How social media affects mental health in young people by Lucy Nichol via the Metro

Jeremy Hunt has recently warned companies like Facebook and Google that they face new laws relating to social media and young people, because social media exposes children to ‘harm’.

But is it really as simple as that? If there’s one person who knows about young people’s mental health its campaigner and TES columnist Natasha Devon MBE. Ms Devon spends much of her time visiting schools and talking to young people about her experience. In her new book, A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental, An A-Z From Anxiety To Zero F**ks Given, there are whole chapters on the topic. She says: ‘I don’t think any reasonable person would contest that social media and smart phones are having a dramatic impact on how we think and behave. ‘I also believe the government could play a role in regulation by, for example, providing public health guidelines around screen time and social media exposure for both children and adults.


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Mental health and the unsung heroes

As last week was mental health week I wanted to shine a light on a group that are often forgotten in the battle for better mental health. A group that is very much in the trenches, who are taking the full brunt of each attack and who are often the driving force to continue the fight. This group is of course the loved ones of a person who is suffering from a mental health condition.
We are slowly becoming better at discussing mental illness, we are more accepting of people who are diagnosed with or suffering from symptoms of such illnesses and we are beginning to change how we treat these people. However we often forget about the wider impact that such issues have on the people who take care of and support these people every day.
Consider the mother who has to will her son to continue living every day, or the father who can protect his daughter from everyone, except herself.
Every day the people who love someone who suffers from poor mental health prepare themselves to take on the daily onslaught of negative thoughts, dangerous behaviours and desperate despair. They know they have to be the strong ones, the source of support, the bright side. They do it brilliantly, with complete compassion and often without complaint, driven by the ultimate fear of losing someone they love.
I know this because I loved a person who suffered from poor mental health, every day I would fight on their behalf, battle to gain more help for them, better help, preach to make people understand and I often suffered the pain of watching them slowly spiralling deeper and deeper to the point of no return. It was hard. But someone needed to help them through, they needed to know they were loved, that we cared.
Nobody ever asked me how I was coping.
The fact is that I was not coping, I was ignoring my own needs, my feelings and aspirations. I was ignoring the warning signs that my own mental well being was slipping.
I realised I had to care for myself as much as I cared for my loved one, my life mattered too. I achieved this by being honest with myself and those around me, by asking for help and becoming educated about mental health and how to help people improve it.
So to all the parents, carers, partners, families and friends out there, I salute you. You are the unsung heroes in the war against mental health, you are the true experts, the real champions, the life savers. Take care of yourselves, your mental health is every bit as important as that of those you care for, if you are struggling ask for support you don’t have to do it alone. You matter too.

Sunshine predicted for 10k walking out of darkness!

Warm weather predicted for Nottingham’s ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ 10k walking fundraiser!

  CLASP Charity raises awareness & support for those suffering the Stigma surrounding Mental illness & increase Suicide Prevention.  CLASP have announced 7 ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ events from May to October 2018 (Mental Health Awareness Week to World Mental Health Day) in London, Nottingham, York, Brighton, Bristol, Norwich and Birmingham

Nottingham’s ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ event is taking place on Sunday 27th May (bank holiday weekend) on Victoria Embankment. The event starts at 10am with the fundraising walk beginning at 11am along the ‘Big Track/Wheel’ on Victoria Embankment.

 Our team are incredibly excited to be hosting a stand at the event. If you’d like to find out more about our service the team will be happy to help. We will be able to tell you all about our work in the field of self harm and suicide prevention.  If you’re interested in getting some support for yourself or someone that you are concerned about, then we want to
answer your questions and help in any way we can. We also provide lots of other services: we deliver self harm and suicide prevention training, publish books and resources on the subjects, provide email support and work with schools. Come along to find out more.

 We are really looking forward to the day and hope to see lots of you there! ..don’t forget your  suncream!

Can you help?

We are in desperate need of lockable filing cabinets for our service.

With our growing service and all the money we raise or receive going directly to therapeutic support, we are unable to find the funds to buy the cabinets, so we are asking you all for help.

The cabinets will be used by the team at our Harmless offices.

Are you able to help us?

Please give us a call at 0115 880 0280 or email if you can help.

Thank you

The Tomorrow Project charity shop

We are really excited to announce the opening of our charity shop! The small pop up shop is in our Harmless building foyer. Please pop in, take a look, bag a bargain and support our life saving service. Win win!



1 Beech Avenue
Sherwood Rise


Hope to see you soon!



