York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health

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The Bridge                                                      Issue 39

Bridging the gap between research and practice

We welcome you to this edition of the Bridge with a slightly belated, but nonetheless heartfelt, best wishes for the New Year. Here in the UK we are very excited that London will be hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; although it is being hosted in London there are lots of other events being held around the country. As well as all the sporting events an equally exiciting cultural olympiad is underway to inspire creativity; something close to our hearts in RCOMH. We hope that the year ahead will be equally exciting and enriching for all RCOMH members. If anyone is travelling to the UK to participate in either of the events and you would like to visit York it would be lovely to meet up with you. Please get in touch.

Click here to read more about The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad http://www.london2012.com/cultural-olympiad

This issue of The Bridge has been put together by Alison Bullock and the main focus is depression. Two concepts of potential interest when researching depression and occuptaion are highlighted namely, active coping and social capital.


UKCRN Research study portfolio

Time Being 2

This pilot study which has now ended aimed to investigate self reported depression changes in those with mild/moderate depression and low levels of personal social capital who attended a participatory arts course. It is based on the hypothesis that participation in such a course will provide opportunity to develop self confidence, self esteem and social involvement i.e. gain an improved level of personal social capital and that this will have an effect on self reported depressive symptoms.

Take a look at the web link »

The concept of personal social capital - links with depression and occupational intervention

Social capital is a term used to describe the personal and social resource networks that are created and used to empower either an individual or a wider society. Such networks usually need to be stable, have longevity, a benefit in each direction (directly or indirectly), and involve an element of trust to be most beneficial.

Read more »

The concept of active coping, depression and occupation

The relationship between coping strategies and depressive symptomology has been explored in several studies (Thompson RJ et al 2010, Meyer B 2011, Zong JG 2010) with correlation between greater depressive symptoms and greater use or presence of maladaptive coping strategies.

Read more »  


Depressive Illness in Older People
Date: 17 January 2012

Venue: The Met Hotel, Leeds

Second conference on late-life depression. The aim of this conference is to heighten awareness and promote interventions for older people with depression

Contact: For further information please visit the website »
T: 0113 3055638 or E: andrewsimscentre.lpft@nhs.net

WPA Thematic Conference WPA Thematic Conference 'Mental health and family medicine working together.'
Date: 8-11 February 2012

Venue: Granada Spain

This Conference builds on the themes developed in Granada in June 2008 during the WPA Thematic Conference, organized in close collaboration with Wonca-Europe "Depression and relevant psychiatric conditions in Primary Care". The aim is to further strengthen the collaboration between primary and secondary care organizations working in the field of mental health for the benefit of those people affected by mental ill health, including their families and careers.

Visit the website ».

NIHR fellowships – round 5 now launched
NICE depression update

CMG41 Commissioning stepped care for people with common mental health disorders was published in November 2011.

It identifies outcome areas that should be pursued and these include:

  • Improving emotional wellbeing, quality of life and functional ability in people with common mental health disorders.
    At step 3 and 4, Behavioural activation is recommended for commissioning alongside psychological therapies and at step 4 the guide also highlights outcomes regarding;
  • Preventing sick leave and maintaining people in education, employment or meaningful activities.
Behavioural Activation (BA)

Currently described as a high intensity psychological therapy, BA is based on basic behavioural theory, motivation strategies, and planned graded exposure to meaningful positive activities. BA is now recommended by NICE for those with depression although there is acknowledgement that the evidence is less robust than for CBT.

More links to resources »
(these links have not been critically appraised for quality).

SiDE and depression

SiDE (Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy) is a multi million pound research hub based in Newcastle.

More details


Maimaris W, Hogan H, Lock K (2010) The impact of working beyond traditional retirement ages on mental health: Implications for public health and welfare policy. Pub Health Rev 32: 532-48.

Read the reflections of Claire Walker (Miller) graduate OT Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust »

Additional reference link

This article may be of interest to those working with people with depression linked to physical health conditions and reports that "Assessment and treatment of activity restriction may be particularly helpful in preventing depression".

Mausbach BT, Chattillion EA, Moore RC, Roepke SK, Depp CA, Roesch S (2011) Activity restriction and depression in medical patients and their caregivers: A meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev. Apr 28;31(6):900-908.

Europsy Festival 2011

The 13th annual Europsy Festival was held in Durham in the United Kingdom with over 190 delegates from across Europe taking part. It was hosted by Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (one of the founding partners of RCOMH) in conjunction with Durham University.

The festival has previously been held in a variety of European cities e.g. Gran Canaria 2010, Valkenburg Holland 2009, and Ankara Slovenia 2008. Europsy Rehabilitation is a European organisation based on the principles of solidarity and co-operation, and is directed by users of service in collaboration with mental health professionals. It is dedicated to fighting for the rights of people with mental disabilities and improving the economic, work and social integration for this group of people. It promotes psychosocial rehabilitation programmes which aim to improve an individual's resource, restore skills and enable people to have control and choice about the life they wish to lead.

Attendees participated as part of the festival in a variety of activities and occupations, many with a cultural relevance to the UK and Durham area e.g. English afternoon tea, gardening at the Botanic Gardens and making clippy mats.

Visit the website »

"The wall of stigma" created during one of the sessions.

Research on recovery

This article may be of interest if you have an interest in recovery. McPherson S, Evans C, Richardson P (2009) The NICE Depression Guidelines and the recovery model: is there an evidence base for IAPT? Journal of Mental Health . 18 (5) 405-414).

Read the abstract »


Follow the link below for a full list of references from this months edition of the Bridge.


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