We’re working with children in care to improve mental health | Tony Hunter

More than 70% of children in care have mental health problems; an expert panel drawing up an action plan

It’s good news that mental health in general, and children’s mental health in particular, is being given increasing attention by the media and greater consideration by policymakers. Yet the mental health and wellbeing of children in care is too often marginalised in these debates. More than 70% of children in care have been diagnosed with mental health problems. Perhaps you just assume that it goes with the territory and there’s not much that can be done about it. This is absolutely not the case.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (Scie) has started a new project, commissioned by the departments of health and education, to ensure that children in care have access to high-quality services, based on a clear assessment of need, from a range of professionals working across different agencies. The project is likely to suggest significant changes to the way assessments are conducted for children in care, which could have a big impact on up to 70,000 care-experienced children and young people.

Related: Mental health services won't help children in temporary care settings

Related: Children's mental health in crisis – readers share their stories

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A moment that changed me: when the doctor told me I was psychotic | Anonymous

After my diagnosis, I faced the stigma of a condition wrongly associated with serial killers and film villains. But understanding psychosis helped me manage it

I was sitting in my living room along with a social worker, mental health nurse and my baffled parents the day the doctor told me I was “psychotic”. It felt like a dream. Just a week before, suffering from anxiety and depression, I had taken leave from the training course I was on. A week of shuffling around the house followed.

Like many people, I was determined to “escape” my unhappiness in any way possible, but thankfully lacked the conviction to do anything about it. Soon I became convinced I had committed some sort of sin that I could never articulate: TV programmes and songs fed a narrative in my mind which was impossible to write down now – it simply made no sense. It involved God, the devil, my boss and the professionals around me, all of whom were part of some major conspiracy reminiscent of The Truman Show. These delusions were common signs of psychosis, a condition that can stem from deep depression.

Related: A moment that changed me: I was diagnosed with autism at 45 | Laura James

Like many people who experience any kind of deep depression I lacked hope, but my warped state of mind took that further

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Italian court rules mobile phone use caused brain tumour

Court awards pension to employee who claimed work-related use of a mobile led to him developing a benign tumour

An Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.

In what could become a landmark ruling, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.

Related: Mobile phones and brain cancer: ‘no evidence of health risk’ is not the same as 'safe'| Maryanne Demasi

Related: How to think about the risks of mobile phones and Wi-Fi

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Sanofi epilepsy drug linked to over 4,000 child deformities

French regulator says women taking the valproate were four times more likely to give birth to babies with malformities

The epilepsy medication valproate is responsible for “severe malformations” in up to 4,100 children in France since the drug was first marketed in the country in 1967, according to a preliminary study by health authorities.

Women who took the drug during pregnancy to treat epilepsy were four times more likely to give birth to babies with congenital malformations, said the report, jointly issued by the medicines regulator ANSM and the national health insurance administration.

Related: Epilepsy patients turning to medicinal cannabis, survey shows

Related: Could Pfizer's record fine for unfair prices change the industry's practices?

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Reasons to fear the next UK heatwave

Scientists have warned that, even in moderately warm weather, hospitals and homes can become dangerously hot

It is 14 years since the heatwave of 2003 killed 2,000 people in southern England and the alarm was raised about hot weather being as dangerous for vulnerable people as winter cold.

Since then a UK-wide warning system has been put in place that will inform people when the temperature is likely to exceed 30C for a day and a night. Weather forecast warnings of an imminent heatwave ask that vulnerable people take steps to keep cool.

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Stroke and dementia risk linked to low-sugar drinks, study finds

Drinking a can of diet soft drink a day associated with almost three times higher risk, say researchers – but critics warn against causal connection

Consuming a can a day of low- or no-sugar soft drink is associated with a much higher risk of having a stroke or developing dementia, researchers claim.

Their findings have prompted renewed questions about whether drinks flavoured with artificial sweeteners can increase the risk of serious illness, as heavily sugared drinks have already been shown to do.

Related: How Britain plans to lead the global science race to treat dementia

Related: No evidence sugar-free soft drinks aid weight loss – study

Related: Half of fizzy drinks have more sugar in one can than adult daily limit

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How Donald Trump was silenced | Emma Brockes

Debating vaccination with a parent who’s against inoculation is always going to be a contentious issue. But this mother’s arguments shocked me

Despite living in the US in Trump end times, I’m not often shocked. Scandalised, depressed, outraged, yes; but not really shocked. But I was at the weekend, standing in the playground with another mother when she said something so outlandish I couldn’t believe what I’d heard: that she’d had a tough month, what with getting the city to exempt her kids from having vaccinations.

