No such thing as naughty anymore? badly behaved children are being diagnosed with conditions like ADHD. Latest figures show global use of ADHD drugs has nearly tripled since 1993. In England and Wales alone, prescriptions for the standard treatment, a drug called Ritalin, rocketed from just 4,000 in 1994 to 359,000 in 2004. At least one in 20 schoolchildren – 360,000 in total – is thought to have some degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some experts say this is the tip of the iceberg and there are many more children out there going undiagnosed. But what ever happened to sheer naughtiness? Critics argue bad behaviour in children is being over-medicalised, and even that the labels are being used to excuse unruly behaviour. Indeed, the US psychiatrist who identified attention deficit disorder says up to 30% of youngsters classified as suffering from disruptive and hyperactive conditions could have been misdiagnosed.
Six deaths that are a national disgrace: An independent inquiry into the NHS’s possible role in the “shocking” deaths of six people with learning difficulties will be set up without delay, the Government said last night. Mencap, the learning disability charity accuses the NHS of “institutional discrimination” against vulnerable patients, leading to neglect and premature death. The charity’s report, Death by Indifference, is acutely embarrassing to the Government coming after recent cases of appalling “institutional abuse” at NHS primary care trusts in Cornwall and Sutton and Merton in south London, which included physical and sexual abuse against the learning disabled.
Military’s doctor to review health care The military’s most senior doctor has pledged to review standards of care for wounded service personnel following the publication of a series of complaints about their appalling treatment on the NHS. Lt Gen Louis Lillywhite, the Surgeon General, defended the way casualties were looked after but said: “If we need to do things better, we shall.” His statement came after soldiers and their families described the dire state they were left in after being injured while serving their country. The shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said their treatment represented a “betrayal” while Lord Guthrie, the former Chief of Defence Staff, said: “The handling of the medical casualties from both Afghanistan and Iraq is a scandal.”
59 things that would have stayed secret.. What they didn’t want you to know: A list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act, including: The NHS has been giving girls as young as 13 contraceptive injections and implants that make them infertile for up to three years, in an attempt to cut teenage pregnancies – More than 300 babies a year are being left with brain damage because of oxygen starvation caused by lack of proper care at birth – Countries with poor human rights records and those on the front line in the War on Terror, including Iraq, were targeted by the Ministry of Defence as the most lucrative places for British arms companies to sell weapons – More than 700 nurses and doctors were disciplined for drink or drugs at work in the past ten years – Two hundred serving police officers have criminal records for offences that include assault, breach of the peace, theft and vandalism. Documents suggested that one in 15 officers has broken the law – Some NHS dentists earn up to £250,000 a year in fees, as demand for those who have remained in the public sector increases
Leaked report fuels mental health racism row
‘I was there in the hour of need’ After joining Choose Life in 2004, I was lucky enough to experience ASIST – an applied training course in suicide intervention. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I had to put these skills into practice…
Bench tribute to teenager who lost depression battle Daniel Kennedy, who suffered from depression, died in August, 2005, after throwing himself from a ninth-floor window of Michael Cliffe House on the Finsbury estate. Hundreds of mourners, including relatives, friends and neighbours, attended his funeral. The £3,250 cost of a memorial bench, painted Arsenal red with a small bronze plaque, will be met by EC1 New Deal for Communities regeneration body.
Chief judge attacks ‘geriatric lifer’ terms Drugs policy ‘does not work’
The jury’s out: I’m guilty of having a mental illness Like 2 million other viewers, I tuned in to The Verdict on BBC2 recently, curious to witness the goings-on behind the closed doors of a jury room in a major criminal trial – albeit a fictional one. Unlike most of my fellow viewers, however, I know that I will never be called to sit on such a jury. My mental health status rules me out. My judgment is invalid. My friend Alec also watched the programme. In fact, we agreed on the verdict. But this was just a coincidence, for while Alec is a rational being who could be summoned for jury service tomorrow, my own considered opinion – at least in so far as the criminal justice system is concerned – has all the credibility of a casually tossed coin.
Mental health charity launch e-mail support SANE has launched a new email support service to provide support and information to people affected by mental health problems, and it is fully funded by The Vodafone UK Foundation charity. ‘SANEmail’ aims to provide support and information to people affected by mental health problems and will run alongside SANEline, their national, out of hours, mental health helpline. It is particularly aimed at young people affected by mental health problems, who may feel more at ease using email than the telephone.
Drug laws ‘need major overhaul’ A radical new approach is needed to make drug laws work in the UK, a study concludes. Professor Anthony King of Essex University, who chaired the Commission on Illegal Drugs, said the “great majority” of drug users did not harm themselves or others. He added: “Current policy is broke and needs to be fixed.” The report, entitled Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy, comes ahead of a major government review of the country’s drugs strategy next year. The RSA’s panel recommends scrapping the Misuse of Drugs Act and replacing it with a broader Misuse of Substances Act, and replacing the existing ABC classification system with an “index of harms”. This would extend the definition of drugs to include alcohol and tobacco – as well as illegal substances, which the report says have been “demonised”.
Cannabis grandma escapes jail term
Dementia – our society’s forgotten victims
Familiar scents improve memory during sleep
A new study clarifies the picture of what the sleeping brain does with newly studied material.
Recovery from Mental Illness as an Emergent Concept and Practice in Australia and the UK The language of recovery is now widely used in mental health policy, services, and research. Yet the term has disparate antecedents, and is used in a variety of ways. Some of the history of the use of the term recovery is surveyed, with particular attention to the new meaning of the term, especially as identified by service users, supported and taken up to various degrees by research and in the professional literature. Policy and practice in two countries – Australia and the United Kingdom – are examined to determine the manner and extent to which the concept of recovery is evident. In its new meaning, the concept of recovery has the potential to bring about profound and needed changes in mental health theory and practice. It is being taken up differently in different settings. It is clear that – at least in Australia and the United Kingdom – there are promising new recovery models and practices that support recovery, but the widespread use of recovery language is not enough to ensure that the core principles of the recovery model are implemented.
Government braced for mass revolt over ‘shambolic’ recruitment for junior doctors The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was “extremely concerned’ by the impact the chaos of the system was having on the mental health of trainee doctors. Its dean, Professor Dinesh Bhugra, said: “The impact of potential unemployment and the uncertainty on the human rights and mental health of trainees, their partners and families cannot be under-estimated.”Government launches workplace mental health initiativeLost working days Insurance firm UnumProvident said mental ill-health cost the economy £10billion a yearIn Your Head: Hearing Voices Despite their association with mental illness, auditory hallucinations don’t always torment those who hear them. In fact, only one out of every three so-called “voice hearers” requires psychiatric help.Minister’s meeting with Church leaders pushes Black Mental Health DH up the agendaNESTA launches £20m initiative to stimulate innovation in response to major social issues The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is today launching a new £20 million initiative designed to encourage innovative solutions to some of the UK’s most pressing social issues including chronic disease, mental health and climate change.Post-disaster mental health worse in smokers Pfizer to cut European staff in $2bn cost drive
Scotland’s suicide rate on the rise
UK ‘needs urban health strategy’