Many women are breaching parole because they fear abusive partners or have unmet mental health needs, charities say
Charities working with women released from prison say that some are breaching their parole conditions or committing further crimes so that they will be returned to jail – because their lives on the outside are so bleak.
Many of the women seek a return to prison because they have nowhere to live, fear an abusive partner or have unmet mental health needs.
Related: The disastrous decisions behind troubles in prisons and probation | LettersContinue reading...
A decade ago our first multiple-signatory “toxic childhood” press letter described how children’s health and wellbeing were being undermined by the decline of outdoor play, increasingly screen-based lifestyles, a hyper-competitive schooling system and the unremitting commercialisation of childhood.
Despite widespread public concern, subsequent policymaking has been half-hearted, short-termist and disjointedly ineffective. The above factors continue to affect children adversely, with “school and cool” displacing active, self-directed play at an ever-earlier age. Physical health problems like obesity continue to escalate, and mental health problems among children and young people are approaching crisis levels. As well as the intense distress caused to families, there are obviously longer-term social and economic consequences for society as a whole.
Related: Experts call for official guidelines on child screen useContinue reading...
Residential treatment centres are an alternative to prison for offenders with mental health problems, and can offer a better chance of lasting rehabilitation
One day in early August, 36-year-old Gavin bumped into an old friend outside That’s Entertainment music and DVD shop in Preston market.
“He pulled me to one side, but I didn’t recognise him,” Gavin (a pseudonym) says when we meet a week later. “He was like, ‘How you doing? I’m just going to get some stuff, make some money.’ He’s opened his bag and it’s full of razor blades. He’s selling razor blades for a tenner a pop, all of that business.”
Related: Rise in prisoners moved to mental health hospitals
Related: How easy is it to get help for a mental health problem? Five different storiesContinue reading...
Seven in 10 psychiatrists deem Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to be inadequate at best, Guardian survey finds
NHS services for the soaring numbers of children who have self-harmed, tried to end their life or are having a breakdown are woefully substandard and risk prolonging their suffering, according to their psychiatrists.
More than seven out of 10 (72%) consultant psychiatrists who specialise in treating children and adolescents say that NHS care for under-18s experiencing a crisis in their mental health is either inadequate (58%) or very inadequate (14%), according to a survey undertaken for the Guardian. Only 19% said NHS services were adequate and just 9% said they were good.
Related: Jeremy Hunt says child mental health services are NHS's biggest failingContinue reading...
Contest winner Hussain Manawer says it was not an ambition to go to space, he just wanted to be taken more seriously
For most people who go into space it is a dream come true, but for the man set to be the UK’s first Muslim astronaut his priority is making the world a better place.
Hussain Manawer, 25, from Ilford, Essex, is due to blast off in 2018 after seeing off thousands of other entrants from more than 90 countries in a competition.Continue reading...
LSE study led by Labour peer found that failed relationships and physical and mental illness were bigger causes of misery than poverty
Clinical psychologists have raised the alarm over a controversial piece of research led by a Labour peer, with one saying it “lets austerity off the hook” as a cause of mental health problems.
The London School of Economics study led by Lord Richard Layard, published in early December, found that failed relationships and physical and mental illness were bigger causes of misery than poverty.
Related: Mental illness and poverty: you can't tackle one without the other | Dean Burnett
Related: Study finds 7m Britons in poverty despite being from working familiesContinue reading...
Educationalists, psychologists and authors also call for a minister for children to try to address ‘toxic’ nature of childhood
A group of leading authors, educationalists and child-development experts is calling on the government to introduce national guidelines on the use of screens, amid concern about the impact on children’s physical and mental health.
It is one of a series of measures outlined in a letter to the Guardian, highlighting what it describes as the increasingly “toxic” nature of childhood, and signed by 40 senior figures, including the author Philip Pullman, the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the psychotherapist Susie Orbach and the childcare expert Penelope Leach.
