Embracing Neverland

Mental health……………………………………………………………………………..the journey is our own


Posted by ahaanews on March 8, 2007

Patients with Mental Illness Not Getting Help  John Carver article December 7

Tens of thousands of people going through a severe mental health crisis are being deprived of the NHS treatment and support that was promised by the government, parliament’s spending watchdog disclosed today.

The National Audit Office said many people with psychosis, severe depression or anxiety could avoid the stress and stigma of being admitted to a psychiatric ward if they were provided with appropriate care at home. The government promised in 2002 to set up 335 crisis resolution home treatment (CRHT) teams across England to assess everyone in the early stages of an acute psychiatric illness.

The NAO found the NHS spent £183m on providing the service in 2006-07, but it failed to reach half the 84,700 people who ended up in a psychiatric ward.

Although the NHS succeeded in setting up 335 CRHT teams, almost a third had no consultant psychiatrist and more than half did not include approved social workers, as the government required.

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Local News

Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Sussex hospital blunders cost £50m  The figure makes up almost half the £100 million needed to fund hospital services across the region that are set to be cut. Statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal £31 million was paid out to victims of clinical negligence between 2001 and 2006.Settlements resulted from mistakes such as failure to diagnose fractures, problems with childbirth and injuries caused by injections. A further £2.6 million was paid out to employees and visitors who had accidents at NHS sites. Lawyers’ fees account for the remaining £14 million.

The Litigation Authority paid out £10.35 million on behalf of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, £9.26 million for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust, £7.4 million for Worthing and Southlands Hospitals Trust, £5.26 million for Royal West Sussex Trust and £317,635 for South Downs Health Trust.

Residents of a sheltered home earmarked for demolition are refusing to move. The five women who still live in the 20 flat property in Brighton Road, Lancing, said today the housing association would have to secure a court order to evict them. Rita Clarke, 81, said: “It’s awful our society is not bothering to look after us.

Brighton’s men scrub up the best
Men in Brighton spend more on toiletries than anywhere else in the UK, according to new research. Interesting maybe, but more of an ad than an article…

Council secretive over top salaries   Brighton and Hove City Council has been criticised for telling taxpayers the six-figure salaries of its highest paid officials are “none of your business”. Town hall chiefs across the country have revealed which of their staff earn more than £100,000 in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Taxpayers’ Alliance lobby group. But our city council refused to give a detailed response and was yesterday accused by campaigners of promoting a “culture of secrecy”.  The Taxpayers’ Alliance claims council tax rises are funding a growing army of “fat cat” officials and asked 230 local authorities for details of their top earners.

Workers win £10m backpay   Brighton and Hove council is facing a £10 million wages bill because of years of underpaying its female staff. Further job cuts and increased pressure on council taxes are predicted as wages for as many as 600 women employees are brought up to the level of their male equivalents and up to six years’ backpay is covered.Children in care ‘dumped on coastThousands of children in care are being “dumped” in coastal towns miles away from their home area, according to a report from MPs. Councils in London, Northumberland and Lancashire send children to seaside areas where foster or residential care can be provided more cheaply, it claims. But although the authorities sending children pay for accommodation, they do not pick up the extra costs of education, healthcare and youth services, which the host council has to fund. The Commons Communities Committee recommends that children should be sent away only when it is in the best interests of the child, not to save money. It also criticises the Government for neglecting coastal towns, which include some of the most deprived pockets in the country (Source – The Times)

Town says no to every gipsy site  Residents were celebrating last night after Conservative – run Hastings Borough Council rejected proposals to build a site for travellers in the town.

Row over unauthorised traveller site  Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, said East Sussex County Council had failed in its duty by not taking action over the encampment at Glynde.

Smoking ban by hospital trust
The largest hospital trust in Sussex is to ban smoking in all its buildings and grounds next month.

Police chief denies theft charges
A senior policeman accused of a string of theft and deception offences against his own force has denied the charges.

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UK News

Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

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, 114524nsur_w_small.jpgdied 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’

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Confidence: Stepping Out    You’re not alone in shunning center stage—shyness and social anxiety are as natural as breathing. But doing advance prep for a party or taking small social risks can lead to breakthroughs in confidence. Here’s how to relish even the brightest of spotlights

Do you need to change your attitude?

