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In brief: NHS crisis calls, antidepressants, and ADHD

Top story 1 in 5 NHS mental health crisis calls going unanswered

Research carried out by the BBC has found that 1 in 5 calls made to NHS crisis lines in England are going unanswered.

Hannah, who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, reported having to call seven times over two days for her call to be answered.

"I've literally been crying my eyes out and I've left a message on the answer phone and no-one's ever got back to me," Hannah told the BBC.

"Your brain already makes you feel that you're alone. And then to have the people that are meant to care not answer, it makes it 10 times worse."

Another caller was told to "think happy thoughts" when they eventually made it through to a member of staff.

Further concerns were raised with regards to those manning the helplines, as fewer than 1 in 6 NHS trusts that responded to the BBC's request for data said that all of their crisis call handlers were qualified mental health professionals.

NHS crisis lines in England receive more than 200,000 calls every month.

Most teachers want racial microaggression training

A survey by the Centre for Mental Health and the Not So Micro campaign has found that 94% of teachers want to receive anti-racism training.

The survey also found that 67% of school staff felt they are unable to spot racial microaggressions, alongside 45% who felt their colleagues do not understand the impacts of microaggressions on young people’s mental health.

Study to examine effects of stopping antidepressants

Psychologists at Bath University have set out to investigate the effects of coming off anti-depressants. Lead researcher Raqeeb Mahmood said:

“Antidepressant withdrawal is a hugely important and yet understudied area of healthcare and

patients regularly report that their withdrawal is not properly managed or understood by their doctors.

"As far as we know, no studies have followed patients as they withdraw from SSRI antidepressants to see how their moods, withdrawal symptoms and thinking patterns change on a day-by-day basis.

"Therefore our study has the potential to inform the management of depression and antidepressant withdrawal in the NHS and the findings will be relevant to both antidepressant users and clinicians.”

Extra funding for university mental health services in Wales

The Welsh Education Minister announced £2.3 million in additional funding for university mental health and well-being services. The funds are aimed at providing and promoting money advice services to help students with the financial pressures they are currently facing.

Research suggests link between ADHD severity and depression or anxiety

Research from the University of Bath has revealed that adults with high levels of ADHD symptoms are more likely to develop depression or anxiety compared to adults with high levels of traits of autism.

The study is the first to demonstrate that ADHD is a more significant predictor of developing negative mental health outcomes than other neurodevelopmental conditions.

Barnado's study highlights savings of investing in mental health services

A recent cost-benefit analysis by Barnardo’s of the roll-out of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) across colleges and schools in England has found that for every £1 invested into MHSTs, £1.90 would be saved by the state.

The report by the charity also suggested that failing to provide these services could cost taxpayers £1.8 billion in alternative treatments required by the NHS to treat poor mental health.

Financial stress affecting 1 in 3

A survey from the Mental Health Foundation has found that 1 in 3 adults across the UK are suffering from poor-quality sleep due to financial stress.

Additionally, 1 in 4 are seeing friends less and a significant number have reported exercising less and spending less time on their hobbies.

The results suggest that people are struggling to engage in activities that are protective of mental health due to their financial situation.


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