New autism study a "shocking wake-up call" for society, say…

New autism study a "shocking wake-up call" for society, say academics

23 October 2017 | Medical Express

People who show characteristics of autism are more at risk of attempting suicide, according to a Coventry University study whose results are being presented to a United States federal advisory committee tomorrow.

Researchers found that people who exhibited higher levels of autistic traitswere more likely to try to end their lives than people without the traits because they felt they were excluded from society, were a burden on friends and family, and because they experienced depression.

Previous research has already suggested a link between autistic people and an increased risk of suicide.

However, this is the first study to suggest those who have not been diagnosed with autism but had certain traits typical of autistic people were also more at risk of attempting suicide.

Academics say understanding how these factors are linked is vital in helping to reduce deaths by suicide – and that more research is needed in this area.

The findings coincide with the launch of an urgent appeal by UK charity Autistica calling on the autistic community to get directly involved in further research by signing up to its new autism research network, Discover – – which will link the local autistic community with the Coventry investigators as well as other top UK research centres.

Continuing Research, Emerging Treatments Hold Promise for Treating…

Continuing Research, Emerging Treatments Hold Promise for Treating Anorexia Nervosa

Psychiatry Advisory | 18 October 2017

With the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and one of the lowest recovery rates, anorexia nervosa presents substantial challenges to the clinician. That is one reason treatment of the disease requires an interdisciplinary team of providers, including a medical doctor, a mental health specialist, and a dietitian, all with experience in treating eating disorders. This team must deliver integrated, coordinated care to patients, explained Kathryn Pieper, PhD, a child psychologist and director of the Eating Disorders Center at Children's Mercy and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in Kansas City.

Pieper said there has also been a movement away from blaming families and toward empowering them to help adolescents with anorexia.

One in three sick notes are for mental health problems, '…

One in three sick notes are for mental health problems, 'alarming' report shows

ne in three “sick notes” handed out by GPs are now for mental health problems, amid soaring levels of anxiety across Britain, official figures show.

The new data - from the first such investigation across the NHS - reveals that in total, more than 5 million people are being signed off work every year.

Mental health and behavioural conditions were the most common reason by far, making up 31 per cent of cases, with a 14 per cent rise in notes relating to anxiety and stress in one year.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the figures were “alarming,” urging employers to do more to help support staff struggling with common mental health problems such as depression.

A framework for tackling mental health issues at work

A framework for tackling mental health issues at work

Occupational Health & Wellbeing | 30 August 2017

Evidence shows that mental health issues at work are a growing problem. Dr Nick Summerton sets out a suggested framework for what HR, occupational health and wellbeing professionals can do proactively to help their employees.

As a GP, when I see people in the surgery on long-term sick leave, I’ll always encourage them to go back to work if they can. Work is a central building block to good mental health, providing a positive routine, sense of purpose and achievement as well as a social environment, and makes it easier to be in better physical health. So there’s the paradox for anyone working in wellbeing, that the cure can be the same as the cause of ill-health.

In an age of more desk-bound working, the health risks are primarily around stress. At low levels it’s a typical, and, it could be argued, useful part of modern working life. Over time, though, it also has the potential to set off a chain reaction of psychological and physical damage.

Exclusion from school can trigger long-term psychiatric illness

Exclusion from school can trigger long-term psychiatric illness

Science Daily | 29 August 2017

Excluding children from school may lead to long- term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a study of thousands of children has shown.

Research by the University of Exeter, published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that a new onset mental disorder may be a consequence of exclusion from school.

The study, also found that -- separately -- poor mental health can lead to exclusion from school.

Professor Tamsin Ford, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Exeter's Medical School, warned that excluded children can develop a range of mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety as well as behavioural disturbance. The impact of excluding a child from school on their education and progress is often long term, and this work suggests that their mental health may also deteriorate.

The study is the most rigorous study of the impact of exclusion from school among the general population so far and included a standardised assessment of children's difficulties.

Consistently poor behaviour in the classroom is the main reason for school exclusion, with many students, mainly of secondary school age, facing repeated dismissal from school. Relatively few pupils are expelled from school, but Professor Ford warned that even temporary exclusions can amplify psychological distress.

