National Carers Conference in Eating Disorders

Dear All

Please find attached details of the National Carers’ Conference in Eating Disorders as outlined below. Please do pass this on to anyone who you think would be interested in attending. Many thanks. Best wishes Veronica

Booking form for National Carers’ Conference 22.7.14

National Carers Conference in Eating Disorders 22.7.14

National Carers Conference in Eating Disorders

Sponsored by Ellern Mede Ridgeway

on Friday 21st November 2014

 

Professor Janet Treasure OBE and Gill Todd RMN, MSc,

invite you to a day discussing

“Living with an Eating Disorder

 

 

 

Veronica Kamerling

Eating Disorders & Carers

01256 704117

07733 260 475

  1. eatingdisordersandcarers.co.uk
  2. londoncarersgroup.org.uk

 


Are British students too stigmatised to speak out on mental health?

After University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day recently, we review the Priory’s shocking survey statistics

The survey, which collated information from 18 universities, found that one in four students with mental health issues were not comfortable talking about their problems to friends.  Though the awareness day yesterday received plenty of media attention and support through social media from people all round the world, the societal stigma which plagues those who suffer with mental health problems will not be alleviated overnight.

The survey suggests that almost half of those who opened up about their illness have experienced a negative response – half of the first years who completed the survey said that they had been treated differently by peers after revealing their struggle with mental health issues.  Worryingly enough, 16% of the country’s students genuinely believed that they had lost friends and acquaintances as a result of admitting to their mental health problems.  This contradicts entirely from the experience of friends, as 75% of the respondents who noted that they had a friend with mental health problems did, in fact believe that they were being supportive.

Though universities nationwide are doing more every year to support students suffering from mental health issues, 86.5% of those surveyed who had been diagnosed with a mental health problem claimed that they didn’t think that schools and universities provided them with adequate support or doing enough to help them.  Dr David Kingsley, Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist at Priory’s Cheadle Royal Hospital noted that “mental health problems are surprisingly common in students, including depression, self-harm, anxiety disorders and eating disorders”, and that university was a potential trigger – “as this is often the first time that they have been away from home, they can feel isolated and unable to access support for their difficulties”.  Even if the support is there, the social stigma of admitting to having mental health difficulties can be enough to dissuade students from seeking the support they need. Dr Kingsley went on to suggest that “it is important […] that universities and colleges help other students to understand mental health issues better, so that students can access the support they need from their peers and their difficulties aren’t compounded by an experience of misunderstanding or prejudice from their friends”.

For the full report visit:

http://www.priorygroup.com/latest-from-the-priory-group/item/news/2014/02/14/student-mental-health-research


Can cognitive behavioural therapy really change our brains?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that’s used to treat a wide range of mental health problems, from depression and eating disorders to phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It recommends looking at ourselves in a different way that might prove useful for all of us in everyday life. But what happens to our brains when we have CBT?

What is cognitive behavioural therapy?

CBT is based on the idea that problems aren’t caused by situations themselves, but by how we interpret them in our thoughts. These can then affect our feelings and actions.

Situation affects thoughts, which then affect feelings and actions
The way we think about a situation can affect how we feel and how we act

For example, if someone you know walks by without saying hello, what’s your reaction?

You might think that they ignored you because they don’t like you, which might make you feel rejected. So you might be tempted to avoid them the next time you meet. This could breed more bad feeling between you both and more “rejections”, until eventually you believe that you must be unlikeable. If this happened with enough people, you could start to withdraw socially.

But how well did you interpret the situation in the first place?

Common errors in thinking style

  • Emotional reasoning – e.g. I feel guilty so I must be guilty
  • Jumping to conclusions – e.g. if I go into work when I’m feeling low, I’ll only feel worse
  • All-or-nothing thinking – e.g. if I’ve not done it perfectly, then it’s absolutely useless
  • Mental filtering – e.g. noticing my failures more than my successes
  • Over generalising – e.g. nothing ever goes well in my life
  • Labelling – e.g. I’m a loser

CBT aims to break negative vicious cycles by identifying unhelpful ways of reacting that creep into our thinking.

“Emotional reasoning is a very common error in people’s thinking,” explains Dr Jennifer Wild, Consultant Clinical Psychologist from Kings College London. “That’s when you think something must be true because of how you feel.”

CBT tries to replace these negative thinking styles with more useful or realistic ones.

This can be a challenge for people with mental health disorders, as their thinking styles can be well-established.

How do we break negative thinking styles?

