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Award-winning film confronts attitudes to ME

Award-winning film confronts attitudes to ME

An award-winning film exploring the experiences of people with ME arrives in the UK amidst signs that the medical community is rethinking its approach to the illness.

An estimated 250,000 people in the UK live with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  An estimated one in four of them is bed-bound. However, the disease receives little research funding, and recommended treatments on the NHS are often ineffective.

 

Unrest, an award-winning documentary telling the stories of people with ME, is released in UK cinemas on 20th October. It arrives amidst signs that the UK healthcare community is rethinking its approach to the illness.  The current recommended treatments – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Graded Exercise Therapy – are ineffective or harmful for many patients and based on a 2011 trial that has been widely criticised by academics.  Following years of campaigning by patient groups, and an Early Day Motion signed by 30 MPs, NICE recently announced a full review of its guidance on diagnosis and treatment.

 

The film is the project of  Jennifer Brea, who was working on her PhD at Harvard when she suffered a series of sudden viral infections that left her incapacitated and doctors baffled. Bedbound, often in excruciating pain, and frustrated that medicine seemed to have little to offer, she began looking for answers.

 

Aiming to give her doctors the chance to see what she was going through when she was too unwell to visit them she turned a camera on herself.  But she also reached out online to other ME patients online and discovered a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms.

 

One was Jessica Taylor-Bearman from Kent who became ill just before her 15th birthday.  She has spent a decade largely bed-bound and lives with constant pain and fatigue.  Having received several different diagnoses, she says she feels let down by a system that has not always believed her illness is real: “The UK isn’t set up at all to deal with ME. It’s awful.  The problem is that we’re left in the community, and because we’re stuck at home, people don’t see the full picture of what we’re suffering.  People go missing.  It‘s like falling off the edge of the earth – you’re suddenly gone.

“I’ve experienced a lot of stigma, especially when I was at my most vulnerable and people thought I was putting it on. It’s very hurtful to not be believed. If it was that simple we would all be better and not be in ill in bed.”

Dr Charles Shepherd, Medical Adviser to the ME Association said: “For years, ME patients have had to live not only with a debilitating condition, but also stigma and misunderstanding.  The NHS is woefully equipped to support them, and the current recommended treatments are based on a study that was severely flawed. It feels we may be approaching a turning point, and I hope this film will be another catalyst for change.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Unrest premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Award for Editing. It will have its UK theatrical release on October 20 in London and cities nationwide, followed by a Q&A tour with director Jennifer Brea.
  2. View more about ‘Unrest’ at: http://www.unrest.film/

 

“Give us goal posts, not gold medals”

Britons would forego Team GB Olympic gold
in favour of better access to sport for all

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  • Only 7% of Britons have been inspired by the Olympics to take up a sport, according to a new survey this week. Most say it’s too expensive, facilities are poor or non-existent, or they don’t have the time or confidence.
  • Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson says: “Unless we look more creatively about how we engage everyone in physical activity, we may win medals but we will be bottom of the league table on health and wellbeing.”
  • Author and journalist Simon Kuper, says: “Instead of obsessing about who is the next England football manager, let’s spend that energy creating places for people to play sport near their homes.”

UK Sport recently announced record funding of up to £345m to take us on “the journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond”, but a new survey has found that most Britons would forego medal wins at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in favour of better access to sports facilities in the UK, enabling many to participate in sport – not just the elite few.

Rather than prioritising Olympic gold, the public would like to see government sports funding channelled into: more community sports centres and making entrance fees more affordable (18%); the reinstatement of school and public playing fields (14%) lost in the mass sell-off since the 80s; support for local grassroots sports and fitness initiatives (14%), and improved physical exercise in schools (13%).

By contrast, only 4% of the population backed UK Sport’s funding strategy for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which puts the emphasis on “more medals and medallists to inspire the nation”. This aspiration is judged less valuable than initiatives – such as ‘This Girl Can’ – which target people who don’t do enough exercise (9%) and sporting activities which engage the disadvantaged (5%).  A further 12% of people said priority for sports funding in the UK should not lie in any specific area, while 10% had no view on the subject.

All these findings emerge from a survey commissioned by charity Pro Bono Economics, which on 27th February at the Royal Institution hosts its annual lecture, given by author and journalist Simon Kuper. He will ask: “Has Britain got sport upside down?”