Related: Screen-based lifestyle harms children’s health | Letters
Related: Are tablet computers harming our children's ability to read?Continue reading...
If you experience loneliness, or work with a charity tackling it, we’d like you to share your experiences with us
An ageing and more transient population, and changes to the way we make social connections, are responsible for more lonely people than ever before.
Amongst older people, rates of chronic loneliness have remained steady since the 1940s, with 6-13% of people over the age of 65 reporting they feel lonely “all or most of the time” according to the ONS. 18-34 year-olds are more likely to feel lonely more often, to worry about feeling alone, and to feel depressed because of loneliness than those over 55, according to the Mental Health Foundation.Continue reading...
Psychologists believe they can identify progressive changes in work of artists who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease
The first subtle hints of cognitive decline may reveal themselves in an artist’s brush strokes many years before dementia is diagnosed, researchers believe.
The controversial claim is made by psychologists who studied renowned artists, from the founder of French impressionism, Claude Monet, to the abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning.
Related: Strobe lighting provides a flicker of hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s
Related: Words fail us: dementia and the artsContinue reading...
Tell us whether your life has been saved or changed by a doctor, nurse, paramedic, midwife, porter or other health worker
Day in, day out despite the huge pressure on the NHS, healthcare professionals change patients’ lives.
In a recent interview, journalist and broadcaster Nick Robinson spoke of how grateful he was to the speech and language therapist who helped him get his voice back after his vocal cord was damaged in an operation to remove a lung tumour.Continue reading...
Eight million child refugees is a mental health time bomb. Ignoring it now would be a terrible mistake
Everyone knows there’s an international refugee crisis. But there is a vital issue that’s in danger of being missed – the terrible psychological damage that’s being done to millions of children. Such harm is less obvious than physical wounds, but most European countries haven’t had to deal with childhood trauma on this scale since the end of the second world war.
There are now 8 million of these children, according to Unicef, and they make up nearly half the world’s refugees. It’s hard to make sense of such huge numbers, but they break down into heartbreaking individual stories. Earlier this year Stephen Cowan, a council leader from west London, visited the makeshift camp in Calais, hoping to be able to bring a number of unaccompanied child refugees to England. On a mild autumn day, he spotted a young Afghan boy who was shivering and sweating as though he had a fever. “Is he ill?” asked the councillor. The interpreter shook his head. “No,” he said, matter-of-factly, “he’s been in the camp for two months and it’s driven him mad.”
Country after country is shifting the blame on to...
Michael Palin says news of Terry Jones’s diagnosis prompted huge outpouring of support and interest in the disease
The news this autumn that the former Monty Python actor Terry Jones is suffering from dementia prompted an extraordinary outpouring of support and interest in the illness, his colleague Michael Palin has said.
“The response was not just great sympathy for Terry and his family, but great interest in dementia,” Palin said. “So many people from all over the world saying my mother, my grandmother, my sister, my aunt, we’ve all suffered from this so what can we learn from this. That really surprised me and everyone I know.”
Carey Mulligan, Michael Palin and Michael Parkinson discuss how music helped loved ones with dementia. Read more: https://t.co/MGYhUjjQn6 pic.twitter.com/ZrqW4AW49xContinue reading...
Caring nurses, skilled surgeons and quick thinking midwives. Readers recall health workers who changed their lives
I’d gone to A&E in Derby, where I was staying for Christmas, with the most dreadful headache. I’d been a radiographer at St Thomas’ hospital in London for 18 years and knew something wasn’t right. It was the day after Boxing Day and there had been heavy snow so it was busy with people who had fallen over.
I never got the chance to tell her that she was perfect at her job, that she showed me care that I will never forget.
Related: Death, helicopter crashes and tears: nurses' career-defining momentsContinue reading...
Study tracking 6.6 million people estimates one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s among those living by busy roads could be linked to air and noise pollution
People living near a busy road have an increased risk of dementia, according to research that adds to concerns about the impact of air pollution on human health.
