Being lonely and being alone are two very different states. Share your experiences of seeking solitude and isolation
Solitude is essential for some personality types. But spending time alone yet longing for social interaction could severely impact your mental and physical health.
We’d like to understand why people spend time alone. Is it out of choice, or would you prefer more social interaction? Share your experiences and thoughts – anonymously if you wish – using the form below and we’ll use a selection in our reporting.Continue reading...
Matthew Daley killed retiree Donald Lock just days after family had asked for him to be sectioned
A man who is mentally ill has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 10 years for killing a retired solicitor after their cars were involved in a minor collision.Continue reading...
Iraq war inquiry exposes how MoD and ministers ignored strict controls on frequency of operational tours of duty
The government risked the mental health of thousands of troops by breaching strict guidelines designed to protect military personnel from excessive deployment and overstretch, the Chilcot report reveals.
Related: Key figures scrutinised in the Chilcot report
Related: Were you or your family directly affected by the Iraq war?
Related: Chilcot report: the still unanswered questionsContinue reading...
I work as a GP in a diverse urban practice of over 17,000 patients. We are situated in a relatively deprived part of Bristol with pockets of affluence. We have patients from many different ethnicities including those from EU and non-EU countries as well as a large cohort of university students. A significant bulk of our work involves dealing with mental health problems.
Mental health services across the country are very patchy: in some areas there is no easy access to psychiatrists, and long waiting times for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling.
Related: The EU referendum has caused a mental health crisis | Jay Watts
Related: Fixing the UK's mental health crisis will need both police and healthContinue reading...
I can’t sugarcoat it: disclosing my mental health condition was terrifying. But an employee’s experience shouldn’t depend on their manager’s disposition
My line manager has raised me from a newborn, guileless graduate to a fully fledged professional through her tolerance, patience, challenge and high expectations; I am, she says, her “little protege”.
She believes in me more than I have ever believed in myself. So you can imagine the difficulty I had when it came to having to disclose my mental health condition.
Related: How not to talk to someone with anxiety
Related: Charities risk losing staff if they fail to promote wellbeing
Should my manager have had to create her own system to handle the situation professionally?Continue reading...
In this extract from her new book Beautiful Failures, the Guardian’s Lucy Clark tackles the culture of contests and rankings at school, arguing that for children – indeed all of us – it is unnecessary and damaging
When I talk to my daughter about what it was about school that was so alienating for her, what made her so, so anxious, she has a one-word answer.
Related: Pay close attention to who our children are – not who we want them to be | Lucy Clark
We compete because we’re raised that way, not because we’re born that way
Related: It's a no-brainer – if you want school funding to be needs-based, fund Gonski | Lucy Clark
There are indications that it’s possible and preferable to move beyond competition when you look at the work done around cooperative learning in classrooms; when you look at cooperative games on the playing fields; when you look at different ways of parenting and of managing. In fact, I just got a manuscript to read from someone in California who is looking at cooperative games as a way of helping children grow up healthier and as a way of challenging bullying.
Because competition supports bullying, so the fact that people have done this remarkable...
Matthew Cooke says suicide accounts for as many as one in every 10 Aboriginal deaths and figures are a national disgrace
An Indigenous health service is calling on the federal government to launch a royal commission into the appallingly high suicide rate among Indigenous people.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Care Organisation chairman, Matthew Cooke, said suicide accounted for as many as one in every 10 Aboriginal deaths and that was a national disgrace.
Related: Indigenous suicide rates in Kimberley seven times higher than other AustraliansContinue reading...
On Tuesday mornings female refugees like Eden come to practise yoga. The sessions are run by Ourmala, a voluntary organisation that every week gives around 60 refugee women a safe space to breathe, heal and rehabilitate.
Today, Eden, an Eritrean refugee, is joined in the modestly sized studio space in east London by eight other women from east and central Africa and Afghanistan. Many have experienced torture, trafficking and sexual violence, leaving them with nightmares and flashbacks.
Related: NHS workers to be offered health checks and yoga classes
Yoga should be on the NHS as it is cost-effective and helps in the management of many long-term chronic conditions
Related: What can mindfulness teach the police force? | Rachel PughContinue reading...
For more than 10 years, Tasers have been used against patents in locked psychiatric settings, without monitoring or investigation. This practice must end
An amendment to the policing and crime bill tabled by former health minister Norman Lamb in support of Black Mental Health UK’s campaign for an outright ban on Tasers against patients in psychiatric hospitals has broken the silence on a hidden human rights abuse.
The unequal power balance between those subject to such treatment and statutory providers and the police has silenced public debate around this issue, until calls to ban the use of Taser or any other conductive electrical device against detained patients was debated in the House of Commons during report stage of the policing and crime bill.
Related: How can mental health services deliver better care for black patients?
Related: After a patient punched me, I realised force has no role in mental health careContinue reading...
Car manufacturing has arguably the biggest impact on mental health care, and its influence is set to grow
What do mental health services and the automotive industry have in common? You would be forgiven for thinking “not a lot” on the face of it, but they are moving ever closer together. We in mental health have been looking at business practices from outside our field that improve services for the benefit of patients, carers and staff alike. While car manufacturing may not appear an obvious starting point, it has arguably had the biggest impact so far, and its influence is set to grow.
