Designed in collaboration with Lambeth London Borough Council and South London and Maudsley Hospital (SLaM), the Circle U. Challenge at King’s aims to address the critical issue of mental health in Lambeth. Participants will be asked to work together in teams to address the challenge of mental health for residents within the age range of 0-25.
The Challenge: Improving Mental Health for Lambeth Residents
Mental health is a significant challenge in the London Borough of Lambeth. There is a high demand for mental health services in the borough, with 1.4% of people aged over 18 years registered with GPs having a severe mental illness. In comparison, the figure is 0.92% in England as a whole, and 1.1% in London. Nearly 1 in 4 people having symptoms of mental illness (anxiety, depression, or both) in Southeast London.
Around 92,000 children and young people under the age of 25 live in Lambeth. Roughly 1 in 5 adolescents report mental health problems in the borough, and the rate of hospital admissions is higher than regional and national averages.
While data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and young people is still emerging, some national and international studies have been undertaken. A study by NHS Digital found that during the pandemic, mental health difficulties in children and young people have increased, with one in six children aged 5-16 identified as having a mental health disorder, compared to one in nine in 2017.
Teams of students from King’s and across the Circle U. partner universities will be encouraged to be creative and to draw on a wide variety of techniques, technologies, and interdisciplinary knowledge, as well as learning and working with those with lived experience of these issues, to create innovative responses.
The Challenger: Lambeth Borough Council
Lambeth Borough Council is the local authority for Lambeth, Greater London. Its 63 democratically elected councillors agree policies relating to the provision of services in the borough. The council comprises five main directorates: Children’s Services, Adults and Health, Resident Services, Sustainable Growth and Opportunity and Finance and Investment. These directorates provide a wide range of local services, including adult health and social care, environmental services, housing, libraries, parks, sports, and leisure, planning and building control, rubbish and recycling, schools, and transport.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is the main provider of mental health services in South London. SLaM provide the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK, with more than 230 services including inpatient wards, outpatient, and community services, talking and art therapies.