The Health News United Kingdom September 19 2017

Overview

  • The annual flu jab can offer little or no protection against the virus in elderly people, research suggests. Experts are now considering a boosted jab with more active ingredients.
  • A Freedom of Information request by BBC Wales has found out that children as young as six have been recorded as self-harming in schools. One council said self-harm referrals to social services by their schools had risen six-fold in three years.
  • Approximately £115 million a year is invested on research into mental health in the UK – that means just £8 is spent on mental health research per each affected individual. Statistics show mental health research needs a serious and sizable boost, fast.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/855029/NHS-Flu-jab-virus-older-people-protection-research

Figures published in the British Medical Journal indicates the one hundred sixty million pound winter public health campaign may have been a waste of money for those over sixty five, its principal target. Now the government’s Joint Council on Vaccination and Immunisation is discussing plans to abandon the jab for pensioners and replace it with something it hopes will be more effective.The present vaccine has components altered each year to bring about immunity to the three strains that are most likely to be circulating. Now experts are considering introducing a boosted jab with more active ingredients. This follows Public Health England figures, revealed in a recent BMJ paper, which show having the vaccine did not reduce the chance pensioners developing the illness at all last year. In two thousand fifteen to two thousand sixteen the same government data source showed the vaccine was more effective, reducing the risk of an elderly person having the virus by twenty nine percent.

But the year before – two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen – their risk was reduced by just three percent. Minutes of the last meeting of the joint council suggested a new vaccine would be considered for next year concluding in those aged eighteen to sixty four years, vaccine effectiveness was “modest for all strains”, and those aged sixty five years and over “effectiveness was even lower.” Professor Robert Dingwall, an expert in influenza and social sciences at Nottingham Trent University who has examined the latest figures, said: “We need to take this seriously and ask some critical questions about what is going on here. Figures show that the jab didn’t reduce the chance of pensioners developing the illness at all last year.
Doctor Richard Peabody head of respiratory viruses and influenza Public Health England, said the recommendation remained that people over sixty five have the current flu jab.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-41267915

A Freedom of Information request by BBC Wales has found that children as young as six have been recorded as self-harming in schools. One council said self-harm referrals to social services by their schools had risen six-fold in three years. The National Education Union (NEU) has urged the Welsh Government to introduce wellbeing officers into schools. The government said its education and health ministers had been in talks and would make an announcement “shortly”. Only three of Wales’ twenty two councils provided responses to the request about the number of incidents within local authority schools. Pembrokeshire council said there were forty eight incidents in its schools in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen – up from eight in two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen – with the youngest pupil aged six. All forty eight pupils were referred to social services.

Wales is the only UK country where schools have a legal requirement to make counselling available for children older than year six, but the children’s commissioner for Wales said that was “not enough”.

The Welsh Government said its Talk to Me 2 strategy supported young people “known to be most vulnerable to suicide and self-harm”. A spokesman said that the education secretary and health secretary have been considering how emotional resilience and mental health can be strengthened in school settings and we’ll be making a significant announcement shortly.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/15/we-need-to-increase-mental-health-research-dramatically-6927533/

In the last financial year, Cancer Research spent four hundred thirty two million pounds on research. Over the next few years, The British Heart Foundation plans to fund more than half a billion pounds of cardiovascular research. Approximately one hundred fifteen million pounds
a year is invested on research into mental health in the UK. That means just eight pounds is spent on mental health research per each affected individual in a year. By some estimates, cancer research receives twenty two times more funding per affected person a year. While cancer and heart research is of vital importance, with at least one of those conditions touching our lives in one way or another in our lifetime, right now, around one in four people in the UK is living with a mental health condition.That equates to some fifteen million people with an illness that can turn their life upside down, affecting their well-being, relationships and their ability to work. For a huge number, mental illness can be a painful, exhausting and isolating experience and for over six thousand people every year in the UK alone, it results in suicide.

MQ is one of the first major mental health research charities. They are currently aiming to research into improving understanding, improving current treatments and preventing mental illness.Their vision is simple: to create a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated and ultimately prevented. If you or someone you love is facing or has ever faced a mental illness, you’ll no doubt be fully on board with that vision. The statistics highlighting the cost of mental illness to life, society, and the economy shows just how desperately mental health research needs a serious and sizable boost, fast. The economic and social cost of mental health in England alone is estimated to be over one hundred five billion pounds annually and a financial cost to UK business assessed to be around twenty six billion pounds every year – the equivalent to an astronomical one thousand thirty five pounds per employee, enough to cause any boss to break a sweat.

Stigma and discrimination, frustratingly, still exist around mental illness. And with it being harder to define particular causes, outcomes, and treatments of mental illness, it is often a challenge to show the impact that research can have to the public, which presents difficulties for fundraisers.

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