2016 Careif Essay Prize Competition on improving the physical health of people with mental illness

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​To All Medical Students; Careif is calling for submission! 

Around the globe, hundreds of thousands of people with mental illness die prematurely every year- sometimes 15-20 years earlier than those who do not have a mental illness. People with mental illness are at high risk of developing respiratory and chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, peptic ulcers and cancers. Poverty, marginalisation, conflict, adversity, stigma, human rights violations, disability, abuse, including sexual/gender abuse, all contribute to life chances and differences in life expectancy .

Conversely, poor physical health increases the risk of mental illness. The risk of depression is doubled for people with diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure, and tripled in those with stroke, end-stage renal failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Children experiencing a serious or chronic illness are also twice as likely to develop emotional disorders.

Globally, more than 150 million people suffer from depression at any point in time; nearly 1 million people commit suicide every year; about 25 million people suffer from schizophrenia and more than 90 million people suffer from an alcohol- or drug-use disorder.(WHO*). The number of individuals with mental illness is likely to increase further, with the increase in an ageing population, for whom, the development of dementia, physical illness, as well as co-morbidities are much more likely.

You are invited to submit, in English, in open competition, an essay on “how to improve the physical health of people with mental illness.” The essay should aim to integrate diverse forms of knowledge and expertise. Essays that integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives are encouraged whilst not diminishing the critical depth given to the essay from each of the chosen disciplines; for example, disease management, epidemiological research, health and social policy (Parity of Esteem), arts and theatre and literature, cultural studies, ethno-demography, sociology, cultural-anthropology, and technology, to mention some. The aim is to gather clues to prepare individuals, health providers and societies to meet the specific physical health needs of people with mental illness to ensure the best health outcome. Essays must feature one of the following themes as a primary hypothesis from which to develop your ideas:
Primary Themes

 Primary Care: practice that has actively promoted and evidenced physical health in managing people with a mental illness;

 Mental Health: services/providers/ practitioners demonstrate how physical health can be enhanced by improved monitoring and lifestyle interventions initiated at the start of and during continuation of treatment;

and at least one of the following more specific issues:

 Information: use of technology and information tools in support of engagement and to improve knowledge of the importance of physical health and mental illness;

 Traditional medicine and practice: description of the use of traditional medicine alongside formal treatments and the cultural meaning and influences of health and illness;

 Global Overview and Interventions: an exploration of contrasts between low income, middle income and high income countries and the role of Non Government Organisations/ Voluntary Organisations.

Eligibility;

The prize is open to all people, from any organisation or professional discipline that has engaged with, or is interested in the physical health of people with mental illness

Guidelines;

We expect essay applicants to have written the essays themselves, rather than have prepared them as part of a team. However, one essay application may be submitted by two co-authors where their respective roles are carefully set out.

You will be encouraged to present your essay at international meetings and we will support you to publish it in international scientific journals.

Prizes will be awarded by a panel of experts.

Entries must be no more than 5000 words, should be referenced using the Harvard reference style, and submitted by email to essay16@careif.org by 21st December 2016. Applicants will be notified of results by 21st February 2017. The judges’ decisions are final and they reserve the right not to award a prize if none of the entries meet the required standards. All diagrams and figures mustl be included in the word count.

Authors must include their full name, address, country, email, and occupation on the title page – though this information is not be counted as part of the 5000 words submission.

Prizes; 

1st Prize £500, 2nd Prize £200, 3rd Prize £100. All shortlisted entries will be awarded a certificate of commendation. Prize winners will be provided with a certificate stating their position in the competition, 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
You can visit the Careif website here

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Julius Kessy
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