Tab Content: Mental health
Mental health inequalities
Public mental health is a key priority within CHIR and reflects the global and national concern regarding the deteriorating mental health of the population. At CHIR research is being conducted that focuses on those population groups who are most likely to develop poor mental health. These include, for example, those living in impoverished conditions, those at the bottom of the social and economic hierarchy, LGBTQ populations, people with learning/intellectual disabilities and young people. Our approach is to conduct research (empirical and theoretical) that aims to understand the social determinants of this mental health inequality, particularly the mechanisms and processes by which inequality is translated into poor mental health. We also have a strong commitment to applied research that examines the ways we can tackle mental health inequality and intervene to prevent poor mental health
Tab Content: Young people
Inequalities relating to young people
The research carried out within CHIR recognises the relatively powerless and marginalised position of young people and how this intersects with other social determinants of health and wellbeing, particularly in relation to gender, sexuality and socio-economic status. We are particularly concerned to explore the structures that prevent the active and equitable participation of young people in the decisions that affect their lives and how this lack of control contributes directly and indirectly to health and social outcomes. Our research includes work with particular groups of young people, including young men and LGBTQ youth, and is focused on exploring particular contexts including educational settings, health services and informal youth provision. The importance and value of participation is extended to the conduct of our research which seeks to be actively participatory and co-produced with young people. Our work covers a wide range of health and social issues but with a particular focus on sex, alcohol and mental health. As with other areas of research within CHIR our research is explicitly theory-driven and applied.
Tab Content: Communities
The role of communities in tackling inequalities
There is a growing body of evidence that low control may be a fundamental cause of inequalities in health. However, there is little evidence about effective approaches to support greater control of communities at the collective level, and that contribute to reducing health inequalities. CHIR research and engagement activities build knowledge about approaches that empower communities of place and/or interest to have greater control over decisions affecting their lives. We have undertaken several reviews of community engagement and evaluations of regeneration and place-based initiatives that aim to involve communities in decision-making within geographical areas. Lancaster currently leads a major NIHR study (the Communities in Control study), now in its third phase, to evaluate the health inequalities impact of the Lottery’s place-based programme, Big Local. The research is investigating longer-term impacts for the health and wellbeing of residents who are most actively involved in delivering Big Local, as well as health and social impacts for local populations in Big Local areas.
Tab Content: Disabilty
Inequalities experienced by people with disabilities or long-term health conditions
People with disabilities or long-term conditions experience considerable inequalities in employment rates, income, education and standards of living. International data show that the magnitude of these inequalities varies significantly across different welfare regimes and are amenable to policy interventions. Our research utilises quantitative and qualitative approaches to investigate the social inequalities experienced by people with disabilities and/or long-term conditions and identify ways to address them. Prominent themes include: experiences of working with a disability/long-term condition; government and organisational interventions to support work retention and return-to-work for people with disabilities and/or long-term conditions; and the health inequalities experienced by people with learning/intellectual disabilities. Lancaster University is a member of the Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work, which aims to find ways to support work retention and return-to-work for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders. Lancaster University is also a core part of the Public Health England Learning Disabilities Observatory. This was established in 2010 and aims to generate evidence concerning the health inequalities faced by people with learning/intellectual disabilities, understand these health inequalities, and facilitate policy and practice action to tackle these inequalities.
Tab Content: Modelling health inequalities
Modelling health inequalities
Health Economics at Lancaster, (HEAL), has the primary objectives of developing and applying quantitative research methods capable of informing health policy-making through empirical evidence and contributing to the academic and policy debate, including a substantial body of work on inequalities. The work undertaken by HEAL aims at having an impact on people's wellbeing and society as a whole.