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Creating partnerships to improve community mental health and wellbeing in an area of high deprevation : lessons from a study with high flat residents in east Glasgow

Quinn, Neil and Biggs, Hannah (2010) Creating partnerships to improve community mental health and wellbeing in an area of high deprevation : lessons from a study with high flat residents in east Glasgow. Journal of Public Mental Health, 9 (4). pp. 16-21. ISSN 1746-5729

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Abstract

Based in a low-income community in east Glasgow, this study assessed what factors influence community mental health and well-being and how to develop partnerships to address these issues. It involved a workshop with 20 community planning agencies and residents’ groups, interviews with 84 residents, and a validation event, attended by 45 residents. Most participants (72%) indicated that they were happy to live in the area, the most common reason for this being social connections with neighbours. The concierge was seen as playing a vital role in making people feel happy and secure and by acting to include and inform those who may otherwise feel isolated. A minority of residents felt isolated, unsafe on the street, uninvolved and uninformed about community decisions and services. The priorities identified during the validation event changed and included improving safety and reducing antisocial behaviour; the importance of reducing isolation and promoting community cohesion; and providing better information on services such as housing, employment and money advice. The authors comment that this study highlights the need for partnerships between health and other sectors to address social and economic problems that are a catalyst for poor mental health and well-being. The approach adopted in this study demonstrates the potential of such a partnership to effect change.