Manifesto watch: Where parties stand on issues relating to counselling and psychotherapy
The BACP—The U.K.’s leading counselling professional body—does a good job of outlining the commitments and election promises from the main parties with respect to mental health services, with links to their manifestos. From www.bacp.co.uk:
Over the last week or so, the political parties have published their manifestos for May's general election. It has been extremely positive to see how many of these manifestos have succeeded in addressing at least one of our key policy areas.
Over the last 12 months we have been proactively campaigning to stakeholders, influencers and the Government on behalf of our members. Our key campaign areas include parity of esteem, counselling in schools and improving access to counselling. These manifestos demonstrate the positive influence that our work in these areas has had on the political agenda.
BACP’s Chief Executive, Hadyn Williams, says:
“There is real cause for celebration in the manifestos of the main political parties. It is extremely encouraging to see that our lobbying activities have been so successful and that politicians are recognising the importance of counselling and psychotherapy in such a significant way.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the next Government following the election to develop further the plans laid out in their manifesto.”
• Vice links up with Mind for mental health project (The Guardian): “The Vice Guide to Mental Health” is aimed at raising the profile of mental health issues in the runup to the UK general election.
• Mind’s General Election site (Mind): We want the next generation of MPs to make mental health a priority.
• The General Election: Anyone but “Camilibegg" (world of therapy): Human and chimpanzee DNA is 99 percent the same. How infinitesimally small then the difference between Miliband, Cameron and Clegg?
Mental health charities can help people where the NHS cannot
From The Guardian:
With one in four people suffering from mental health problems each year, and one in 10 young people, the challenges facing services are significant. This is a sizeable population and a range of responses is needed for their treatment, including community-based options.
The role of the voluntary and community organisations in supporting mental health conditions is well established. These organisations are rooted in their communities, are trusted by the people they work with, have a long history of social action and user-led interventions, sit outside of clinical settings, and are able to offer significant and effective levels of support.
The NHS Five Year Forward View explicitly refers to the voluntary and charitable sector as having an important role in helping to meet key challenges facing the health and social care system, and it argues for a new relationship with patients and communities.
Crunch on campus
Wall Street Journal:
Universities are hiring more social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists as demand for campus mental-health services rises. But persistent budget gaps mean that students in some cases foot much of the cost of the positions.
Students at George Washington University will be charged an additional $1,667 in tuition next year, a jump of 3.4%. More than $830,000 of the resulting new revenue will pay for mental-health services.
Regents at the University of California system are weighing a plan to hire 70 additional psychologists—a 40% increase—and 20 more psychiatrists—a 60% jump—to keep up with the demand at counseling centers across its 10 campuses. Administrators estimate the annual cost of the hires would top $17.4 million, and they plan to raise a mandatory annual student services fee to $1,242 from $972 by the 2019-2020 academic year to cover some of the expense.
“The demand [by students] so outpaces the supply of appointments that it’s very hard to get a weekly appointment, even for students having pretty serious symptoms that interfere with their academic function,” said Elizabeth Gong-Guy, executive director of counseling and psychological services at UCLA and president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors.
Survey: Majority of Texans affected by mental health issues
From the Brownsville Herald:
More than half of all Texans have been affected by mental health issues, either at home or at work, yet one in three would not know where to go if they or a family member needed help with a mental health condition, a survey conducted last summer among randomly selected Texas voters shows.
Baselice and Associates, Inc. conducted the Texas Mental Health Survey for the Dallas-based Meadows Health Policy Institute to measure awareness and knowledge of mental health among Texans, and to gauge if more or less attention or more or less spending should be directed toward mental health issues in Texas.
Key findings indicate that:
>> Seventy-six percent of Texans have a friend or family member who has experienced a mental health issue.
>> Nine in 10 Texans believe it is harder for people to talk about a mental health condition than about a physical health issue.
>> Sixty-seven percent of Texans believe that more state and local funds should be spent addressing mental health.
>> Thirty-one percent of Texans would not know where to go if they or a family member needed help with a mental health condition.
>> Thirty-three percent of Texans would consider a career as a mental health professional.