Olympic feats might inspire, but lack of sports facilities and high costs continue to impede nationwide take-up of Olympic sports

After the British athletes’ performance at Rio in 2016, achieving a record haul of 130 medals in the main games, the UK is now considered an Olympic superpower; yet only 7% of the 2,000 respondents to the YouGov survey had been inspired by the Olympics to take up a particular sport.  The five sports most favoured by those who did were cycling (27%), swimming (27%), athletics (19%), tennis (10%), and football (9%).

It is not, however, a lack of interest in sport that stops others from participating, but expense (17%), a lack of local facilities (12%), or local facilities that are of poor quality (6%).    Almost one in five (18%) respondents blamed their busy lifestyle, and just over one in ten (12%) said they lacked the confidence to participate in sport.  Nearly one third of people said they had no interest in the Olympics.

By contrast, in a separate survey of leading experts from sport, economics, health and the media, no respondents blamed the poor take-up of sports on any failure of Olympic athletes to inspire the nation.  They said it resulted from: our busy lifestyles young people prioritising academic achievement over exercise (27%); a lack of affordable local sports facilities (19%); poor diet and lifestyle (19%) and a deep-rooted culture of disinterest in sport and exercise UK (18%).

Simon Kuper, co-author of Soccernomics and Financial Times columnist, who is giving the Pro Bono Economics lecture, commented:

“These findings support my theory that Britain really has got sport upside down. Why spend billions on an Olympics when few kids in the country have the facilities to play judo, fencing or equestrianism anywhere near their homes? In many neighbourhoods it’s hard even to find a decent football field. The sell-off of school playing fields in the Thatcher/Major years did terrible damage to British sport.”

“Instead of obsessing about who is the next England football manager, let’s spend that energy creating places for people to play sport near their homes. It would be a strategy to increase national health, happiness and sense of community, to fight crime – and maybe even to improve the England football team.”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Gold medal Paralympian, parliamentarian and television presenter, will join Simon Kuper in a panel discussion after his lecture. She added:

“In the UK we like to think we are a nation that loves sport, but perhaps we are more of a nation who loves watching sport.  We know there is a disconnect between elite sport and participation.  Currently inactivity costs the nation £20 billion a year so this is not something we can keep putting off. Unless we look more creatively about how we engage everyone in physical activity, we may win medals but we will be bottom of the league table on health and wellbeing.”

Professor Diane Coyle, author and Professor of Economics, University of Manchester, who will chair the lecture and the subsequent discussion, commented:

“The 2012 Olympics in London were inspirational but there is no point in inspiring people if they can’t follow up on it. What the survey suggests is an unmet public appetite for better access to affordable facilities, serving a wider range of sports than just football. The benefits of greater participation in health and well-being could be significant.”

The findings quoted come from a YouGov survey of 2,000 people, carried out in preparation for Pro Bono Economics’ annual lecture. The event will bring together renowned experts from sports, health, economics, and the media at The Royal Institution of Great Britain at 7pm on Monday 27th February.  Together, they will explore challenging questions on the relationship between sport, public health and the economy in Britain today.

Professor Diane Coyle will then host a panel discussion and invite contributions from audience. Simon Kuper will be joined on the panel by:

· Baroness Tanni GreyThompson, Paralympian, parliamentarian and TV presenter

· Mark Gregory, EY’s Chief Economist for the UK & Ireland; his work has quantified the economic and social impact of sport institutions, including the Rugby World Cup 2015 and English Premier League.

· Will Watt, founder of Jump; providing expertise in policy evaluation, impact analysis and behaviour change in sport and volunteering.

Pro Bono Economics, established in 2009 by Martin Brookes (Tomorrow’s People) and Andy Haldane (Bank of England), is a charity that matches professional economists, working as volunteers or on a voluntary basis, with charities and social enterprises that want to understand and improve their impact and value. This event is generously supported by Nomura (www.nomura.com) and Weil (www.weil.com). There are a limited number of free tickets still available. To register online: www.probonoeconomics.com/news/has-britain-got-sport-upside-down.

Has Britain got sport upside down? Pro Bono Economics annual lecture

Royal Institution, Monday 27th February 2017, registration at 7pm,

Professor Diane Coyle hosts an evening with Simon Kuper, Financial Times columnist and author, at the Royal Institution; Mayfair

crowdandscreen
Panellists include
Baroness Tanni GreyThompson, Paralympian, Crossbench Peer and Mark Gregory, EY’s Chief Economist for the UK & Ireland

Every gold medal won at the Rio Olympics cost the UK an estimated £5.5 million. However, the average UK citizen in 2017 will do less than 30 minutes of exercise each week.

