Mind responds to the latest report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dua Lipa speaks openly about social media and its impact on mental health and Bupa UK launches new Family Mental HealthLine for parents

Charity Mind responds to Royal College of Psychiatrists’ latest report

The report, Exploring Mental Health Inpatient Capacity, explores the “pressures on inpatient mental health services across Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships in England.” Commissioned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), the report revealed a major shortage of mental health inpatient beds across the country.

It was revealed that in one year, the total distance travelled by patients sent out-of-area for treatment due to no available beds locally was 550,000 miles - the equivalent to going around the world 22 times.

The report also showed that as recent as July 31, 2019, 745 were being treated inappropriately out of area. While an estimated 1,060 mental health beds are needed in order to reduce bed-occupancy rates to an acceptable level.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists are calling on the government to implement a “package of measures” including three key aims over the next five years:

  • Immediate: Additional mental health beds are required in priority areas
  • Over the next two years: Maximise the therapeutic value of inpatient stays and undertake a local service capacity assessment
  • Over the next two to five years: Invest in high quality community mental health services

On release of the report, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at mental health charity Mind said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the growing crisis in mental health services. As demand increases, it is tantamount to negligence that beds are being cut in some areas without a viable alternative.

“The NHS promised to completely eliminate inappropriate out of area placements by 2021 and yet as recently as July, hundreds of people were still being sent hundreds of miles from their home to receive care. This can worsen people’s chances of recovery, increase their risk of suicide and have a devastating impact on family and friends.

“Current plans to manage demands simply aren’t working. The planned expansion of community mental health services can’t happen soon enough, so that more people are able to access care closer to home. Commissioners must do whatever it takes to ensure people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time - whether that’s an inpatient bed or support in their community. We need an urgent solution to this shocking state of affairs.”

Singer Dua Lipa speaks to BBC Breakfast about social media

Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, singer Dua Lipa has urged social media users to “be nicer to one another” for the greater good. Speaking to host Louise Minchin, she states how social media is a “breeding ground for hate and anxiety”.

“Some days I don’t read into the comments. Some days maybe I feel a little more vulnerable and I dive in and I almost go looking for things I don’t want to see.

“Social media can be such an amazing tool and it can be so fun to share things, but at the same time it’s almost a breeding ground for hate and anxiety,” she told Louise. “People feel like they can say things because they’re hiding behind a computer screen and for me it’s important to use social media in bite sizes - as long as it makes me feel good, and the second it doesn’t, I like to take some time away from it.”

This is the second time this autumn Dua Lipa has spoken out about mental health. In October, she called for better mental health care in the creative industries.

“I have benefitted so much from this industry but I see around me every day what others can suffer: the fear of failure, loneliness and the intense pressures of social media, which I think is especially the case for female artists. It’s time for the music industry to start taking the mental health of artists seriously.”

Read our article, How to Take Care of Yourself Online.

Bupa UK launches new Family HealthLine

New research by Bupa UK reveals that parents and carers are at a loss of how to support their teenagers with mental health. With 59% of teenagers experiencing symptoms of poor mental health, including low self-esteem, depression, insomnia and loneliness, parents are struggling to identify these issues. Data reveals that six in 10 (63%) of parents admit being unable to distinguish between teenage mood swings and symptoms of a mental health problem.

Teenage mental health is leaving parents increasingly concerned, and more than half are unsure where to turn for help and advice.

To combat this, Bupa UK has launched its Family Mental HealthLine. A place for parents and carers to find support and information, including speaking to trained advisors and nurses on how to talk openly about mental health and what to do next.

Dr. Pablo Vandenabeele, Clinical Director for Mental Health at Bupa said: “Mental health issues can affect anyone at any age, but it’s worrying to see that such a high proportion of teenagers are reporting symptoms. Naturally this is leaving parents concerned and looking for trustworthy support.

“It can be hard for parents to tell when their child is struggling with their mental health, but I always advise parents to trust their instincts and take action if they are worried. Over the past few years we’ve seen a big increase in the number of customers coming to us wanting support for children they care for. The new Family Mental HealthLine at Bupa aims to give parents a trusted source of advice when they’re not sure where to turn.”

The Family Mental HealthLine is available to Bupa UK Insurance customers, who may be worried about their child’s mental health and wellbeing. It is the latest initiative from Bupa to support people with mental health conditions.

For information on helping children and young people cope with mental health issues, read our articles, How to Help Kids Deal with Anxiety, How to Help Teens Cope With Body Images Issues and Five Ways to Help Kids with Stress.