Manchester care home offers residents chance to relive the past

Fiona Gardens care facility in Sale opens up 1950-style Reminiscence Room to help boost memory of those with dementia

With Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers crooning on the stereogram and a Singer sewing machine whirring in the corner, residents at a care home in Manchester are being transported back to the 1950s in an attempt to boost their memory.

The Reminiscence Room has been painstakingly recreated with mid-century furniture, aged wallpaper and wall-to-wall lace doilies in the hope that it will help those with dementia connect with their past.

Related: Reel life: the biographical films bringing joy to people with dementia

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I took my first antidepressant this week. The effects were frightening | Deborah Orr

The number of people with mental health problems is soaring, and the crisis-ridden NHS cannot cope

• Deborah Orr is a Guardian columnist

Most people know about SSRIs, the antidepressant drugs that stop the brain from re-absorbing too much of the serotonin we produce, to regulate mood, anxiety and happiness. And a lot of people know about these drugs first hand, for the simple reason that they have used them. Last year, according to NHS Digital, no fewer than 64.7m antidepressant prescriptions were given in England alone. In a decade, the number of prescriptions has doubled.

Related: Have I got depression? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jay Watts

Related: Drugs alone won’t cure the epidemic of depression. We need strategy | Mark Rice-Oxley

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Stress levels rising for mental health services | Letter

Survey findings from today’s State of the NHS Provider Sector report provide a stark warning about mental health trusts’ ability to deal with growing demand

We have had repeated commitments from the very top of government to address the injustices faced by people with mental health problems.

We have welcomed the growing recognition of the distress caused, and the steps announced to achieve equity between the treatment of mental and physical health.

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NHS bosses warn of mental health crisis with long waits for treatment

Report finds 80% fear they cannot provide timely, high-quality care to the growing numbers seeking help

Mental health services are so overwhelmed by soaring demand that patients are facing long delays to access care, a powerful group of NHS mental health trust bosses have warned.

Widespread shortages of specialist nurses and psychiatrists mean Theresa May’s pledge to tackle the “burning injustice of mental illness” is at risk according to chief executives and chairs from 37 of England’s 53 specialist mental health trusts.

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1.2 million people in England and Wales will have dementia by 2040 – study

Predicted rise of disease down to people living longer, but research unravelling biomarkers of Alzheimer’s give hope of finding a cure

More than 1.2 million people are expected to be living with dementia in England and Wales by 2040, up from almost 800,000 today, research suggests.

Researchers say the predicted rise in the prevalence of dementia is largely down to people living longer, but add that the figures also show that the risk of developing dementia for each age group is falling – a finding they say suggests that preventive strategies are having an impact.

Related: Drop in dementia rates suggests disease can be prevented, researchers say

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Prison suicides are soaring. More inmates should be trained to prevent this, as I was | Jonathan Aitken

With Osborne’s legacy of a 30% cut, staff cannot cope with the crisis. It would cost little to save lives by empowering prisoners and working with charities

• Jonathan Aitken is a former Tory MP who served a prison sentence for perjury

The soaring suicide and self-harming rates in our prisons are reaching crisis levels. Last week’s National Audit Office report confirmed this: in 2016 there were a record 120 self-inflicted prison deaths – a doubling of the number within four years – and more than 40,000 self-harm incidents in English and Welsh prisons. Overstretched staff are simply unable to cope with the extra suicide prevention measures that are needed.

Related: Suicide and self-harm in prisons hit worst ever levels

I think I calmed a few people down with gentle mentoring that may have prevented one or two tragedies

Related: The prison service has been cut to the bone and we struggle to keep control

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‘Spiritual abuse’: Christian thinktank warns of sharp rise in UK exorcisms

Report by Theos warns that “astonishing” increase in exorcisms is doing harm to people with mental health problems

Exorcisms are a booming industry in the UK, partly driven by immigrant communities and Pentecostal churches, according to a report from a Christian thinktank.

However, the vast majority of people being exorcised have mental health problems that require psychiatric assistance, says the report, published on Wednesday by Theos.

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Have I got depression? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Jay Watts

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

• Dr Jay Watts is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and senior lecturer

Depression is the curse of modernity, affecting more and more of us. It is the black dog that haunts us, the lethargy that makes it impossible to get out of bed. It is the vacuum of meaning which sucks out all our desire, our hope, so we are left in an empty void. Sadness is something we all experience, part of the fluctuations in moods that make up everyday experience. But depression? Depression is something else.

Related: Drugs alone won’t cure the epidemic of depression. We need strategy | Mark Rice-Oxley

There are many of us who have been at death’s door as a result of mental health problems and yet have found a way back

Related: It’s good to talk about mental health. But is it enough? | Eva Wiseman

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Lib Dems may back government on case-by-case basis, say sources

Party would be ‘up for talking’ to Tories about supporting issues such as mental health and housing outside of a formal deal

Liberal Democrat MPs will consider supporting the government on key issues such as housing and mental health, but sources said the party would agree no formal deal after Theresa May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, contacted his counterpart in Tim Farron’s office.

Last week, Barwell, the former MP for Croydon Central, contacted the Lib Dems to discuss circumstances where the party might back the government, but on Tuesday Lib Dem sources played down the significance of the meeting.

