Mental health - "No health without mental health"

If you wish to be added to the Google group for the SAPC Mental Health SIG to receive updates please email Nancy Horlick (Bristol) to ask to be added.

Podcast - Severe mental illness and oral health - listen on the Dental care SIG page

Concensus statement

A consensus statement for oral health in people with severe mental illness was launched on 1st February 2022.  This was a collaboration between the SAPC SIGs for Dental care and Mental Health.


Blog - Primary Care Mental Health Conference, 25th May 2022, Manchester by Peter Bower and Maria Panagiotti

Blog - Facilitating lay involvement of people from underserved groups in MH research by Hassan Awan and Aaron Poppleton

Save the dates


SIG meeting during SAPC ASM 2022 - Monday 4th July @ UCLan 15.45 - 16.45

Past meetings

25th May 2022 Primary Care Mental Health conference hosted by University of Manchester, (online conference)

12th May 2022 SPCR funded workshop Drugs and Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder (on-line 11.00-13.00)

29th March 2022, 9.30-12.30pm

SIG Zoom 9th February 2022 3-4pm

29th March NIHR School for Primary Care workshop - Primary Care Management of Anxiety disorders

Recent Mental Health SIG meeting: 22nd September 2021 2.30-3.30pm (on Zoom)

During the meeting there was discussion around some of the themes highlighted in this year's World Mental Health Day, e.g.  inequalities due to factors such as race and gender that impact on mental health, and inequalities regarding access to mental health services.  We will also discuss the NIHR School of Primary Care Research (SPCR) mental health workshops, which are open to SPCR members and non-members, and which will run over the next 12 months.  


Previous SIG meeting 9th June 2021 2.30-3.30pm (on Zoom)

Read the blog from the Primary Care Mental Health conference online 26th May 2021

Blog from Mental Health SIG meeting held on 5th February

Virtual meeting for Mental Health Awareness Day - 9th October 2020

To mark World Mental Health Day, members of the SAPC Mental Health Special Interest Group (MH SIG) ‘met’ virtually, for an hour, on 9th October 2020. This was an informal meeting, replacing the meetings that would have been held at the Primary Care MH meeting in York in May 2020 ( and SAPC Annual Scientific Meeting in July. Fourteen academics attended, including Professor Amanda Howe (President of the Royal College of General Practitioners), Ian Maidment (Reader in Clinical Pharmacy at Aston University) and Heike Bartel (Associate Professor of German Studies, University of Nottingham) demonstrating the reach of SAPC.

We offered an open forum for discussion, with no fixed agenda, but posed two questions: what has been the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our research and how we have overcome difficulties/learned to do things differently, and what will be the important mental health research questions over next year?

Individuals talked about how they had moved research online (i.e. consent forms, assessments, qualitative interviews) and the advantages and challenges of doing so, and the struggles they had experienced securing excess treatment costs (ETCs) and ethical approval (these were not directly related to COVID but process that had become increasing difficult in the last year). It was also mentioned that early career researchers had struggled to progress their academic careers and research plans due to limited support from more senior academics, who had needed to focus on COVID research or clinical duties.

In terms of future research questions, it was agreed that the mental health of young people and the elderly, inequalities in access to services, the wellbeing of minority groups and clinicians, would all be important areas. Other areas discussed included effectiveness of ‘huddles’, Balint groups and Schwartz rounds in increasing resilience of primary care staff; evaluation of new models of care; impact of redundancy; Inequality (in multiple forms: BAME, digital exclusion, economic - all compounded by COVID-19); Impact on people with dementia (progression of condition: due to reduction in social interaction) and carers (wellbeing: due to reduction in respite etc.); Anxiety (potential upsurge in social anxiety [at various ages] and the impact this will have on engagement with services; what impact will this have on managing existing conditions or consulting about new ones?); How to build on existing resources, use of community assets.

We also discussed how we had stayed well during lockdown. Being outdoors was a strong theme:

Heike shared her current work on eating disorders in men which you might like to investigate:

Katrina mentioned the online ‘Good Grief’ festival:

We agreed that it would be good to focus on something positive and to identify lessons learned in lockdown that could be built upon (where are the stories of resilience, hope and adaptation in a crisis?).

We reflected that the meeting had felt good and positive, and that this was something we wished to continue. We are planning a further meeting on 5th February 2020 (2-3pm). The group is open to all SAPC members who have an interest in mental health, and new members would be very welcome. 

See  for further information about SAPC and how to join (if your membership has lapsed).

Finally, ‘save the date’ for the Primary Care Mental Health Conference – 26th May 2021 – will be held virtually. Registration free.

All good wishes, Carolyn and Katrina