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#GPnews: Newcastle United fans encouraged to discuss their mental health

15:45 Newcastle United football fans are being encouraged to talk about their mental health at their match against Derby County this weekend as part of a scheme run by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services, has teamed up with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to encourage football fans to reach out for support.

The match on Saturday 10 September coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day, an annual event to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.

Newcastle United fans attending the match will be given tips and information on how to improve their wellbeing – and the wellbeing of those around them – by reaching out to others, including contact details for charities and health services that can help in times of crisis.

NUFC fans will be met between the coach park and the ground by local volunteers,who will give advice on stress, depression and low mood, anger and sleeping problems. 

13:35 Official statistics have revealed the highest ever number of people dying from drug misuse.

A report commissioned by Public Health England and the Local Government Association revealed there were 2,300 deaths from drug misuse in 2015, an 8.5% increase on 2014.

The number of deaths from drug misuse has been growing over the past few years, with a 17% increase in 2014 and a 21% increase the year before.

Heroin related deaths have doubled since 2012 in England and Wales (579 to 1,201, a 107% increase) – to the highest since records began 20 years ago.

An expert group convened by the two bodies highlighted a number of principles for action by local authorities, drug treatment providers and others, including:

  • Coordinate whole-system approaches that can address health inequalities and meet complex needs, with better access to physical and mental healthcare, and to other support which could include housing and employment
  • Improve access to good quality drug treatment, especially for those not currently in treatment who are harder to reach, for example, through outreach and needle and syringe programmes
  • Maintain a personalised approach to drug treatment and recovery support, tailored to the user’s needs, according to national guidelines
  • Ensure that the risk of death is properly assessed and understood, addressing any identified poor practice.

9:30 There has been a huge increase in the prescribing of anti-depressants to children over the past decade, researchers from the University of Swansea have found.

The Independent reports that more than than 40% of those are drugs that have been shown not to work and have harmful side effects.

The study looked at 360,000 patients aged six to 18 in Wales. It found there had been a 28% rise in anti-depressants given out by GPs.

The researchers suggested that this could be because children were now getting the help they needed, rather than increasing ‘medicalisation’.

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