Some psychological theories suggest that we learn these negative thinking patterns through a process called negative reinforcement.

Graded exposure can help people confront their phobias

For example, if you have a fear of spiders, by avoiding them you learn that your anxiety levels can be reduced. So you’re rewarded in the short term with less anxiety but this reinforces the fear.

To unlearn these patterns, people with phobias and anxiety disorders often use a CBT technique called graded exposure. By gradually confronting what frightens them and observing that nothing bad actually happens, it’s possible to slowly retrain their brains to not fear it.

How does cognitive behavioural therapy work on the brain?

Primitive survival instincts like fear are processed in a part of the brain called the limbic system. This includes the amygdala, a region that processes emotion, and the hippocampus, a region involved in reliving traumatic memories.

Brain scan studies have shown that overactivity in these two regions returns to normal after a course of CBT in people with phobias.

What’s more, studies have found that CBT can also change the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher-level thinking.

So it seems that CBT might be able to make real, physical changes to both our “emotional brain” (instincts) and our “logical brain” (thoughts).

Intriguingly, similar patterns of brain changes have been seen with CBT and with drug treatments, suggesting that psychotherapies and medications might work on the brain in parallel ways.

How effective is cognitive behavioural therapy?

Of all the talking therapies, CBT has the most clinical evidence to show that it works.

Studies have shown that it is at least as effective as medication for many types of depression and anxiety disorders.

But unlike many drugs, there are few side effects with CBT. After a relatively short course, people have often described long-lasting benefits.

“In the trials we’ve run with post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and social anxiety disorder, we’ve seen that even when people stop the therapy, they continue improving because they have new tools in place and they’ve made behavioural and thinking style changes,” Dr Wild explains.

CBT may not be for everyone, however.

Since the focus is on tackling the here and now, people with more complicated roots to their mental problems which could stem from their childhood, for example, may need another type of longer-term therapy to explore this.

CBT also relies on commitment from the individual, including “homework” between therapy sessions. It can also involve confronting fears and anxieties, and this isn’t always easy to do.

Ultimately, as with many types of treatment, some people will benefit from CBT more than others and psychologists and neuroscientists are beginning to unravel the reasons behind this.

#RT via http://www.bbc.co.uk via Matthew


Psychological medicine service user and carer advisory group summary of discussions July meeting

We are reposting this as it disappeared, we think due to the recent WordPress blip.

Hello all,

The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments.   The Psychological Medicine department advisory group produces a brief summary of their discussions.  The purpose  is to let interested people know what is being discussed.  Please circulate as appropriate.

.

The Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group (CAG) runs services across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The services include emergency access services (such as home treatment services, A&E psychiatric liaison), complex care services (such as eating disorders, chronic fatigue, mother & baby services) and neurosciences services (such as brain injury). Advisory group members have experience of services either as service users or family members/carers.  We work with the senior managers to keep the views of service users & carers at the heart of all service developments and improvements.  To make sure that people know what we are discussing in our meetings, we have developed this short briefing sheet:

Six people with experience of using services or being a family member/carer were present at the June meeting. Also present were the Patient & Public Involvement Lead, the Local Security Management Specialist and the Corporate Clinical Audit Project Officer. Apologies were received from two staff members.

  • We heard about how the experience of informal patients had been checked. The findings were that most patients who wanted to leave the ward were able to, and most people who refused a treatment offered had their preferences respected. However, people were not routinely being given information about their rights as an informal patient. We were interested to find out more about how the threat of sectioning can be used to gain compliance in the ward for informal patients and were heartened that this had been identified as an issue for further work. Members of the group are interested to be involved in further work on this.

At our request, the local security management specialist came to the meeting and told us about the mental health and policing liaison structures and some key recommendations from the Independent Commission on Mental Health & Policing by Lord Victor Adebowale. As a result of discussions, we have asked to be informed about the level of service user involvement in training for police, and we will be offered an opportunity to attend the Trustwide Police Liaison Committee to bring themes from service users. We will seek feedback from service users via linkworkers, peer supporters, the service user blog and develop a more formal audit.

The group welcomed the draft satisfaction questionnaire for psychiatric liaison services at A&E. Members of the group have worked with staff on this and the result is a one side of A4, user friendly template. Further work needs to be done to finalise the innovative design on the template.

We heard that 2 members of the group had presented their findings about the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at a senior management meeting – on the whole they found the MBU to be a positive and therapeutic environment. Issues identified included staff shortages, lack of activities and some environmental issues. The group members have been invited back to the unit later in the year.

