Clinical and social outcomes of adolescent self harm: population based birth cohort study

British Medical Journal, 24 October 2014

The objectives of the cohort study were to investigate the mental health, substance use, educational, and occupational outcomes of adolescents who self harm in a general population sample, and to examine whether these outcomes differ according to self reported suicidal intent.

The results of the study found that participants who self harmed with and without suicidal intent at age 16 years were at increased risk of developing mental health problems, future self harm, and problem substance misuse, with stronger associations for suicidal self harm than for non-suicidal self harm. For example, in models adjusted for confounders the odds ratio for depression at age 18 years was 2.21 (95% confidence interval 1.55 to 3.15) in participants who had self harmed without suicidal intent at age 16 years and 3.94 (2.67 to 5.83) in those who had self harmed with suicidal intent. Suicidal self harm, but not self harm without suicidal intent, was also associated with poorer educational and employment outcomes.

The paper concludes that adolescents who self harm seem to be vulnerable to a range of adverse outcomes in early adulthood. Risks were generally stronger in those who had self harmed with suicidal intent, but outcomes were also poor among those who had self harmed without suicidal intent. These findings emphasise the need for early identification and treatment of adolescents who self harm.

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Samaritans Launches Twitter App To Help Identify Vulnerable People

The Samaritans, 29 October 2014

Samaritans, the leading suicide prevention charity, has launched Samaritans Radar – a free web application that monitors your friends’ Tweets, alerting you if it spots anyone who may be struggling to cope. The app gives users a second chance to see potentially worrying Tweets, which might have otherwise been missed.

Created by digital agency Jam using Twitter’s API, Samaritans Radar uses a specially designed algorithm that looks for specific keywords and phrases within a Tweet. It then sends an email alert to the user with a link to the Tweet it has detected, and offers guidance on the best way of reaching out and providing support.

Click here for further information.

Survey shows greatest improvement in public attitudes to mental health in a decade

Time to Change, October 2014

New data shows public attitudes towards mental illness have improved significantly with the biggest annual improvement in the last decade taking place in 2013. However, there is still more work to be done to end life-limiting stigma and discrimination.

Click here for further information and to download the report.

Mental Capacity Act: government response to the House of Lords Select Committee report

Department of Health/Ministry of Justice, October 2014

The government, together with our partners, has closely considered the 39 recommendations of the House of Lords. It has also reviewed inputs and insights received from our discussions with a wide range of stakeholders. This response sets out a system-wide programme of work over 2014 to 2015 and beyond that we believe will make a real improvement to the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act.

Click here for further information.

“I think you need to show someone what help there is: Understanding parental alcohol misuse at a local level

Children’s Commissioner, October 2014

This study was commissioned to investigate gaps in knowledge highlighted through Silent Voices (Adamson and Templeton, 2012), a review into supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse. The present study engaged with three local areas in order to learn about the challenges and the ways forward for improvements in meeting the needs of children and young people.  The project aims to identify and promote good practice in response to the needs of affected children and their families, with key questions as to how local areas can discover the extent and need among children and young people and how services, including universal provision, can best respond.

Click here to download the full report.