Keele launch website to support the mental health of people living in pain.
Researchers from Keele University’s Impact Accelerator Unit and School of Medicine have launched a suite of resources to help people across Staffordshire
The website, BeeFree: http://www.beefree.org.uk is the first website of its kind, showcasing all the help available across Staffordshire in one place featuring explanations, animations and a directory of local support services for patients, as well as a suite of online training for healthcare professionals and volunteers.
BeeFree was developed in response to a growing concern across the UK around long-term pain and its link to poor mental health. More than 10 million people in the UK have persistent back pain – the leading cause of disability in the UK – and in 2019, 8.75 million people sought treatment for osteoarthritis. Mental health conditions were one of the top 3 reasons for working days lost in 2017 and account for 15 million days off sick.
The new website has been created through a recent partnership between Keele University, clinicians and hospital staff from the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, North Staffordshire and national branches of the mental health charity Mind, and patients and the public from across Staffordshire. This work has been funded by the Health Foundation Q Improvement Lab.
The team worked with patients and members of the public as well as clinicians and members of the voluntary sector to ensure the resources available catered to the needs of those in pain and seeking help.
Professor Kay Stevenson and Dr Tom Kingstone, joint project leads from the School of Medicine, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside our local patient groups, clinicians, researchers and the voluntary sector to produce these resources together. We hope they provide some help for those in our communities who struggle with neck and back pain and their mental health. We are very grateful for the funding which has been provided by The Health Foundation.”
Jane Hall, a Staffordshire patient who participated in the project said: “When I was asked to be part of the BeeFree project, I seized the opportunity. Having all this information readily available is fantastic for people like me who don’t want pain, low mood and poor sleep to prevent me from doing the things I love.
“The BeeFree website has links to local groups and organisations that can help you manage your pain and low mood so that you can enjoy life. I only wish the BeeFree website had been available to me years ago. Take a look, just one small change can make a big difference to your quality of life.”