Roughly one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s in urban areas could be associated with living amid heavy traffic, the study estimated – although the research stopped short of showing that exposure to exhaust fumes causes neurodegeneration.
Related: Ageing test could highlight patients at risk of dementiaContinue reading...
Almost 10m working days are lost to stress in the UK every year. Readers share their stories of how they keep it under control
Never being able to switch off from technology used to cause me stress at work. People assume that, because you have a work iPhone and colleagues all over the world, you’re happy to respond to any minor request at the most ungodly of hours.
Playing in a brass band helps me relax. Once the baton is lifted everything else disappears
Related: Eight ways to eliminate stress at workContinue reading...
Comedian Ian Boldsworth is no stranger to tackling tricky subjects in public. But podcasting about mental health issues was unexpectedly terrifying
If you deal with mental health issues of any sort, talking about them is often a struggle, especially with all the stigma around them. It turns out, putting them out there for the world to hear is even more tricky. Nonetheless, after years of producing podcasts that stretched idiocy to previously unchartered territories, I recently did precisely this and released my first semi-serious project, all about discussing and sharing personal experiences of dealing with mental health problems.
Three days after it was released, I’d still not listened to the completed series myself. Despite being the presenter and producer, I’d slightly bottled it.Continue reading...
Founder of Sandy Hook Promise hails ‘first big success at the federal level’ after Obama signs bipartisan bill to expand access to mental health care
Four years after the December 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, the families of the 26 victims have won a small victory in Congress.
Barack Obama signed a new bipartisan health bill into law on Tuesday that includes funding to expand access to mental health care, an issue that has been a priority for many Sandy Hook families.Continue reading...
We want to hear about any challenges you’ve faced and the best help you’ve received. Tell us below
This week, the Guardian reported that NHS England is sending patients who are seriously ill with eating disorders to Scotland for treatment. Chronic bed shortages mean there is nowhere for them to get help closer to home.
Mental health experts have expressed concern about this, saying it’s compromising the quality of care for those in need.
Related: NHS England sending anorexic patients to Scotland for treatmentContinue reading...
I’m getting increasingly frightened of growing older. It would be fine if I could remain fairly healthy, ambulant and in possession of all my marbles, but not if I’m bedridden, incontinent and demented. I’ve been sounding out my chums to see if any of them might be willing to smother me, if I end up in such a state. Because a) I don’t want to live like that, b) I don’t want my daughter having to look after me, and c) I don’t want to end up in a “care” home, frittering away any money I have left.
Perhaps it would be worth it if care homes were heaven and worth the money, but hardly any of them are. (Less than 1% of them in England were rated as “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission). As my mother said when she moved in with us 10 years before her death, “Why pay £500 a week to be miserable, when I can be miserable here for free?”
Related: Social care spending falling below £554 minimum in most areasContinue reading...
The emotive words often used about the program ignore what it is – voluntary professional development for teachers. But even some supporters question its underpinning philosophies
A couple of weeks ago, Roz Ward answered her phone. “ROZ WARD MUST GO!” a man shouted, over and over, for two minutes.
Ward passed it on to La Trobe University’s security officers, as she has done with dozens of threatening emails and letters, including those containing death threats. Ward is a contained person but the pressure on her as the face of the Safe Schools program to prevent bullying and support LGBTI students is relentless.
Related: What is Safe Schools, what is changing and what are states doing?
When you talk to parents it’s a question of life or death, and that’s not an exaggeration
The reality for us as clinicians is that Safe Schools is really helpful
If the child is saying, ‘I’m a girl, I’m a girl, I’m a girl,’ you say ‘she’, and that’s all that happens
A principal does not have to seek permission from the P&C for any other professional development course
Related: I am Indigenous. I am gay. Unlike Tyrone Unsworth, I survived | Dameyon Bonson
Related: A country boy's story about coming...
