Patients in England were detained for treatment under the Mental Health Act 63,622 times last year, NHS figures show
The health and social care watchdog is to launch an investigation after government figures revealed the number of detentions for mental health treatment had risen to its highest level in at least a decade.
Patients were detained in England for treatment under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 63,622 times in the year to April 2016, the statistics from NHS Digital showed, a rise of 47% since 2006, the year comparable records began, when there were 43,361 detentions.Continue reading...
Young people face unprecedented social pressures, leading to serious psychological distress. Society’s response has been inadequate
Self-harm among young people, particularly girls, has rocketed in the last decade. The number of girls admitted to hospital after cutting themselves has quadrupled, incidents of poisoning have risen by more than 40%, and demand for university counselling services has mushroomed. Behind these figures are young people and families struggling to cope with toxic levels of mental distress.
In part these numbers reflect a greater awareness of mental health and willingness to seek help but more is going on than that. These figures are also evidence that the today’s generation of young people are facing unprecedented levels of social pressure leading to serious psychological distress. Our response, as a society, has not, as yet, been anywhere near sufficient to answer this cry for help.
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Living with mental illness is tough, Fisher says, and that’s why it’s important to find a community to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities
As another person with bipolar disorder, I really admire the way that you have spoken candidly about your own mental health and made people like me feel less alone. I hope that over the next decades of my life from my 20s now to my 60s I’ll be able to get to where you are.
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If homeless people can only get care at A&E, it’s no surprise they keep going back. One housing trust has created an alternative
“Quite often people are in hospital and they’ve got nothing: no food, no clothes, no toiletries,” says Kate Gillespie, Derventio Housing Trust’s strategic lead for its Healthy Futures initiative. “We get all that sorted out, so people at least have a bit of dignity when they are discharged.”
That’s just the start of the scheme’s work with homeless people due to leave hospital. Many have multiple, complex needs, such as mental health problems and addictions, and are trapped in a vicious cycle of ongoing health issues and repeat admissions.
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FDA could make drug legal by 2021 if phase three tests involving controlled dosage and talk therapy are shown to alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to phase three trials of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, the final phase of validation required to turn the party drug into a legal medicine.
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In poorest countries, only one in 27 people with depression receive adequate treatment, according to researchers
Only a small minority of people with depression across the world, just one in 27 in the poorest countries, receive even minimally adequate treatment for their condition, a major study has found.
Researchers from King’s College London, Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that even in wealthy countries only one in five people with depression received adequate treatment.Continue reading...
We have grown up into a society in which males fear sharing emotion with one another, and we continue to teach boys that emotion is not okay
I love my father. He’s kind and caring.
He grew up in a rural family of boys. He learnt from his father, who in turn learnt from his father, that expressing emotion didn’t coincide with his maleness. Not only was vulnerability not a choice, it just wasn’t an option. Things were left unsaid. The masculine ego left seemingly fortifiable. They were a generation of men strong and powerful but emotionally detached.
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Related: 'As boys, we are told to be brave': men on masculinity and mental healthContinue reading...
According to research, Islamophobia is associated with poor psychological outcomes among Muslims and can adversely affect physical health
Sarah Zaffar was stopped at a red light near Huntington Beach, California – a predominantly pro-Trump town – when a truck pulled up beside her.
“Hey, hey!” bellowed a white man in a wife-beater and a buzz-cut, trying to get her attention.
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A man runs for president. He is self-aggrandising and questions arise over his fitness for office. He is an anti-establishment insurgent. Author of a ghostwritten bestseller, he has accrued a cabal of populist rightwing support. At least he doesn’t tweet. Twitter does not exist. It is 1964, and the candidate’s name is Barry Goldwater.
Goldwater – a Republican, but with a big fan in the teenage Hillary Clinton – loses the election to Lyndon B Johnson in a landslide. After his defeat, Goldwater sues Fact, a new, edgy, provocative magazine, for libel. Fact had asked 12,000 psychiatrists, none of whom had treated Goldwater, whether he was “psychologically fit” to be president. More than 9,000 did not respond; 571 declined to pass judgment; 600-plus declared him fit; and 1,189 answered “no”. Some offered diagnoses. Goldwater wins a $75,000 punitive settlement.
Kanye West, recently admitted to hospital, becomes the latest celebrity subject of printed conjecture
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I know too many parents who are not as lucky. The child and adolescent mental health system needs urgent attention
I can’t remember who noticed the marks on Sally’s* arm first, but I remember the panic. I worked in a school, and I immediately knew what they were. Our 13-year-old daughter was self-harming.
