Community Interventions in Diabetes and Depression

Long-term conditions are increasing rapidly across the globe. In particular, diabetes is becoming more prevalent and is often associated with poor mental health.

We have established the first consortium, the Community Intervention Network for Diabetes and Depression (CoIN-DD) to focus systematically on developing ways of tackling these conditions in order to improve quality of life.

Our projects include:

Long-term conditions and mental health in Sub- Saharan Africa: mainstreaming community-based practices.

Language Matters in the UK: the impact of language on the emotional well-being of people with diabetes.

Addressing stigma in rural Kenya: talking about language matters in people with diabetes and depression.

What community practices currently exist to tackle mental health and diabetes in African countries and how effective are they?

For more information see the project website


The PRIDE Project

Despite rapid social progress, adolescents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) often still experience distressing bullying and victimization. A pressing public health challenge is addressing the adverse effects of the social violence LGBTQ+ adolescents experience on a day-to-day basis in the United Kingdom (UK). This project will codesign a rich media ‘online rainbow wellbeing’ toolkit with LGBTQ+ adolescents, experts in psychosocial coping strategies and public health leaders, explore how the toolkit can be used in the UK public health context and plan its delivery and evaluation.

This project is a collaboration with partners in the community and investigators from The Open University, the University of Hertfordshire, and King's College London. Funded by the Medical Research Council/MRC (under its Public Health Intervention Development/PHIND Programme).


Growing Older - Planning Ahead

Improving the support for older people with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge, family and professional carers, and supporting end of life care planning for carers.

An increase in the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities and real reductions in the availability of services, can lead to an increased risk of crisis placements. Another contributing factor is a reluctance on the part of their consequently older parent carers to forward plan - in preparation for their older adult son or daughter's move to independent supported living or an alternative home.

Of 900,000 adults with learning disabilities in England, two thirds live with family and one fifth exhibit ‘behaviours that challenge’. These behaviours are often generated by a change in family or external circumstances, such as when an older carer becomes unwell and is unable to continue to provide support. Many older carers worry about their children’s futures and little is known about how carers plan for their own end of life care in the context of many years as a family carer, and policy and services have done little to address this hidden problem.

Our study aims to improve support for family (and professional) carers and older people with learning disabilities with behaviours that challenge others by producing effective and workable recommendations and resources including end of life care planning for carers.

For more information, see the project website.


Centre for the Study of Global Development

Human wellbeing for a better world

The Centre’s approach is driven by a philosophy that poverty, discrimination, and marginalisation are wellbeing issues which impact all people’s lives through the life course especially their access to quality education, health, and decent livelihoods. 

The Centre aims to advance sustainable development goals (SDGs) within and across all countries, but also conduct work that critiques global development agendas and explores and showcases localised conceptualisations of and approaches to development.

The Centre:

  1. Provides a ‘home’ for anyone interested in researching in these areas, facilitate collaborations both internally and externally, showcase the work of WELS to a wider audience and provide coordinated support for bid development.
  2. Encourages membership to all within WELS aligned around four Hubs (we envisage more Hubs will develop in the future).

The Centre’s Hubs are:

  1. Schooling, Informal Education and Learning.
  2. Health and Wellbeing across the Life Course.
  3. Youth and Transitions.
  4. Discourse, Culture and Technology.

For more information please contact Cathy Lloyd.


Approved Mental Health Professionals

Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) play a vital role in safeguarding the rights of those assessed under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983/2007. Over 95% of registered AMHPs are social workers. Their role ensures that options other than compulsory admission are investigated, the ‘voice’, and perspective of the person being assessed is taken into consideration and their best interests are safeguarded.

Creating the best communication possible is a priority during the MHA assessment. There is a legal requirement to ensure a person’s language needs are fully met if they do not use spoken English. This happens through spoken language and sign language interpreters. In some cases an advocate is recommended from the same linguistic and cultural background of the person being assessed.

There has been growing attention to differences in outcomes of MHA assessments involving members of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. But this is not the same as paying attention to best practice in cases where a person’s language may differ from English and where an interpreter is required (e.g. assessments involving deaf signers, refugees, and asylum seekers).

In fact, no national data exist on the language characteristics of people assessed under the MHA or how often an interpreter is involved. There is no specific training for AMHPs and interpreters working together under the MHA. Our preliminary work has shown that AMHPS and interpreters recognize that difficulties arise during MHA assessment when both are involved. At their most serious, if best practices involving an interpreter are not followed then detention could be challenged as illegal.

Our study will focus primarily on the AMHP role within MHA assessments from a safeguarding adults’ perspective when co-working with interpreters (both spoken and signed). We aim to explore and identify challenges and good practice in MHA assessment when AMHPS and interpreters work together, from their perspectives and those of service users. This will be done through an online survey and online semi-structured interviews.

Next, we will set up some live simulated practice AMHP assessments using interpreters that are delivered online with an audience of services users, AMHPS and interpreters observing. Data will be collected through debriefing participants and observers in order to understand barriers and enablers of effective interpreter Mental Health Act assessment practice.

Analysis of the data from both phases will form the foundation of two co-produced outputs alongside our service user engagement group and our professional advisory group. These will be:

  1. Collaborative development of a joint training model that can be delivered as online CPD as well as live when currents restrictions permit;
  2. Best practice standards, guidance, and support for their achievement in MHA assessments involving spoken/signed language interpreters, AMHPs and service users.

For more information please contact Sarah Vicary 

Latest News

We are delighted to announce the launch of The Centre for the Study of Global Development on 21 June 2021. Please email Cathy Lloyd ( for further information.

Contact us

Dr Mathijs Lucassen
Email Mathijs Lucassen (
01908 652987

Professor Cathy Lloyd
Email Cathy Lloyd (
01908 654283