At a workshop on the mental health element of the A&E service at St.Thomas’ Hospital, service user consultants suggested Mental Health First Aid Training for all A&E staff as well as a quiet space in the waiting area for adults with autism.

A carers representative has been involved in delivering training to staff and giving a carers perspective to the mental health act team. Another carers representative is now  on the Members council. A new SLaM Family and Carers handbook has been printed.

Group members fed back about the recent SLaM peer support event which had been extremely well attended and will be the starting point for an ongoing network.

Best wishes,

Alice

Alice Glover

Patient & Public Involvement LeadMood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG

email:  alice.glover@slam.nhs.uk tel: 020 3228 0959

113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ


Carers’ Conference on Eating Disorders

Dear All

Please find attached the final programme for the Carers Conference in Eating Disorders on Friday 22nd November along with a booking form.

BOOKING FORM FOR THE NATIONAL CARERS CONFERENCE FRIDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 201…

National Carers Conference in Eating Disorders 22nd November 2013GT fina…

Kind regards

Veronica

Veronica Kamerling

Eating Disorders and Carers

5 Dorchester Way

Greywell

Hook

Hampshire

RG29 1BX

01256 704117

07733 260 475

www.eatingdisordersandcarersco.uk

www.londoncarersgroup.org.uk


SLaM’s mother and baby unit praised

The specialist Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital has been recognised as providing an example of “best practice” in caring for women suffering with severe mental illness during pregnancy or post-birth.

An NSPCC report released last week suggests the wellbeing of more than one in 10 newborn babies in England could be improved if all new mothers with mental illness had equal access to good services.

The report states there is evidence to show that the work carried out at the Channi Kumar Mother and Baby Unit, part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, leads to significant improvements in mental state in approximately three quarters of women, in the sensitivity of mothers with schizophrenia and postpartum psychosis when interacting with their babies and major improvements in the interaction of the babies of mothers with schizophrenia, psychosis and depression.

The 13-bed unit was set up for women who develop or have a relapse of serious mental illness during pregnancy or following the birth of their baby. The unit offers a wide range of treatment, therapy and care which is not offered on the same scale in any other unit in the UK.

One unique factor is the work of a developmental psychologist who works closely with the mothers and infants.

Dr Susan Pawlby works clinically as a developmental psychologist at the unit and academically at the King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.

She said: “I think our unit stands out because we have a developmental psychologist to work with nursery nurses and nurses on the ward and most other units do not have that.

“It means we can give mothers and infants more support in forming and maintaining this early and most fundamental relationship. We have developed video feedback interventions so that mothers can see how their babies respond to them. Together we watch video clips of play sessions, talk about the communication between the mother and her baby in order to help mothers develop their relationship with their baby.

“We systematically evaluate this intervention and see how effective it is. Our work is to encourage mothers to respond to their babies’ cues, so that mothers become more sensitive and babies more co-operative in their interaction with one another. I am delighted our work has been recognised by the NSPCC.”

Alongside this support, the Mother and Baby Unit also treats mothers with medication where needed. The unit also offers various forms of therapy (psychological, art psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and cognitive analytical therapy), life skills, health skills, leisure activities, baby massage and dance therapy.

Following the release of the report the NSPCC is calling on health ministers to lead a drive to address major gaps in access to mental health services for pregnant and new mums.

Mental health problems including depression, anxiety, postpartum psychosis, obsessive compulsive disorders,  eating disorders , schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorderand personality disorder can begin or escalate when a woman is pregnant or in her infant’s first year. They can have a damaging effect on family life, and in the worst cases, impact on babies’ health and welfare.

Evidence shows that the vast majority of these illnesses are preventable and treatable, and with the right support, the negative effects on families can be avoided.

Sally Hogg, author of the NSPCC report, said: “The Mother and Baby Unit at Royal Bethlem Hospital provides excellent support for mothers suffering from perinatal mental illnesses and their babies. They do fantastic work to help mums to care for and bond with their babies, which helps ensure these children have the best possible start in life.

“It is crucial that more units like this are made available across the country for all families who need them, as without access to specialist units such as this some mothers don’t get the right help and can be separated from their babies, which is traumatic for the whole family.”

For more information on the NSPCC report:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/resourcesforprofessionals/underones/spotlight-mental-health-landing_wda96578.html

Read Susan’s story here

#RT via Bridget via http://www.slam.nhs.uk


It’s A Mad World

Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World – a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today, from schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders and self-harming to dealing with family members affected by mental illness.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01b86w5

#RT via Bridget