The Health News United Kingdom October 12 2017

  • Prince Harry has said mental health strategies for armed forces personnel are crucial to create a “more confident, focused and, ultimately, more combat-ready military”. Announcing a joint initiative between the MoD and the Royal Foundation, created by the prince and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to tackle mental health issues, Harry said mental health strategies needed to be at the forefront of armed forces personnel training.
  • A charity says that both boys and girls should be taught about periods at school. Plan International UK says not talking about it can be damaging and wants it to be discussed in class. The charity has carried out a survey of one thousand girls aged 14-21, which suggests almost half are embarrassed by periods.
  • Sweating in a sauna at least twice a week could slash the risk of potentially deadly infections like pneumonia, research shows published in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Men who enjoyed sauna sessions on a regular basis were almost 30 per cent less likely to develop the life-threatening illness.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/09/prince-harry-mental-health-should-be-at-heart-of-armed-forces-training

Prince Harry has said mental health strategies for armed forces personnel are crucial to create a “more confident, focused and, ultimately, more combat-ready military”. In a speech at the Ministry of Defence, the thirty three-year-old prince, who spent ten years in the army, said that as the number of active-duty personnel had been reduced there was a premium on “every individual being fighting fit and deployable”. Announcing a joint initiative between the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Foundation, created by the prince and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to tackle mental health issues, Harry said mental health strategies needed to be at the forefront of armed forces personnel training. He added: “Quite simply, these men and women are prized assets which need to be continually invested in. We surely have to think of them as high-performance athletes, carrying all their kit, equipment and a rifle. Crucially, fighting fitness is not just about physical fitness. It is just as much about mental fitness too.” The MoD said the move would build upon a recently launched government strategy aimed at improving mental health among military workers, civilian staff, their families and veterans.
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As part of the joint initiative, the foundation will offer advice and resources to improve training, education and information-sharing for the whole of the armed forces. The initiative is expected to include annual briefings, websites and specialist support to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health among military personnel. The defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said: “By looking after our mental health we are building a more effective armed forces that helps keep this country safe. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen are the best in the world, but we will only maintain that if we are as serious about improving mental health as we are our combat skills and cutting-edge technology.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/41510170/both-sexes-should-be-taught-about-periods-together-at-school—charity

A charity says that both boys and girls should be taught about periods at school. Plan International UK says not talking about it can be damaging and wants it to be discussed in class.

The charity has carried out a survey of one thousand girls aged  fourteen to twenty one, which suggests almost half are embarrassed by periods. Kerry Smith, head of girls’ rights at Plan International UK said “I think there is a stigma and taboo around periods. Girls and boys aren’t being told about periods enough.” As well as being embarrassed by them, one in seven of the girls and women interviewed said they did not know what was happening when they first started their period.

The survey suggests only twenty four percent of girls feel comfortable discussing their period with their male friends. Kerry Smith from children’s charity Plan International UK says boys have told her they want to know more. The charity says not talking about it can be damaging and wants boys and girls to learn more about periods throughout secondary school.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education in England said: “Schools can already teach about menstruation through an inclusive sex and relationships education programme – it is also part of the national curriculum for science.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/09/saunas-cut-pneumonia-risk/

Sweating in a sauna at least twice a week could slash the risk of potentially deadly infections like pneumonia, research shows. Men who enjoyed sauna sessions on a regular basis were almost thirty percent less likely to develop the life-threatening illness. And four times a week or more cut the risk even further, by almost forty percent. Saunas also reduced the chances of falling ill with asthma and other chest complaints. The findings, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, are the latest in a series of studies showing saunas can bolster the health of both sexes. Another recent study found they could lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. And last year scientists found regular hot sessions in a sauna bath could even lower the chances of dementia. Saunas have been used for thousands of years in Finland as a form of pleasure and relaxation. Anecdotal evidence suggests they ease sore joints, headaches and clear up skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.With their increasing popularity around the world, scientists have started to investigate the evidence for claimed health benefits.

Researchers from Bristol University and the University of Eastern Finland studied a population of one thousand nine hundred thirty five men aged from forty two to sixty one and tracked their health over a quarter of a century. Researchers recorded how often each man used a sauna and then documented how many were admitted to hospital over the next twenty five years for severe asthma attacks, pneumonia caused by chest infections and complications caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD. This is a serious lung ailment often caused by smoking. The results revealed three hundred seventy nine of the men needed hospital treatment for respiratory illnesses during the study period. But those who had a sauna two to three times a week were twenty seven per cent less likely to fall ill than men who rarely or never used them. Sauna fans enjoying four or more sessions a week were forty one percent less likely to develop pneumonia. Although it was a men-only study, the benefits are likely to apply to women too. Pneumonia is the sixth biggest cause of death in the UK, claiming an estimated twenty nine thousand lives a year.

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