Monday, 6 August 2012

News in Brief

Bipolar UK National Conference 2012
Squinted at the slides from the Bipolar UK National Conference 2012 on Diagnosis. Nothing revolutionary and still stuck in the dark ages treatment and cause wise, but good to see some thought was being put into how things may look in the future – fluidity of‘diagnosis’ , emphasis on the individual etc. But all pretty pharmacological.

New Books
The Fix by Damian Thompson sounds like a must-read. Charting the (among others) stories of 21stcentury addiction – including the young people in the States addicted to Ritalin and Adderall (18 million prescriptions a year). Hope to review in the next Equilibrium.

Bullying and self harm
Although not yet completely researched and therefore only a preliminary conclusion, the suggestion so far is that a child who is bullied is more likely to self harm. From a purely objective angle this would make sense in that there is a need to vent anger but there is also a fear of reawakening any external anger, so the subject takes pent up emotions out on him/herself, internalising the issue. The research was established by studying twins of age 5 to 12 and included interviews with the children’s mothers. Pumla

Outdoor mental health therapy service expands
A Scottish mental health initiative that encourages people to learn basic wilderness skills and undertake conservation activities is expanding into new territory.

The Branching Out programme, which is run by Forestry Commission Scotland, has announced its first course in East Renfrewshire. The 12-week course, run in partnership with East Renfrewshire Council and the Glasgow Association for Mental Health, will see participants take part in site walks, tai chi, forest photography, hut building, tree identification and willow weaving among other outdoor tasks. Research has shown people who make use of green spaces significantly increase their physical activity levels, improve their confidence and self-esteem and tend to enjoy better mental wellbeing.

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