Now, getting into it with another parent about vaccinations is like bringing up the Middle East on a Guardian comment thread. People go insane. There’s a debate raging right now on one of the mummy blogs I read, in which a handful of women are losing their minds, having been mauled by other users for their decision to “space out” their kids’ vaccinations.

Related: Donald Trump on vaccines: ‘It’s not helpful’, experts say

Related: Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

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Virgin Money chief: ‘I have battled with mental health all my life’

Jayne-Anne Gadhia meant to tell just the Virgin Money story in her autobiography and not reveal her struggles with depression, but now proceeds of her book are going to the charity Heads Together

When Jayne-Anne Gadhia was once turned down for a promotion, her boss provided two reasons for his decision: she lacked a thick skin and the ability to bullshit. Twenty five years on – and after making it to the top of the banking sector to become chief executive of Virgin Money – Gadhia reckons she still doesn’t possess either of those characteristics.

Rather than growing a thick skin, Gadhia sticks her fingers in her ears to illustrate her own “la la la” approach to put-downs. And she insists her motto of “ebo” (wanting to make everyone better off) is not nonsense.

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On mental health, the royal family is doing more than our government | William Davies

There is no greater indictment of British society than soaring rates of mental distress in children. No wonder politicians cling to a simplistic ‘illness’ model

The public profile of mental health experienced another boost this week, thanks to some moving comments made by Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge about the impact of their mother’s death, nearly 20 years ago. The two royals are working for the Heads Together campaign, which seeks to combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to encourage people to speak more openly about their difficulties.

Harry’s admission that he had ignored his own emotional distress for several years before eventually having counselling was a valuable contribution, from a figure more commonly associated with laddish machismo. William’s focus on male suicide statistics was also a good use of his celebrity.

There is no more damning indictment on British society in 2017 than the prevalence of mental distress among children

Related: The stiff upper lip: why the royal health warning matters

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It’s good to hear cycling to work reduces your risk of dying. But that’s not why I do it | Laura Laker

The latest study on the health benefits of cycling suggests it can cut the risk of cancer and heart disease. It’s also the most fun you can have on your daily commute

It may not be a surprise to see another study suggesting that cycling to work can drastically reduce your chances of getting cancer and heart disease – those who ride bikes for transport already know how good it makes them feel. However, it’s perhaps yet another motivation for those who don’t, to dust off their bikes – and remember some other reasons cycling to work is so great.

In a five-year study of 263,450 UK commuters, published in the BMJ, researchers at Glasgow University found regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, and the incidence of cancer and heart disease by 45% and 46% respectively.

Related: How much could commuter cycling increase in your part of England?

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Serena Williams’s pregnant victory reminds us how amazing our bodies are | Natasha Henry

The tennis star triumphed at the Australian Open without dropping a set while in her first trimester. Are women the weaker sex? I don’t think so

The news that Serena Williams won the Australian Open final while eight weeks pregnant has sent the world into a frenzy. Some evidently still think that women are the fairer sex, the weaker and the less capable of the two genders.

Believe me when I say we are far from fragile.

Serena's snap suggests that she won the Australian Open without dropping a set while pregnant. pic.twitter.com/ltPndJRJBq

Related: What unexpected feat did you pull off while pregnant?

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Crackdown on migrants forces NHS doctors to ‘act as border guards’

Charity condemns government guidance allowing Home Office to access details of undocumented migrants seeking care

A medical charity has launched a campaign against government guidance which “makes border guards of doctors” by allowing the Home Office to access details of undocumented migrants who seek NHS treatment.

Doctors of the World runs clinics for undocumented migrants, victims of trafficking and asylum seekers. It has assisted numerous patients, some pregnant and some with cancer, who are afraid of accessing NHS healthcare due to concerns that a visit to the doctor could lead to deportation.

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Health push in Uganda after mystery disease turns out to be ‘mossy foot’

Scientists dispatched to western Uganda to investigate suspected outbreak of elephantiasis instead find tropical disease with no previous history in region

A public health campaign has been launched in western Uganda after scientists unexpectedly found the region was afflicted by a tropical disease that causes disfigurement and swelling.

The discovery came to light after experts were dispatched to Kamwenge district to investigate an outbreak of lymphatic filariasis, more commonly known as elephantiasis. A team of specialists from the Ugandan ministry of health, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was surprised to find that the condition causing limbs to swell was in fact podoconiosis, also known as non-filarial elephantiasis. The disease was previously unknown in the region.

Related: World Health Organization hails major progress on tackling tropical diseases

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How to stop the construction industry choking our cities

Building firms need to start treating diesel emissions in the same way as asbestos, says air pollution expert

Poor air quality, with diesel the biggest culprit, is now thought to be the cause of 40,000 deaths in the UK each year.

But while cars and lorries have attracted most attention, less reported is the contribution of other polluters to the problem, particularly construction sites.

Related: How air pollution affects your health - infographic

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Police cannot continue to fill gaps left by mental health cuts, report says

Chief inspector of constabulary says forces increasingly used as service of first resort and face ‘unacceptable drain’ on resources

Police cannot continue to pick up the slack for cuts in other public services, especially the shortage in mental health provision, Her Majesty’s chief inspector of constabulary has warned.

In an annual state of policing report, Sir Tom Winsor highlights a “modern tsunami of online fraud” and increased police awareness of crimes against the elderly and child sexual exploitation as among the increasing daily pressures facing officers.

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The harrowing hospital night shift nothing could have prepared me for

Years of medical training can never prepare you for your role in someone else’s tragedy and its emotional impact

The most important part of every night shift is matching your scrub top to your bottoms. Odd shades, bad luck. Match for the best chance of success.

I’m full of superstition because fate doesn’t follow conventional rules. I sit, cross-legged comparing until I’m satisfied with my choice. I pull my clothes off and my blue scrubs on. Stethoscope, badge and water bottle. Downstairs, grab phone and rush to handover, hoping I’ve remembered my pen.

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Confessions of a Junior Doctor review – Bake Off’s Tamal Ray gives his verdict

As a doctor, I sympathise with those shown embarking on their careers, but worry whether they’ll join the exodus from an NHS that doesn’t value them

If you have a sense of deja vu while watching Channel 4’s new series Confessions of a Junior Doctor, it might be because you saw BBC3’s Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands, which chronicled the highs and lows of doctors embarking on the start of their careers. That series coincided with my first year working as a doctor and – despite working all hours in a hospital – I couldn’t help but be glued to every episode. At first glance, things do feel familiar: shaky footage of doctors running through corridors, and haunting piano music overlaid with poignant monologues about suffering and death. There’s a brief introduction which looks like a medical version of Harry Potter, complete with nervous first years and kindly consultant, Dr Philip Pearson, in the role of Dumbledore. “It will be hard work. It will be stressful. But there will be plenty of good times,” he intones, with twinkly-eyed enthusiasm.

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Ad linking alcohol to cancer most effective at curbing drinking, study finds

Australian harm-reduction advertisement shows alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream, spreading and causing cancerous cell mutations in the liver

A graphic Australian advertisement that highlights the link between alcohol and cancer has been nominated by drinkers as the most effective in leading them to reconsider their alcohol intake.

The video advertisement, titled Spread, was developed and funded by the Western Australia government. It shows alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream, spreading and causing cancerous cell mutations in the liver, bowel and throat.

Related: Alcohol is a direct cause of seven ​​forms of cancer, finds study

Related: We need the truth about alcohol – it should be labelled, just like food | Katherine Brown

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Graphic anti-drinking ad shows how alcohol causes cancer – video

An Australian ad showing alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream, spreading and causing cancerous cell mutations in the liver, bowel and throat, has been named the world’s most effective at making people reconsider their alcohol intake. Researchers tested 83 English-language alcohol advertisements on 2,174 adults who regularly consume alcohol. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, more than 3,200 cases of cancer could be prevented each year nationally if people limited their alcohol consumption

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Postpartum psychosis: research reveals full recovery possible within weeks

For new mothers who experience this rare and little-understood mental health condition, the consequences can be fatal. But early identification and treatment can have rapid benefits

Sarah West says in the days after the birth of her son in 2012, she felt the emotions many new mothers describe – a mixture of joy combined with anxiety about breastfeeding and whether she was doing everything right.

But around one week after the birth, West’s new-mum anxiety went into overdrive. Despite the exhaustion that comes with being a new parent, she was unable to sleep when her baby slept. Her thoughts raced.

Related: I had postpartum psychosis. More must be done to help mothers like me | Vonny Moyes

Related: Pregnancy and mental health: the hidden pain of giving birth

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