Every fortnight, the government sells off a school playing field to a corporate household name. Meanwhile, childhood obesity and mental illness in teenagers continue to rise with a growing burden on the public purse.

There are a limited number of free tickets for this event. Suggested donation to Pro Bono Economics is minimum £10.

Register via Eventbrite

Simon Kuper, author of “Soccernomics” and Financial Times columnist, will look at why investment in British sport has become so polarised. Drawing on Simon’s extensive knowledge of the UK sports industry, the evening is set to ask some challenging questions on the link between sport, public health and the economy in 2017.

  • Can we justify spending an estimated £5.5 million on each gold medal won at the Rio Olympics when few kids in the UK have facilities for activities such as judo, fencing or equestrianism anywhere near their homes?
  • The sell-off of school playing fields in the Thatcher/Major years did terrible damage to British sport. Instead of obsessing over who will be the next England football manager, let’s spend that energy creating places for people to play sport near their homes. Such a strategy would increase national health, happiness and sense of community, fight crime – and maybe even improve the England football team.

Examining Simon Kuper’s themes further, Professor Diane Coyle (University of Manchester) will host a panel discussion and invite contributions from the audience.

Simon Kuper will be joined on the panel by:

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Gold medal Paralympian, parliamentarian and television presenter.

Mark Gregory, EY’s Chief Economist for the UK & Ireland; his work has quantified the economic and social impact of sport institutions, including the Rugby World Cup 2015 and English Premier League.

Will Watt, founder of Jump: expertise in policy evaluation, impact analysis and behaviour change in sport and volunteering.

The event will be followed by a drinks and canapés reception.

Pro Bono Economics is a registered charity, which relies on philanthropic donations (charity no.1130567). Learn more at: www.probonoeconomics.com/donate-now

BBC Radio 1 in just seven months – can millennials break through by breaking current social rules of the music business

From bedroom to BBC Radio 1 in just seven months

Bud’s debut single ‘City Bird’ hits BBC Radio 1 on Friday 22nd July

bud

·         City Bird, by Bud, available to stream now exclusively at https://soundcloud.com/ budofficial

·         Available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer etc. from Friday 22nd July

·         Help make Bud’s City Bird fly by tweeting @BBCR1 with the hashtag #citybird 

·         Watch Bud on  https://goo.gl/VWz99H

Up-and-coming Nottingham singer-songwriter Bud, as yet unsigned to a record label, will see her debut single ‘City Bird’ join the BBC Radio 1 playlist from Friday 22nd July.  She follows the likes of Jake Bugg, Izzy Bizu, Tom Odell and Jack Garratt, who all received their first Radio 1 plays by uploading their music to BBC Introducing.  Every week, Radio 1 features an up-and-coming artist from the BBC Introducing world.

Bud’s first single ‘City Bird’ was taken from her 5-track debut EP of the same name and will be available to download from Friday 22nd July. Its journey started back in November 2015 when Bud, together with local producer Origin One and her younger brother, recorded and produced the cheeky pop-reggae track in her brother’s bedroom. Following a successful £2,000 crowd-funding round on Kickstarter she was able to make her very first music video and threw her first EP launch party. (See story and review here: http://goo.gl/UyHfHG) She uploaded the track to BBC Introducing, where – to her surprise – City Bird was given airtime by BBC East Midlands DJ, Dean Jackson.  Dean then sent it on to the BBC Radio 1 London team and supported her track.

It has taken Bud and ‘City Bird’ just seven months to go from bedroom to BBC Radio 1, but the 22-year-old’s journey as a singer-songwriter has not been exactly straightforward, and a record deal has so far eluded her.  In an industry where, even to merit consideration by labels, an artist’s social media following is of paramount importance, she realistically needs a baseline of 10,000 + followers on Facebook.

If you like Bud’s track,  tweet #CityBird @BBCR1 and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @budofficial.

Bud’s Journey
Bud started writing in her bedroom when she was 14 and began performing live three years ago.   She said:

“My mum wanted me to become a lawyer or doctor, but I knew that only music could make me happy, so I got a place at Leeds College of Music. They gave me a grilling and I was told that my voice had too many ‘issues.’ I found the criticism hard to digest … It made me doubt my ability and I lost confidence as a musician. So I quit before my first year finished and signed up to study Nutritional Sciences at the University of Nottingham. I was bitterly disappointed with myself for giving up so easily, and I’ve now promised myself that I will never quit music again! Once I returned to my bedroom, I started to write music again as it was the only thing which could heal my bruises. I found the courage I lost and I stopped comparing myself to other musicians and trying to conform to other people’s ideas of what music should sound like, or just following what’s ‘in.’  I think that’s when I really found my sound.”

