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A health perspective to the war in Israel and Palestine

Gene Feder, VISION Director and Professor of Primary Care at the University of Bristol, has written an opinion piece with colleagues commenting on events in Israel and Gaza from a public health and primary care perspective. Responding to the war in Israel and Palestine was published in December in the online edition of the British Journal of General Practice.

Gene and his colleagues are GPs working to further the development of family medicine in the occupied Palestinian territory, specifically in the West Bank, but with links to family medicine in Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and through Medical Aid for Palestinians. They also have friends and family in Israel and Palestine.

They have three responses to the current crisis as informed by their work as GPs and connection to Palestinian primary care:

  1. A plea for the protection of health care and health professionals amid the war
  2. A plea for the preservation of public health amid war
  3. A recognition that in the aftermath of October 7th and the invasion of Gaza, the widespread direct and vicarious trauma in Israeli and Palestinian populations will result in permanent physical and emotional damage: the former in the shape of orthopaedic, neurological, and gynaecological (as a result of rape) harm, the latter in the form of widespread anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder which will also cascade down the generations.

Given VISION’s commitment to developing evidence on violence prevention, we will be organising roundtable meetings bringing together researchers focusing on post-conflict violence reduction. This is an opportunity for dialogue, perhaps leading to new perspectives and research including systematic assessment of sustainable post-conflict interventions as well as further joint activities.

For further information on the opinion piece, please see: Responding to the war in Israel and Palestine

Photograph by Emad El Byed on Unsplash

Mental health in the workplace: how employers should respond to domestic violence

VISION member Sally McManus will be talking at a Westminster Insight event on Supporting Women’s Health in the Workplace on 20 March 2024.

Sally will use a life-course approach to understanding women’s mental health and wellbeing at work, including the impact of the psychosocial working environment, bullying and harassment at work, and what support and signposting employers can offer in relation to domestic violence.

For further information, please contact Sally at sally.mcmanus@city.ac.uk

Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

Dr Annie Bunce receives award at Lancet Public Health Science conference

Dr Annie Bunce

Dr Annie Bunce, VISION Research Fellow, was awarded Best Oral Presentation at the Lancet Public Health Science conference in London this November. She presented on the Prevalence, nature and associations of workplace bullying and harassment with mental health conditions in England: a cross-sectional probability sample survey.

Annie’s research, conducted with VISION colleagues Ladan Hashemi, Sally McManus, and others, presents the first nationally representative findings on the prevalence of workplace bullying and harassment in England for over a decade. Annie analysed data from the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) to demonstrate: the prevalence of workplace bullying and harassment (WBH) in the working population in England; the nature of WBH experienced, who it was perpetrated by and the types of behaviour it involved; and associations between the experience of WBH and indicators of adverse mental health.

The study is unique in that the APMS makes robust assessments of mental health – operationalising diagnostic criteria – which provides an accurate assessment of clinical need. Implications for employers, policymakers, health services and researchers are outlined.

For the article, please see: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)02066-4/fulltext

Please contact Annie at annie.bunce@city.ac.uk for further information.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

VISION Research Fellow chaired European Public Health Association conference symposium

Dr Anastasia Fadeeva

We’re delighted that one of VISION’s core researchers, Dr Anastasia Fadeeva, chaired a symposium at the upcoming European Public Health Association (EUPHA) conference in November in Dublin.

The workshop, Responding to violence and abuse across the life-course, presented a range of analyses – drawing on data from New Zealand, Germany and the UK – that addressed the ways in which violence and abuse manifest at different life stages, including in childhood, among working-age adults, and in later life.

The presentations highlighted differences across the life course, as well as commonalities. They demonstrated the long-term, even life long, shadow that violence and abuse can cast over people’s health, and provided evidence of the extensive costs for society. Health impacts were shown to be broad, not only anxiety and depression, but substance dependence, chronic physical health conditions, and related health risks such as obesity.

This symposium comprised four presentations that each considered violence and abuse prevalent at a particular stage of life, and provided evidence to inform the sensitive tailoring of responses from and for families, schools, health and social services, workplace human resource employees, and care and residential homes. 

