According to recent research by the Mental Health Policy Group, mental illness accounts for 23 per cent of the total impact of ill health but only gets 13 per cent of the NHS budget. The number of beds for mental-health patients has fallen by 8 per cent since 2011, according to a Care Quality Commission report, and last year, 236 young people with mental-health problems were placed in police cells because of a shortage of beds.
Even more are treated miles from their homes because of chronic shortages of beds for in-patient care.
“The psychiatric system is in meltdown due to the long-term relentless agenda to close psychiatric beds to save costs and treat everyone, however severely disturbed or in crisis, under the care of already overstretched and demoralised community home- treatment teams,” says Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane. (Telegraph.co.uk)
• NHS: Number of children in A&E suffering from mental ill-health DOUBLES
Mind responds to “Policing and mental health"
The Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has today published its report, “Policing and mental health.” The report found that the prevalence of people with mental health illness in the criminal justice system is too high, and calls for changes to be implemented to ensure that nobody who has reached crisis point should be put in a police cell or be transported in a police van because appropriate health services aren’t available. Sophie Corlett, Head of External Relations for the mental health charity Mind, said:
“We welcome the findings of today’s report, which highlights some of the real problems for people when they experience a mental health crisis. Nobody who has reached crisis point should be put in a police cell or be transported in a police van because appropriate health services aren’t available. We welcome the emphasis over the last year on addressing this, particularly through the Crisis Care Concordat which Mind is co-delivering. (Mind)
More online abuse cases for charity
The number of children being counselled through ChildLine about online sexual abuse has more than doubled, according to the charity.
ChildLine said it carried out 2,842 counselling sessions on the matter in 2013-14, a 168% increase from 2012-13.
he findings follow a separate report, carried out by the NSPCC late last year, which found that social workers are struggling to keep pace with emerging types of child sex abuse like sexting and revenge porn. (Daily Mail)
UK detention policy worsens migrants' mental health
This month, the UK parliament is due to release findings of an inquiry into the detention of migrants and asylum seekers, prompted by high profile incidents of sexual abuse and deaths. Unlimited immigration detention contributes to – and can even cause – lasting mental health problems among detainees, according to IRIN interviews with former detainees, aid and advocacy groups and UK court decisions.
Several studies have examined the impact of immigration detention on mental health. A review of 10 of these studies by specialists who gave evidence to the inquiry found that they all “reported high levels of mental health problems in detainees. Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder were commonly reported, as were self-harm and suicidal ideation. Time in detention was positively associated with severity of distress.” (IRINnews.org)
Annual report on US college students' mental health
The Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH), founded by and housed at Penn State’s Counseling and Psychological Services, Thursday (Feb. 5) released its sixth annual report, which describes more than 100,000 college students seeking mental health treatment at 140 colleges and universities.
Easily the largest and most representative of its kind, the report summarizes trends in college student mental health during the last six years. Among its findings, the report indicates that rates of self-injury and suicidal thoughts are on the rise
Highlights from the report’s data, encompassing college students who have been seen in college and university counseling centers, note that:
◦ 1 out of 2 have been in counseling;
◦ 1 out of 3 have taken a psychiatric medication;
◦ 1 out of 4 have self-injured;
◦ 1 out of 3 have seriously considered suicide;
◦ 1 in 10 have been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons;
◦ Nearly 1 in 10 have made a suicide attempt;
◦ 1 out of 5 have experienced sexual assault;
◦ 1 out of 3 have experienced harassment or abuse; and
◦ 1 out of 3 have experienced a traumatic event.
Trends of note include the following:
• Rates of self-injury and serious suicidal ideation appear to be increasing; and
• Rates of sexual assault, harassment and treatment for drug/alcohol abuse appear to be decreasing slightly.
As judged by thousands of counselors nationwide, the top 10 primary presenting concerns of students, listed in descending order, are:
3. Relationship problems
5. Academic performance
7. Interpersonal functioning
8. Grief or los
9. Mood instability
10. Adjustment to a new environment. (Penn State News)
Higher mortality linked with mental ill-health
Individuals with mental health disorders have a risk of mortality that is two times higher than the general population or than individuals without such disorders, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
The link between mental health disorders and mortality is complicated because most people with those disorders do not die of their condition. Also, mental health disorders are associated with risk factors for mortality. Quantifying and understanding mortality among people with mental health disorders can inform approaches to address the issue, according to the study background. (Medical Xpress)
Stress caused by discrimination linked to mental health issues among Latino teens
Latino adolescents who experience discrimination-related stress are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and issues with sleep, according to research led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. These mental health outcomes were more pronounced among Latino teens born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, as opposed to foreign-born teens. (Medical Xpress)
Indian helpline in UAE receives 70000 calls in 4 years
DUBAI: A toll-free helpline set up by India to deal with problems of 20 lakh [2 million] Indians in the UAE especially the blue-collar workers has received almost 70,000 calls since its inception four years ago.
The Indian Workers Resource Centre, an outsourced facility, was inaugurated by then president Pratibha Patil during her visit to the UAE in November 2010. (Times of India)
New Zealand: High demand for new online counselling service
The 0800 What’s Up online counselling pilot for young New Zealander’s is exceeding expectations with demand doubling since its launch last October.
The service is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is a response to the changing needs of young people and their preferred method of gaining support.
0800 What’s Up counsellors have completed over 1400 online chat sessions since the launch of the pilot. 0800 What’s Up Manager Rhonda Morrison says the service needs more resources to manage demand as almost half (42%) of children who want to chat to a counsellor online do not get their chat answered. (Scoop.co.nz)
Psychotherapy works, but not for everyone
Writes Allen Frances: There is no doubt that psychotherapy works for most of the mental disorders. If the interventions we use are potent enough to create positive change, it should not come as a surprise that they are potent enough to damage people as well. It is estimated that as many as 15 % of patients get worse following treatment.
Negative effects come in two major forms: 1) worsening of problems already present, such as hopelessness or depression; and 2) new problems might emerge, such as becoming dependent on the therapist, marriage issues, or reduced self-image.
Often the patient is blamed when therapy doesn't work, labelled as "treatment-resistant" or "unable to profit from therapy". This is sometimes true, but is the least fruitful approach for explaining negative outcome. Sometimes the therapy technique is dangerous. Recovered-Memory Techniques and Dissociative Identity Disorder-Oriented Psychotherapy should come with a warning sign.
And most important is the therapist. Some therapists are empathic and intuitive, ask for feedback, evaluate the therapy, and share the goal and process continuously with the patients. Others fall short on one or all of these critical dimensions. It may not be the technique that is harmful, but rather the wrongful use of it. (Huffington Post)
We should all make time to disconnect from our devices, but sometimes technology can be a beautiful tool. Most of us use our smartphones to chat with loved ones, check our email or as a crutch when we're bored -- but there's a better way to harness the power of our screens.
Recently, there has been a surge of interest, research and development in mental health apps and online programs -- a welcome idea in a world where nearly 19 percent of U.S. adults are affected by some kind of mental illness. While experts don't recommend seeking help solely online, there has been some research suggesting there is value in these types of programs, especially when used as a supplement to in-person therapy. (Huffington Post)