New research is first to establish the link and builds on other evidence that children are particularly vulnerable to even low levels of pollution
A major new study has linked air pollution to increased mental illness in children, even at low levels of pollution.
The new research found that relatively small increases in air pollution were associated with a significant increase in treated psychiatric problems. It is the first study to establish the link but is consistent with a growing body of evidence that air pollution can affect mental and cognitive health and that children are particularly vulnerable to poor air quality.Continue reading...
A cross-party inquiry by MPs into the funding of mental health services has received more than 95,000 personal submissions in an unprecedented display of anger over the state of the NHS.
Related: Child deaths in Priory hospitals provoke calls to cancel NHS contract
Related: Tackling underfunding in children’s mental health servicesContinue reading...
Despite concerns that children are being overly drugged for behaviour, there are data to suggest that some kids aren’t getting the care they actually need
Luis barrels into my office wearing his Scooby Doo backpack and goes right for the train set. He’s six years old, from Guatemala. His jeans often are freshly ironed, and his mother follows with her eyes down, shyly entering the room. Twenty-four years-old, she is soft-spoken and speaks Spanish in a strong rural accent. She is not here legally, but came to the US to flee an abusive husband and start a new life for her son. I’ve been treating him for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at a community primary care clinic near Washington, DC.
As a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, I see a wide range of patients –unaccompanied minors from Central America, unemployed middle-aged ladies with chronic pain, 65 year-old males with long histories of alcohol abuse seeking sobriety. In the paediatric clinic, though, I see plenty of ADHD, characterised by distractibility, impulsivity, trouble completing tasks, and hyperactivity.Continue reading...
Our panel of experts discussed young children’s mental health and how public services can help babies and mothers
Gavin Moorghen, professional officer, British Association of Social Workers: Infant mental health is an essential aspect of human growth and development and there should be recognition that mental health needs are present from conception and through to adulthood. Children are born needing love, attention and consistency, and without those components even the youngest of children may suffer poor emotional wellbeing.
Related: How can public services work together on infant mental health? Live Q&A
Related: A quick guide to attachment theory | David Shemmings
I think local authorities are trying to offer parents a chance to access the help they need and to demonstrate change
Related: Can the Mockingbird model of foster care fly in the UK?
Related: The young mothers trapped in a cycle of having babies removedContinue reading...
At Ritsona camp in Greece, refugee children are encouraged to play and draw as part of efforts to provide relief from the anxieties of their uncertain lives
Inside a cylindrical white tent at the Ritsona camp, children who have seen too much try to learn how to be young again. Every day, about 40 children, many of whom have survived perilous journeys to reach southern Europe, come to this safe space, set up by the Spanish Red Cross, to draw, play and let off steam.
Today, they are learning about hygiene. A volunteer teaches the basics at a whiteboard as children perch on stools. Their drawings are strung across the tent’s ceiling.
Related: Experts sound alarm over mental health toll borne by migrants and refugeesContinue reading...
Public bodies representing nurses, doctors, GPs and patients, as well as more than 20 charities, warn of growing risk to patient care
Britain’s major health organisations have called on the government to put a stop to “reckless” plans to reform student nurse funding in the current climate of uncertainty and NHS staff shortages.
Related: BMA considered dragging out doctors' dispute, emails showContinue reading...
When festival-goers find themselves overwhelmed by the jostling crowds and high-energy partying, help is at hand in a quiet corner
From the basslines oscillating every blade of grass, to the whirl of the fairground rides and the screams of their giddy riders, festivals are a relentlessly intense environment. At Wild Life festival in Brighton, the claggy waft of trans fats emanates from the gathering food vans, and endless crowds of jostling, hollering strangers seem immersed in a contest to decide who’s having the most epic time.
Related: How to manage mental health: the music industry's new priority
Related: Avoid stoner chat, Instagram and ELO: how to enjoy the festival seasonContinue reading...
National Police Agency reports more than 12,000 patients going missing in 2015, with hundreds of those later found dead
A record number of Japanese people with dementia went missing last year, according to figures released on Thursday, underlining the country’s battle to care for the rapidly increasing number of people who have the condition.
The national police agency said 12,208 people with dementia were reported missing in 2015 – an increase of 1,452 from the previous year. Most had wandered off and were found within a day to a week, but 479 were found dead and 150 have yet to be located, according to Kyodo News.Continue reading...
‘Striking’ structural differences seen in study which compared brain scans of young men with antisocial behavioural problems with their healthy peers
Brain scans have highlighted “striking” differences between the brains of young men with antisocial behavioural problems and those of their better-behaved peers.
The structural changes, seen as variations in the thickness of the brain’s cortex or outer layer of neural tissue, may result from abnormal development in early life, scientists at Cambridge University claim.
Prof John Ashton says children are being neglected by schools and bad parents and government must step in to combat anxiety, anorexia and obesity
The government should give parents lessons on how to raise their children, according to Britain’s leading public health expert.
Prof John Ashton, the outgoing president of the Faculty of Public Health, said today’s children are being neglected by schools and bad parents. He said the state must step in to help prevent the next generation being crippled by conditions such as anxiety, anorexia and obesity.Continue reading...
Many people are fed up of talking about diversity in children’s books – we all know the arguments, so why isn’t it happening? Author Catherine Johnson takes stock of recent progress and what’s still required at an Inclusive Minds event
At this week’s Inclusive Minds event, A Place at The Table, Fen Cole, bookseller at Letterbox Library, selling the best and most diverse books for over 30 years, said that if they were successful, they would not exist. I was part of the the event and wanted to tell you all what happened. I think it’s important.