Sally had an assessment with a consultant psychiatrist one month later who suggested we go private because the waiting list was so long. This was our first taster of the feeling of inadequacy you can have as the parent of a sick child. We didn’t have the money to go private.
What kind of system sends two – albeit kind – police officers to take a 13-year-old suicidal child to the hospital?
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Do you feel that local NHS services are up to scratch? Share your experiences with us
NHS Digital figures show that hospital admissions for eating disorders in England are increasing. The number of deaths in England and Wales from eating disorders has also risen (from 17 in 2014 to 28 in 2015), according to statistics from the Office of National Statistics.
But treatment is patchy. Northern Ireland has no specialist eating disorders unit. Patients are treated in the community but this is currently under review. Wales also has no single condition eating disorder units, although they developing specialist community eating disorder teams for adults. In England there are 186 beds for adolescents and children in need of inpatient care.Continue reading...
Sometimes leaving higher education is the right move. But it’s worth considering the other possibilities
A few days before I was due to return to university for my first-year exams, I decided not to. At the time, I felt like I was living in a solitary hell.
I’ve always struggled with my mental health, and this only worsened once I went to university. I lost my support network of family and friends and failed to find a new one. I went from being an extroverted, happy person with a love for my subjects to being completely withdrawn, spending days at a time in my room without leaving.
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After the tragic death of my husband, I launched a foundation to improve mental health awareness among farmers in Wales
On 5 July this year my world was turned upside down. Until then I was an average 28-year-old, married with two children and a full-time job, juggling the stresses of everyday life.
But that morning I woke up to find my husband Daniel missing. He had suffered with his mental health for a long time, but I still did not expect what had happened. Daniel had taken his own life.
Mental health problems are too often perceived as a weakness and just not talked about
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Alcohol and drugs and equality concerns made up the top three issues according to 15- to 19-year-olds surveyed by Mission Australia
Rising numbers of young Australians believe mental health is the most pressing issue facing the nation, according to an extensive survey of teenagers.
The Mission Australia survey of 22,000 young people aged between 15 to 19 found that coping with stress, school or study problems, and body image were the three top issues of personal concern.
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Mike Jay’s beautifully designed book is a fascinating tour d’horizon of the treatment – and mistreatment – of mentally ill people, seen mostly through the lens of London’s Bethlem royal hospital. Founded in 1247 and now merged with the much younger Maudsley, this ancient institution has been by turns the archetypal “madhouse”, an asylum and a mental hospital. Along the way, “Bedlam”, as it was once widely known, has often promised more than it could deliver. In 1676, when the hospital moved from its original overcrowded and unsanitary site in Bishopsgate to nearby Moorfields, Robert Hooke’s grand new building turned out to have no foundations, while the elegant baroque facade was in fact a sham. The symbolism was clear: here, as Jay puts it, was “a facade of care concealing a black hole of neglect”.
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While not risk-free, ECT can in fact be helpful as a treatment for severe depression, albeit usually as a last resortContinue...
When someone close to me was permanently damaged after being admitted to a mental health ward, I thought my career was over
As soon as I was placed on a mental health unit as a student occupational therapist I knew: working on a psychiatric ward was my dream job.
I was very lucky – I got that job pretty quickly after qualifying and worked with a dedicated team of professionals. Most really enjoy their work, although it’s not always easy. Mental health care can be extremely pressured, challenging, exhausting and some days downright sad. You see such desperate situations but you toughen up and eventually learn that despite trying, you can’t save everyone.
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Ageing population and better diagnosis have led to heart disease being knocked off top spot for first time, ONS says
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have replaced ischaemic heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales for the first time.
Last year, 61,686 (11.6%) out of a total of 529,655 deaths registered in England and Wales were attributable to dementia, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
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The music industry has always basked in a reputation for hedonism and self-destruction. Stress has traditionally been dealt with by indulging in sex, drugs and alcohol, or possibly the defenestration of a television.
Now, one of the UK industry’s biggest marketing companies believes a new approach is needed. Quite Great Music PR, which has promoted Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, The Doors, Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey among others, is to start offering its clients access to a psychotherapist amid concerns about the mental health of musicians.
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In recent years the National Health Service has made much greater use of talking therapies for people with mental health problems. However, first-line approaches to more complex disorders, based crudely around diagnostic labels, are frequently ineffective. An alternative approach to such disorders is cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), developed by Anthony Ryle, who has died aged 89. For these, it is recognised as an effective and user-friendly treatment.
