THINKphysical: Manchester Mental Health Festival wins regional award

THINKphysical flashmobbers dance in front of the Manchester Big Wheel.

We’re delighted to be the winner of the patient engagement category at the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Awards 2015.

Prof Ruth Boaden, Dr Penny Bee, Lindsey Cree and Prof Karina Lovell at the awards ceremony.

Prof Ruth Boaden, Dr Penny Bee, Lindsey Cree and Prof Karina Lovell at the awards ceremony.

Taking place last night in Manchester City Centre, the awards provided an opportunity to recognise the skill and hard work that goes into research in the region. We were shortlisted in the public engagement category for our work on THINKphysical: Manchester Mental Health Festival during June 2015.

Compared to the general population, people with serious mental illness (SMI) have much poorer physical health, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and a significantly reduced life expectancy. To engage service users and the public and put these issues in the spotlight, we organised THINKphysical, the first festival to focus on both mental and physical health issues. Events took place between 14 and 19 June 2015 and brought together service users, carers and the public alongside academic, healthcare and charity bodies.

Lindsey Cree celebrates the team's win.

Lindsey Cree celebrates the team’s win.

“We need to know more about how people with SMI experience or cope with changes in their physical health, and the type of help or services that they would most like to receive,” says Professor Karina Lovell, THINKphysical Lead and Professor of Mental Health at the University of Manchester. “THINKphysical was a fantastic way to bring together a whole host of people to look at these issues more closely – the whole team are absolutely thrilled to have won this award in recognition of that.”

The full shortlist of finalists, plus more information about the awards, is available on the NIHR Clinical Research Network: Greater Manchester website.