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Mental health strategy to tackle stigma

October 22, 2012 No comments »

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths says she will “tackle stigma” over mental health and give equal access from “cradle to grave” to vulnerable people and groups.

The initiative recognises the threat to people’s mental health from financial and everyday pressures.

Julian Samiloff  says, ” in my practice I see people every day that are burdened by physical health issues, financial burdens and huge social stresses and strains. My work with them is aimed at helping them to find ways to help themselves. Often they are held back by ideas about themselves and others that prevent healthy thinking  and their response to the real world world becomes out of balance. I then find that they are stigmatised at school at work and socially by fears and false ideas about mental health which prevents or makes it difficult for them to change. My practiced focuses on the psycho-social dynamics of everyday life.”

 Mental Health facts

  • One in four adults will have mental health problems or illness at some stage of their lives.
  • One in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 has a mental health problem
  • One in six people over 80 years old will have memory problems, such as dementia

Family Therapy – Transforming lives

May 14, 2012 No comments »

A child or teenager is taken into custody. This can be the end. No hope. A label that will be fixed to the young person that can condemn for life. But new there are solutions that work and one of them is a pioneering, intensive family-based therapy programme; Multi-systemic Therapy

Offered as an alternative to custody, MST is a home-based treatment for young offenders – therapist assigned to hold sit-down sessions three times a week to discuss issues, solutions and progress

Based on nine principles such as focusing on positives and strengths, increasing responsibilities of family members and continued effort

Therapist and family sit down to draw up behaviour contract, including regular school attendance and drug testing. Breaches result in punishment like grounding or denial of internet access. Success can be financially rewarded

Parents are taught skills, including argument exit strategies and encouraged to improve family life

Current UK pilot scheme in Cambridge and London overseen by the Department of Health

Read more


Sexual Health

May 4, 2012 No comments »

For more information click Wish Net

Latest ‘Out & About’ – Commmunity Newsletter – Isle of Wight

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Out & About News Letter from          Jim Edwards

Sexual Health-HIV Outreach Worker       – working for the LGBT community –

 NHS –   Sexual Health Service

St Mary’s Hospital

Newport,  Isle of Wight

PO30 5TG

 mobile 07795 126 756,  

landline 01983 534202 (for messages)

Bullied ‘more prone to self harm’

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Children bullied during their early years are up to three times more likely to self harm than their classmates when they reach adolescence, a study suggests. It found that half of 12-year-olds who harm themselves were frequently bullied.

The researchers (King’s College London), showed that victimised children with mental health problems were at greater risk of self-harming in later life. Therefore much more effective programmes are needed to prevent bullying in schools.

See British Medical Journal.



Frequent victimisation by peers increased the risk of self harm.”

Severe childhood Abuse may treble schizophrenia risk

April 23, 2012 No comments »

Prof Richard Bentall of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and his research team have shown that the risk of developing psychosis increased proportionately with the amount of abuse or trauma a child suffers.

About 1-3% of the population suffer Schizophrenia and it is one of the most severe types of mental illness.  It is characterised by hearing voices, bizarre beliefs and loss of motivation.

Read more

See also Cannabis use and schizophrenia

Download  Lancet article

Black and minority ethnic mental health patients ‘marginalised’

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My work has as one of its key features the principle of being mindful of  the context of  the clients’ life.  In the paper,  ‘Learning as a context for differences and differences as a context for learning’,  Burnham,  Palma and Whitehouse write of the various differences that ought to be taken into account when practicing psychotherapy, namely the GRRAACCEESS’, which stands for; Gender, Race,  Religion, Age, Ability, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Sexuality and Spirituality.

And what can happen when these factors are ignored or not taken sufficiently serious?

In her piece for The Guardian psychiatrist Suman Fernando argues that in making NHS mental health making policy the government has not taken into account ethnicity and race and despite years of  lobbying various governments to accept the  facts they have ignored them and allowed there to be disproportionately poor outcomes for people whose ethnic background is black and minority ethnic groups.

And….. what of those other substantial factors that are part and parcel of social living? They too are frequently ignored or not given their appropriate attention and here I am talking of;  Gender, Race,  Religion, Age, Ability, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Sexuality and Spirituality

Further reading click the Guardian


Louis Theroux on autism: A very different sort of school

April 19, 2012 No comments »

Louis Theroux on autism

National Autistic Society

Facts and Statistics

Autism – the Guardian



Bullied Autistic boy killed himself

April 18, 2012 No comments »

Part of my work with children and young people has involved me in a lot of work dealing with bullying and related problems.

In the  Gareth Oates story we can have some insight into the tragic effects of bullying and bullying generally.

See BeatBullying for more information and support and also ChildLine on Bullying

For bullying and adults also see Bully Online




Over 20% of Irish children ‘hear voices’

April 16, 2012 No comments »

Research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry study sates that more than one in five Irish children between the ages of 11 and 13 have reported hearing voices. Some experts believe this can be evidence of  a risk factor in future mental illness. Lead researcher, Dr Ian Kelleher, – stated:  “Auditory hallucinations can vary from hearing an isolated sentence now and then, to hearing ‘conversations’ between two or more people lasting for a several minutes.”

For most of these children, the hallucinations stop as they get older – but those who continue to hear voices may be at risk of more complex mental illnesses.

The research team assessed nearly 2,500 children aged between 11 and 16 years in four separate studies. They found that 21-23% of younger adolescents (aged 11-13 years) had experienced auditory hallucinations. Just over half (57%) of the younger adolescents who heard voices were found to have a psychiatric disorder following clinical assessment. In older adolescents (aged 13-16 years), just 7% reported hearing voices. However, nearly 80% of the older adolescents who heard voices were found to have a psychiatric disorder – showing a clear association between auditory hallucinations and serious mental illness.

“For many children, these experiences appear to represent a ‘blip’ on the radar that does not turn out to signify any underlying or undiagnosed problem. However, for the other children, these symptoms turned out to be a warning sign of serious underlying psychiatric illness, including clinical depression and behavioural disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some older children with auditory hallucinations had two or more disorders. This finding is important because if a child reports auditory hallucinations it should prompt their treating doctor to consider that the child may have more than one diagnosis.”

Professor Mary Cannon, also of the RSCI’s Department of Psychiatry, said: “Our study suggests that hearing voices seems to be more common in children than was previously thought. In most cases these experiences resolve with time. However in some children these experiences persist into older adolescence and this seems to be an indicator that they may have a complex mental health issue and require more in-depth assessment.

If you’d like to read more click here