A HEALTH and social care watchdog is asking residents with severe mental health problems to join research into the standard of dental care they receive.
Blackburn with Darwen one of the highest levels of tooth decay in the country, especially among children, with 51 per cent of its five-year-olds suffering from rotting mouths.
The project has been launched by Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen,
A spokesman said: "We would like to invite people to participate in the Research Priority Setting regarding dental care in people with a wide range of lived experiences of severe mental distress.
"By severe mental distress, we mean conditions such as schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses, bipolar affective disorder, significant depressive and anxiety disorders, and dependency on alcohol or illicit drugs.
"Service users, carers, mental health and dental care professionals, academics, funders, charities, foundations, professional bodies and other organisations supporting this group of people are all invited to participate.
"This will help us find out what research would make a difference to people with severe mental distress, their carers and health professionals.
"Improving dental care in people with severe mental distress is part of supporting their recovery and improving their mental and physical health and wellbeing."
Those interested in taking part are invited to complete a short online survey taking five minutes approximately.