Diverse books would just be books. Books that featured non-traditional families,protagonists with disabilities, or a range of sexualities; books that featured children that looked like the majority of the children the world over, would just be books.
Related: Why writing diverse children's books is tough
Related: Growing up I thought Filipinos weren't allowed to be in books
Related: Why books need to be made more accessible for visually impaired people
Related: Diverse voices: the 50 best culturally diverse books
Related: We need to talk about mental health without shame
As two young constables dash into the room of silently seated police men and women, making breathless apologies, one of them asks: “Have you started yet? We’ve been out on an eviction but we didn’t want to miss the meditation.”
This is lunchtime in inner-city Salford’s fortress-style Pendleton police station, and the man with a pair of Tibetan chimes facing the group is neighbourhood police officer, PC Ewen Sim, poised to deliver a session of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is about keeping police officers fit for their role. There’s nothing mystical in this – it’s just practical.
Related: The secret policeman: Stress leave? I remember when whisky was all we got | AnonymousContinue reading...
A trailblazing approach to mental health by Forestry Commission Scotland and local health boards is seeing service users go on activity-filled woodland walks
The Scottish are keen woodland-goers, with 78% visiting woods for recreation compared with 56% across the UK, according to the Public Opinion of Forestry survey. Now, walks are being used by Scottish health services as an aid for those with mental health conditions.
Since 2007, Forestry Commission Scotland has been putting the calming effect of woodlands to good use in courses for groups of adults with long-term mental health conditions. Branching Out consists of 12 three-hour sessions of conservation work, art creation and bushcraft, followed by a graduation ceremony. Healthcare professionals accompany their patients and take part, with specially trained woodland experts acting as leaders.
Related: Mental health services kept waiting for promised 'revolution'
For some participants, that's the first qualification they've ever received ... that can be quite a big deal.Continue reading...
The opposition leader focused on health, transport, tax breaks for small businesses and employment
Labor would reverse the government’s cuts to bulk-billing incentives for pathology and imaging by restoring an incentive to pathologists and radiologists to bulk bill.
Related: Election 2016: Bill Shorten promises to reverse health cuts and reveals jobs planContinue reading...
Duke of Cambridge marks Father’s Day with call to treat mental problems as seriously as physical illness
The Duke of Cambridge has urged fathers to discuss mental health with their children and families and be more open about their own feelings as he celebrates his third Father’s Day as a parent.
Prince William wrote about the importance of families discussing young people’s mental health problems, warning that left unresolved they can “alter the course of a child’s life forever”. And he encouraged fathers to overcome the common hurdle of struggling to talk about their own feelings, and not to neglect the often tricky topic of their children’s mental wellbeing.Continue reading...
Case of James Ward, who has mental health issues and was jailed under indeterminate sentencing scheme, highlighted by BBC
The former justice secretary Ken Clarke has criticised as “absurd” the situation where a defunct scheme for sentencing prisoners to indeterminate sentences means a man given a 10-month term is still in prison almost 10 years later.
The case of James Ward, now 31, was highlighted by BBC Radio 4’s Today after he wrote to the programme saying he felt “trapped in a box” over his continued incarceration under a sentencing programme which was abolished as a failure in 2012.
Related: Indeterminate sentences: a 'stain' on the criminal justice system | Sophie BarnesContinue reading...
Reseach finds 28% of children referred for support in England – including some who had attempted suicide – received no help
The government’s investment in children’s mental health services has come under fire after it emerged that more than a quarter of young people referred for support in England last year were sent away without help, including some who had attempted suicide.
A review of mental health services by the children’s commissioner discovered 13% of youngsters with life-threatening conditions were not allowed specialist treatment, according to the BBC. Even those with the most serious illnesses who secured treatment faced lengthy delays, with an average waiting time of 110 days, the Times said.Continue reading...
The former children’s mental health tsar on why schools have become the last line of support for vulnerable pupils
A teacher recently came to me with a dilemma: there was an epidemic of self-harm among her students. They were using razors to injure themselves in their boarding school dorms, so staff had confiscated their razors.
But for self-harming teens any item can become a weapon and a means to exorcise their emotional pain. Undeterred, and ignoring the plastic bands and ice cubes their school nurse had suggested as a “safe” way to induce pain, the pupils began using the blades from pencil sharpeners, compasses or shattered rulers. One student smashed a plastic cup and ended up severing an artery using the jagged edge.
Related: Sacked children's mental health tsar Natasha Devon: 'I was proper angry'
Related: Mental health in schools: Lily’s story
Related: Mental health champion for UK schools axed after criticising governmentContinue reading...
A headteacher tells the story of one child’s personal struggle to pass her GCSE exams while recovering from abuse
This month’s GCSEs are stressful for all year 11 students, but for some they are an almost insurmountable hurdle. One girl in my school, Lily, has the ability to do very well in her exams but her life is a mental health nightmare. We have done our best to help, but we know it is not enough.
Lily is a bright student but this year her attendance has been down to about 50%. She is one of a growing number of children in my school with mental health problems. About 10% have severe issues, and up to 30-40% have a problem that affects their life but may not seem severe or evident to others. With services being cut or neglected, schools can become the only help left.
Related: Our children’s mental health crisis is shocking. But so is the Tory silence | Frances Ryan
Related: Teachers have to be therapist one moment, social worker the next
Related: Academies guilty of the most blatant gaming of all: a school place only for the brightestContinue reading...