Mental Health encompasses problems such as anxiety , depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. Â¼ adults will suffer from mental health problems in their life time. Well-being is a positive notion of mental health, often simplified to describe happiness. Evidence suggests there are five ways to well-being: connect, be active, give, take notice and keep learning.
Maintaining positive well-being and minimising mental ill-health is a current policy goal. Time banking is perceived to increase both individual and community well-being through providing opportunities for people to learn new skills, make new friends, become active, give their time to others, learning and benefit from new experiences.
Several research studies support anecdotal evidence about the capacity of time banking to improve well-being. It is likely time banking can help to reduce anxiety and depression. Furthermore, time banking provides people with mental health problems with opportunities to take part in society.
The first working paper of the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech provides an overview of time banking and Time Credits. Part of the NIHR funded Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES), the aim of the evaluation is to determine the projectâ€™s potential to tackle social exclusion, loneliness and deprivation and to assess the extent to which it can reduce health inequalities.
Lee Gregory – ‘Improving health through participation: time banks as a site for co-production’ – looking at the interest in the claimed health benefits of time banking and its potential for service delivery.
‘Time Banking and Health’ – This article, based on a survey of 160 members of a hospital-affiliated time bank, examines the likelihood and predictors of improvement in physical and mental health as a result of membership.