Effects of bullying even worse than effects of abuse by adults
According to a new study, those bullied by peers often suffer even worse long-term mental health outcomes than those maltreated by adults early in life.
The effects of both sorts of abuse are well-documented, but this is the first study to examine whether bullying, on its own, results in dire psychological problems later in life on par or worse than maltreatment by adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define “maltreatment” as including “acts of commission” (child abuse) and “acts of omission” (child neglect).
Researchers presenting at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego examined data from more than 4,000 participants in the UK ALSPAC study (Avon Longtitudinal Study of Parents and Children) and 1,273 participants from the U.S. Great Smoky Mountain Study. The studies collectively provide data on both bullying by peers and maltreatment by adults at intervals occurring early in life (between 8 weeks and 16 years) and mental health outcomes between the ages of 18 and 25.
After adjusting for a variety of other factors, the results showed that children who were bullied, but not maltreated by adults, suffered worse outcomes later on than those maltreated by adults but not bullied.
MHA Partnership with THE LOVE EFFECT
From Mental Health America:
Mental Health America has formed an exciting new collaboration with THE LOVE EFFECT Organization. Founded by filmmakers and actors Drue Metz, Tyler Atkins, and Ari Blinder THE LOVE EFFECT is both a powerful film and a campaign to raise awareness on depression, suicide and most uniquely: LOVE.
Check out their campaign here: http://kck.st/1HeHrj7 Mental Health America has formed an exciting new collaboration with THE LOVE EFFECT Organization. Founded by filmmakers and actors Drue Metz, Tyler Atkins, and Ari Blinder THE LOVE EFFECT is both a powerful film and a campaign to raise awareness on depression, suicide and most uniquely: LOVE.
Check out their campaign here: http://kck.st/1HeHrj7
A stroll in Ikea: The ultimate test of a relationship
From International Business Times:
A clinical psychologist has started using Ikea for communication exercises after finding most couples end up arguing during a visit to the Swedish store.
Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the California State University in Los Angeles says a trip to Ikea stores, "literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare."
According to Dr. Durvasula, as couples stroll through the different picture perfect indoor layouts at Ikea, differences over colours and other interiors' choices often lead to long personal arguments.
United Arab Emirates: Employees fear disclosing mental health issues to bosses
From The National:
Workers are keeping mental health issues from their employers for fear that an admission may harm their careers.
Experts are calling for better strategies to change outdated attitudes to mental health in the workplace and to provide a better way for employees to disclose any medical issues. Dr Deema Sihweil, a psychologist at Carbone Clinic, Dubai, said patients feared telling their employers about a mental illness as it would, they thought, mark them out as weak.
“It is an extremely common occurrence for patients to seek psychological services without informing their employers, for fear of being ostracised, held back from promotions, or even fired,” she said.
Jared Alden, a psychotherapist, said employers often had a “shopper’s mindset”.
“They might think of their workers as easily replaced and thus why bother with an employee that might need accommodating,” said Mr Alden, of the German Neuroscience Centre in Dubai Healthcare City.
“Most people think that depression and anxiety are very hard to treat, when the truth is most things in mental health can be treated very effectively.
India: Early counselling key in helping youth combat stress
From the Times of India:
Youth finding it difficult to cope with academic stress, relationship problems and family pressures would do well to receive early counseling at the school and higher secondary level. Problems of stress are common among most young people and intervention should start early on, senior psychiatrist at Hospicio hospital Dr Doreen Dias says. "Young people don't want to visit a psychiatrist and many of their issues can be addressed by counselors at the school and higher secondary level. The counselors can then refer cases of those with severe mental illness symptoms to us. Unfortunately, we don't have this kind of referral system. As a result, youth's problems come to the fore only once parents bring them to us after the problem has gotten worse and after they have noticed a change in their eating and sleeping habits."
The youth lead stressful lives today, rushing from five hours of school to four hours of tuitions with a mere two hour break. "Their schedules are so packed that there's little time for recreation and relaxation. Recreation hours too are scheduled and a child is expected to excel there as well. All these are contributing factors," she says.