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In brief: Hospitalisation for self-harm up 22% among children

Silhouette of teenager looking into sunset
Aleks BM | Pexels

Top story Hospitalisation for self harm up 22% among 8 to 17-year-olds over the past year

NHS data has revealed that the age group of 8 to 17-year-olds now has the largest rate of hospital admissions for self-harm after rising 22% over the past year.

According to the data, just over 25,000 children were admitted in the year ending March 2022, having sat at a steady rate of around 20,000 admissions between 2018 and 2021.

In contrast, rates for all age groups fell over the same period, dropping to below 100,000 for the first time in the past four years.

'Self-harm' is defined as any act of self-injury or self-poisoning, no matter a person's motivation, by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Charities have suggested that long wait times, lack of access to quality professional support, and missing early interventions have contributed to the already high rate of admissions increasing further for this age group.

Head of content at the charity Mind, Kerry McLeod, said: "With the right help and support, young people can reduce and eventually stop self-harming. Funding for children and young people's mental health services is vital to make sure that all young people can get the help and support they need."

Mental Health services fail to consider the impact of menopause when judging suicide risk

Research from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has found that menopause is rarely considered a potential contributing factor for low mood in women assessed by mental health services.

Additionally, staff often have received no training in this area.

The HSIB recommends that the Royal College of Psychiatrists collaborates with other organisations, psychiatrists and relevant individuals “to identify the best way to consider menopause during mental health assessments."

It has also advised that NICE assesses current research investigating the relationship between menopause and mental health, “and if appropriate, update existing guidance."

“Our investigation findings all point to one thing: that it is absolutely crucial that patients at risk of suicide and self-harm are given a holistic assessment, one that moves away from tick boxes," said National investigator, Amber Sargent. "It is widely recognised, and our investigation provides further evidence, that narrow categorisation does little to predict and prevent the worst outcomes for patients and their families.”

Mortgages causing poor mental health as the cost-of-living deepens

A survey conducted by Dye & Durham has found that over half of UK mortgage holders are struggling with poor mental health as the cost-of-living continues.

The survey was responded to by 2,000 UK mortgage owners, with 56% having serious concerns over their and their family's financial circumstances; 30% fearing they would miss a mortgage payment in the next year; 36% reporting they could only afford two months of payments if the main earner of the household lost their job; and 12% expecting to delay the sale of their home in the future.

Chief Operating Officer for Dye & Durham, Martha Vallance, said:

“The effects of high-interest rates, energy bills and the increased cost of living overall cannot be underestimated.

"Our survey data shows people in the UK are extremely concerned about both their short- and long-term future and have reduced spending, raided savings and are delaying major purchases.”

Digital cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia can help with depression and anxiety

A newly published meta-analysis of 2504 articles has found that digital cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (dCBT-I) can improve symptoms of insomnia, depression and anxiety.

The study also found that the biggest improvements were observed towards its effects on insomnia, and that the greatest effects were observed among groups that adhered to the treatment more readily than those that did not.

The Mental Health Foundation writes an open letter to the Prime Minister regarding the cost-of-living crisis

The Mental Health Foundation has penned a letter to the Prime Minister highlighting that the cost-of-living crisis is hurting the poorest the most and that their mental health is in a severe place.

The letter calls on the government to ensure that every household has the ability to keep warm, safe and fed.

It has so far been signed by experts from several charities and mental health bodies, including the Samaritans, Mental Health First Aid England, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Centre for Mental Health.

Nearly one-third of line managers are unaware of NICE mental health guidelines

Research from Working To Wellbeing has found that a year after the publication of NICE’s guidelines recommending that line managers be upskilled in talking about mental health to ensure they feel supported in performing their duties, close to one-third (29%) of line managers are unaware of the guidance.

The research also found that this number only increased among older age groups of line managers, with 38% of line managers aged 55+ being ignorant to the advice.

On the other hand, 19% reported that they were “very aware,” with this number increasing (23%) among younger line managers aged under 35.

Managing Director and chartered health psychologist at Working To Wellbeing, and Chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, Dr Julie Denning, said:

“Almost a third of line managers are completely unaware of the NICE guidelines that were announced one year ago this month. The guidelines include offering mental health training for managers including how to identify early warning signs of poor mental well-being and knowing where to get help in complex situations.”


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