Bud, who says she’s been inspired by strong independent artists such as Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Paolo Nutini and Corrine Bailey Rae, added:

“I’m so chuffed to have made it to the BBC Radio 1 playlist and have my single played alongside established pop acts.  I hope the BBC Radio 1 audience will connect with my pop-reggae fusion sound and with my lyrics, which I try to make intelligent enough to tackle difficult topics. But more than that, I just want to use this incredible opportunity to deliver my message of love and positivity to those who have ever doubted themselves.  The internet might have changed the way we consume music, but for an upcoming artists like me, radio, and particularly the BBC, is still so important. ”

–   Ends –

For further information, interviews, live performances, and images, please contact Senso Communications:

Ella Sage, 07775992350, ella@sensocommunications.com

 

Help make Bud’s City Bird fly

CITY BIRD, her debut five-track EP can be streamed for free until the 22nd July on SoundCloud. After which it will become available for download via online retailers.

To show your support:

·         Tweet @BBCRadio1 and #CityBird or text in to the show.

·         Follow her on Twitter: @budofficial https://Twitter.com/ budofficial #CityBird #MakeCityBirdFly

·         Like Bud’s Facebook page: https://facebook.com/ budofficial

·         Follow her on Instagram: @budofficial https://Instagram.com/ budofficial

·         YouTube: https://goo.gl/VWz99H  – Share her official video and subscribe to her channel

·         Shazzam the single on your smartphone

·         Stream online

·         Download from iTunes

Next Gig

Thursday 28th July, Prince of Wales, 467 Brixton Road, London

City Bird – Bud ft. Origin One will be first aired on Radio 1 from Friday 22nd July and featured on the online playlist a week prior.  The track will then be played on the following BBC Radio 1 shows:
Saturday 23rd July         Alice Levine 1300-1600
Sunday 24th July           Dev 0600-1000
Monday 25th July          Clara Amfo 1000-1300
Tuesday 26th July         Greg James 1600-1900
Wednesday 27th July     Adele Roberts 0400-0630
Thursday 28th July        Scott Mills 1300-1600

 

What’s in it for me? – The most important question in the referendum campaign

The referendum campaign demonstrates the importance of understanding the needs of your audience, writes Steve Harman, Director of SENSO Communications

We love a good election campaign at SENSO Communications. As passionate believers in the value of live debate – where the audience can hear the arguments in person and participate directly — we’ve been attending every EU referendum event we can.

They tend to follow a similar template. At the start, everyone is asked to hold up either a green card for ‘In’ or a red one for ‘Out’. The idea is to see if the balance of opinion shifts after the panellists have slugged it out. Invariably, no minds are changed – there’s always a majority of green cards both before and after the discussion. That’s because the kind of people who go to these things, particularly in London, tend to be middle class, university-educated professionals – exactly the demographic most likely to vote Yes.

The reality is that such events, enjoyable as they are, will have little or no impact on the result of the referendum. The real battle is being fought in the media (‘the air campaign’ as lovers of dramatic military metaphors like to call it) and on doorsteps (‘the ground campaign’).

The main weapon being deployed by both sides is the statistic. Many of these can be categorised as ‘extremely big number’ statistics, like “Being in the EU is worth £91 billion to our economy” or on the other side “We hand over more than £350 million a week to the EU.”

But the other, and more important, kind of figure is the one that speaks to you, the individual voter, directly. Initially it seemed that the Remain campaign was doing a far better job of generating these. The claim that dominated the early stages of the debate was that a vote for Brexit would leave every household £4,300 worse off. Not only that, they said, but the value of our homes would go down, we’d pay a fortune to use our mobiles abroad, and the football teams we support would lose their best players.

But more recently, the ‘Out’ side has been gaining traction with its own versions of these ‘what it means for you’ stories. Immigration is criticised because of the effect it has “on ordinary people.” Boris Johnson has told Sun readers that leaving the EU would scrap £60 of VAT on their fuel bills. Another claim is that European judges are forcing the UK to make huge tax refunds to multinationals – to the tune of £270.43 per household. Arguably the recent boost to the Brexiteers’ polling fortunes reflects the fact that they’ve started doing a better job of deploying these “in your pocket” figures.

