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Teenage boys with mental health problems 'on the rise'

The number of teenage boys suffering from mental health problems is on the rise, with more boys suffering from anorexia, a top head teacher has warned.

Male pupils are developing mental health issues because they are under pressure to achieve academically, experts warned. Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Bernard Trafford, who runs Newcastle's Royal Grammar School, warned the number of male pupils suffering from an anxiety-related condition has risen as they are under pressure to achieve academically.

Childline figures from 2012 - 2013 suggest 278,886 calls to their hotline were made by young people regarding mental health issues, with 5,208 made by boys about image issues.

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 443 children under 13 were treated for an eating disorder by the NHS in 2010-11, including 79 under 10.

Mr Trafford explained: "One in 10 children will suffer from a mental health disorder at some stage of their school career, that's two of three in every class and it's getting worse."

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Samaritans: One in six calls to us are about money worries

One in six calls made to the Samaritans is about money worries and it is generally men making those calls.

Figures published today show that in the last five years the calls about money, jobs and housing have nearly doubled.

The charity is gearing up for a busy period this Christmas. Earlier, we spoke to Libby from the Samaritans. We started by asking her how the Samaritans can help people under financial pressure.

Full report: People considering suicide after losing ill-health benefits, says charity

A Tyneside charity says it is now dealing with cases of people contemplating suicide because they are no longer entitled to ill-health benefits.

Mind in Gateshead says that the Government's back-to-work scheme does not take mental health seriously enough and is forcing people back to work too soon. A review into the scheme published today recommends that benefits assessors get more training around mental health. Dan Ashby reports.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear health trust responds to patient data

A statement from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust said:

"Reasons for restraint can include a patient being violent or aggressive to either themselves or others with a small percentage of patients requiring high levels of restraint due to the complex nature of their illness.

"Analysis of our figures has shown that a small group of less than 50 patients, who demonstrate very complex and high-risk behaviours, account for over two thirds of the recorded incidents of restraint.

"Our staff are given extensive training in recognition, prevention and de-escalation skills as well as methods of physical restraint and the risks associated with the use of physical restraint to ensure that they can manage episodes of violence and aggression in a safe, supportive, dignified and professional manner in line with national guidance.

"As one of the largest mental health and disability trusts in the country, covering two large cities in the North East, we recognise we are one of the highest reporters among those organisations who responded to Mind's Freedom of Information request.

"Our recorded statistics are comparable to other mental health trusts of similar size and who also provide a similar range of regional and national specialist services.

"Due to the specialist nature of a number of our services such as our forensic services, the trust cares for some of the most complex and challenging patients from all over the country, which means that the figures may be higher when comparing to areas without such specialist services."

– Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

North East patient restraint data revealed

Nearly 40,000 incidents of physical restraint on mental health patients in England were recorded in one year - with more than 3,000 in the "dangerous" face-down position - according to figures released by a charity.

Mind said data obtained under the FoI Act showed 39,883 reported incidents of physical restraint in mental health trusts during 2011/12, with at least 949 people with mental health problems being injured.

The Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust reported 3346 incidents in one year.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust also recorded 923 incidents of face-down restraint according to the charity's figures.

A separate survey by Mind of 375 frontline healthcare staff involved in physically restraining people with mental health problems, showed:

  • 22% had not had face-to-face training on physical restraint techniques in the last 12 months
  • 42% said that, with hindsight, they felt that restraint had sometimes been used "inappropriately"

"Physical restraint can be humiliating, dangerous and even life-threatening and the huge variation in its use indicates that some trusts are using it too quickly.

"Face-down restraint, when a person is pinned face-down on the floor, is particularly dangerous, as well as extremely frightening to the person being restrained. It has no place in modern healthcare and its use must be ended."

– Paul Farmer, Mind chief executive

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'Flawed assessment' led to fatal stabbing of mental health worker

A report has highlighted a string of failures by the NHS trust responsible for a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia who killed a mental health worker.

Ronald Dixon showed repeated warning signs that he could be violent, but consultants still classed him as 'low risk'.

It was a flawed assessment that led to 22 year old Ashleigh Ewing being sent to his Newcastle home on her own. Dixon stabbed her 39 times.

Kenny Toal reports:

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