CORC’s data linkage project, Connecting Data for Child Mental Health, comes second in public vote, securing £1000 funding

CORC’s data linkage project, Connecting Data for Child Mental Health, comes second in public vote, securing £1000 additional funding to develop the work further.

The public vote took place as part of UCL’s public engagement initiative, Focus on the Positive, where budding researchers spend five minutes describing a problem with the world, and how they want to fix it in front of a live audience.  The audience then has a chance to debate the issues before voting on what they’d like to support right there on the spot.

Ben Ritchie, CORC’s Informatics Lead presented alongside three other researchers and was successful in gaining the second largest number of votes.

This project is a collaboration between CORC and its members, the Child Policy Research Unit (CPRU), the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and eight local areas in England.  It aims to explore how data from mental health services, schools and social care can be joined up across organisational boundaries in order to facilitate cross-sector strategies to improve mental wellbeing, as well as further research.

‘This feels like an important step forward not only in securing additional money for our project but also in raising public awareness of the benefits of having a better picture of the child mental health system’ said Ben. ‘At the moment our members are trying to improve how schools, mental health services, drop in centres and children’s social care work together, without good information on where problems are and whether improvements are working. This project helps us to explore whether better information can be obtained by connecting data.’

Ben and his team intend to use their winnings to carry out further training as well as produce a learning and evaluation report for future dissemination.