A recent report recommends dealing with mental illness before poverty, but this overlooks the fact that the two are fundamentally linked
A recent report by Lord Richard Layard suggests that “Happiness depends on health and friends, not money”. The conclusions presented argue that the UK government should focus more on providing better healthcare and resources for dealing with mental health issues in a variety of societal contexts, rather than trying to combat poverty and make people wealthier.
For the record, I’ve no issue with Lord Layard, and I’ve no doubt that his intentions are honourable and intended to be helpful. It is also the case, without question, that the UK government should indeed invest significantly more in mental healthcare, given the dire state it’s currently in.
Related: 'High social cost' adults can be predicted from as young as three, says study
Related: The problems of broadcasting mental illness
…on average people have become no happier in the last 50 years, despite average incomes more than doubling
Having a partner is as good for you as being made unemployed is bad for you.
…important now are domestic violence, alcoholism, depression and anxiety...
Access to online resources that detail suicide methods should be restricted, according to a group of MPs
Access to websites and social media platforms that tell people how to kill themselves should be restricted, according to MPs, who are warning that the government is not doing enough to bring down the “unacceptable” suicide rate in the UK.
The House of Commons health select committee, chaired by the Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, is calling on ministers on Monday to “work with internet providers and social media platforms to consider what changes can be made to restrict access to sites which encourage self harm or give detailed advice on suicide methods”.Continue reading...
Early next year, Professor Bart De Strooper will sit down in an empty office in University College London and start to plan a project that aims to revolutionise our understanding and treatment of dementia. Dozens of leading researchers will be appointed to his £250m project which has been set up to create a national network of dementia research centres – with UCL at its hub.
The establishment of the UK Dementia Research Institute – which was announced last week – follows the pledge, made in 2012 by former prime minister David Cameron, to tackle the disease at a national level and comes as evidence points to its increasing impact on the nation. Earlier this year, it was disclosed that dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies have reported poor results from trials of drugs designed to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.Continue reading...
“I ought to get to dinner. We must not cogitate” says my 97-year-old grandmother, who has lived with vascular dementia for three years, after a series of strokes. Now, though she does not recognise me, she can still pluck from the dusty attic of her mind a word I – shamefully – didn’t know.
The word, like many polysyllables my erstwhile crossworder grandmother surprises me with, is now one I understand. But the act (to deeply think about something, with intent to do something about it) is unfamiliar not only to me, with my millennial distractions of boxsets, Instagram memes and eternal financial and societal insecurity, but to those in charge of the nation’s social care.Continue reading...
Lady Gaga has told how she was raped at the age of 19 by a man 20 years her senior. “I suffer from PTSD,” she said in a Today show interview on the US network NBC. “I’ve never told anyone that before.” On Saturday, on Twitter, Piers Morgan tweeted a CNN piece headlined “Lady Gaga: ‘I have PTSD’” with his response: “No, soldiers returning from battlefields do. Enough of this vain-glorious nonsense.” He followed this with another tweet to his 5.3 million followers – “I come from a big military family. It angers me when celebrities start claiming ‘PTSD’ about everything to promote themselves” – before casting doubt on the experiences of sexual assault described by both Lady Gaga and Madonna. The two performers “have both made ALLEGATIONS of rape many years after the event,” he wrote. “No police complaint, no charges, no court case.”
These comments and their trickle-down effect are dangerous for many reasons, and they need to be addressed not just with dissenting voices, but with facts. Because on the subject of PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder –...
The president-elect can’t spell. This is the least of our Donald Trump problems, but interesting nonetheless. The explanations that come to mind are that he is one of the following: a) careless; b) dyslexic; c) illiterate; or d) showings signs of dementia.
Regarding the ominous final suggestion, symptomatic misspelling is a primary test for failing wits. The future Potus will be, at 70, the oldest president to enter the White House. The Brezhnev years beckon.Continue reading...