Creature comfort

Our pets make us smile and laugh – but they might also help improve the health of the nation. Should CPs be making greater use of animal-assisted therapy?

England: New parents with mental health problems could be overlooked, says NSPCC

About one in four new parents in England are not seeing a health visitor when their baby turns one, increasing the risk of mental health problems going unnoticed, the NSPCC says.

Big story: more harm than good

Rates of self-harm are rising steeply, especially among young women, but the majority are still not able to access the right medical or psychological care. Can you play a helpful role? Journalist Juliette Astrup investigates.

October news in numbers

A breakdown of community health news this month, in numbers. Download the PDF, here.

Netherlands: Aggression and rule-breaking is rarer in children of older parents

Children of older parents tend to have fewer externalising behaviour problems than children of younger parents, a study suggests.

UK: Emotional struggles predict temper tantrums in two-year-olds

Mothers who suffered from stress and anxiety in the antenatal period are more likely to see their child display behavioural problems such as temper tantrums, restlessness and spitefulness, according to a study.

Great Britain: Racist incidents rise for overseas nurses since Brexit vote

Overseas nurses are experiencing higher levels of discrimination, including racist incidents, and are more likely to consider leaving the NHS since the EU referendum in 2016, a new report has found.

Norway: gaming could affect girls’ but not boys’ social skills

A study from Norway looking at how playing video games affects social skills has found differences based on age and gender.

Great Britain: lack of mental health support in schools is a ‘destructive situation’

Four in five teachers report seeing more mental health problems among students, says a survey of more than 8600 teachers, school leaders and support staff from across the UK.

Time for a screen break?

Concerns have been raised that digital devices are now a fundamental part of so many children’s lives, but are there mixed messages around the impact on young people? And how can you help parents navigate the advice? Journalist Georgina Fuller reports.

We need to talk about death

How can you best support families who are in the sad position of mourning a child or a parent? Journalist Linsey Wynton reports.

Big story: mindful from the start?

With mindfulness exercises set to be among techniques taught in a government-led trial across primary schools, journalist Juliette Astrup asks about the growing interest in mindfulness and how it can help support children’s wellbeing.

USA: adversity in early life disrupts gut microbes linked to brain function

A study has linked disruption of a child’s gastrointestinal microbiome, triggered by early-life adversity, with emotional health. 

Scotland: £50M more for perinatal mental health services

More than £50m is to help improve access to mental health services for expectant and new mothers, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Scotland: baby guide refreshed with latest mental health information

A popular resource for pregnant women and their families has been updated to include the latest information on perinatal mental health support.

UK: inquiry demands tighter social media regulation

#NewFilters, the first national inquiry examining the impact of social media on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, has called for tighter regulations on social media.

Children’s mental health services face postcode lottery, warns new report

Children in need of ‘low-level’ mental health services – vital preventative and early intervention services for problems such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders are facing a postcode lottery. So found an investigation by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Top