Workplace stress should be regulated as safety hazard says charity after third of Britons admit feeling suicidal via the Independent

Employers should be regulated to minimise psychological hazards which pile on stress and affect workers’ health and safety. A third of people in Britain have experienced suicidal feelings, according to one of the largest ever reports on the nation’s mental health and the growing toll of an unchecked stress epidemic. The report by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) calls for societal change in the way mental health is treated, alongside new rules for employers to treat stress and mental health risks as seriously as physical health and safety. Launched to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, the Stress: are we coping? report is thought to be the most comprehensive look at the damage being caused by self-neglect. Figures released today from a survey of more than 4,600 UK adults found three out of four have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope in the past year because of stress – though this was 81 per cent among women.

Self harm in older people

It is a popular misconception that self harm happens only among teenagers and young women. Recent research studies highlight that adults and elderly can be equally affected. Moreover, self harm in the elderly is likely to be underreported due to strong emotions of shame and guilt associated with the behaviour which often prevent people from disclosure and seeking help. It is suggested that treatment of self harm in older people is likely to be more difficult if the habit becomes ingrained as a person’s main coping mechanism. Although the majority of those who self harm are not suicidal, there is closer relationship between self-harm and suicide in older people. Reportedly, they are at higher risk of inducing more severe wounds and accidentally provoking situations that can be dangerous to their health and life.

A study by Dennis et al. (2007) found that self-harm in people of older age was largely associated with social isolation, poor physical health and more severe depression. Therein mentioned motives for self-harm involved the desire to escape from intolerable situation, need to gain relief from unbearable state of mind and a will to make others understand how desperate they were feeling. A review of qualitative studies (Wand at al., 2018) highlighted that underlying motivations and individual thought processes in older people who self-harmed can differ significantly. The explanations of self harm identified by this analysis included e.g. problem-solving in the face of losses and powerlessness, finding a solution in a situation of helplessness or an answer to intractable physical symptoms. Alienation from others was here recognised as a physical state of isolation but also as a private perception of one’s reality based on specific internal cognitive sets.

An important message brought by both studies is in regard to the possible ways in which social seclusion of the elderly can be reduced by enhancing opportunities for a more community orientated approach. The need is identified for better cooperation between health, social and voluntary sector. The maintenance and development of voluntary agency support for people across the lifespan is an important pathway of helping those who self-harm. Therapeutic support for adults and elderly focused on understanding the individual experience can be an invaluable form of help and enable surviving and working through the most difficult aspects of one’s life.

Mental Health and Self Care

“What’s your self care activity?” The first time someone asked me this question I answered with a blank stare, a few seconds of silence followed by a mumbled ”uhmm…”
The importance of self care, something very well researched, something we as a society are increasingly more and more aware of, suddenly dawned on me. I was filled with questions and doubt: do I have a self care activity? Do I make the most of it? Am I aware of when I need it? Do I do it every day? Should I?…
That was a couple of years ago, just as I was about to start my role here at The Tomorrow Project. And since then I have met extraordinary people, heard and learned from some of the best on the field of mental health and suicide prevention. Self care has always been a concept paramount to doing my job to the best of my ability, but also key in just being a person. We all have mental health, and the parity of esteem act tells us that mental health is just as valuable as physical health. More so, we should all address mental health issues with the same amount of effort we use for our physical health.
But for me something never really clicked, until I unexpectedly found myself as a new dog owner. I was at the park walking the dog after a particularly difficult day when I thought “oh, could this be my self care activity?” It was not. I was filled again with doubt, frustration and slightly irritated. But I did realise I was not being kind to myself. Self care, like so many other things, will mean one thing to one person, and another to someone else. It’s about finding what works for us, and making the most of it. Even if making the most of it means doing just a little bit for now. So yesterday I really enjoyed driving to work in the glorious sun. Which by the way, is definitely Molly’s (that’s my dog) favourite thing in the world. The sun, not driving.
I am still not sure if walking her will be my self care, but I don’t need to answer that question. And I am ok with that.
I’ll leave you with a picture of Molly and her self care activity.

Todays the day! Good luck Nottingham College

Good luck to staff and students at Nottingham College who are taking on a 17 mile walk in aid of our life saving services: Harmless and The Tomorrow Project.
This will be the finale of a series events taking place at Nottingham College during Mental Health Awareness week, 14th – 18th May 2018.
Follow them on @nottmcollenrich @nottmcollegeSU @nottmCollege to see how they get on today!!!
To donate click here:
We are looking forward to welcoming you here at Harmless for your second to final stop. GOOD LUCK!