Help Fund Mental Health Education For Birmingham Children

Help Fund Mental Health Education For Birmingham Children

One of WMAHSN's Serendip Digital Health Quarter tenants is launching a crowdfunding campaign today (30 August) to raise cash to help schoolchildren become more aware of mental health. 

Altruist Enterprises is looking to muster £10,000 over the next 30 days via Crowdfunder.  

If successful in raising the full amount before the 30 days are up, Altruist UK will use the money to deliver three one-hour mental health awareness workshops to 20 schools in Birmingham, delivering 60 workshops in total.

Katie Buckingham, founder of Altruist, said: “Altruist have been successfully delivering mental health awareness workshops to schools for four years and over this time, have seen an increase in demand for these sessions within Birmingham. We will engage with ten primary and ten secondary schools, and will support a minimum of 1600 pupils as part of this project.

Depression Screening Test to Become Part of Google Search Tool

Depression Screening Test to Become Part of Google Search Too

25 August 2017 | Psychiatry Advisor

HealthDay News — Web search giant Google is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to make depression screening a part of a search for 'depression' on the site.

In a Google blog post, the company said: "Now when you search for 'clinical depression' on Google on mobile, you'll see a Knowledge Panel that will give you the option to tap 'check if you're clinically depressed,' which will bring you to the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a clinically validated screening questionnaire to test what your likely level of depression may be." The results in themselves are not a diagnosis, but can be taken to a doctor for a more proper assessment.

Providing support to people with learning disabilities in primary care

Providing support to people with learning disabilities in primary care

22 August | Nursing in Practice

A learning disability (or intellectual disability) is a lifelong condition that can make accessing healthcare difficult and lead to disadvantage and inequality.

People who have learning disabilities might be of any age and rely heavily on the services provided by doctors and nurses and other health and social care providers, especially primary care.

People with learning disabilities will need support from primary care professionals to understand information about their health and care needs. It is not always apparent that someone has a learning disability and therefore it will be important to always consider this possibility. Under the Equality Act (2010), healthcare services have a duty to address health inequality and ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place so as not to disadvantage people with learning disabilities.1

i4i Connect: funding for SMEs to accelerate medical technology…

i4i Connect: funding for SMEs to accelerate medical technology development

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme is launching a new funding stream - i4i Connect - aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach their next stage in the development pathway.

Offering up to £150,000 over a 6-12 month period, i4i Connect will help SMEs get to the point of eligibility for a full i4i award or, down the line, follow on-funding. This will enable accelerated development of promising medical technologies, in line with recommendations from the Government’s Accelerated Access Review.

Martin Hunt, NIHR i4i Programme Director said:

“SMEs have told us that there is a gap in funding both in the early stage of development and for completed projects that do not have all the data to effectively access the follow-on funding marketplace. i4i Connect will support teams through either of these stages of development with a fast turnaround of funding - vital for SMEs needing to maintain momentum.

“The NIHR will provide a maximum of £150,000 short term funding for SMEs with innovative technologies in the pipeline. This new funding will help SMEs get to the next stage of investment, supporting accelerated development to ensure technologies benefit patients sooner.”

NIHR’s i4i Programme is a translational funding scheme that supports healthcare technologies, devices and interventions for patient benefit in areas of existing or emerging clinical need. The aim is to de-risk projects, making them attractive to follow-on funders and investors. i4i Connect is specifically tailored for SMEs at this later point of product development, as well as in the early stage to provide support on the pathway to full i4i funding, with an NHS or academic partner.

Digital health technology catalyst 2017 round 1

Digital health technology catalyst 2017 round 1

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million to speed up development of new digital technology healthcare solutions.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £8 million in projects that develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges.

Feasibility projects must range in size from total project costs of £50,000 to £75,000 and you must complete your project within one year.

Industrial research and experimental development projects must range in size from total project costs of £500,000 to £1 million and you must complete your project within 3 years.

We may consider projects outside this range but you should contact us at least 10 days before the submission deadline to discuss further.

You must start your projects by 1 February 2018.