New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

A new web-based “feedback” technology which allows therapists to accurately monitor how patients with depression are coping has been found to reduce the probability of deterioration during psychological treatment by 74%, a new study has found. The study, which is the largest controlled trial of its kind, involved data from more than 2,000 mental health patients treated across multiple NHS Trusts in England.

Psychological therapy is offered to many people with depression and anxiety who seek treatment in the NHS, but while roughly half of these patients respond well to the treatment, up to 10% actually get worse.

To read more about this go to: New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

Dementia risk increased in 50-year-olds with higher blood pressure

A new study has found that 50-year-olds with blood pressure higher than normal but still below the threshold commonly used when deciding to treat the condition were at risk of developing dementia.

The long-running Whitehall II study comprised 10,000 civil servants between 35-55 years of age and found that increased risk of dementia was seen even when the participants did not have other heart or blood vessel-related problems.

To read more about this go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/dementia-risk-increased-50-year-olds-higher-than-normal-blood-pressure/86512/

Understanding and addressing the mental health needs of adolescents

To truly understand the needs of adolescents, it is vital to listen to adolescents themselves. This was a central feature on the agenda of the first ever inter-country meeting and international conference addressing the mental health and well-being of adolescents living in central Asia, which took place on 17–20 January in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The meeting was hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan and organszed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with WHO. Country delegations from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as well as Kazakhstan, participated in the exchange of knowledge, experiences and plans to better understand and address the mental health needs of adolescents.

To read more about understanding the mental health needs of adolescents go to: WHO/Europe | Understanding and addressing the mental health needs of adolescents

TABLO conference

The benefits of using the arts for patients with long term conditions is well documented. Now we would like to give you the opportunity to have access to a toolkit with more than 400 activities to help you bring the arts into your role. Whether you’re a carer, a patient, health professional or you just want to find out more – this conference is for you.

You can get access to the toolkit at our launch event on 21 June 2018 at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Join us and listen to those involved in the project as well as key speakers Professor Dame Donna Kinnair, Director of Nursing from the Royal College of Nursing and Ben Saul, Chair of Trustees for the British Association of Music Therapy.

The TABLO (Training staff in the use of Arts for the Benefit of patients with Long-Term Conditions) project is co funded by the European Union with support from the European Commission. It has brought together representatives from seven other countries to develop an e-learning toolkit of vocational training which will help integrate arts into every day physical and mental healthcare when working with people who have long term conditions.

Spaces are limited so book your place now!

www.eventbrite.com/e/tablo-conference-2018-tickets-43018164488?aff=es2

New brochure on best practices in mental health launched

While many research institutions, care centres, non‐ governmental organisations, and governments within the EU conduct programmes and practices centred on mental health, it can be difficult to find information about them and to ensure their use and scale up in other settings. Good practices are a valuable resource contributing to sharing of knowledge and experience, and facilitating improvements in mental health by encouraging their adaptation and implementation.

The EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Well‐being has been commissioned by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) to collect, exchange, and analyse information on policy and stakeholder activities in mental health.

To read the booklet in full on the Europa website go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf

World Mental Health Day: New brochure on best practices in mental health launched

On World Mental Health Day, the EU-financed Compass Consortium launched a new brochure on Good Practices for Mental health at work, in schools, and prevention of depression and suicide.  The brochure gathers best practices from across the EU for the benefit of organisations seeking to improve the care that they provide in mental health and well-being – be they schools, workplaces, community centres, counselling services or medical practices.

Examples of potentially useful practices in mental health and well-being, gathered and evaluated by the Consortium include:

  • Mental health at work
  • Mental health in schools
  • Prevention of depression
  • Prevention of suicide

To read the brochure in full go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf

Facts and figures on suicide

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its fact sheet on suicide. Key facts include:

  • Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
  • 78% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.

Read more about this on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs398/en/

National mental health strategy in Sweden

The Swedish government has introduced a new national mental health strategy for 2016-2020. It is based on five focus areas identified as the most important to strengthen mental health and prevent mental illness:

  1. Prevention and promotion efforts
  2.  Accessible early interventions
  3. Focus on vulnerable groups
  4. Participation and rights
  5. Organization and leadership

Each focus area includes people of all ages – children, young people, adults, and the elderly. Just as the focus areas were developed in collaboration between many different stakeholders, the government emphasises that all development work in the field must be conducted simultaneously and collaboratively. The Public Health Agency of Sweden plays a leading role in this effort.

For more information about Sweden’s National Mental Health Strategy on the eurohealthnet-magazine.eu website

Feeling low in adolescence

About half of all mental health problems in adulthood have their onset during or before adolescence. Improving resilience to mental illness among young people is very important, as poor mental health in adolescence is linked to unemployment, crime, increased rates of smoking, drug use, obesity and future mental ill health. Support and early interventions designed to promote well-being are key to building such resilience.

Feeling low from time to time can be normal for adolescents. However, regular and prolonged periods of low mood can progress to depression and negatively impact long-term health, well-being and development.

Being in good emotional and physical health enables young people to deal with the challenges of adolescence and eases their transition into adulthood. Positive mental well-being in childhood is associated with increased social competence and good coping strategies that lead to more positive outcomes in adulthood. Addressing low feelings among young people and teaching them coping mechanisms that promote resilience is vital to protecting and promoting their mental health.

For more information about adolescents and mental health on the euro.who.int website