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UK Policy

Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Britain Today: The state of the nation 2007CMO launches proposals for a global health strategy

Commissioning Framework for Health and Well-Being: A consultation

CMO launches proposals for a global health strategy     DWP Employers Survey

Government action to boost support for children with special educational needs

Gypsy and Traveller Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement

Government welfare reform review risks excluding one quarter of lone parents with disabled children, says DRC

Health is Global: Proposals for a UK Government-wide strategy

Healthcare watchdog to check NHS trusts treat older patients with dignity and respect

Legal aid reform: Quality assessment roll out

New inspection regulator for children’s services

New study reveals divide between have and have-not families       National minimum wage rises for a million workers

Office of Public Sector Information: New legislation

Personalised care conference planned for June

Review of Pensions Institutions: Consultation paper

South East faith organisations to share in £4.3 million funding to help promote community cohesion

Tackling Youth Homelessness: Policy briefing 18

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007: Equality Impact Assessment

The Funding Criteria for Child Care Proceedings

Tsar announces £1m in new research funding for Mental Health

Women from across the UK give their views to Cabinet to mark International Women’s Day

£4.3 million to help faith organisations promote community cohesion

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Even Republicans Hate Our Health Care System

Anemia Drug May Harm Some Patients, FDA Says

Bush Adds to Ranks of Military Health Panel  Two war veterans are among seven appointees chosen by President Bush on Friday to round out a commission that will review the military’s health care system.

Mentally Ill Inmates at Risk in Isolation, Lawsuit Says 

A new lawsuit seeking to prevent Massachusetts from inmate.jpgplacing mentally ill inmates in segregated cells reflects an increasing national concern.

There have been 18 suicides and suicide attempts by inmates in solitary confinement described in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by advocates for inmates and the mentally ill. They are seeking to prevent Massachusetts from placing mentally ill inmates in such segregated cells.

In California, after a record number of prison suicides — 44 — in 2005, a special master appointed by a federal judge reported that inmates “in overcrowded and understaffed administration segregation units are killing themselves in unprecedented numbers.”  The judge, Lawrence Karlton, ordered the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to spend more than $600 million to improve mental health services. but… And the story is much the same here in the UK, seeSick, suicidal – and locked up in jail  and the NHS ‘failing mentally-ill inmates’ It’s certainly not a new problem either – overcrowded jails are struggling to cope with rising levels of severe mental illness, with nearly two suicides a week and epidemic levels of self-harm

Heart Disease, Diabetes, Depression a Deadly Mix

FDA Testimonies on SSRIs and Suicide You have to scroll down to read this entry but check out the rest of this interesting blog too – you may recall the FDA’s meeting on SSRI’s and suicide. You can now access the presentations of the speakers, including David Healy, Robert Gibbons, Sara Bostock, Vera Sharav, Robert Valuck, and many more. Transcripts of the meeting (part 1 and part 2) are also available. Kudos to the FDA for their willingness to post all this material online.

Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention a magnet for grants

Planning Is Everything With An Alzheimer’s Or Dementia Diagnosis

Women soldiers have died of dehydration to avoid late night trips to toilet [VIDEO]  They face rape assault at hands of fellow soldiers…

Use of hyperactivity drugs soars  The use of drugs to treat hyperactivity in children has soared worldwide, say US researchers. Between 1993 and 2003, prescriptions of ADHD medications, such as Ritalin, almost tripled. Global spending on ADHD drugs increased nine-fold, with 83% occurring in the US, a study in Health Affairs reported. But experts said although use of ADHD medications had increased as awareness of the disorder improved, “they may still be under-used in the UK”. Use of psycho-stimulant drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in 5-19 year olds was examined in countries across the world. Between 1993 and 2003 use of ADHD medications increased by 274%. The US, Canada and Australia all had higher than expected use of the drugs. Country-by-country analysis showed increases in other countries including France, Sweden, Korea and Japan. In the UK, use of the drugs grew by 12.3% between 1999 and 2003 and expenditure grew by 30.8%. Adult antipsychotics can worsen troubles     