From a UK perspective, the journey began in Japan and came via the US. Toyota developed their process of making cars that is now known as the lean manufacturing system. A system of efficient production that provides customer satisfaction, it has now been studied worldwide and the methods are being adopted in a range of other industries. It is founded on two underlying principles: jidoka (loosely translated as “automation with a human touch”) and Just-In-Time.
Related: The cost of mental illnessContinue reading...
They imagine me making up beds and giving out medication. They don’t see the steel behind my eyes
When I tell people I am a nurse working on an acute psychiatric ward they often say, “That must be hard”. They imagine something quite different from reality. They see me by the bedside of a crying woman, gently squeezing her hand as she tells me how sad she feels. They do not realise that our depressed service users stopped speaking long before admission, and stopped eating and drinking for that matter.
They see us, mostly young women with kind faces, and imagine us making beds and giving out medication. But what they do not realise is that we are more soldiers than we are nurses. If they looked closer they would see the steel behind our eyes, and a hardness to our faces that was not there when we qualified.
Related: I wish I could do more to protect your loved ones in mental health crisis
When a service user severs an artery, starts a fire or attacks another patient, it’s my job to manage the situationContinue reading...
I have always been something of a surprise to you. I know that. You genuinely never wanted me to be anything but happy and healthy and I am sure that the golden child I became was the last thing either of you expected. When I think back to my childhood, I remember Dad being in an almost perpetual state of shock. “You did what?! How?!” he would ask over and over at the exam results, the music awards, parents’ evening. Congratulations always came second.
I know it was never because you doubted me, but because it was so out of the blue. You didn’t bribe me with video games or pocket money, you didn’t tie me to the piano stool for hours, or come up with the merciless revision timetables that I insisted on following. It all came from me. I wasn’t some kind of antisocial child genius. I always had friends and a good social life, but I enjoyed working hard and always picked books over the TV. Neither of you finished school and, understandably, you never knew what to make of me.Continue reading...
Many mothers and fathers also feared their child would not find a job, partner or have children as a result of condition, says study
Two-thirds of parents fear their son or daughter would be facing “a life sentence” if they developed a mental health problem in childhood, research shows.
Many also worry that their child will not get a job, find a partner or have a family as a result of their condition, and might even be taken away from them.
Related: Child mental health crisis 'worse than suspected'Continue reading...
BMA concerned over arrangements designed to keep firearms away from those deemed medically unfit to have them
Hard-pressed GPs lack the resources to deal with new firearm licensing arrangements designed to keep guns out of the hands of those medically unfit to have access to them, doctors have warned.
The British Medical Association annual conference in Belfast on Wednesday comfortably passed a motion expressing its concerns over the changes in gun licensing introduced in April.
Related: 'Chaotic' firearms licensing system is danger to public, watchdog saysContinue reading...
The author of The Perfect Storm investigates the trauma experienced by returning soldiers, and argues the main problem lies in the divisions and tensions of western society
In 1753, Benjamin Franklin wrote to a friend about a curious phenomenon in the American west. White prisoners rescued from Native American tribes were seizing the first chance they could to flee into the wilderness and rejoin their captors. There were no reports of native warriors migrating in the opposite direction. Perplexed, Franklin concluded that the errant whites must have become “disgusted with our manner of life” despite being shown “all imaginable tenderness” on their return.
The journalist Sebastian Junger first heard of these defections during conversations with a much-loved surrogate uncle while growing up in a Boston suburb. Decades later, the stories form the starting point for his quest to understand why American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing such a debilitating epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Continue reading...
Mental health charity Mind says it is vital to look at whether patients are receiving other treatment, such as counselling, alongside medication
The number of antidepressants given to patients in England has doubled in a decade, official figures show.
In 2015 there were 61m such drugs prescribed and dispensed outside of hospitals. They are used to treat clinical depression as well as other conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic attacks.
Related: Susie Orbach: in therapy, everyone wants to talk about BrexitContinue reading...
New data shows six in 10 children and young people across England do not get treatment for problems such as anxiety and depression. Share your story
How much help is there for children and young people experiencing mental health problems? New NHS figures show that, in some parts of England, up to four in five children with mental health problems are not getting the help they need.
Related: NHS child mental health services are failing the next generation, say GPsContinue reading...
Six in 10 children and young people across England do not get treatment for problems such as anxiety and depression, data shows
Up to four in five children with mental health problems are being denied access to treatment they urgently need in some parts of England, NHS figures show.
Overall six in 10 children and young people across England do not receive treatment for problems such as anxiety and depression, despite the risk of them coming to harm as their condition worsens.
Related: Leaked report reveals scale of crisis in England's mental health servicesContinue reading...
A vote about borders finds echoes in the body, triggering primitive anxieties. No wonder therapists are reporting shockingly high levels of despair and distress
In shrinks’ offices across the country, just as in homes, pubs and offices, people are trying to come to terms with the surprise and shock of the Brexit result. Strangers gather together to talk of how “the world is falling apart”.
Many people feel transported into a dystopian Britain that they “do not recognise, cannot understand”. Thousands are hatching plans to leave the country. Social media are full of suddenly violent flaming between former friends.
Related: Don’t mourn, organise: a seven-step plan for fighting back against the Brexit vote | Kat Craig
Related: Young people are so bad at voting – I'm disappointed in my peers | Hannah Jane ParkinsonContinue reading...