In the News: Life for students ‘fraught with loneliness and anxiety’

Summer holidays revealed as one of the loneliest times of years for young people.

The summer holidays are meant to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated times in a young person’s life but, worryingly, it’s actually emerging as one of the loneliest periods for many.

New research has revealed more than half of teenagers feel isolated during their time off from school, with a quarter saying the holidays are their loneliest time of the entire year, rising to 29 per cent among girls.

While changes in technology have made staying in touch with friends easier than ever, an over-reliance on smartphones and social media apps can actually lead teenagers to feeling more isolated as they substitute quality time with friends for texting or tweeting.

The study, compiled by the National Citizen Service (NCS), showed almost two thirds of teens will talk to their friends every day on social media, yet only 14 per cent will see them face-to-face. For some, NCS said this isolation is even greater with one in twenty teenagers not expecting to see a single friend during their time off.

To read the full article, please click this link: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/health/mental-health-in-young-people-summer-holidays-one-of-the-loneliest-times-of-year-for-students-a7136351.html

Rather than feel isolated or lonely come and join us for our ‘Drop- in’ Sessions which are friendly and welcoming, in a relaxed atmosphere with approachable staff.

  • Adult Drop in, Wednesday 17th August, 4:30pm – 5:30pm for adults (18+ yrs)
  • Young Person Drop in, Thursday 4th August, 11.30am – 12.30pm  (11 – 21 Yrs)

In the news: Self harm- 6,000 people attend emergency departments

More than 6,000 people turned up at emergency departments across Northern Ireland in 2015 having self-harmed. 

The majority were young people, aged between 15 and 24.

Records show that a number of people sought help on more than one occasion with over 8,500 incidents in 12 months.

The statistic is part of the chief medical officer’s annual report which reflects on the health of the population in Northern Ireland.

Dr Michael McBride said when it comes to mental health and in particular, self-harm, there is a need to intervene.

“We need to be aware that people who self-harm repeatedly are at much higher risk of taking their own lives by suicide” he said.

A self-harm registry which operates across all acute hospitals is designed to improve understanding about self-harm and to allow for comparative analysis with the Republic of Ireland and parts of England.

In its latest report, the registry concluded that Northern Ireland continues to have a high rate of self-harm.

While alcohol is a factor, drug overdose was the most common method of self-harm.

In his 9th annual report, Dr Michael McBride, gives a wide-ranging review of the service, including health inequalities, vaccination and screening programmes and dental health.

However, he also emphasises that the quality and advances in health care are not the only determinants of good health.

For the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36351142

In the News: The Teenagers who poison themselves…

Self poisoning is on the rise amongst young people.

“It’s like my brain has two bits: the happy bit and the bad bit,” says 18-year-old Jasmine. “The bad bit keeps pushing until it takes over. You feel like you’re losing control of yourself a little bit more and a little bit more. And then it happens.” Jasmine is one of thousands of young people who self-poison using substances such as alcohol, painkillers and illegal drugs to self harm.

Research from Nottingham University has found there has been a 27% increase in known UK cases of young people self harming between 1992 and 2012, with 17,862 incidents reported during that 20 year period.

To read the full article please click on the link below: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36322642

Here at Harmless we will work in partnership with any organisation, service or individual who feels the need support in understanding how best to help a young person who self harms. If you work with young people and want to know more about how to support someone who self harms then please get in touch at training@harmless.org.uk

In the News: Children ‘denied mental health support’

A total of 28% of children referred for mental health support in England in 2015 were sent away without help, some after a suicide attempt, a report says.

The Children’s Commissioner’s review of mental health services also found that 13% with life-threatening conditions were not allowed specialist support.

This group included children who had attempted serious self-harm and those with psychosis and anorexia nervosa.

A government spokesman said no-one should be sent away in need.

The commissioner obtained data from 48 of England’s 60 child and adolescent mental health service trusts.

One trust in north-west England said it focused resources on the most severe cases.

‘Russian roulette’

There have been concerns in recent years about the patchy nature of services offered by child and adolescent mental health trusts (CAMHs), with many seemingly unable to cope with local demand.

And school teachers and heads in some areas have highlighted the growing mental health need amongst pupils which are having to be met within schools.

