Easter/Spring special: can pets help with long term conditions?

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For an Easter/Spring special, Sarah Carr looks at research into how pets can help people with long term conditions but how researchers may miss this in interviews.

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Can environmental changes reduce fear of crime and improve mental health and well-being?

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Kathryn Walsh summarises a recent systematic review on crime, fear of crime and mental health, which highlights a number of interventions that are not effective in reducing the fear of crime.

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Kinship care may be a viable out-of-home placement option for maltreated children, but more research is needed

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Lisa Burscheidt reports on a recent Cochrane review that looks at the effects of kinship care versus traditional foster care for the safety, permanency and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment.

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Impoverished personal relationship found to be predictor of offending in adults with learning disabilities

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Criminology has used strain theory as a way of looking at how certain social structures within a society may produce pressure on citizens to commit crime, identifying strain as either structural, e.g. processed at the societal level ,or individual referring to difficulties experienced in moving towards satisfying needs There has been little attempt to use [read the full story…]

‘Beating the Blues’ intervention shows promise for reducing depression and improving quality of life in older African Americans

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This paper reports the findings of a study exploring a new approach to treating the symptoms of depression in older African Americans. This a group of the population with very high levels of general health care needs – the result of a combination of factors including the USA’s political and social history but also modern [read the full story…]

Fashionable? Measurable? Doable? Measuring wellbeing for people with psychosis

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Over the past decade the term ‘wellbeing’ has made an increasing appearance in health and social care policy, with the Office for National Statistics undertaking the first UK national wellbeing survey in 2012. Although a lot of work has been done, there still doesn’t seem to be an agreed definition of what wellbeing is or [read the full story…]

Does racial discrimination affect the mental health of children and young people?

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Recent adult mental health policy initiatives, such as the Delivering Race Equality programme (PDF) show the increasing recognition of racial discrimination in NHS mental health services. In 2012 the NHS Confederation issued guidance on achieving race equality in mental health, which was summarised on the Mental Elf a while ago. These UK policy developments on [read the full story…]

Progressive muscle relaxation may help reduce anxiety in schizophrenia

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People with schizophrenia often experience psychological distress and anxiety. This can have a knock on impact on the positive (delusions and hallucinations) and negative (apathy, social withdrawal, cognitive impairments) symptoms of schizophrenia. As a result, there’s lots of interest in psychosocial approaches that may help patients relax. These include talking treatments like CBT, as well [read the full story…]

Measuring National Well-being: first annual report from the Office for National Statistics

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The Measuring National Well-being programme was set up in 2010 with a focused aim, to ‘develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people understand and monitor well-being’. The idea here is that we need to add meaningful economic, social and environmental measures to sit alongside the traditional Gross Domestic [read the full story…]

Department of Health publishes national framework to improve mental health and well-being

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The government has published the mental health implementation framework, which sets out what organisations can do to make the 6 high-level objectives of the mental health strategy No Health without Mental Health a reality. The 6 objectives of the strategy are that: More people will have good mental health More people with mental health problems [read the full story…]