The rise in mental illness among students reflects a broader trend across society. Long-term mental health issues in children and young people are up sixfold in England since 1995, and they more than doubled in Scotland between 2003 and 2014. Exactly what’s behind the increase isn’t clear, though “studies have looked at the impact of social media, or lack of sleep caused by electronic devices, as well as the effects of an uncertain job market, personal debt or constricted public services,” writes Samira Shackle in the Guardian. In England and Wales, suicide is the leading cause of death between the ages of 20 and 34.
Do you need to go to parent school?
A question every parent grapples with – are they doing it right?
All of this begs the question: which approach is best? Whereas many parenting trends reflect the opinions of a single psychoanalyst, paediatrician or nanny, CANparent’s providers claim to draw upon the latest scientific research about how children develop and say their strategies are “proven” to make a real, positive difference to families. Others, meanwhile, claim that such evidence-based parenting policies are based on distorted science and undermine parents’ confidence in their ability to raise their children.
“It transforms the meaning of family life,” says Jan Macvarish, who studies the impact of neuroscience on family policy at the University of Kent. “It says ‘we will be able to measure the quality of your family life by the intelligence or emotional intelligence of your child’.”
The Alzheimer’s enigma
The cause of Alzheimer’s still remains a mystery. Are we nearer to figuring it out?
Those who have lost a relative or friend to Alzheimer’s disease often say it is as if the person dies twice – the mind first and then the body, unaware of who they are, what they are or where they are. Faced with a disease that traps people in their own degenerative brain, our inclination might be to reconstruct that disease in all its complexity in the hope of understanding it. But scientists will tell you that what you really need to do is construct a thread that will guide you out of the labyrinth.
How to get to a world without suicide
Trying to reach a world with no suicides. A commendable effort.
A simple belief drives Mallen: that Edward should still be alive, that his death was preventable – at several stages during the rapid onset of his depression. Moreover, Mallen and a growing number of mental health experts believe that this applies to all deaths by suicide. They argue that with a well-funded, better-coordinated strategy that would reform attitudes and approaches in almost every function of society – from schools and hospitals to police stations and the family home – it might be possible to prevent every suicide, or at least to aspire to.
A surprisingly good place to die
A heart warming story about how Mongolia is doing well in palliative care.
The hospital also offers patients what is known as “dignity therapy” – which my interpreter translated as “reputation treatment” – encouraging them to tell their life story before they pass away. It began as a way of dealing with patients suffering severe depression, she says, but then they found that other people wanted to tell their stories, to set the record straight. “We had a patient recently who asked his ex-wife to visit, so he could apologise for his past behaviour, and he gave her money too.”
Some palliative care patients have responded by drawing up ‘bucket lists’. During my visit, I met a woman with terminal cancer who had recently returned from a visit to Lake Baikal (the world’s deepest lake) in Siberia, just the other side of Mongolia’s border with Russia. With her week’s prescription of morphine tablets, she had been able to make a journey that had been “a lifetime ambition”.