Jamal Edwards breaks taboos around men’s mental health – video

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Jamal Edwards, founder of film-making company SBTV, asks why so many men are taking their own lives, and whether society’s stereotypes of masculinity have stopped men from seeking help with depression

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Julia Gillard to take over from Jeff Kennett as chair of beyondblue

Board elects former PM unanimously as founder steps down, saying he will miss ‘my most important role’ outside family

Julia Gillard is to take over from Jeff Kennett as the chair of the mental health organisation beyondblue when he steps down on 1 July.

The former prime minister, who joined the board of beyondblue in 2014, was elected unanimously by the board, beyondblue said.

Related: Julia Gillard: from Australia’s first female prime minister to international superstar | Kristina Keneally

Delighted to take over the reins as @beyondblue Chair from @jeff_kennett – thank you Jeff & the board for your trust and support – JG pic.twitter.com/UJs83zArhC

A wonderful warrior for a really important cause. Well done. https://t.co/Z9FfSbFOvM via @abcnews

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

The revelation that four junior doctors have taken their own lives in recent months obliges us to look at why doctors with mental illnesses don’t speak up

The ceilings soar impressively high, the stained-glass windows are exquisite, and the satin-adorned pews stretch majestically to the dignified altar. Amid the silence punctuated by the barest of sobs, I spot doctors whom I have long lost track of. And row upon row of nurses, still tight years later. As we wait for the service to begin, we imagine we are all silently interrogating our memories about each other. Time parted us for decades before we have gathered in such dreadful circumstances.

“I wanted you to hear it from me,” a colleague had said, audibly upset on the phone. I nearly collided with the pavement when I heard.

Related: I wasn’t surprised by Four Corners. Bullying in medicine is as old as the profession | Ranjana Srivastava

Doctors say that the disclosure of mental illness poses a real threat – to license and insurance, career and reputation

Related: How doctors treat doctors may be medicine’s secret shame | Ranjana Srivastava

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Bravo, Sesame Street – your character with autism will erode ignorance | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

The arrival of Julia is a wonderful thing. Any child who watches her will learn about acceptance and understanding of difference

It is commonly held that kids can be cruel, but it’s not a phrase I have ever used, largely because I regard it as a spectacular understatement. Children can be, and frequently are, awful, vile, contemptible and vicious, along with many other things that I cannot put in a family newspaper.

I learned this from growing up with a brother who has autism. There were a few exceptions, but in the large part the children in our village were not equipped to understand or accept abnormal behaviour, and so resorted to mockery and imitation – behaviour that, thankfully, my brother’s severe disability precluded him from being hurt by, though that didn’t preclude me being affected by it.

The extent to which the discourse around autism has moved on even in the past decade is encouraging

Related: Sesame Street’s Count von Count and the lack of foreign voices on children’s TV

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Men need a drink to open up? What a dangerously self-fulfilling belief| Tom Usher

With suicide such a problem among young men, it’s time to dismantle the stereotype that men must cling to our pints like torches in the labyrinthø

Let’s be honest with each other, lads – and by lads I mean everyone who is reading this article, regardless of gender but still being called a lad by me, because I’m setting up a question in the next sentence that is primarily aimed at a gender often referred to in the UK as “lads”. How many times do you hang out with your mates in a group when you’re not drinking?

Well there’s midweek five-a-side isn’t there, with all the seething heat of competition, thinly veiled ignominy of loss and anywhere between eight and 16 scything, ligament-jarring tackles a game that it brings. Or there’s just hanging out playing PlayStation, with all the seething heat of competition, thinly veiled ignominy of loss and so on and so forth.

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Mental health care of people in prison | Letters

The prison and courts bill has its second reading in parliament tomorow. For the first time, the purpose of prisons will be enshrined in law. We support the Royal College of Psychiatrists in urging the government to ensure prisons meet the mental and physical health needs of prisoners. Almost a quarter of the prison population suffers from personality disorders, bipolar disorder or depression. Prisoners will eventually return to the community. When they are released, any untreated mental illness is released with them. Prisons must be clearly responsible for tackling the mental disorders, which if left untreated, could cause prisoners to reoffend. The prison and courts bill is an opportunity to prevent prison suicide, reduce reoffending and foster rehabilitation. We urge the government not to waste it.
Norman Lamb MP Lib Dem health lead, Richard Burgon MP Shadow secretary of state for Justice, Dan Poulter MP Former health minister (Conservative), Kate Green MP Vice-chair, all-party parliamentary group on penal affairs (Labour), Johnny Mercer MP Vice-chair, APPG on mental health (Conservative)

• There are several reasons which couldhelp the governmentto explain why England and Wales have the highest imprisonment rate in western Europe (Report, 15 March). There is shocking deprivation in many cities and ever-rising homelessness. The single adult unemployment benefit is £73.10 a week; it has reduced in value since 1979 and has not been increased since April 2015. That £73.10 a week is incapable of providing a healthy diet and other necessities for a woman during the development of a child in her womb. Poor maternal nutrition and low birth weight have, since 1972, been called he strongest predictor of poor learning ability, school performance, behavioral disorders and crime by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

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Don’t stick your head in the sand – how to prepare for old age

As we live longer, the numbers of people needing care is also soaring. So what help can those trying to access a creaking, cash-starved system expect?

