Mental Health Weekly News – September 5th 2014

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Suicide

News on suicide this week was dominated by the release of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report which analysed ten years of global research and data on suicide. The report, outlined at BBC, found that there is a death by suicide every 40 seconds, with 800,000 people committing suicide every year. WHO recommends that all countries have national suicide prevention strategies; but as only 28 countries currently have such structures in place, there is still a long way to go.

Also this week, Japan has vowed to cut its suicide rate by 20% over the next ten years; as reported by the Guardian. Health officials in Japan have committed a package of measures costing $220m to achieve this target, which will include funding improvements to counselling services.

Addiction

As reported by the Telegraph, researchers at Columbia University, New York warned that E-cigarettes can contain highly addictive ‘pure nicotine’ which could, in turn, raise the risk of addiction to banned substances such as cannabis and cocaine.

Studies into the effects of cannabis addiction were outlined in the Journal of Addiction Medicine this week. The results showed high proportions of cannabis users meet the criteria for cannabis dependence; leading to calls for further research into cannabis addiction.

Sleep

In other news, this week, ITV news reported on new data collected by the Sleep Council, which found that approximately three quarters of Britain’s adults have their sleep damaged by everyday stress.

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