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‘I cried every day at work’: mental health among doctors is still taboo

Readers share stories of sleep deprivation, bullying and an institutional lack of support in a high-performing profession. They describe how they suffered and what helped them

We asked Guardian readers to share their experience about a prevalent issue among Australia’s doctors and medical students alike: unrelenting pressure, inhumane working hours and brutal competition is driving health professionals to the brink of suicide. Readers report depression, anxiety, burnout and post traumatic stress disorder.

Our call-out revealed a toxic mix of a culture of bravado, antisocial shifts and the feeling of not being able to show weakness and fragility in a profession that is expected treat to the most vulnerable members of our society.

Related: Medical training is a tragedy waiting to happen. We shouldn’t be silent about it | Georgina Dent

Related: To stop doctors ending their lives, we need to hear from those suffering | Ranjana Srivastava

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Julia Gillard urges caution when discussing Donald Trump’s mental health – video

The former Australian prime minister and new chair of beyondblue cautions against throwing around the charge of being mentally ill as an insult but acknowledges some have a genuine concern about US president

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Julia Gillard reflects on Trump’s mental health and her own anxiety when prime minister

Beyondblue chair acknowledges some have a genuine concern for the US president and says she had to consider her mental health during difficult moments in her prime ministership

Julia Gillard has weighed into Donald Trump’s odd Twitter behaviour, acknowledging there will be questions about his mental health.

The new chair of beyondblue and the former Australian Labor prime minister cautioned against throwing around the charge of being mentally ill as an insult but acknowledged some had a genuine concern for the president.

Related: Trump’s tweet attacking CNN is ‘un-American’, top media ethicist says

Related: The gap in the G20 agenda (and why world leaders should listen to Rihanna) | Julia Gillard

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Blessed to have worked with Joel Joffe, who helped save Mandela | Letters

Andrew McCulloch and Mike Coates remember the lawyer who helped Nelson Mandela escape the death penalty. Plus Giles Oakley shares the late Barry Norman’s advice about dressing up for redundancy

In his obituary of Lord Joffe (28 June), John Battersby suggests that Joffe was important among those who prevailed upon Nelson Mandela, in his famous speech from the dock in 1964, to not offer himself directly for martyrdom, thus saving the impetuous Mandela from himself. However, all of the eight defendants were found guilty of high treason, a capital crime. Nevertheless, Mr Justice Quartus de Wet deliberately chose not to impose the death penalty for reasons of state and sentenced all eight to life imprisonment. Decades later, the result of a long rapprochement between the imprisoned, moderate Mandela and the increasingly threatened apartheid state was Mandela as the first president of post-apartheid South Africa.
Andrew McCulloch
Collingham, Nottinghamshire

• Thank you for the quality and range of John Battersby’s obituary for Joel Joffe, who was one of the most gracious and inspiring people I have met. It was very pleasing to note that the piece mentioned Allied Dunbar Charitable Trust’s support for projects concerned with mental illness. In 1987 the trust established its schizophrenia policy and this ran until 1992 – contributing about £2m to a variety of innovative approaches across the UK. A six-member advisory committee was set up to oversee this work; I served as a housing adviser and my close colleague David Lyne served as leader of Making Space, a mental health charity based in Warrington. Joel chaired the team with passionate commitment, a grasp of the policy and practical questions we faced – and a wonderful sense of humour. I feel truly blessed to have worked so closely with him.
Mike Coates
Lymm, Warrington

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Drugs alone won’t cure the epidemic of depression. We need strategy | Mark Rice-Oxley

In my own odyssey through this valley of shadows I have mulled over three approaches – between them, they offer a pathway to a wider societal cure

It’s become as inevitable as the rise and rise of global temperatures or the perennial high-water mark of examination grades: another year, another record number of antidepressants dispensed by doctors up and down the country. This is one of those trends that should be both celebrated and castigated in equal measure. Celebrated, because at last we found something that can help some people deal with an insidious, depleting, often ruinous clinical condition. Castigated because if antidepressants are the answer, we’re not asking the right question.

First, the good bit. Contrary to what detractors may say, antidepressants are not addictive and there is no tolerance effect. They are not like benzodiazapines or opioids – you don’t need more and more of them to obtain the same level of relief. Theoretically, you can sit quite comfortably on the same dose for ever, though it should also be noted that there is little research into long-term usage of these medicines. And while it’s true that science still doesn’t quite know how they work, it is clear that they have helped a great number of people, and certainly saved lives.

Related: NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year

If a register could be established, GPs could prescribe hour-long buddy sessions, rather than pills, where appropriate

Show me a winner and I’ll show you someone on the verge of cracking up

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Joan Bicknell obituary

Brilliant clinician who was appointed professor of psychiatry of learning disability at St George’s, University of London

In 1980, Joan Bicknell, who has died aged 78 of cancer, was appointed professor of psychiatry of learning disability – the first British female professor of psychiatry – at what is now St George’s, University of London. A brilliant clinician, she put the disabled person and their family at the centre of each consultation.

She was in constant demand to speak to trainees, parent groups and learning disability services about her vision of what could be done, and published dozens of papers for both clinicians and families. An article drawn from her inaugural lecture as a professor in 1981, The Psychopathology of Handicap, was published in the journal Psychological Medicine, and remains inspirational today.

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