When I was 16, I spent two months in Italy with my maternal grandparents – then both 88. My grandmother had fallen over some months previously and was bedridden, but my grandfather was still active, physically and mentally; we would regularly play Scopa – an Italian card game – together. His memory rendered him unbeatable.

The family would take it in turns to attend to my grandmother; the more senior adults doing the more serious jobs such as cleaning her, with me doing the softer jobs: combing her hair, giving her a manicure, applying lip salve. When she was very sick, my young cousins and I took it in turns to do the nights. The community nurse, Sabino, visited daily, taking coffee with us in between administering medications. Thirty years later, we are still friends with him. Both grandparents died aged 89, cared for almost exclusively at home (at the very end, my grandfather went to hospital) and by the family.

Related: Paying for care at home: how to negotiate the minefield

Get cancer and your care is paid for. Get dementia and it’s a different story

There are now more than nine million carers in England looking after family members

Related: English social care system for elderly facing ‘complete collapse’

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Male construction workers at greatest risk of suicide, study finds

Figures for deaths in England suggest highest risk among women is for those employed in culture, media and sport

Men working in the construction industry and women employed in culture, media and sport, healthcare and primary school teaching are at the highest risk of suicide, official figures for England suggest.

 

Related: Strong link between disadvantage and suicide, says Samaritans

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How can I ever work again after the trauma of whistleblowing?

I felt I had no choice but to expose fraud at work, but was bullied and ignored. Now I have lost all hope in work

Twice a week we publish problems that will feature in a forthcoming Dear Jeremy advice column in the Saturday Guardian so that readers can offer their own advice and suggestions. We then print the best of your comments alongside Jeremy’s own insights.

Six years ago I was a whistleblower at my workplace. I worked there for three years, but from my first day I noticed daily cover-ups, misuse of position and daily cash fraud.

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Money earmarked for mental health diverted to balance NHS books

Letter from finance chief Paul Baumann says contingency of £800m will be used to offset hospital overspends

Ministers have been accused of breaking their promises on mental health after £800m earmarked to improve services was diverted to shore up hospitals’ finances.

A leading mental health charity and the Labour party said redirecting the money would hit patient care and hinder the drive, backed by Theresa May, to improve care for people with serious mental health problems.

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Have you been affected by combat stress?

The case of Marine A has highlighted how stress can affect soldiers on active duty. If you or anyone you know has been affected by PTSD or mental health issues, we’d like to hear from you. Share your experiences

In 2011 the British army were deployed in two major conflicts, Iraq and Afghanistan. The intense fighting experienced by soldiers on the frontline in places like Helmand province in Afghanistan were well-documented. However the psychological impact of troops returning time and time again to the frontline is less well known.

Though Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been understood as a condition of war for a longtime, it can often go under-reported. Charities such as The Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and Combat Stress have gone a long way towards supporting soldiers with PTSD and other mental health issues, however the condition can still carry a stigma, which may prevent those on active duty and even soldiers who have retired, from reporting it.

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Noise-cancelling headphones: the secret survival tool for modern life

Headphones that block out sound were first invented for airplane pilots on long flights and have for some become a vital part of daily life

There’s one thing other than my wallet and my travel card I wouldn’t be without in a big city, and it’s my headphones. But I don’t actually listen to music that much: I just activate the noise-cancelling feature, and leave it at that.

No sound plays into my ears – instead a quiet fills my head, as if the sounds of the world have been turned down. Until I got noise-cancelling headphones, I had no idea how loud the city always was, and just how hungry I’d been for silence.

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City-dwellers are prone to depression – are high-rises to blame?

Residents of high-rise blocks tend to suffer from more stress, mental health difficulties and neurosis

Prof Colin Ellard was walking past the rows of new-build towers that dominate the west of central Toronto when he had a sudden realisation. “I was struck by how dark, sombre and sad these new urban canyons made me feel,” he says.

Ellard, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada who studies the impact of places on the brain and body, wanted to know why he felt like that – and if others felt the same.

Related: Can prefab homes solve UK’s housing crisis?

Related: London’s changing skyline: planned tall buildings ‘almost double in two years’

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I hate restraining mental health patients but often it’s the only option

Sarah needed medication but could not see that she was unwell. Restraint in her case was planned and not some awful mistake

People imagine mental health nurses like me as kind and gentle, as mother figures in uniform. What they don’t see is the harm we do to our patients: we lock them away, we restrain them and we take away their freedom. We do this in line with the law and we firmly believe we are doing the right thing. We are not “nice”, but when I look at my colleagues, I see strong, selfless, determined heroes.

I wish I could offer service users something better: a peaceful outdoor space, their own room, something less clinical than easy wipe armchairs. Most of them do not even agree that they are unwell and this deeply felt sense of injustice permeates the ward.

Related: End humiliating restraint of mentally ill people, say charities

Related: We need safe, compassionate mental health care | Norman Lamb

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TV dramas should not portray suicide methods, say MPs

Select committee also calls for news media to stop raising awareness of methods, which puts vulnerable people at risk

Greater restrictions should be placed on the portrayal of suicide in TV dramas to prevent encouraging copycats, say MPs.

In a report on the government’s suicide prevention strategy, the House of Commons health select committee, chaired by the Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, raises fears that irresponsible media coverage has a damaging effect on vulnerable people.

Related: After my suicide crisis I set up a centre to give others a safety net | Joy Hibbins

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