Suicidal children face long delays for mental health care

A recent study into under-18s with “serious mental health problems” has discovered that suicidal children “as young as 12” are forced to wait more than two weeks for beds in mental health units. This is due to “staff shortages” troubling the NHS at this moment in time.

In some cases, children are taken just under 300 miles away from their nearest capital city due to a lack of beds. The government has stated that “more than 100 beds” have opened across the country in recent years, with plans for 40 new ones by March”.

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Knife crime: 1,000 young victims hospitalised last year

Last week NHS England published figures that highlighted a sharp rise in the number of young patients treated for “injuries from knives” over the past five years. This 54% rise includes an increasing number of girls involved in knife crime, with doctors also warning that injuries “were becoming more severe and victims getting younger”.

Last month Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a new knife crime prevention order which will give police more powers to tackle this “endemic”.

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Environment in multiple crises – report

The IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, has warned that “the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes is rapidly closing”. The report urges three shifts in “political understanding”.

This issue is close to home for the UK as we’ve been described as “one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world” with topsoil eroding hitting in the millions on tonnes every year and population sizes of the most threated species having “decreased by two-thirds since 1970”.

According to the IPPR, we have “entered a new era of rapid environmental change”.

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Smoking in pregnancy: Stigma 'causes women to do it in private'

This week Cardiff University researchers unveiled findings that pregnant women could be “hiding their habits” due to the negative stigma towards their smoking during pregnancy. Comments made to the researchers included the pregnant women feeling “irritated and alienated” and instead of facing the “judgemental tone” from health staff or the general public, they would instead smoke at home and not engage with quit services.

Dr Dunla Gallagher from the Cardiff study team stated that “rather than stigma, women need empathy and a recognition of the challenges that pregnancy can bring”.

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Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2016/17

A recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released last week revealed that “Nearly 19 million people” are living below the minimum income standard in 2016/17. This is a 3.5 million increase compared to 2008/09. Other MIS standard increases include children in single-parent households and single pensioner households.

The report recommends that the Government “should lift the freeze on working-age tax credits and Universal Credit” so that support “keeps up” with the rising cost of living.

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