Anxiety - Mental Health Awareness

Anxiety was the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all, but sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem. Focusing on anxiety for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week will increase people's awareness and understanding of anxiety by providing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem. Read more...

All of the therapists at Asana have in depth experience of helping clients struggling with anxiety. Find out more ...

46% Rise in Child Mental Health Referrals

The number of children in mental health crisis has reached record levels in England, analysis of NHS data by the mental health charity YoungMinds shows.

For the first time, urgent referrals of under-18s to mental health crisis teams reached more than 3,500 in May, three times higher than in May 2019. And in the year to March 2023 there were 21,555 urgent referrals to mental health crisis teams, up 46% on 2022, the charity found. These are children with the most acute mental health symptoms, who might otherwise need to go to hospital for psychosis, severe self-harm or suicide attempts.

In addition to the 3,732 urgent referrals, the NHS monthly data reveals that the number of children and young people undergoing treatment or waiting to start care also reached new records, with 466,250 open referrals to children and young people’s mental health services (CAMHS) in May.

Laura Bunt, the chief executive of YoungMinds, said the figures were “indicative of a system that is broken. We are now in a mental health emergency and the government must get a grip on the scale of this crisis. Many young people are having to wait months and years to access help, while many others are told they don’t meet the threshold for a referral to mental health services. No young person should be left waiting for help while their mental health worsens.”

Dr Elaine Lockhart, the chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry, said the mental health crisis was having “a devastating impact on the wellbeing of our children and young people”. “Services are doing their best to meet this rise in demand for treatment but a lack of staff and resources is making it difficult for them to see patients quickly. This is contributing to a harmful spiral in which many young people are being placed on long waiting lists, which can lead to their symptoms becoming more serious over time and them eventually presenting to services in crisis.”  Article courtesy of The Guardian.

Read more about the amazing specialists at Asana who are experienced in helping troubled children suffering from a wide range of conditions.  Read more.

Video Gaming Disorders - Self Harm, Aggression, Addiction

The NHS National Centre for Gaming Disorders has revealed treating hundreds of children for addiction at their specialist clinic. The director says, "Gaming disorders can have a significant impact on children and their family to the extent it can take over and stop them from living their normal daily life. From avoiding school or work, engaging in violence, to family breakdowns, the harms to those suffering can be significant; but there is help from the NHS for those who need it. We also know as with other addictive and mental health disorders, the earlier they are identified and treated the more successful the outcomes will be for both the individual but also for the wellbeing of the family members who are also impacted negatively by someone’s excessive gaming". The average age of a gamer seen by the clinic is 17, with children aged between 13-14 and 16-17 also representing a higher number of the patients seen. Treatment length varies based on patient need, ranging from a one-off session to family therapy lasting over a year, the average treatment time is around three months representing 12 treatment sessions. The Minister for Primary Care and Public Health said, “Technology can be hugely beneficial – from developing problem-solving skills, to socialising and helping people ‘switch off’ and relax. As with anything, too much of it is a bad thing – and we know gaming can be addictive. There are ways to prevent gaming addiction, which include recognising the warning signs and monitoring your online activity if and when you’re worried". Read more...

The Difference Between Mourning and Depression

Many people are confused about how to distinguish between “normal” grieving and depression that needs to be treated. After all, mourning a loss, especially of a child, spouse, parent, close friend or even a beloved pet, is bound to elicit deep feelings of sadness and regret. It is natural that everyday routines are disrupted and things that may have previously been important suddenly seem less so. The loss of a loved one is not something that is ever forgotten.  So how do you differentiate between “normal” bereavement and depression that needs to be treated?  This article from Psychology Today reveals that it is often only when depression is treated that you can address underlying feelings of mourning and sadness.  Read more...

Procrastination linked to health & career problems

Research shows that procrastination isn’t just a time-sapper but is actually linked to real problems such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, perfectionism, stress, poor sleep quality, poor heart health and other health and wellbeing issues.  Scientific studies actually suggest that procrastination is due to poor mood management.  This is a fascinating article - read more here.  For help with managing procrastination using CBT click here.

Mental Health and the Cost of Living Crisis

We can't ignore the potentially devastating effect the cost-of-living crisis has on mental health and The MentalHealth Foundation are asking whether we have another pandemic in the making. Find out more about what you can do to protect your mental, emotional and physical health during the cost-of-living crisis and how you can help support others. Read more...

Social Media

We have made an ethical decision to no longer participate on any social media platforms as from July 2023.                            Links embedded in our web site will be removed when the site is next upgraded.

Best Mental Health Tips

The Mental Health Foundation has produced a fantastic guide that provides you with their best tips on how to look after your mental health - backed by research. Protecting our mental health is easier than you might think. We can all do it every day, like brushing our teeth; and with simple activities that help us feel OK, we’re better able to cope with life and, most importantly, prevent problems. It can also be fun! Read this important guide here.

GP’s prescribing ‘Nature’

Nature is to be prescribed by health professionals for the first time in England, following a successful pilot in Scotland. Organisers said the Nature Prescriptions trial would include a leaflet and a calendar of ideas to enable people to connect with nature and boost their health and wellbeing. It comes on the back of successful pilot projects which resulted in over 74% of patients saying they had benefitted. Dr. Miller, a GP in Derbyshire says, "Evidence is emerging that time outdoors is good for our health and this is an ingenious, simple and cost-effective way to support people to do just that."  A social prescribing manager said, "We've been really impressed with the materials and are eagerly looking forward to connecting our clients to nature and seeing the impact this may have on members of our community first hand."

Growing evidence indicates the physical and mental health benefits of connecting with nature include reduced stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression. The prescriptions are based on accessible, self-led activities that people can do from home, on their own, or with others. It is hoped the trial will be expanded across England and to other healthcare professionals in the future.  Read more.

Mental Health and Nature

Whatever the season or weather, why not make time to enjoy nature in your life every week, for all the positive mental health benefits it brings!

Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits. It turns out that it is not just being in nature, but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts.  Read more here.