From September 2018, the Q Lab is working in partnership with Mind – the mental health charity.
Our work together focuses on supporting people living with both a mental health problem and long-term physical condition, specifically looking at the experiences of people living with both mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain, and how care can be designed to best meet their health and wellbeing needs.
Why this topic?
- Having either mental health problems or persistent back or neck pain can have an enormous impact on someone’s life: Mental health problems and back and neck pain are important issues in their own right with 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and back pain affects around a third of the UK population each year.
- Many people experience both: There is a strong correlation between mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain with evidence showing that the likelihood of experiencing back pain in people with symptoms of depression have been shown to be 50% higher than in those without symptoms of depression. We also know that people with chronic low back pain have been shown to have a significantly higher frequency of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, compared to people without low back pain.
- There are some good examples of work happening in this area and through the Lab process we hope to shine a light on these examples and support people to build on them. We also think there is potential to learn more about the interconnection between mental health and persistent pain, and to develop and test ideas to improve care.
Watch: why mental health and persistent pain matters to Mind
What we’ll be doing
Phase 1: Research and Discovery (September – December 2018)
Working with Lab participants (people with professional expertise and lived experience of the topic), during the first three months we will build a rounded understanding of the topic; pooling what is currently known on the issue, the latest data and evidence as well as the insights and perspectives from people with lived experience.
Activities will include:
- Research sessions at the Lab and online (these took place in October)
- Surveys (over 140 people completed our survey on the topic)
- Site visits
Phase 2: Developing and testing ideas (January – May 2019)
Using the findings from the ‘research and discovery’ phase to pinpoint key opportunities where Lab participants can develop and test new ideas.
Phase 3: Sharing the learning widely (June – September 2019)
Collating what together we have learned and how the new insights can be practically applied.
Currently almost 100 people from a range of backgrounds and/or lived experience are working with the Lab on this topic.
All those with lived experience or professional expertise on the topic are welcome to get involved and help shape our collective understanding of the issue.
You are also invited to join the online group, connecting Q members and others who are working or interested in improving the lives of people living with both mental health problems and persistent pain.