News round-up / by Conor D'Andrade
A collection of some of the more intriguing mental health news from the week, selected by our News Editor.
Abuse of LGTBQ+ mental health workers found to be common
A survey conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that 48% of LQBTQ+ psychiatrists have experienced mistreatment at work due to their sexuality or gender identity.
It was also found that abuse was significantly more common toward LGBTQ+ psychiatrists from ethnic minority backgrounds, with 58% reporting that they had experienced microaggressions, bullying and harassment.
Microaggressions were the most commonly experienced form of abuse, including making insulting comments relating to race and LGBTQ+ identity and sexuality. Of the psychiatrists that experienced this adverse treatment, only 20% reported it to higher-ups and around 10% made a formal complaint.
This report comes the same week that the government has had to U-turn on a bill allowing gay conversion therapy which notably did not include transgender people.
Police officers diverted for mental health calls
In Norfolk, police officers are asking the public for an “informed open debate" on what the local force should concentrate its resources while receiving such a huge increase in mental health-related calls.
The Norfolk Police Federation has stated that budget cuts for crisis support services have left the police to try and fill the gap. The Federation’s chairman Andy Symonds highlighted that the 65% rise in so-called '91 section 135 incidents' – which allow for officers to enter a home and take someone to a place of safety for assessment – has resulted in 40% of officers' time being occupied by mental health calls.
This comes the same day that city leaders in Claremont, California have given the green light to continue funding a mental health team consisting of professionals aiding police to address nonviolent public safety issues, including mental health-related calls.
The programme started in April 2021 and has been praised by city leaders which is why they have approved the funding.
Psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers have long called for mental health services to respond to noncriminal public safety issues - such as cases of homelessness or drug addiction - rather than the police.
Two-thirds of UK has experienced recent mental health issues
A survey of 5000 adults from the UK has been conducted by The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, finding that 68% of respondents have experienced a mental health-related issue within the last 5 years.
The most common issues people were facing related to anxiety (48%), stress (47%) and depression (38%).
Positively, it was found that 84% of respondents felt that it is more socially acceptable to talk about mental health, with 71% feeling that the pandemic has resulted in increased mental health awareness.
While the pandemic has clearly caused and exacerbated many mental health issues over the last two years, the current level of 55% reporting good mental health is not far from the pre-pandemic levels of 58% taken in February 2020.
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