Activists Take on Eli Lilly Over Off-Label Sale of Zyprexa

Veterans Face Vast Inequities Over Disability  It’s a disgrace that compensation is determined by such factors as where soldiers live and whether they were on active duty or were members of the National Guard or the Reserve.  Veterans’ advocates say the types of bureaucratic obstacles recently disclosed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are eclipsed by those at the Veterans Affairs division that is supposed to pay soldiers for service-related ills. The influx of veterans from the Iraq war has nearly overwhelmed an agency already struggling to meet the mental health – health care, disability payment and pension needs of more than three million veterans. If they want a longer shelf life all politcians need to start telling the truth about Iraq, and then meeting their obligations to the people they sent there..

Advocates applaud mental-health bill   Are conservatives stupid?City of Eugene Mayor Meets with Mental Health Consumers & Psychiatric Survivors    Champions of the Lost CauseCritics of mental health budget cuts turn out in blackDepartment of Defense Task Force on Mental Health Meetings Slated …    Device may help apnea patients with memory loss

Editorial: End the Stigma on Mental Health

For Sex Offenders, a Dispute Over Therapy’s Benefits

Legislation seeking expansion of drug, mental health courts   Low birth weight may predict depression in teen girls

Mental health care providers decry proposed Medicaid cuts

Morgellons Mystery
A just-christened illness involves disorientation, multi-colored fibers bursting from sores, and the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin. Is this an age-old delusion or a disturbing new disease?

Natural health pioneer launches Consumer Wellness Center nonprofit organization

Newly Out Gay Vet Urges Americans to End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Public Has Trust Issues With Psychiatrists, Survey Finds

Radical Mental Health/Anti-Psychiatry comes to the Central Valley    Retailers Support Mental Health Coverage Compromise

Schools Restructuring Mental Health Services

Senate Committee Approves Telemedicine Mental Health Bill for American Indians, Alaska Natives The Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday approved by voice vote a bill that would authorize $6 million to provide mental health services for suicide prevention, intervention and treatment available to American Indians and Alaska Natives through expanded telemedicine systems

Senate panel to take up mental health parity bill     St. Cloud VA says it’s ready for vets with mental health issues 

Supreme Court declines polygamy case The husband of three wives claimed the court’s landmark ruling on gays applies to polygamists.

The Right to Organize     The Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health 

10 Tips for Improving a Loved-One’s Mental Health

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Culture Jammin’

Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Modern Britain is being defiled by a growing brutality

He left Baghdad before the next government discovered that a fortune had been looted from his ministry’s account in what one senior investigator has called “one of the largest thefts in history”. The missing money was part of $8.8 billion of shrink-wrapped American cash that was flown into Iraq after Saddam fell but which is now unaccounted for. The immediate impact was that the Iraqi army was woefully unprepared to tackle an increasingly savage and well armed insurgency, just at the time when the Americans were pressing for the national force to start replacing their own troops.

Internal documents show that the Pentagon “lacks a comprehensive plan to identify and treat tens of thousands of troops who may suffer from traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the Iraq war.” ABC anchor Bob Woodruff reported recently that the Pentagon is “withholding information about how widespread these debilitating wounds have become.”

You can now offset your own bodily “emissions.” An Australian company is “selling carbon credits for flatulent pets and people.” For just $16, you can make your body carbon neutral for two years, and the company will install “energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs and water-saving shower heads in houses in New South Wales, Australia.”

Internal memorandums circulated by the Bush administration’s Federal Fish and Wildlife Service “appear to require government biologists or other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.” 182766680hgvsoj_ph.jpg

California’s first planned black community continues to exert a powerful pull, especially among former residents like Mr. Pope, who helped champion the park’s creation in the 1970s. A Piece of History Lands in a Contemporary Fight

Senate leaders said yesterday they will use the upcoming defense spending bill to improve health care for military veterans, including new funding to improve facilities, improve diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries and mental health problems, and ease the transition between the military and veterans’ health care systems.

