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Midweek Mindset

2,000 NHS mental health staff quit every month

September 19, 2018

By: Jenna Rachid and Alex Youngs


2,000 NHS mental health staff quit every month

According to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), 2,000 mental health nurses, therapists and psychiatrists are quitting their posts each month in the NHS in England.

Responding to a written Parliamentary Question from Labour MP Paula Sherriff, the Minister for Mental Health, Jackie Doyle-Price, stated that a total of 23,686 mental health staff left the between June 2017 and the end of May this year, The Guardian reports.

Her answer also revealed that, at the end of June this year, a total of one in ten mental health posts across NHS England remained unfilled.

In June 2017, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised to increase NHS staff to 19,000 by 2021, in order to treat an extra million patients per year and provide round the clock care.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sherriff said: ‘These shocking figures show the government is woefully failing to meet the prime minister’s promise to tackle the ‘burning injustice’ of inadequate treatment for mental illness.’

‘Ministers promised to deliver the biggest mental health expansion in Europe and recruit 19,000 more NHS staff. But more than a year later the workforce has increased by fewer than 1,000. More than one in 10 mental health posts are vacant and nearly 25,000 staff – one in eight – have flooded out of the NHS in the space of just a year.’

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Hitting children harms their mental health

A new motion aims to outlaw smacking children in their homes.

The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) has tabled a motion to this year’s Trade Union Congress Conference with the aim of making hitting of children illegal, including physical punishment by parents.

According to the BBC, Psychologists say smacking damages a child’s mental health and there are many healthier ways of teaching children right from wrong.

Member of the AEP national executive committee, John Drewicz, says: ‘Smacking is harmful to a child’s mental health, it models aggressive behaviour and it says to them that it is OK to use violence.’

While corporal punishment was made illegal by the British Parliament in 1986 in schools, parents can still legally physically punish a child as long as it is deemed ‘reasonable’.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, the largest teaching union, said: ‘We are not talking about dictating to parents how this is done but what we are saying is that it in 2018 beating children in anger, or as part of a pre-meditated punishment, is neither acceptable or defensible.’

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Volunteers needed for UK’s biggest study on depression and anxiety

40,000 volunteers are wanted for UK’s biggest study on genetic links to anxiety and depression.

According to The Guardian, researchers are asking people in England to sign up for the Genetic Links to Anxiety and depression (GLAD) study.

Researchers are hoping for 40,000 volunteers over 16 to contribute their DNA as part of a database that can be used to better understand the genetics connections to mental health conditions.

Study lead and geneticist at Kings College London, Dr Gerome Breen, said: ‘By recruiting 40,000 volunteers willing to be re-contacted for research, the Glad study will take us further than ever before.’

He added: ‘It will allow researchers to solve the big unanswered questions, address how genes and environment act together and help develop new treatment options.’

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