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November

mentalhealthcare.org.uk awarded funding by Maudsley Charity

The Maudsley Charity has awarded £50,760 to mentalhealthcare.org.uk. The website about psychosis was created with the help of researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) and mental health professionals at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The grant will support maintenance and development of the website until the end of 2013.

Launched in February 2010, mentalhealthcare.org.uk aims to offer a comprehensive information resource to family members and friends who support people with psychosis, a need clearly identified by research. The website contains written information about different aspects of psychosis, causes, treatment and care as well as short filmed interviews of researchers and mental health professionals and interactive 'Ask the… psychologist/ psychiatrist/ pharmacist/ social worker' pages. 

Between February and October this year (2011) there were 106,741 visitors to the site compared with 59,789 between February and October 2010 (the first nine months after the site was launched). There are now an average 500 plus visitors a day, primarily from the UK, and these comprise people with experience of psychosis and mental health professionals as well as relatives and friends.

The Maudsley Charity (formerly South London and Maudsley Charitable Funds) grant was awarded to Professor Elizabeth Kuipers, head of the Department of Psychology at the IoP, who leads the development of the website. Prof Kuipers chaired the group responsible for producing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) 2009 guidance update on schizophrenia and has been appointed as chair of the group responsible for the next partial update of guidance (2011-2013). Other researchers in the Department of Psychology, the Department of Psychosis Studies and the Health Service and Population Research Department contribute to the site's content.

The Department of Psychology has been given the Information Standard for mentalhealthcare.org.uk for a three-year period (2010-2013). The Information Standard was developed by the Department of Health to help the public easily identify trustworthy health and social care information: the quality mark is an 'indication of quality and credibility' and is awarded after a rigorous inspection of the policies and procedures governing a website's maintenance and development to make sure they comply with strict criteria for sourcing and updating information.

Earlier this year, new filmed clips made with the support of a British Psychological Society grant were added to the website: the short filmed interviews of researchers and mental health professionals complement written information there. The Maudsley Charity support will enable a batch of new films to be made in 2012.

For more information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer at the IoP email: seil.collins@kcl.ac.uk or tel: 0207 848 5377
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