Meanwhile, the White House is adopting a sharply “defensive stance on the Iraq-war-funding bill,” resisting “giving Democratic staff even technical advice on funding that the new majority wants to add for veterans’ health programs.” President Bush held “a Republicans-only strategy dinner in the White House family quarters last week” on the bill.

“Reporters will be barred” from Guantanamo Bay hearings meant to determine if 14 terrors suspects transferred from secret CIA prisons are “enemy combatants.” “No word of the hearings will be made public until the government releases a transcript of the proceedings, edited to remove material deemed damaging to national security.”

US nuclear weapons are among the most sophisticated scientific devices on the planet. Through the years of the cold war, US designers labored to make warheads that were frighteningly powerful, yet so small that as many as 10 could fit on top of a single missile. Now the nation’s nuclear bureaucracy believes the time has come to start replacing these complex weapons with simpler ones.

The State Department released its annual human rights report Tuesday, which cited Sudan, China, Russian, and Venezuela for abuses. Assistant Secretary of State Barry Lowekron admitted the report comes “at a time when our own record, and actions we have taken to respond to terrorist attacks against us, have been questioned.”

As the U.N. drug agency predicted a “cancer of insurgency” in Afghanistan could “drive the 2007 opium poppy harvest to record levels,” NATO troops “troops launched their largest offensive yet against Taliban militants, focusing on the same southern region where U.S.-led forces carried out an even bigger operation less than a year ago.”

The White House plans to ask Congress for $2 billion more for President Bush’s escalation plan, an “embarrassing” move for the White House and the Pentagon, “which earlier dismissed criticism from lawmakers that the original $5.6 billion estimate for the troop buildup was too low.”

69 percent: Americans who feel “less confident” about a “successful conclusion in Iraq.” Only 20 percent express more confidence. A similar number believe the war in Afghanistan is faring poorly. Sixty-nine percent say the war there isn’t going well, versus 28 percent who think it is.

51 percent: Number of people in the world who believe the United States has a “mainly negative” influence in the world. The United States ranks third, behind Israel and Iran, and is followed by North Korea.

30 percent: President Bush’s job approval in a new Zogby poll, “once again hitting the all-time low-water mark of his presidency.”

188: Death toll in Iraq from “from three consecutive days of attacks on Shiite Muslim pilgrims” who are “streaming to the holy city of Karbala for weekend rites commemorating the death of…one of Shiite Islam’s holiest figures.”

Didn’t do it. Wouldn’t be prudent. Former President George H. W. Bush insists he didn’t pat the behind of “Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher after a lunch last month, despite apparent video evidence. The 82-year-old told Extra, “I have been teased about it relentlessly. (A website) accused me of patting her backside, which I did not do. The camera lies, it’s a fraud.

Al Gore’s wax head goes the way of Jimmy Hoffa. The Washington Post’s Reliable Source reports, “In 2000, designers in the London headquarters of Madame Tussauds started crafting figures of the former veep and his then-opponent George W. Bush, with plans to put the eventual winner on display. ‘We started both heads,’ said N.Y.C. and D.C. branch General Manager Janine DiGioacchino . But production stopped when lawyers started debating hanging chads. Eventually Bush was finished, while Gore was put in cold storage…well, uh, somewhere. ‘We stored Gore’s head in our London studio,’ she said, ‘and now we’re trying to find him.’”

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Mad as hell  Angry activists say treatment for mental illness is too often more about the pills than the person

Newly Released Canadian Data Links Vaccines With Pervasive Developmental Disorder

A neuroscientist’s life’s work: Analyzing brains to study structure and cognition

Mental Health Court Opens in Ottawa      Mental Health Gets Big Bucks      Mental health proposal gets kudos

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Govt launches $46m mental health program

Opposition denied access to mental health unit

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Africa  Homophobia in Nigeria

France  US has no case for redefining torture

Pakistan Lung disease linked to mental health problems    The Secret to Man’s Aggression: in His Finger?

Poland Minister calls for improvements to mental health services for BME

UAE  Health psychology can lead to quick recovery’

Vietnam  Over 7mil children with mental health problems: reports

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Posted by ahaanews on March 7, 2007

Psychiatry and Neurology News

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