Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Articles published by guardian.co.uk Society about: Mental health

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It's the cumulative impact of benefit cuts that is shocking | Zoe Williams

19th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Disabled people are the worst hit of any group by myriad welfare changes that relentlessly reduce already meagre incomesIf you decided not to watch Benefits Britain: The Live Debate – perhaps you thought the programme itself was degrading to culture, and the debate an almost free cherry on an exceedingly cheap cake – then in an ideal world you should be able to live out your life without ever knowing what was said on it.However, I just have to share one little thing: there's a character in the show with depression, called White Dee. There's a character from the Telegraph ...

Students to laugh, tweet and bounce on university mental health day

18th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Students at over 40 universities will raise awareness about how to seek help with mental health problemsStudents at universities around the country will take part in activities like zumba and singing on Wednesday, to raise awareness of mental health issues for university mental health day.The day, set up in 2012 by the university mental health advisers network and supported by Student Minds, is designed to promote the mental health of those who live and work in higher education.Activities on offer on campuses around the UK include jumping on a bouncy castle in Loughborough, drinking free smoothies in Northampton and "laughter ...

Why we need the online presence of MentalHealthCop | Mary O'Hara

18th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Mental illness and policing is an extremely sensitive area, and social media can play a positive roleLast Friday West Midlands police (WMP) suddenly suspended the Twitter account of @MentalHealthCop, the enormously popular, award-winning feed from police officer Michael Brown. The same day, Brown's equally admired personal blog which, like the Twitter account, had become a "go to" destination for people interested in the intersection of policing and mental health services, shifted from "public" to "private" access only.The abrupt change to MentalHealthCop's online status met with an instant and incandescent reaction from his legions of followers, who demanded an explanation from ...

Use of police cells during mental health crises to be halved

18th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Deal signed by 22 national organisations follows official report on detentions under section 136 of Mental Health ActThe number of times police cells are used as a place of safety for people having a mental health crisis is intended to be halved under a far-reaching agreement between police, mental health trusts and paramedics.The "crisis care concordat" signed by 22 national organisations, including the Department of Health, the Home Office and the charity Mind, is aimed at securing dramatic improvements in the treatment of people having a mental heath crisis.The concordat suggests that health-based places of safety and beds should be available ...

Loneliness is killing us – we must start treating this disease | Philippa Perry

17th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

A report says loneliness is more deadly than obesity – the challenge now is to help lonely people connectThat loneliness is a health issue would not have been a surprise to Mother Teresa who once said: "The biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody."But now doctors have quantified the effects of the loneliness disease, warning that lonely people are nearly twice as likely to die prematurely as those who do not suffer feelings of isolation. Being lonely it seems, is a lot more worrying ...

Taking your brain for a walk: the secret to delaying dementia

17th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Regular brisk walking three times a week increases the size of brain regions linked to planning and memory, a study has shownRegular brisk walks can slow down the brain shrinkage and the faltering mental skills that old age often brings, scientists say.Studies on men and women aged 60 to 80 years old found that taking a short walk three times a week increased the size of brain regions linked to planning and memory over the course of a year.The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus increased in size by only 2% or 3%, but that was enough to offset the steady shrinkage ...

We Used to Be Kings by Stewart Foster – review

15th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Yet another damaged young male narrator in this debut about madness and family trauma, writes Suzi FeayYou can't blame an innovator for those who follow in his wake, but Mark Haddon has a lot to answer for. Ever since the success of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, readers have been inundated with first-person young male narrators who are damaged in some way. Recent examples include Nathan Filer's Costa-winning The Shock of the Fall and Gavin Extence's The Universe Versus Alex Woods, two gripping tales of boys overcoming a mental or physical disability and struggling to contextualise a traumatic past event.This ...

Threat to mental health programme that aims to get patients back to work

11th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Cuts come as 70% of working age adults with a mental health condition in England are unemployedA programme at South London and the Maudsley NHS foundation trust (Slam), which provides tailored careers advice and coaching to patients, is threatened by budget cuts.Slam's individual career management (ICM) programme, which occupational psychologist Claire Price says is the only one of its type in the UK, goes beyond simply getting someone into a job. It assesses the needs of individual clients and tailors its services accordingly, which could mean help with a CV or interview skills, or long-term one-to-one support.Care and support services ...

Mental health issues 'cost UK £70bn a year', claims thinktank

10th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

OECD study shows 40% of the 370,000 new claims for disability benefit each year are caused by mental health issuesMental health issues are costing Britain £70bn a year, the west's leading economic thinktank said on Monday, as it urged the government to help those with depression, stress and anxiety into work. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said mental health was the cause of 40% of the 370,000 new claims for disability benefit each year – the highest recorded among the 34 nations that belong to the so-called "rich man's club".An OECD study found that the bill to ...

Ruth Hoffman obituary

10th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

My friend Ruth Hoffman, who has died aged 91, was a psychiatrist specialising in children who worked closely with leading Jungian figures and was an analysand of Michael Fordham. She also corresponded with Primo Levi, who, in the words of his biographer, Ian Thomson, "seems to have been immediately attracted to Hoffman, and she to him". Among her impressive collection of letters there is a note from General Charles de Gaulle.Ruth, born in Vienna, was 16 when, in 1938, her father decided it was time to send her away from her home in Bielsko, in Silesia, in Poland. He owned ...

