In the news: Benefits of honey, self harm and why rewards don’t improve attendance

Date: 29/08/2018 Written by: Kelly 2 minutes to read.
News Review

Low income tenants have to choose between heating and eating, over 100,000 teens are self harming, bots that can help depression and rewarding people doesn't always work. These are just a few of the stories which have caught our eye these past couple of weeks and we've given a brief overview of our favourites below.

Low-income tenants face 'heat, eat or pay rent' choices

Housing benefit freeze is leaving poorest private renters with shortfall of up to £140 a week. Low-income tenants in the private rented sector face a “heat, eat or pay rent” problem because housing benefit rates have failed to keep up with the soaring cost of accommodation, a study has found.

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Quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK have self-harmed, report finds

Children’s Society analysis suggests tens of thousands hurting themselves on purpose. More than 100,000 children aged 14 in the UK are self-harming, with one in four girls of this age having deliberately hurt themselves, according to a new report. In figures that show the scale of the mental health crisis affecting young people, the Children’s Survey analysed a survey of 11,000 14-year-olds which found that a quarter of girls and nearly one in 10 boys had self-harmed in a year.

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Promote honey rather than antibiotics for coughs, doctors told

GPs are being urged to tell patients to use over-the-counter remedies rather than the drugs. Doctors are to be told to promote honey and over-the-counter remedies as the go-to treatment for coughs rather than antibiotics. They will be told not to offer the drugs in most cases and to instead encourage patients to use self-care products, under new draft guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

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Contraception app advert banned by UK regulator

An advert on Facebook for an app that provides a natural alternative to contraception has been banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. Claims that it was "highly accurate" and "provided a clinically tested alternative to other birth control methods" were found to be misleading.The Swedish firm behind the Natural Cycles app was warned "not to exaggerate" its efficacy.

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'Rewards don't improve school attendance'

According to a large-scale study of secondary school students in California in the US, awards for good school attendance seem to make no significant difference - and in some circumstances, could make absenteeism worse. The study, published by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Massachusetts, examined the effect of rewards schemes on more than 15,000 students in 14 school districts in California.

Researchers found that if prizes were promised in advance, it made no difference to whether pupils attended. If the rewards were retrospective, in recognition of high levels of attendance, it seemed to have a negative impact on the winners' future school attendance.

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VIDEO: Depressed? Try talking to this bot

Chatbots are being taught to assist people in dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The bots do not treat or diagnose - but human therapists have some reservations about the tech.

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