A new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, suggests that short-term psychosocial counseling could significantly reduce rates of suicide attempts and deaths among individuals who have already tried to take their own lives. (Medical News Today)
• Nurses warn of cuts in mental health services causing strain
Staff cuts and bed shortages are leaving mental health services “under unprecedented strain” says the nurses’ union. The Royal College of Nursing says there are now 3,300 fewer posts in mental health nursing, and 1,500 fewer beds, than in 2010. At the same time demand has increased by 30%, the RCN said. A Department of Health spokesman said mental health was a “priority” for the government. (BBC News)
• Clegg to establish cross-government taskforce for mental health services
Nick Clegg will on Monday pledge to take mental health out of the shadows and to end “outdated attitudes” by establishing a cross-government taskforce to improve services across the country . . . the deputy prime minister will say that more needs to be done to target help at the young after figures showed that three children in every classroom have diagnosable mental heath conditions. He will say that only a quarter of people with a common mental health problem receive treatment while 90% of prisoners have at least one mental health disorder. (The Guardian)
• Pulling together to extend the lives of people with serious mental illness
Each year, 12,000 people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, die prematurely from heart disease – on average 20 years earlier than the general population, which gives them a similar life expectancy to the 1950s. In addition, 18,000 people with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression will also die early. This connection between physical health and mental health was noted in the British Medical Journal as long as 60 years ago. Yet only last year the Mental Health Foundation reported that NHS physical health and mental health care were largely disconnected, and that, though integration was supported in principle, it was not delivered in practice. (The Guardian)
• Human rights abuses leave a third of Libyans with mental health problems
“Widespread and gross” human rights violations in Libya, including disappearances, arrests, torture and deaths, have left nearly a third of the population suffering from mental health problems as violence and lawlessness continues, according to a new report . . . Research by Dignity – the Danish Institute against Torture – shared with the Guardian, paints a devastating picture of the human consequences of the regionalism, tribalism and factionalism that have wracked the north African country since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi three-and-a-half years ago. (The Guardian)
• Canada: men's psychological wellbeing in the workplace—addressing an unmet need
Mental health problems in the workplace are a growing public health concern, costing Canadian companies $20 billion annually. Researchers know that women are twice as likely to suffer depression than men — but that does not mean men are immune to depression. A new Canada-wide research project, led by the University of Calgary, is the first to specifically target men in the workplace to address their attitudes towards e-health solutions for mental health. (ucalgary.ca)
• Psychiatrist to the Taliban tells all
Afghan psychiatrist Nader Alemi spent many years counselling militants struggling with the effects of war. He was even summoned to see the second-in-command to the group’s spiritual leader, Dr Alemi told the BBC World Service’s Outlook radio show.
Mullah Akhtar was hearing voices and screaming in his sleep, suffering from delusions and not recognising those around him.
“This man had been on the front line for goodness knows how long, and seen goodness knows how many people killed in front of him,” said Dr Alemi.
“All those explosions and screams may still have been echoing in his head, even sitting in the comfort of his office.”
Others would visit Dr Alemi for depression or anxiety, and he would offer them counselling or medicine to ease their symptoms. (NEWS.com.au)
• Counselling offered to player whose bowl led to Hughes's death
The player who bowled the ball which led to the death of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes is to be offered counselling. Test international Hughes died in hospital, two days after being struck in the back of the neck by a delivery from Sean Abbott. The pair were recent teammates for the national side. (Newstalk)