News

Who should be responsible for mental health care?

Posted on 16th June 2023 by Dan Price


I’m writing in response to your article on mental health support for students in universities (Parents outline ‘woeful’ mental health support for students at UK universities, 2 June). Amid arguments that universities should become quasi-mental health service providers, university staff are already struggling under pressure to support mental health.

My mother is a mental health professional. She had nine years of university and three years of on-the-job training. I had nine years of university and three years of on-the-job training to become a lecturer. My mother’s training involved learning how to protect her own wellbeing while helping others. My training did not. Most university staff are not mental health professionals, and the few who are need more support.

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Awareness of mental health is not enough

Posted on 24th May 2023 by Dan Price


Martha Gill’s argument that mental health definition has become so widened as to become almost meaningless makes a fundamentally important point (Comment). As a society, we have amalgamated several meanings under the umbrella term “mental health”. Mental health should be thought of as three concepts:

 wellbeing that is relevant to all of us, whether we have a mental health disorder or not;

 common mental disorder such as mild to moderate depression and anxiety, which can be discomfiting and need treatment;

 severe mental illness such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe personality disorders, addictions and severe depression.

As a psychiatrist, I note this third group remains one of the most neglected groups. Resources are scarce, there are not enough community, recovery and inpatient services and these are all understaffed. Several of us think the conflation of all three strands in media and public discourse has done society a great disservice and attention has shifted from where the need is greatest. Consequently, systemic discrimination and health inequality against the most disadvantaged groups hide in plain sight. Being “aware” of mental health issues is not enough; we need to be mental-health literate so we can prioritise areas with greatest need.

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Millions with mental health needs not seeking NHS help, watchdog says

Posted on 15th February 2023 by Dan Price


Millions of people in England with mental ill-health are not seeking NHS help, and many who get it face long delays and a “poor experience”, a report says.

Long waits for care will persist for years because soaring demand, exacerbated by Covid, will continue to outstrip the ability of severely understaffed mental health services to provide speedy treatment, the National Audit Office (NAO) found.

Whitehall’s spending watchdog praised NHS England for expanding the amount of care that patients with psychological conditions can access since 2016, as part of a government plan to give mental illness “parity of esteem” alongside physical conditions. It has expanded the workforce, introduced new services, treated growing numbers of people and brought in new waiting time targets.


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Speaking out on the stigma of mental health

Posted on 6th December 2022 by Dan Price


Persons with psychosocial disabilities frequently face stigma, discrimination and rights violations, including within and from the medical community, which reflects broader societal stigma. One doctor relates his personal experience here and how he uses it today to challenge stigma. 

When Dr Ahmed Hankir first experienced extreme psychological distress as a medical student in the United Kingdom in 2006, he delayed seeking help due to the shame and stigma of having a mental health condition.

Exacerbating his distress was the added stigma of being a man of colour and a Muslim, which, with his mental health condition, made up what he calls a “triple whammy” of stigmas that he “internalized”. It led to him feeling “dehumanised”. 

The stress and strains of working low-paid jobs to support himself as a student, and an outbreak of war in Lebanon, the country of his roots and where his parents were living, made matters worse. Meanwhile, he was living in a dilapidated house in one of the most dangerous areas of Manchester.


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MHRA medicines safety week yellow card campaign.

Posted on 8th November 2022 by Dan Price



The MHRA is committed to improving patient safety and strategically runs regular public health campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of reporting to the Yellow Card scheme.

How you can help support our Yellow Card campaigns

Help us spread awareness by encouraging healthcare professionals, patients, carers and parents to report side effects themselves online at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or using the Yellow Card app. Please support our campaigns by retweeting, liking and sharing our content on social media. You can find us on:

Join in the conversation and send your own messages via social media using the animations on this page from our current and previous campaigns (you can right-click on an image with your mouse and save them locally). Consider contributing your own perspective and thoughts to the discussion using the following hashtags: #medsafetyweek #everyreportcounts #patientsafety and #MHRAYellowCard.


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Young people’s mental health bolstered by nature projects, report says

Posted on 26th October 2022 by Dan Price


Young people’s mental health, self-confidence and employability were boosted by participation in nature projects across the UK, according to a report on a £33m programme.

More than 128,000 people aged 11 to 24 took part in the Our Bright Future scheme. The 31 projects improved 3,000 community spaces and created 350 nature-rich areas, from a vandalised churchyard in Hull to a rewilded quarry in County Down. The programme was led by the Wildlife Trusts and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Almost all participants (95%) felt their confidence had improved by taking part, while 86% said it had improved their mental health. Two-thirds said their appreciation of the natural world and belief that they could make a difference to their local environment had significantly increased.


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