The NHS endorses a mental health campaign to encourage young people to give up social media for a month.
According to The Telegraph, ‘Scroll-Free September’ highlights growing concerns over social media contributing to young people’s ill mental health.
Writing in the Daily telegraph, Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, stated: ‘Feelings of anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, body image concerns and “fear of missing out” were all found to be exacerbated by social media, and for many young people, these negatives outweighed the positives.’
‘Our research found half of young users (18-34) expect quitting social media for a month to benefit their sleep, real world relationships, and overall mental health and wellbeing. Two thirds are up for the challenge,’ she added.
Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health said: ‘We need to see concerted action, with everyone taking responsibility, including social media giants, so the NHS is not left to pick up the pieces of a mental health epidemic in the next generation.’
‘Scroll-Free September’ is also backed by NHS Scotland, Public Health England’s Rise Above campaign and MPs including the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health.
‘Silent Catastrophe’ evidence of NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) failing children and young people
The Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) provides evidence of NHS failings in mental health services for children and young people (CAMHS)
According to ACP, their survey of child and adolescent psychotherapists working in the NHS found that 61% believed the service they work in was facing downsizing and 72% said that the threshold to access services had increased in the past 5 years.
Dr Nick Waggett, ACP Chief Executive, said:‘The ACP’s report shows that in many areas specialist CAMHS services are being downgraded, with a loss of much needed clinical expertise and leadership.
‘We know that a lack of resources is one factor but our report raises concerns about recent service transformations and re-designs. These can lead to inefficiencies that mean that resources, especially the skilled workforce, are not used effectively and children and young people are not offered the effective and timely assessment and treatment they require.’
Climate change linked to increased suicide rates
According to The Independent, researchers examining climate change have found a link between rising temperatures and worsening mental health.
Professor Solomon Hsiang, a study co-author based at the University of California, said: ‘It appears that heat profoundly affects the human mind and how we decide to inflict harm.’
In a study, published by the Nature Climate Change journal, researchers suggest that by 2050 there could be 9-40 thousand additional suicides in the US and Mexico.
Professor Marshall Burke, who led the research at Stanford University, said: ‘Suicide is one of the leading causes of death globally, and suicide rates in the US have risen dramatically over the last 15 years. So better understanding the causes of suicide is a public health priority.’
Professor Burke emphasised that hotter temperatures ‘are clearly not the only, nor the most important, risk factor for suicide.’
Researchers were concerned that while temperature would not motivate individuals to take their own lives, it could magnify other problems that lead people to harm themselves, The Independent reports.
Blue Badge scheme to include individuals with mental health problems
The ‘blue badge’ scheme is to be extended in England to include individuals with ‘hidden conditions’.
According to The Guardian, the scheme that allows individuals to park closer to destinations is to include people with conditions such as autism, dementia and those with mental health issues.
Vicki Nash, The Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said: ‘We’re really pleased that more people with mental health problems should now be able to access blue badges. This is an important step in the right direction – showing greater recognition of the many barriers faced by some people with mental health problems when it comes to leaving the house and making journeys.’
The change follows an 8-week consultation by the Department of Transport and will come into effect early next year.
In case you missed it…
Muswell Hill mental health unit celebrated its 50th birthday– Simmons House Mental Health Unit for young people celebrated its 50thbirthday this month.