New report aims to transform mental health in young people

Front cover of the YPMH prospectus - title text A new approach to understanding and treating depression in young people, stakeholder consultation documentCambridge-based charity YPMH has today released ‘Changing Minds – a new approach to understanding and treating depression in young people.’ Its ambition is to join up different areas of research and practice in order to change the way depression in young people is understood and treated.

More young people than ever before are suffering from depression. This condition has a huge and potentially devastating impact on them, their family and their friends. We also know that depression recurs. If you experience it as a young person, you are more likely to get it again as an adult – repeatedly.

Its cost, therefore, is enormous, not only to the individuals concerned, but also to society as a whole. It has been estimated that, at the current rate of progression, mental health problems will be the main cause of global ill health and mortality by 2030. COVID-19 appears to be accelerating this trend.

YPMH founder, Peter Templeton said: “We – as a society – need to do something, and urgently. We now know much more about the different factors contributing to depression and the complex interplay of mind and body and our physical, social and economic circumstances. There is an urgent need to join up this knowledge and translate it into new ways of preventing, detecting and treating depression.”

This new YPMH report has been published to kick start that process. It sets out some of the latest research particularly into how our biological systems affect – and are affected by – our mental health. YPMH is now inviting researchers, clinicians, industry specialists, young people and other stakeholders to come together take this knowledge forward to improve the prevention and treatment of depression.

The next steps will be a series of workshops, which will use innovation management techniques developed at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Technology Management (CTM) to help researchers, clinicians, industry specialists and young people co-develop ideas for early interventions, and accelerate their approval and implementation. The workshops will be led by innovation management experts from CTM’s knowledge transfer arm, IfM Education and Consultancy Services.

Dr Jon Wilson, Consultant Psychiatrist, Central Norfolk Youth Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “Despite countless thousands of publications on the causes and treatments for depression, improvements to the ability of clinicians to successfully treat individuals have stalled.

“In this document, YPMH has clearly set out each aspect of our ‘bio-psych-social’ approaches. In doing so, it exposes the absence of a unifying concept which we need if we are to link together a tailored package of interventions in a coherent way.

“This approach is truly innovative and offers the opportunity to actively forge links between academics and with other stakeholders for the greater good. I look forward to the putting into practice of the results of this exciting project.”

The full report is available at: www.ypmh.org/ChangingMinds 

Information about the workshops is available at www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/healthcare/accelerating-innovation-in-healthcare/invitation-for-project-participants/

YPMH is keen to hear from researchers, clinicians, industry specialists, young people and other stakeholders who would like to take part in the workshops and help to develop a new roadmap for young people’s mental health.

About YPMH

The William Templeton Foundation for Young People’s Mental Health (YPMH) is a charitable foundation working to improve the lives of young people by facilitating innovative approaches to resolve mental health conditions, particularly depression. 

Contact Peter Templeton, Founder of YPMH, at peter.templeton@ypmh.org.

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