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#GPnews: Mental health chief calls out BBC for ‘stigmatising’ anti-depressants



15:40 NHS Providers, the organisation representing trust chiefs, has warned that hospitals are now running at ‘unsafe’ capacity levels.

11:10 The chief executive of an NHS mental health and disability trust has challenged BBC Panorama over ‘the title and content’ of a recent programme.

The programme which ran last night – ‘A Prescription for Murder’ – suggested taking the SSRI sertraline had contributed to an individual going on a mass shooting spree in a Colorado cinema in 2012.

John Lawlor, chief executive of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, who has spoken widely about his own experience of mental illness said: ‘I am horrified that the BBC has chosen to use such stigmatising and unpleasant language in relation to people who use anti-depressants.

‘Substantial steps forward to challenge the stigma of mental ill health have been made, and linking the experience of mental health problems with violent crime only reinforces unhelpful stereotypes. In fact people with mental ill health are far more likely to be the victim of violence, partly because of the stigma they experience.’

‘I would like to call upon BBC panorama to apologise for the offence they have caused.’

09:50 Children starting primary school in affluent areas are at 7% risk of being obese, while those in poor areas are at 13% risk, according to an NHS Scotland report.

Living in a deprived area had a similar effect on adult women, according to the data from 2015/16, reports the BBC.

Author Elaine Tod said: ‘The reasons for this are complex and multi-factorial, including the affordability and availability of high-fat, high-sugar food in comparison with healthy food and the increasing popularity of more sedentary pastimes.

‘What is clear is that action, including structural change at a societal level that does not require individuals to “opt-in”, is needed to achieve both a population-wide decrease in obesity in Scotland and to prevent health inequalities associated with obesity widening further.’

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