LARGE-SCALE SELF-CONFIDENCE WORKSHOPS: CAN THESE HELP IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF THE POPULATION?
Brown, J.S.L., Kings College London and Elliott, S., Greenwich University, England
Given the size discrepancy between the scale of the mental health problem and the limited capacity of the specialist services, the problem of unmet need for services frequently arises. However, even when services are on offer, the ability of the GP to detect mental health problems, and depression in particular, is variable. Additionally, those with problems are often reluctant to accept help. To address this problem, large-scale (up to 30 people per workshop) day-long Self-Confidence workshops were run and members of the general public invited to self-refer. The aim was that these workshops would attract those with hidden problems of depression, as depression is closely linked with low self-confidence. In addition, it was hoped that this style of intervention would attract those who had not consulted their GPs. Promising results from the pilot study have been achieved. Workshops have been popular, attracting 39% who had not consulted their GPs about their depressive problems. Those who self-referred (n=148) seemed to have quite severe problems, with 87% of participants with GHQ-12 scores above the threshold. The approach seems to be effective, leading to reduce depression and anxiety ratings 3 months after the workshops, compared to a waiting list control group. Results from two additional studies will be presented, giving further information on clinical and health economic evaluations as well as the diagnostic status of self- referrers.