‘Frightened the living daylights out of me’

Ellie Fogden, now 19, sought help when she was 16:

I did not become ill immediately at 16. For a number of years, I felt quite down, so to speak.

It was constant worrying, pressure from school, and my own body image.

I got to a point where I had had enough. I am waking up every day and I am not wanting to be here.

I self-referred to a local counselling service and I was on a waiting list for about three months and then started sessions. The counsellor was very worried and she referred me to CAMHs.

I had to go to the doctor to get a referral and it took about three to four weeks to get a session. I was in there for about three hours and I was just bombarded with so many questions. Some of them I didn’t have the answer for because I didn’t understand what was going on in my head.

I wasn’t taken seriously enough. Some of the questions were dismissed as – it is not that bad, people have it worse. For me, it felt awful. There was no compassion which made it so much worse.

I didn’t go back for another CAMHs appointment. It frightened the living daylights out of me. I finished counselling at this independent service. I wasn’t great but wasn’t as bad.

As I have grown older, it has just gone into a downward spiral where I am currently worse than I was when I was 16, with depression.

For the full story follow the link..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36398247

 

In the News: Acne and exam stress among factors leading young people to suicide, study finds.

Exam stress, acne and asthma are among the anxieties affecting children and young people who kill themselves, according to the first ever detailed national investigation of these cases.

Between January 2014 and April 2015, there were 145 suicides in England by children and young people aged 10 to 19. An inquiry looking at 130 of the cases has found some common factors, or “antecedents”, which the researchers hope may help families, friends, teachers or others to become aware that a child is struggling.

More than half (54%) of the 130 had self-harmed and 27% had expressed suicidal ideas in the week before they died, while in 16 cases (12%), they had searched online for information on it. But 43% had not been in contact with the health service or any other agency.

More than a third (36%) had sought help for some sort of medical condition, the most common being acne and asthma, while 27% were dealing with academic pressures, says the report.

Of the 20 young people facing current or pending exams or awaiting results, 11 were known to be stressed by their exams and four died on the day of an exam or the day after.

More than a quarter of the young people (28%) had recently experienced the death of somebody close to them, and six had lost more than one. Nine had lost a parent, while 17 (13%) had experienced the suicide of either somebody in their family or a friend.

More than a fifth (22%) had been bullied in previous months, mostly face to face (93%). Eight had been targeted by online bullying – as well as face to face or instead of it. Mostly the bullying had occurred more than three months before the person died, but in eight cases it was more recent.

To read the full article, please click the following link:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/25/acne-and-exam-stress-among-factors-leading-young-people-to-suicide-study-finds

In the News: ONS includes deaths of children under 15 for first time in its suicide figures, which also show rise in female suicides in England

Nearly 100 children aged 10 to 14 killed themselves in the UK in the past decade, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Charities said the numbers were a “national scandal”. The records show 98 children under 15 killed themselves in the UK from 2005 to 2014, 59 boys and 39 girls.

For the first time the ONS included in its research on UK suicides the deaths from intentional self-harm of 10- to 14-year-old children as well as those of people aged 15 and over. Children under 10 are not recognised in suicide figures and therefore not included.

Ged Flynn, the chief executive of the charity Papyrus, which is dedicated to the prevention of suicide among young people, told the Press Association: “We have ‘hidden’ the fact that children and young people die this way because it is so flipping painful for us.

“It is painful and toxic to think about it, so we hide it and hope it goes away. Today we can see it is not going away. It is a national scandal and we have to talk about it.”

He said experts had known for some time that depression started for some at an early age, and there were a “plethora of reasons” why children took their own lives. He said children felt “trapped or ashamed” by whatever was driving their suicidal thoughts.

The NSPCC confirmed there had been a rise in children seeking its help. “Our ChildLine service has seen a huge increase in calls from desperately unhappy children,” a spokesperson said. “Last year more than half of the young people we referred to other agencies were suicidal.”

For the full story follow the link;

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/04/female-suicide-rate-in-england-highest-for-a-decade-in-2014-figures-reveal

 

In the News: Prisons fail to act on inmates’ suicide risks, says watchdog

Clues that prisoners may take their own lives are too often missed, a watchdog has warned.