Because no matter how spurious or impossible to verify these factoids are, they’re extremely effective. Recent research found that ‘Remain’ had a 19% lead in the polls if voters were told they’d be £500 better off staying in. If they were told their incomes would be unaffected the Out campaign led by 9%. That’s a staggering insight into what motivates voters. For a very large number of people, this referendum isn’t a battle of ideas or a contest for the future of British sovereignty – it’s a question of which outcome is most likely to hit them in the pocket.

That’s entirely understandable in the current economic climate. But it also says something about the UK’s pragmatic democratic culture – we’re less likely to respond to grand sweeping arguments about visions of the country’s future than we are to changes that affect us in ways we can notice – however small.

There’s a lesson here for communications professionals as well as politicians: know who you want to reach and what they care about. Whether they’re journalists, consumers, or businesses, give them information that’s interesting and meaningful to them. It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many PR practitioners don’t seem to get it, producing press releases full of dull information about the client, but nothing that matters to the target audience.

Ultimately, the referendum campaign will be won by whichever side does a better job of cutting through to what’s important to voters. One of the most valuable things any communicator can do is put themselves in the shoes of the audience and ask ‘What’s in it for me?’

Care for children with mental health problems is woeful, say GPs

Vulnerable young people facing wait of up to a year for specialist help, survey of doctors finds

Norman_Lamb_(2013)Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb MP

The Observer, Sunday 15 May 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/14/children-mental-health-care-woeful-gps 

Family doctors have condemned NHS care for children with mental health problems as woefully inadequate and warned that vulnerable young people are coming to harm during waits of up to a year for specialist help.

GPs say that, although growing numbers of youngsters are struggling with crippling conditions such as anxiety and depression, many in need of urgent support are missing out because rationing of care means that they are not ill enough to qualify.

A survey of 300 GPs in England has raised particular concern about the availability of NHS help for children aged 11-18 who are self-harming. While 61% of GPs are seeing more such cases than five years ago, 83% describe services as either inadequate or totally inadequate.

Even more GPs – 86% – are worried that young people in distress are coming to harm while they wait for treatment, according to the survey conducted by stem4, a charity that helps such teenagers. “Young mental health problems are a timebomb waiting to explode,” one GP said.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, who was the mental health minister in the coalition government, said: “These findings paint a bleak picture and accord with what GPs have told me: that when they refer children with such problems for support, too often support isn’t there at all or they meet with high thresholds which mean that children are in effect told ‘get sicker before we will help you’. Rationing of care in such a vital area of care is scandalous.”

 

View the full survey findings and report:

http://www.stem4.org.uk/images/downloads/a_time_bomb_waiting_to_explode_stem4_press_release.pdf

Family doctors fear a mental health scandal waiting to happen

nihara Dr Nihara Krause, consultant clinical psychologist and founder of stem4

The Observer, Sunday 16th May 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/14/teenage-mental-health-crisis-doctors 

One in 12 UK teenagers self-harms and one in 10 is clinically depressed, yet still the NHS allocates only 11% of its budget to mental health services

Most GPs think mental health services for young people are inadequate, with nine in 10 fearing that children in their care could come to harm while waiting for specialist treatment.

Those are the worrying key findings from a survey for stem4, the charity I set up to support teenagers with mental health problems. Under pressure to achieve efficiencies, and with a reduced specialist workforce, mental health providers are applying increasingly strict criteria for access to their services.

Let’s think about what that might mean. You’re 16 and going through a tough time. At school you’re worried because your performance in pending exams determines your chances of getting to university, or to succeed in a ruthlessly tough job market…

 

Dr Nihara Krause is a consultant clinical psychologist and founder of stem4 mental health charity.

“A time bomb waiting to explode” – Survey reveals GPs’ concerns about mental health services for young people

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Report from mental health charity stem4 finds 78% of GPs are seeing more young patients with mental health problems

GPs fear lack of funding, specialist training and access to services is putting children at risk

Most GPs believe mental health services for young people are inadequate, with almost nine in ten fearing that children or teenagers may come to harm while waiting for specialist treatment, new research shows today.

A survey[i] for stem4, the charity which works to prevent mental ill health in teenagers, found that almost four in five (78%) GPs are seeing more young patients with mental health problems than five years ago.   Most (87%) expect pressure on services to increase.