The role of housing in the health of residents should not be underestimated

10th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

As a sector we may need to ruffle a few feathers, but better integration with healthcare providers will pay dividendsLast Thursday was the UK's first Time to Talk day: 24 hours in which we were all encouraged to have conversations about mental health.Some of those conversations would also have been about housing. The government is increasingly recognising the importance of housing in delivering good health and social care and it's great that the government is putting £3.8bn into trying to make integration between health and housing work, although how much of that money will find its way to housing is ...

Birmingham mosque attacker sent to secure hospital indefinitely

5th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Mohamoud Elmi, who has form of schizophrenia, is told he will need lifelong monitoring after knife attack at mosqueA mentally ill man who launched a near-fatal knife attack on a police officer at a mosque has been ordered to spend an indefinite period in a secure hospital.Mohamoud Elmi, who also stabbed two worshippers at the Madrassa Qasim Ul Uloom centre in Birmingham, was told he would require lifelong monitoring to protect the public.The 32-year-old, who suffers from a form of schizophrenia, was found not guilty on Tuesday by reason of his insanity.In returning the "special" verdicts, jurors ruled that Elmi ...

What 12 Years a Slave tells us about 21st century black mental health

5th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

The film could be used as a resource on cultural identity and diversity for healthcare workersI had the privilege of attending the film preview of 12 Years A Slave organised by Damaris, a film education charity, which produced a free official community resources pack to support a debate on the key issues in the film. The Oscar-nominated film's narrative provides a historical context of health inequalities and could be used as a resource on cultural identify and diversity for any frontline worker, senior manager, commissioner and clinician delivering health and social care services.The film also reminds of us of the ...

The hounding of Ian Thorpe sends a catastrophic message | Van Badham

5th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Van Badham: Thorpe may not actually be an addict, but his treatment by the media will make it even harder for those who are to seek the help they needVan Badham

Call for review of rape complainants' treatment after woman's death

4th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Greater Manchester's police and crime commissioner urges 'root and branch reform' after tragedy of Rochdale woman's deathA police and crime commissioner has called for a review of how sex offence complainants are treated by the courts after the death of a woman days after a jury acquitted a man accused of raping her.The woman, 41, fell from the roof of a car park in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, on Monday morning.Detectives had visited her home on Friday to tell her the defendant had been cleared of any wrongdoing earlier that day. The woman appeared angry and upset at the news and ...

Mental wellbeing should be tackled before it leads to a need for crisis care | Mary O'Hara

4th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Many people living with worsening mental health are invisible, but we can help them by reaching outBarely a week goes by without another sign that mental health services are strained to breaking point as people turn to them in greater numbers and as beds and staff are cut.This is serious stuff. Providing a safe and appropriate environment for people should be at the core of care. However, while the focus on crisis care is vital, so too are the less visible and less extreme aspects of facing life with mental health difficulties.As well as the Care Quality Commission report last week ...

Birmingham mosque stabbings: attacker insane at time, jury rules

4th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Mohamoud Elmi, who stabbed two worshippers and police constable, found not guilty by reason of insanityA mentally ill man who stabbed a police constable and two worshippers at a mosque was insane at the time of the offences, a jury has ruled.Jurors deliberated over two days before returning verdicts of not guilty by reason of insanity on Mohamoud Elmi, who now faces a potentially indefinite period of detention in a secure hospital.In reaching its verdicts the jury, sitting at Birmingham crown court, decided Elmi committed acts that amounted to attempted murder and wounding.During the three-day trial jurors were told the ...

What hospitals can learn from mental health service transformation

4th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Commissioners should take the opportunity to redesign services while considering the needs of patientsFew people can be immune to the fact that acute hospitals are heading towards a crisis. Firstly, too many people are coming through the door, with emergency admissions rising by more than a third in the past decade. Then there is the challenge of providing appropriate care within increasingly squeezed resources, and achieving timely discharge as hospital staff work to ensure adequate support and follow-on care. As hospitals try to do more for less, the risk is that quality of care suffers.Building a system of support in ...

Want parity for mental health? Then make a fuss about spending cuts | Clare Allan

4th February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

The NHS feels able to target mental health because they know there'll be a lot less fuss than if they cut funding for diabetes or cancer care. Let's prove them wrongYou will forgive me, I hope, if I feel a little sceptical about the government's much vaunted commitment to achieving a so-called parity of esteem in the treatment of mental and physical health problems.Don't get me wrong, it's a fine ambition.Why should the NHS allocate just 13% of resources to treatment of mental health problems when they account for 23% of the disease burden in England? Why should national health ...

Barbara Taylor: 'Waking up in a mental hospital isn't something you plan for'

2nd February 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Barbara Taylor is an academic known for her brilliant books on history and feminism. She is also a former psychiatric patient. In this extract from her powerful memoir, she describes daily life inside one of Britain's last mental asylumsWard 16 of Friern Barnet mental asylum was an "acute admissions" ward, meaning it was meant for people in a highly disturbed state, needing plenty of care (and drugs) until they stabilised and could be discharged or moved to a rehab or long-stay ward. In fact, some people had been living there for years. About a third of the patients were "sectioned" (legally ...