In the News: Facebook and Twitter ‘harm young people’s mental health’

Four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health, with Instagram the most damaging, according to research by two health organisations.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

The survey, published on Friday, concluded that Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also harmful. Among the five only YouTube was judged to have a positive impact.

The four platforms have a negative effect because they can exacerbate children’s and young people’s body image worries, and worsen bullying, sleep problems and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, the participants said.

 

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

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/19/popular-social-media-sites-harm-young-peoples-mental-health

Mental Health Today – Wales #MHTWales17

Last week I was invited to speak at the Mental Health Today conference in Cardiff. I set off on the Tuesday afternoon to make my way and was greeted to Wales with sun filled valleys and lush, green hill tops- what a sight!

As I entered Cardiff the scenery changed to a hive of activity, with tall buildings and busy people. I found my way through the traffic to my destination, the Premier Inn. With the extra excuse of it being Mental Health Awareness week I made sure I had a delicious hot meal and enjoyed a bubble bath with my first Lush (Handmade cosmetics) bath bomb.

With approximately 400 people attending the conference I was excited to mingle and meet new faces. The day of the conference was one of inspiration and hope. So many people and so many experiences to share! One particular presentation from Cyfle Cymru really stuck out for me, with a service user sharing their story with us. He mentioned the importance of creating space to do the things we want to do and taking the time to understand what getting well meant. I felt this message was such an important one for all of us to take note of. If we are to thrive it is essential we let ourselves explore what this looks like and how it will be done.

Before long it was my turn to present. Many people tell me I am confident when presenting, something I still struggle to accept after many years of managing my anxiety. As many of you may agree it is surprising just how much can go through your mind before you step up to speak. One of the last thoughts I had, whilst taking deep breaths and walking up to the stand, was how awe-inspiring it was to have so many people gathered together in one space all with the same mission to help improve the lives of those with mental health conditions- and I was lucky enough to contribute to this.

The whole day radiated hope and drive for constant change and I look forward to experiencing more of this atmosphere again at our own National conference on the 1st March, From Harm to Hope.

For more feedback on what took place at Mental Health Today and to read the interview I had on how best to support those who self harm please click here.

For more information on our own conference, From Harm to Hope email: admin@harmless.org.uk

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Harmless speak on talkRADIO about self harm

In the busy lead up to Christmas we were approached by a number of radio stations. This was in response to the published Self harm stats from the NSPCC which highlighted that 19,000 children were admitted to hospital after harming themselves last year – a 14% rise over three years (for more on those stats please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38252335).

I spoke with talkRADIO about self harm and appropriate ways to support and respond to individuals who self harm. To listen to the interview please click the following link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lw0wr8ly4aywxj1/Radio%20.mp4?dl=0

Thank you to Children In Need for supporting our young people self harm services

Tonight (18th November 2016) we will see the return of BBC Children in Need’s appeal show – an annual event which looks to raise money that will be used to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK.

Since their first major Appeal in 1980, BBC Children in Need has raised over £800 million supporting thousands of projects to help achieve their vision; that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential.

Harmless are one of the many projects that have benefited from the money raised by the public and Children In Need.

In 2012, Harmless were awarded £88,910 over a 3 year period and supported more than 300 young people aged 11 to 18 who self-harm (or are at risk of self-harm).

In 2015, Harmless were awarded a further £109,489 to provide weekly counselling support for those who self harm or are at risk of suicide. We are now in our second year having already directly supported 63 different children and young people across Nottingham in year 1.

Earlier this year, Children In Need also created a short video about the work Harmless do which you can watch here: [Insert Link]

On behalf the Harmless team, I would like to thank Children in Need and their team for the continued support that they have given to Harmless and the children and young people that access our service(s). We wish everyone all the best and hope that they have another record breaking evening.

Darren Fox
Business and Operations Manager

 

To view an animation created by BBC Children in Need and Harmless, please click Bronwyn’s Story.

Watch Appeal Show 2015 on BBC One from 7:00pm on Friday 18th November

You can donate to Children in Need by clicking here

To learn more about our self harm support services, please contact Harmless by emailing info@harmless.org.uk

In the News: Mental health is the largest single course of ill health in UK.

Statistics suggest that one in four people in the UK will suffer with a mental health problem, which is the largest single course of ill health. Yet around three quarters of these people will receive no treatment at all. Ten per cent of children and young adults have a mental health problem and yet seventy per cent will receive no treatment.

GP’s are seeing more patients coming in with anxiety and low mood symptoms. Yet they are experiences difficulty accessing ongoing mental health support for their patients, suggesting that it may take a crisis for a person to be seen acutely by the mental health team.

One GP explains how they have been allocated a CPN who is able to see patients on the milder ends of the anxiety and depression spectrum, but has some concerns because this is a 12 month pilot.

They would like to see a CPN and social worker at every practice, which would allow them to link in with Mental health teams easier.

If you would like help and support please contact us on info@harmless.org.uk

 

For the full story follow the link: www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/12/gps-cant-solve-mental-health-crisis

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: 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.