For further information on the conference, please see: 16th European Public Health Conference (ephconference.eu)

Or contact Anastasia at anastasia.fadeeva@city.ac.uk

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

New partnership between VISION and the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network

We are pleased to announce a new, one-year partnership with the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN).

VAMHN is a network of individuals and organisations aiming to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems by addressing associated violence and abuse, particularly domestic and sexual violence.

The interdisciplinary cross-sector network brings together and supports research by experts from a range of disciplines, sectors, and backgrounds – some with lived experience, others with expertise from the work that they do, and survivor researchers with both.

VAMHN’s work aligns with our own goals of improving measurement of violence and better use of data to prevent and mitigate the harm that violence causes to health and wellbeing.

VAMHN has done sterling work engaging with survivors of violence in co-producing research and creating a Lived Experience (LE) Advisory Group. They will support VISION as we build and expand on LE engagement across our project.

For further information on VAMHN, please see: The Violence, Abuse, and Mental Health Network

Or contact us at VISION_Management_Team@city.ac.uk

Illustration by Elnur/Shutterstock.com

Webinar: Parental and child mental health and intimate partner violence

This webinar is over. 27 June 2023, 17:00 – 18:30 BST, Zoom

VISION director, Professor Gene Feder, led the webinar, Interrelationships between parental mental health, intimate partner violence and child mental health – implications for practice, with Dr Shabeer Syed and Dr Claire Powell on behalf of the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit.

They presented findings from a mixed methods study that seeks to improve responses to families affected by intimate partner violence (IPV) and parents and children’s mental health problems.

Then, they presented preliminary findings on the relationship between parental IPV and a range of clinically relevant adversity and mental health-related indicators (www.acesinehrs.com) in anonymised health records from parents and children presenting to GPs, A&E and hospital admissions between one year before and five years after birth.

Their research shows that 1 in 5 (20%) families experienced IPV, although only 1 in 50 (2%) had IPV recorded in the GP record.  Recording of other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was better, with 1 in 2 (53.4%) families having at least one recorded in the early life course. Compared to families without ACEs, families with ACEs had a higher risk of parental IPV, especially when at least one parent and child had recorded a mental health problem. Gene will discuss the implications of these findings for national guidance on supporting families experiencing IPV and mental health problems, articulating how data already within medical records can help identify those families. 

For further information please see: Interrelationships between parental mental health, intimate partner violence and child mental health – implications for practice – ACAMH

Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

Mental health service use in perpetrators of partner violence

Perpetration of partner violence is more common in people with recent mental health service use compared to the general household population of England.

Research conducted by Dr Vishal Bhavsar, Kings College London (KCL); VISION Co-Investigator Professor Louise M. Howard, KCL; VISION Deputy Director Sally McManus, City, University of London; and Dr Katherine Saunders, KCL, has demonstrated this correlation is not affected by criminal justice involvement or by social demographics(e.g. class, education), but seems to be explained by greater exposure to childhood adversities and exposure to partner violence.

The researchers think this work highlights an important potential role for health services in responding to perpetrators of domestic abuse, especially services which provide care for people with mental health conditions. Effective strengthening of the healthcare system’s response to perpetrators of domestic abuse has the potential to reduce violence.

For further information please see: Intimate partner violence perpetration and mental health service use in England: analysis of nationally representative survey data | BJPsych Open | Cambridge Core

Or contact Dr Vishal Bhavsar at vishal.2.bhavsar@kcl.ac.uk

Photograph by 88studio / Shutterstock.com

Mental health and wellbeing data – webinar for researchers

This webinar focused on quantitative analysis of secondary data, to provide insight into population mental health and its social determinants. It took place on Teams Monday, 6 March 2023, at 14:00-15:30.

Speakers included VISION researcher Sally McManus, who discussed England’s main mental health survey, the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS). The survey series covers anxiety and depression, alongside items on violence and abuse.

This webinar formed part of a series organised by Understanding SocietyUK Data ServiceCentre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) and the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). The Data Resource Training Network is a collaboration between a number of ESRC-funded resource centres working together to promote the value and use of social science data.

Photo credit: Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash