Week in Review 01.05.17-07.05.17

This week we wanted to start off by telling you about our Reasons to Be Cheerful free prize giveaway. A couple of weeks ago we launched our first free prize giveaway of £500 worth of Champneys vouchers. We wanted to reward our supporters by showing our appreciation, and what better way to show our appreciation than giving them a chance to enjoy a relaxing, pampering session at one of the most luxurious spa resorts in the country.

Champneys_lg_CMYK_2015A large part of looking after your mental health is giving yourself the time and the chance to recharge your energies; Champney’s will definitely give you that chance. They have City Spas, Spa Resorts and Retreats at different locations around the country; our £500 voucher will go a long way to pay toward the getaway you need. All you need to do is visit our Reasons to be Cheerful page and register your name and email address, so we can notify you if you win. The winner for this prize draw will be drawn on the 1st of June 2017.

In other news this week, the Independent reported that a weighted blanket could aid people suffering with stress and anxiety get a better night sleep. The ‘Gravity’ blanket is designed to be around 10 per cent of the sleeper’s body weight and is available in three sizes (15 lbs, 20 lbs and 25lbs).

The manufacturers of the Gravity blanket claim that the weight of the blanket will imitate the effects of being held and therefore help relax the nervous system and aid a more restful sleep. A lack of sleep has been linked to health problems, and the Independent reports that a 2015 study has found a positive link between using a weighted blanket and insomnia. There is more on the story here if you want to read about it further.

The guardian this week reported that little more than 6p in every pound the NHS spends on mental health is spent on children and young people. However “50% of adult mental illness starts before age 15 and 75% has started before age 18.” This puts a large onus on schools children’s mental health services such as CAHMS. Burstow then goes on to sum up the five priorities for improving children’s mental health:

First, he says, it’s time to make CAHMS services up to age 25 the norm.

Second, mental health and wellbeing should be integral to the life and work of schools, not a bolt on.

Third, a proactive approach to identifying and meeting need could do much to prevent mental distress entrenching into lifelong mental illness, offering timely support to parents to strengthen parenting and reduce parental conflict.

Fourth, according to Burstow embedding mental health expertise in every school as part of a richer CAHMS offer ensures there is no wrong door for young people when it comes to getting the right help at the right time.

Fifth, he states, we need to build on the progress already made with the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme; deliver CAHMS services that focus on outcomes; make a reality of shared decision-making; and deliver evidence-based interventions and support.

The BBC ran a story stating that student mental health costs should be free. According to official figures, one in 50 students in England has registered a mental health condition with their university. If you’re 19 or over and study in England you must pay £8.60, the prescription rate, for each item. This is leaving some students going to university in a difficult position, especially when they need to trial medications in order to find the one that works.

Charlie, a 23-year-old Leeds University student with bipolar disorder, knows how unpredictable trying different treatments can be. “When I was trialling medication I often thought it would be right for me,” she says. “You don’t realise at the time you might be trialling 10-15 types of medication before you find the right one… in the first two months alone I spent £100 on prescriptions.”

Students in England can apply for a medical exemption form that is based on their income, as well as their family’s and if accepted can receive a partial or full discount on prescriptions.

If they are not eligible and are on long-term medication, then they can invest in a pre-payment certificate, available on the NHS, which covers a minimum term of three months and spreads the cost of prescriptions.

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