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Over 1 million mental health cases ignored by NHS


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Andrew Pons | Unsplash

News round-up by Conor D'Andrade


According to NHS digital, around 1.1million people had their mental health referrals closed without receiving any treatment between June 2021 to June 2022.


Data also revealed that 108,602 young people and children had been left waiting to speak to a mental health professional after contacting services for support between March 2021 and March 2022.


74,164 were waiting for a referral after having made contact with a professional about mental health concerns over the same period.


Many of those people were and are continuing to live with a serious mental health problem that needs urgent attention.


Fiona, aged 36, told The Mirror that despite her OCD and anxiety causing her to need to attend A&E every two weeks, she is often refused any treatment as “they would always say, ‘There’s no new beds’ – no matter what condition you’re in, they send you home.”


This resulted in Fiona’s parents using £11,000 in savings for private treatment after she was still refused any treatment after a suicide attempt.


“Referrals for children and young people with eating disorders have doubled, and referrals for children who are self-harming have tripled," said Shadow Health Minister and hospital doctor, Rosena Allin-Khan. "In one trust, children have been waiting up to 79 hours in A&E."








Half of employees can't access wellbeing support at work


A survey has revealed that nearly half of employees cannot access wellbeing and mental health resources through their employer.


The survey was commissioned by Lattice, described as a ‘success platform’, and included 2006 employees.


Responses showed that 41% of workers had no access to resources for mental health and wellbeing from their employer – a number which rose to 73% among small businesses with less than 50 staff.


In addition, 85% of respondents felt that employers had a responsibility to help with their employees mental health.


Unfortunately, 23% also felt that their mental health had declined over the last year.


Interestingly, despite large companies made up of over 250 staff providing more mental health resources, the data showed that uptake for these has been low, with 68% of employees within the workplace not having used them for 6 months.


When those employees were asked why they did not use these resources, responses indicated worries around stigma as the main reason, with 15% saying they were not comfortable talking about mental health in the workplace and 8% saying they were afraid it would negatively impact people’s perception of them.


“Our findings highlight that employers are still getting wellness in the workplace wrong," said Lattice’s Head of EMEA. "It’s important to remember that a one-size-fits all approach to mental health and wellbeing is never the solution, but employees want a concerted benefits package that demonstrates an appreciation and understanding of their needs.”








Recommendations to prevent student suicide published


Universities UK has partnered with PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide to publish recommendations for universities to be more active in the prevention of student suicide.


This new guidance offers recommendations on when and how universities should involve carers, families and other trusted individuals when there are serious concerns for the mental health and safety of a student.


Recommendations include:

  • Making it mandatory for students to give a trusted contact at registration, being clear that the contact does not have to be a parent, and starting a conversation about when and how these contacts might be involved

  • Having check-ins at the start of each academic year for students to update this information and making it easy to update the contact if circumstances change

  • Ensuring that universities review their suicide prevention plans and policies to keep students safe, identifying students of concern, assessing risk, working in close partnership with NHS services and, where there are serious concerns, initiating conversations about involving trusted contacts

  • Making clear that, although always preferable to gain agreement from the student, where there are serious concerns about a student’s safety or mental health, universities can decide to involve trusted contacts without agreement. Such decisions should always be made in the student’s interests, be taken by appropriately qualified staff, supported by senior leadership, be based on a risk assessment establishing the grounds for serious concern and be properly governed and recorded.





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