The use of technology and computers may assist this process further. An example is use of a pragmatic computer assisted diagnostic and treatment tool such as GMHAT/PC. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals need to change their mind-set to work differently by supporting primary care workers, spending more time in training front line workers and taking some leadership in keeping the mental health agenda high up in policy makers’ list.
    • Understanding the Determinants of homelessness through examining the life stories of homeless people and those who work with them: a qualitative research protocol

      Mabhala, Mzwandile A.; Ellahi, Basma; Massey, Alan; Kingston, Paul; University of Chester (Insight Medical Publishing Group, 2016-07-04)
      There has been a sharp increase in homelessness following recent UK welfare and other social policy reforms; these reforms included public expenditure reductions, compounded by benefit cuts which lowered/capped housing benefits and weakened welfare protection and the housing safety net. The increase occurred despite efforts by the government and charitable organisations to mitigate it, which raises questions about their strategies’ effectiveness and about policymakers’ understanding of homelessness. This study aims to gain insight into the determinants of homelessness through examining the life stories of homeless people and those who work with them. Constructivist grounded theory (CGT) is used to develop a theoretical explanation of the determinants of homelessness. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews are being conducted in several centres for homeless people in the north west of England, UK. Initial analysis of the stories of homeless people reveals four determinants of homelessness: home and childhood environments; experiences during school life; type of social lifestyle; and opportunities for access to social goods. Participants see their homelessness as a manifestation of fundamental determinants of social inequalities such as education; income inequality; unemployment and welfare; barriers to housing and other services; crime and living environment.