The Mindfulness Report (2010) makes the case for making meditation-based therapy available to everyone who experiences recurrent depression. It highlights the proven effectiveness of treatments such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and shows how developing services could reduce the cost - human and economic - of depression to our society. It forms the basis of a year-long Mental Health Foundation campaign to promote mindfulness for mental health, centred at the Be Mindful website. The launch of the report was covered in all major UK national newspapers, including 'Meditation On Prescription: Charity Urges New Remedy For Depression' (Guardian), 'GPs Should Prescribe Meditation for Depression' (Times), 'GP Access To Depression Treatment Is 'Too Narrow'' (BBC) and 'Meditation 'Should Be Routinely Available On NHS' (Telegraph). I developed the mindfulness project from initial conception through to final delivery of the report. I also wrote a range of other supporting materials for the campaign, such as information for GPs and patients.
In The Face of Fear: How Fear and Anxiety Are Affecting Our Society And What We Can Do About it (2009) examines the impact of fear on our lives and suggests ways of reducing the mental health burden it imposes. In The Face of Fear generated more media coverage than any previous Mental Health Foundation report, see, for example, 'Britions 'Living In Fear' As Record Numbers Suffer From Anxiety' (Daily Telegraph - front page article) and 'Nation's Growing Unease Hindering Recovery' (Guardian). The report was welcomed by the Department of Health - the Minister for Care Services, Phil Hope, said: "This report confirms just how important it is to tackle mental health problems and promote public mental health and wellbeing. We need to develop a dynamic new approach, which actively helps create more mentally healthy and resilient communities... This report gives us some valuable ideas on how to get there."
Boiling Point: Problem Anger and What We Can Do About It (2008) explores the relationship between anger and a range of physical, mental, and social problems. The report, which I co-authored for The Mental Health Foundation, finds that a majority of people think we are getting angrier, and that GPs have few options for helping patients with anger problems.
Boiling Point sparked widespread media coverage anddebate, including We're More Angry and Less Able To Deal With It (Guardian), Anger Problems 'Left Untreated' (BBC) What's The True Cause of Anger? (Times) and Anger: Why We're All Losing Our Cool (Independent). Boiling Point was an inspiration for the BBC2 series about problem anger, Losing it, presented by Griff Rhys-Jones.
The Fundamental Facts:The Latest Facts and Figures on Mental Health (2007) is the third edition of the Mental Health Foundation flagship publication. An 80-page digest of the latest mental health statistics, it is an indispensable guide for people working in the social care sectors, and is described by Jeremy Paxman as "a valuable tool for all journalists". I was its lead researcher.
Up and Running: Exercise Therapy and the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate Depression in Primary Care (2005) calls for people with depression to be offered exercise therapy as an alternative to antidepressants. The report, which I researched and wrote for the Mental Health Foundation, finds that 78% of GPs have prescribed an antidepressant, despite believing that an alternative approach might have been more appropriate. Up and Running? outlines the benefits of exercise in treating depression, the obstacles to its more widespread use, and how these might be overcome.
Up and Running? spearheaded a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise for well-being, (see GPs ignore 'sport not pills' advice for depression (Observer) and Get Up Off The Couch and Step Onto The Treadmill (Times), and was nominated for a PR Week award in the not-for-profit sector. The campaign transformed doctors' attitudes, leading to a fourfold increase in the number of GPs prescribing exercise therapy for their patients (see also In Active Pursuit of Mental WellBeing (Guardian)).