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Combating anxiety is the main focus of Mental Health awareness week.

Anxiety is one of the leading causes of mental health illness and the main focus of this year's Mental Health Awareness week. See our report by David Wood.

If you need help

Contact Mind on 0300 123 3393 or mind.org.uk

Sane on 0845 767 8000 or sane.org.uk

You can talk to the Samaritans on 08457 909090

or NHS Direct on 0845 4647

Mental health nurses based at police stations & courts in £25m pilot scheme

A new pilot scheme posting mental health nurses at police stations and courts is to be trialled at ten locations nationwide - including Dorset, Sussex, Avon and Wiltshire and South Essex.

The care and support minister Norman Lamb said the project aims to reduce reoffending rates by mentally ill criminals, by ensuring the offenders are treated "as early as possible"

Care & Support Minister Norman Lamb (r), Minister for Policing & Criminal Justice Damian Green (c) with Custody Sergeant Jon Powell Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Department of Health said that the majority of people who end up in prison have a mental health problem, a substance misuse problem or a learning disability, and one in four has a severe mental health illness such as depression or psychosis.

Over the next year the £25m scheme will be used to join up police and courts systems with mental health services in Merseyside, London, Avon and Wiltshire, Leicester, Sussex, Dorset, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, Coventry, South Essex and Wakefield.

If the pilot project is successful, the measure will be rolled out across the rest of the country by 2017.

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Help for soldiers

Help for soldiers Credit: Press Association

NHS Kent and Medway is investing £150,000 over the next three years in a project to support people who have left or are leaving the armed forces.

There are 130,000 ex-service personnel in Kent and Medway and while evidence suggests they suffer no more mental illness than the general population, they often do not seek help because of the stigma around mental health experienced in the military.

Veterans aged 24 and under are two to three times as likely compared to non-veterans to commit suicide. This age group in particular can find it hard to ask for help when they rejoin civilian life.

Ex-military personnel have higher rates of alcohol misuse than the general population. The Kent and Medway Veterans Needs Assessment found a 16 per cent rate of alcohol misuse among ex-service personnel compared to six per cent in the general population.

Alcohol may be used as a coping strategy for mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

ITV Fixers: Mental health support in schools

It's supposed to be the best time of your life…but that's often not the case for many young people.

Government figures show that one in ten children of school age have a diagnosable mental health problem, including anxiety and depression.

The mental health charity, Young Minds, suggests that one in five show signs of an eating disorder.

In our latest update from Fixers - the campaign that gives young people a voice - a young Hampshire woman, who had severe depression and anxiety as a teenager, is on a mission to ensure schools support their pupils.

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