CPFT partners largest ever UK trial of mental health treatment for young people | News

CPFT partners largest ever UK trial of mental health treatment for young people

CPFT staff have successfully bid to run a £2.1 million national study to investigate how more health professionals can deliver effective interventions to support young people’s mental health.

Researchers hope that fast-tracking training for new psychology graduates and qualified nurses to join the mental health workforce quicker, could help to reduce waiting lists and meet rising demand to treat common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Anupam Bhardwaj is a co-investigator for the nationwide BAY trial (Behavioural Activation for Young people with depression in specialist child and adolescent mental health services) and consultant psychologist Dr Clare White is co-principal investigator at CPFT with Anupam.

Anupam said: “We need to ensure we can deliver effective treatments and therapies to young people as soon as mental health conditions are identified. This is a great opportunity to trial a new training approach to bring more skilled mental health staff to our services as soon as possible once they qualify. Thank you to everyone who supported the bid for research funding and has contributed to the project to date.

“Children and families will be contacted directly to ask if they would like to participate, and staff have already started training. We are grateful for the support already provided by colleagues in CPFT’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and the Windsor Research Unit to start setting up the study.”

As well as testing whether this new fast-track approach is effective, researchers will seek the views of young people on the benefits of online and in-person therapies.

Clare said: “It’s really exciting to be running this study at CPFT and exploring more options to increase access to treatment and therapies for the young people and families we care for. Studies like this could not happen without the support of Trust staff and services, and especially our participants. It’s really important to learn from as many therapy experiences and preferences as possible, to ensure the right approach is developed and provided in future.”

This major trial is led by researchers at the University of York in partnership with CPFT, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and involves five large mental health NHS trusts in the UK as a multi-centre study.

National study lead and Professor of child and adolescent psychiatry, Bernadka Dubicka, at the University of York, is also a consultant psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: “Whatever the outcome of this trial, it is a really good opportunity to hear the voices of young people facing severe struggles with mental health. We feel passionately about tackling this situation because with the correct interventions at the right time, young people can often recover from their mental health difficulties rather than being affected by them into their adult lives.

“We recognise that there is not one single cause of poor mental health. Environmental and socioeconomic factors, trauma and abuse, physical health, access to green spaces and worries about education, work and the environment all have a deep impact, among many other factors. Our intervention aims to support depressed young people in developing confidence to connect with others and increase activities that are important to them, which we hope will help with their recovery.”

The trial will be carried out over four years in close collaboration with CPFT, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and the universities of York, Nottingham and Manchester. It will recruit more than 500 participants across England, making it the largest study of its kind to date.


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