Known factors indicating a heightened risk – such as a history of suicidal behaviour or the circumstances of the inmate’s offence – are sometimes overlooked, the prisons and probation ombudsman (PPO) said.

It follows a previous review of self-inflicted deaths of prisoners which found that a significant number occurred in the first month in prison.

The warning comes after the recent deaths in custody of Michelle Barnes and Sarah Reed. Barnes, 33, killed herself in a prison in Durham six days after giving birth to a baby girl and shortly after being taken off suicide watch.

Reed, 32, was found dead in her cell while being held on remand in Holloway prison in January. She had told her family she fought back against a sexual assault while being held in a secure mental health unit, only to find herself facing a charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen said: “The early days and weeks of custody are often a difficult time for prisoners and a period of particular vulnerability for those at risk of suicide.

“The Prison Service has introduced reception, first night and induction processes to help identify and reduce this risk.

“Some prisoners have obvious factors, such as mental ill-health or a lack of experience of prison, that indicate that they are at heightened risk of suicide, but my investigations too often find that staff have failed to recognise or act on them – with potentially fatal consequences.”

For the full story follow the link: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/16/prisons-inmates-suicide-risks-watchdog.

In the News: Seeing how the NHS handles attempted child suicide scares me

Sometimes when I look into a child’s eyes I see anxiety as they decide to tell me they want to kill themselves. They might be worried at my possible reaction; will I show disapproval, be upset? Instead, I feel a deep sadness; how can somebody so young have reached the point in their lives when they think this is the only option left?

I am an outreach child and adolescent mental health nurse in the north of England. I act as the first response following a suicide attempt in a young person. I carry out a risk assessment, arrange follow up support, then decide if a young person is safe to go home, or needs a place of safety.

Ninety-eight children under 15 killed themselves in the UK from 2005 to 2014, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. These figures don’t include the number of children who have attempted suicide or who have suicidal thoughts. According to a 2013 report from the mental health charity MindFull, based on a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 young adults, one in five children has symptoms of depression and nearly a third (32%) have thought about suicide before the age of 16.

Follow the link to read the full story;

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2016/apr/04/seeing-how-nhs-handles-attempted-child-suicide-mental-health

In the News: Suicide attempts at UK immigration removal centres at all-time high

The number of suicide attempts in immigration removal centres is at an all-time high, averaging more than one a day, according to official figures.

The new data from the Home Office comes as the government faces growing pressure to reduce the use of immigration detention, especially for vulnerable individuals; people who have committed no crime; and those with no identified risk of absconding. Concerns have also been expressed about the cost to taxpayers of detaining more than 30,000 people a year.

The figures, which were released following a freedom of information request bythe NGO No Deportations, showed there were 393 recorded suicide attempts in 2015, up 11% on the previous year.

The number of people entering detention last year (32,466) also increased – up 7% on 2014. But 3,515 more people left detention in 2015 compared with the previous year.

The figures showed that Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow had the highest number of suicide attempts, 105, followed by Yarl’s Wood with 64. Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire mainly houses female detainees.

A total of 2,957 detainees were on suicide watch during 2015 including 11 children.

 

Follow the link for the full story;

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/04/suicide-attempts-uk-immigration-removal-centres-all-time-high-home-office-figures?CMP=share_btn_tw

In the News: Heads warn over pupils’ untreated mental health issues.

Children’s untreated mental health issues could spiral into psychiatric problems later in life unless more is done in schools, say head teachers.

The National Association of Head Teachers says with a fifth of children having a mental health problem before age 11, it is a key concern.

A snapshot survey of 1,455 English heads suggests two-thirds of primary schools cannot deal with such issues.

The government says it has ring-fenced £1.4bn for children’s mental health.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the heads’ union, NAHT, says: “We know the government is determined to improve children’s mental health but there’s still a danger that some children will take untreated mental problems into adulthood.”

‘Vital role’

Mr Hobby said three-quarters of school leaders had reported that they lacked the resources needed to provide the kind of mental health care that children need.

“Although increasingly common inside secondary schools, almost two-thirds of primary school leaders say that it is difficult to access local mental health professionals,” he said.

“Schools play a vital role in supporting children’s mental health and building their resilience – but rising demand, growing complexity and tight budgets can get in the way of helping the children who need it most”.

 

For the full story, please click the following link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35502394