This podcast contains discussions about suicide. If you are struggling at the moment, you may choose to leave this episode for another day. Why are so many students dropping out of university due to mental health problems? Comedian and mental health campaigner Juliette Burton, and TV personality Mik Scarlet, take us through the stories grabbing their attention on social media this month with good humour and the benefit of their personal experience. "I can't face another winter with multiple sclerosis," said Colin, in a TV interview about plans to end his life at a Swiss clinic.
Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. His book, A Brief History of Time, appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's disease), that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford to Frank (1905–1986) and Isobel Hawking (née Walker; 1915–2013). Despite their families' financial constraints, both parents attended the University of Oxford, where Frank read medicine and Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. The two met shortly after the beginning of the Second World War at a medical research institute where Isobel was working as a secretary and Frank was working as a medical researcher. They lived in Highgate; but, as London was being bombed in those years, Isobel went to Oxford to give birth in greater safety. Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward. In 1950, when Hawking's father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research, Hawking and his family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Children as young as five will be able to get help for mild depression through apps on their smartphones after the NHS's treatment advisers recommended the use of such devices in their care. Under-18s in England and Wales will in future be able to use digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) through mobile phones and computers to help them manage their feelings of low mood. It will help them avoid potentially long delays to see a therapist and reduce the pressure on NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), according to new guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). While CBT is already routinely available to adults with some mental health problems, this is the first time NICE has recommended it as helpful for five-to-eight-year-olds. The institute advises the NHS what treatments are most clinically effective and represent the best value for money.
NHS services in Scotland have been hit by a cyber-attack which has also disrupted health services in England. NHS Lanarkshire closed down its non-essential IT network and urged patients only to attend A&E in an emergency. The other health boards known to be affected are NHS Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway, Forth Valley, Tayside and Western Isles. The first minister will chair a meeting of the Scottish government's resilience committee to review the situation. Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "We are aware of a number of health boards affected by potential cyber incidents and the first minister will chair a resilience meeting shortly.
Children are facing a'double epidemic' of obesity and social media anxiety, the head of NHS England has warned. Simon Stevens said the issues were key priorities as the health service, which is marking its 70th year, looks to the future. But he said technology companies and social media giants share responsibility for addressing the mental health issues affecting children. In his keynote address at the NHS Confederation's annual conference in Manchester, Mr Stevens said the NHS was having to confront a'double epidemic affecting our children'. 'It is obvious that there is more unmet need for young people's mental health services than probably any other part of the health service,' he told the audience.