by Charlotte Cecil
Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability around the world, affecting one in three people every year in Europe alone – at an estimated cost of over €460 billion. It is hugely disruptive to the lives of individuals, their families and to wider communities.
If we are to successfully rise to the challenge of understanding how mental health disorders develop – and therefore how best they may be prevented – we must wind back the clock to children’s early development. More than half of all diagnosable mental health problems start before the age of 14, and often manifest earlier in childhood as emotional and behavioural problems, such as anxiety, depression, aggression or hyperactivity.
by Duleeka Knipe
Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year – that’s one death every forty seconds. A disproportionate number (76%) of these deaths occur in the world’s poorest countries. Our knowledge of the reasons why people die by suicide in this part of the world is severely limited, but a better understanding is desperately needed given that suicide is a leading cause of death in young people.
A huge barrier to improving our understanding is that we simply did not have good data from low and middle income countries to help us better comprehend this complex behaviour – until now. Continue reading
Anastasia Chamberlen is Assistant Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick and is researching in the fields of prison sociology, feminist criminology and criminal justice.
English and Welsh prisons are undergoing one of their most challenging periods in decades. As I’m writing this piece, news emerges of yet another outbreak of violence in an English prison. This time, it’s the high security HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, a prison described by the Ministry of Justice as ‘well-staffed’, which saw 81 prisoners take over a wing, raising once again concerns about safety and order in English carceral institutions.
Louise Arseneault, Professor of Developmental Psychology at King’s College London, was appointed to the new role of ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow in autumn 2016.
Throughout the three year fellowship, Professor Arseneault will play a vital role in championing the role of the social sciences within mental health research.
This is an exciting time for people involved in mental health research. There hasn’t been such interest around the importance and relevance of mental health in society for a long time. And this is especially exciting for me as the ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow. Continue reading
Professor Gordon Harold is the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex.
Today the government launches its Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families policy paper, which aims to improve outcomes for children who grow up in workless families. A core emphasis of the report is on ESRC-funded research showing that children who experience acrimonious conflict between parents are at risk for multiple poor outcomes, including reduced mental health.
Here, Gordon highlights the role of social science in improving mental health research and the outcomes this can have on society.
Mental health is fundamentally the bedrock of a successful and productive society. Recent estimates (PDF) suggest that by the year 2020, depression will represent the second leading cause of time lost to illness. In 2015, mental health-related issues were found to lead to approximately 17.6 million days sick leave, or 12.7 per cent of the total sick days taken in the UK. Continue reading