Nearly all (97%) the doctors surveyed had seen a patient aged 11-18 suffering from depression over the past five years.   The same number (97%) said they had seen a patient experiencing self-harm, and six in ten (61%) were seeing more young patients self-harming than five years ago

However, half (50%) said they had received no specialist training on self-harm and over a third (36%) said they had received training but it was not adequate for them to feel confident supporting young patients.

The survey forms the basis of stem4’s new report ‘A Time Bomb Waiting to Explode’.   302 GPs in England were asked about their patients aged 11-18:

  • Almost eight in ten (78%) said the number of patients experiencing mental health problems had increased, either somewhat (61%) or greatly (17%), over the past five years
  • 63% had seen a young patient with an addiction problem
  • 89% had seen patients with eating disorders
  • 85% say health and social care services for children are either inadequate (59%) or extremely inadequate (26% )
  • 83% say services for young people who self-harm are either inadequate or extremely inadequate
  • Almost nine in ten (86%) had concerns about patients coming to harm while waiting for treatment
  • Most (76%) want to see increased funding for mental health, and over half (54%) want more specialist training for GPs on young people’s mental health problems

Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Founder of stem 4, said:

“Young people’s mental health services are at crisis point.  GPs are having to cope with the consequences of our failure to focus on prevention, and a lack of access to specialist services.  We may not be able to change the world we have created for our young people, but we need to take action to ensure that help is available when they need it.  GPs are at the forefront of addressing this crisis and they need far more support.

“The increase in mental ill health among our young people is exacerbated by our trophy culture. They are under enormous pressure to succeed in every way, not only at school where they are constantly tested and graded, but also by endeavouring to gain social cachet by competing to be ‘followed’ and ‘liked’ on social media.”

Dr Faraz Mughal, Royal College of GPs Clinical Fellow for Youth Mental Health, said: “This report provides a worrying insight into the difficulties currently facing young people who need mental health care – and the issues faced by GPs who are trying to care for them.

“GPs are seeing more and more young patients with mental health problems, and they often present in a different way to adults when experiencing mental illness or distress, but services in the community that they could benefit from are underfunded and this invariably puts general practice under pressure and our patients’ safety at risk.

“This report brings home how important it is that family doctors receive appropriate specialist-led training in mental health, that there is more investment in mental health services right across the NHS, and that there is greater integration across health, social care, education and justice services, so that we can deliver the care and support our young patients with mental health problems need and deserve.”

The report paints a picture of patchy and underfunded services hit by shortages of specialists, long waits for treatment, and eligibility criteria so strict that GPs are deterred from making referrals.

Comments from the doctors surveyed included:

  • “Recently several parents have had to pay for private appointments so that their youngsters could receive the care they needed. These were not affluent parents, just desperate and caring.”
  • “Referrals are increasingly bounced back from secondary care with instructions to simply seek counselling”
  • “I feel mental health services for patients this age are woefully inadequate.  The few patients that we actually manage to get seen still have to wait for often over a year in order to be seen”
  • “I feel it is appalling that someone who has asked for help needs to wait up to 6 months for any intervention I can provide in a secondary setting. Only the most severe get any help at all.”
  • “Young mental health problems are a time bomb waiting to explode!”

Three quarters of the GPs surveyed (76%) said funding beyond that which has already been promised is necessary to improve mental health services for young people.  Over half (54%) said specialist training on young people’s mental health was necessary.  Most (56%) wanted to see a complete overhaul of mental health service provision.

The report calls for a greater emphasis on the identification and prevention of young people’s mental health problems at primary care level, and for more specialist training for GPs.   On 22 June, stem4 is holding a conference to provide with GPs with the latest information on dealing with mental health problems affecting children and young people.  Calm Harm, the charity’s smartphone app to help people manage the urge to self-harm, is available for free, and has been downloaded more than 14,700 times.

Notes to editors

View the full survey findings and report:

http://www.stem4.org.uk/images/downloads/a_time_bomb_waiting_to_explode_stem4_press_release.pdf

View a Q and A on self-harm and young people’s mental health services:

http://www.stem4.org.uk/images/downloads/stem4_sh_media_qa.pdf

View more about the ‘Calm Harm’ App:

http://www.stem4.org.uk/self_harm/What-is-self-harm/download-the-stem4-app.html

 

Contact

For queries or interview / case study requests, contact:

Senso Communications: www.sensocommunications.com

Steve Harman – 07731 860673   steve@sensocommunications.com

Penny Lukats – 07775 992350 penny@sensocommunications.com

 

[1] Survey of 302 GPs in England carried out by Research Now between 8 April and 13 April 2016