CAT looks beyond the initially identified problems to the whole person, and to that person’s coping patterns, which will in turn have arisen from earlier formative relational experiences with care-givers and significant others (“reciprocal roles”). Though he acknowledged biological factors, Tony also noted that arguably our most important biological predisposition is to be socially formed. He based CAT around a concept of a predominantly relationally and socially formed self, with a style of therapy to match. CAT depends on an active collaboration between the patient and an overtly compassionate therapist to...
Despite ‘scandalous’ practice being outlawed six years ago, vulnerable minors are still being treated in adult settings
Dozens of children and young people with mental health problems are still being treated on wards containing adults with sometimes severe psychiatric problems despite ministers having supposedly outlawed the practice in 2010, the Guardian can reveal.
Mental health campaigners condemned the persistence of the problem and said it was completely unacceptable for vulnerable minors to be subjected to what many find a “terrifying” experience. The Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb, who had responsibility for mental health care in the coalition government, said putting children on adult wards was scandalous and must be ended at once.
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The new spin on loneliness is that we ought to welcome it, in modest doses, says Oliver Burkeman
Loneliness is everywhere in the world of psychology these days – the subject of so many studies, articles and talks that you sometimes wish the loneliness researchers would go away, so you could just get some damn time to yourself. Perhaps you knew that loneliness can be lethal: it’s linked to heart disease, insomnia and depression, and is a better predictor than obesity of an early death.
But the new spin on loneliness is that we ought to welcome it, in modest doses. “As long as we then do what we should do – reconnect with people – then loneliness is a good thing,” the German psychologist Maike Luhmann told the US website Vox. “This is a sign from our psychological systems that there’s something off.” It’s a “biological warning system” that evolved over millennia, alerting us to potentially dangerous levels of isolation. True, isolation isn’t so dangerous today: a friendless Londoner is less likely to starve, or be eaten, than a friendless prehistoric hunter-gatherer. But there’s a reason the pang of loneliness hurts so much.
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Royal college analysis says NHS bodies in some areas are spending little more than £2 per child despite surge in illness
NHS bodies are spending as little as £2.01 per child on mental health care for young people, despite the big spike in anxiety, depression and other serious problems among under-18s.
Psychiatrists claim the small sums being spent by GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England constitute a national scandal at a time when youth self-harm and suicide are rising.
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Game played by 2.4 million people has become largest dementia study in history, generating equivalent of 9,400 years of lab-based research
A mobile phone game that tests spatial navigation skills and has been played by 2.4 million people, has become the largest dementia study in history and raised hopes of a breakthrough in diagnosing the disease.
Sea Hero Quest, a collaboration between Alzheimer’s Research UK, Deutsche Telekom, game designers Glitchers and scientists, has generated the equivalent of 9,400 years of lab-based research since its launch in May.Continue reading...
Peers to move amendment to policing and crime bill in attempt to safeguard wellbeing of vulnerable people
People suffering a mental health crisis should never be held in police cells as they find it terrifying and become even more unwell, ministers will be told.
Peers will move an amendment to the policing and crime bill on Wednesday to ensure that adults who are feeling suicidal, are psychotic or are self-harming are never taken to police stations for assessment. It already plans to do that for under-18s.
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Despite efforts to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, Productivity Commission says some areas are getting worse
Australia’s efforts to combat Indigenous disadvantage are continuing to see declining outcomes in mental health, family violence, and incarceration, the Productivity Commission has found.
The commission’s biannual report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, has measured the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since 2000. The data helps inform Australia’s progress on its closing the gap targets, agreed to by the council of Australian governments (Coag) in 2007 and 2008.
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Down to Earth aims to engage hard to reach and vulnerable people through participation in practical activity in Wales
At first glance it’s just another construction site. On one side of the yard, a group of men in hard hats stand around a large electric saw, watching the foreman demonstrate how it works. Further along, another group are wielding hand saws. The sound of banging and clashing comes from inside a half-finished wooden structure.
But this isn’t your average building site and these are no regular builders. They’re patients on day release from three low secure mental health facilities within the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board in Wales.
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From digital assistants to ‘smart’ medicine bottles, a new wave of connected devices could help people live independently for longer
Smart bottles that dispense the correct dose of medication at the correct time, digital assistants, and chairs that know how long you’ve sat in them are among the devices set to change the face of care for those living with dementia.
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales, and is thought to affect more than 850,000 people in the UK. But a new wave of connected devices, dubbed “the internet of things”, could offer new ways to help people live independently for longer.Continue reading...