The Health News United Kingdom February 22 2018

  • A group of mental health charities is due to meet MPs t to call for action on what they describe as the worsening mental health crisis in Northern Ireland. The meetings, involving charities from Northern Ireland, will take place at Westminster. They say the situation is being exacerbated by Northern Ireland’s ongoing “political dysfunction”.
    The delegation is led by Action Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation.Talks to restore the Stormont assembly collapsed on Wednesday. The delegates are expected to demand that Westminster acts quickly to deliver the agreed mental health priorities.
  • Research has found that thousands of people hospitalised during a mental health crisis are also battling problem debt, with many struggling to cope with a relentless flow of emails and phone calls from creditors. The Government is being urged to offer a “window of protection” to psychiatric inpatients in the light of data suggesting twenty three thousand people in England alone were attempting to cope with problem debt while hospitalised due to mental ill health last year. The Breathing Space scheme is intended to allow individuals in debt time to get on top of their finances before they spiral out of control.
  • According to the largest study of its kind ever conducted, heavy drinkers are putting themselves at risk of dementia.  Research published in the Lancet Public Health journal provides powerful evidence that people who drink enough to end up in hospital are putting themselves at serious risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It will also raise questions for moderate drinkers about the possible long-term consequences of their social habit.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43121996

A group of mental health charities is due to meet Members of Parliament to call for action on what they describe as the worsening mental health crisis in Northern Ireland. The meetings, involving charities from Northern Ireland, will take place at Westminster. They say the situation is being exacerbated by Northern Ireland’s ongoing “political dysfunction”.

The delegation is led by Action Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation.Talks to restore the Stormont assembly collapsed on Wednesday. The delegates are expected to demand that Westminster acts quickly to deliver the agreed mental health priorities. David Babington, the chief executive of Action Mental Health said the group had made the trip as London “needs to sit up and take notice”.
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Recent statistics revealed that more people have died through taking their own life since the Good Friday Agreement than died in the entirety of the Troubles. More than four thousand four hundred suicides were registered in Northern Ireland in the years between nineteen ninety eight and two thousand sixteen compared with more than three hundred six hundred people who died during the Troubles.
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Doctor Iris Elliott of the Mental Health Foundation is also travelling to London. She said that during the last thirteen months “we have lost so many opportunities to support people experiencing mental health problems and prevent their occurrence”.

https://inews.co.uk/news/martin-lewis-stop-hounding-mental-health-patients-crisis-problem-debt/

Research has found that thousands of people hospitalised during a mental health crisis are also battling problem debt, with many struggling to cope with a relentless flow of emails and phone calls from creditors. The Government is being urged to offer a “window of protection” to psychiatric inpatients in the light of data suggesting twenty three thousand people in England alone were attempting to cope with problem debt while hospitalised due to mental ill health last year.

A report published on Tuesday by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) warns that vulnerable mental health patients are likely to be receiving calls and emails from banks, credit card companies, local authorities and other creditors while in acute distress and potentially feeling suicidal.  Set up last year by Martin Lewis, the founder of the consumer organisation MoneySavingExpert, the MMHPI produces guidance for banks, regulators and the government to help protect people with mental health problems from financial difficulties.

Under current government proposals out for consultation, people in problem debt would be given a fixed period without fees, charges, interest or collection activity if they seek debt advice. The Breathing Space scheme is intended to allow individuals in debt time to get on top of their finances before they spiral out of control. Instances were uncovered of patients attempting to end their own lives after receiving contact from bailiffs while hospitalised It does not currently support the tens of thousands of mentally ill patients too unwell to manage their finances alone or seek help.

The MMHPI – which uncovered instances of patients receiving a court summons for debts while in hospital, missing payments while hospitalised, leading to escalating charges, and attempting to end their own lives after receiving contact from bailiffs while receiving emergency treatment – is urging the Government to extend the Breathing Space scheme to cover people in hospital dealing with a mental health crisis.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/20/chronic-heavy-drinking-leads-to-serious-risk-of-dementia-study-warns

According to the largest study of its kind ever conducted, heavy drinkers are putting themselves at risk of dementia.  Research published in the Lancet Public Health journal provides powerful evidence that people who drink enough to end up in hospital are putting themselves at serious risk of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It will also raise questions for moderate drinkers about the possible long-term consequences of their social habit.

The study, which used the French National Hospital Discharge database, looked at more than a million people diagnosed with dementia between two thousand eight and two thousand thirteen. More than a third – thirty eight percent of the fifty seven thousand cases of early-onset dementia – were directly alcohol-related and eighteen percent had an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorders. Overall, alcohol use disorders were associated with a three times greater risk of all types of dementia.

Doctor Sara Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “As this study only looked at the people who had been admitted to hospital due to chronic heavy drinking, it doesn’t reveal the full extent of the link between alcohol use and dementia risk. Previous research has indicated that even moderate drinking may have a negative impact on brain health and people shouldn’t be under the impression that only drinking to the point of hospitalisation carries a risk.”
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A study published in the British Medical Journal last year found that those who drank fourteen to twenty one units a week had three times the normal odds of damage to that part of the brain concerned with memory. Guidance in the UK is not to drink more than fourteen units a week.

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