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Norman Lamb talks about son's mental health struggles

Lib Dem Norman Lamb has thanked people for the support his family has received at a "painful" time in relation to his son's mental health issues.

Referring to a Sunday Mirror story, the health minister said his music producer son had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder aged 15.

There had been "very dark periods", with drink and perhaps drugs, but his son was now clean, he told the paper. He told Liberal Democrat activists his family's experience was "not unique".

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Investigation launched after 'nursing assistant showed suicidal teen how to kill herself'

Nursing assistant Sharon Bradley has been suspended while Stobill Hospital investigates allegations she sent a picture showing how to commit suicide to a vulnerable in-patient at psychiatric unit

A hospital is investigating allegations a nursing assistant sent a suicidal teen instructions on how to kill herself.

The unnamed girl was a vulnerable in-patient in a psychiatric support unit at Skye House in the grounds of Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow , when it is alleged Nursing assistant Sharon Bradley, 49, sent her a picture through photo-sharing website Instagram, which explained how someone could end their life.

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Older men mental health action call by Mind Cymru

A charity is warning that more needs be done to help older men in Wales who are suffering from mental health problems.

Mind Cymru says older men are more prone to suicide than younger adults, but many do not receive the support and medical guidance they need. Its figures show that one in four have symptoms of depression, severe enough to warrant intervention.

Men with mental health problems have formed a support group to help others in Tondu, near Bridgend. Ruth Coombs, Mind Cymru's manager for influence and change, believes that older men suffering from mental health problems often slip through the net.

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No police action over East Lancs mental health patient mistreatment - but staff remain suspended

POLICE have dropped an investigation into allegations of mistreatment of a mental health patient in Blackburn, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal offence

Last year, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how six staff at the Pendleview Unit had been suspended following allegations that a women was left screaming and covered in excrement for several hours during an overnight shift.

It has been claimed night shift workers failed to offer adequate assistance to the woman, who was said to be in severe distress before being found by workers starting the day shift.

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Mental health patients ‘could be exposed to risk’

“SIGNIFICANT concerns” have been raised about mental health services in the region.

A report by the health board’s director of mental health services claims potential failures in the governance of adult and older people’s mental health services in North Wales could expose patients to clinical risks.

Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi highlights a series of failings relating to mental health provision and now Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has been asked to endorse a new improvement plan to ensure the safety and quality of care can be managed effectively.

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UNISON report claims mental health staff are working under increasing stress

More than eight in 10 mental health staff say their workload has increased while more than seven in 10 say they have experienced cuts according to a new report.

The study, carried out by by public services union UNISON, has been described as a “warning” that mental health services staff are under pressure.

The trade union has been doing survey work across members who work in Mental Health and 84% reported that they had increases in their workload in the last three years.

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Self-harm spike in Manchester due to recession, says mental health expert

Self-harm rates are soaring across Manchester and could have been triggered by the recession, according to a university mental health expert.

Data made available by the Manchester Self-Harm Project (MaSH) shows that between 2008-2012, the biggest increase in hospital visits as a result of self-harm was in men aged 35-54.

The group with the highest overall self-harm rate is still young women aged 15-24. The new figures were released for Self-Harm Awareness Day on Sunday. Dr Pauline Turnbull, project manager of MaSH at The University of Manchester, said: “It does look likely that the increase in men between 35-54 going to hospital following self-harm could be linked to the effects of the recession.

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Young bloggers help shape mental health services

Two young bloggers who have shared their experiences of coping with mental health issues are helping to shape the future of services across the UK.

Two young bloggers who have shared their experiences of coping with mental health issues are helping to shape the future of services across the UK.

Katie Davis and Susanna Frost were invited to Westminster last week to meet secretary of state for education Nicky Morgan and minister Sam Gyimah. The Norfolk pair joined bloggers from across the UK to look at ways to de-stigmatise mental health in schools and come up with ideas to support young people.

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Merseyside’s new £25m mental health hospital opens to patients

A ward manager at a mental health hospital in Walton used a mallet to smash walls, windows and furniture to ensure it was safe enough to accept patients.

Clock View Hospital, off Rice Lane, will have room for 80 patients, spread across five wards, and will employ several hundred staff. The new £25m facility started admitting patients this weekend.

During its 22-month construction on the former Walton Hospital site, Mersey Care bosses ensured its fixtures and fittings would be robust, safe and fit-for-purpose, even if it meant testing them to destruction.

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Black Mental Health Issues Are Not A Political Football

'The care of black people detained by mental health services should not be exploited to win votes'

COMPETITION BETWEEN the political parties in the run up to any general election is always fraught with attempts at proving each other’s track record is better than the other. However, in the eight years of Black Mental Health UK's (BMH UK) existence one would never have thought that the treatment and care of black people, who are detained by mental health services, would be viewed by some who are scrabbling for power as just another political football.

But the surprising headline in The Guardian newspaper last month asserting that Home Secretary ‘Theresa May needs to hear what it’s like to be black and mentally ill in Britain’ makes it clear that it is now open season, even on issues affecting our community’s most vulnerable and marginalised, in the run up to the May 2015 general election.

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Large gap between rich and poor areas in use of mental health services revealed

Researchers analysed 25m mental health care interactions and found people in wealthiest suburbs accessed highly qualified staff up to three times as much as people in poorer areas

Large socioeconomic and geographical inequality exists in patient use of mental health services, despite Medicare’s aim of providing universal health care.

Using substantial data obtained through freedom of information requests, researchers from Melbourne’s Monash University assessed more than 25m instances of mental health care over the four years to June 2011, undertaking the largest ever national study into mental health services.

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Child mental health wait increases 'are horrifying'

The number of young people waiting more than a year to be treated by mental health services has increased 10-fold in a year, according to figures released by Scottish Labour.

The party said the Scottish government "is letting down some of the most vulnerable children in Scotland". Figures showed those waiting 53 weeks or more rose from 20 to 226.

The Scottish government said the numbers were due to tougher target times brought in to "drive progress". A spokesman said £17m had been invested in improving services since 2009 and that it would continue to work to "ensure that all young people who need the services get them within the time they should expect".

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Duchess of Cambridge records child mental health message

The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a video message in support of the first ever Children's Mental Health Week.

She says that stigma around mental health means that many children do not get the help they need. The duchess recorded the message for the Place2Be charity, which is organising the mental health week.

Kensington Palace said she was a "committed champion of issues related to children's mental health and emotional wellbeing". Place2Be, of which the duchess is a patron, provides emotional help and support in schools and is organising the first ever Children's Mental Health Week.

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To read more about Children's Mental Health Week please Click here


University staff scared to disclose mental health problems

A survey finds that students and staff are not seeking help for fear of being treated differently 

University staff and students with mental health difficulties are not seeking help for fear of receiving unfair treatment, according to a survey by a higher education charity.

The Equality Challenge Unit, which promotes diversity at universities, questioned more than 2,000 staff and over 1,400 students about whether they have disclosed their mental health problem and received any support.

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For information on University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day please Click here


New student mental health guidance for universities launched

Official guidance for universities on how to support students with mental health problems has been updated

The new Universities UK document takes into account “major changes” that have occurred in higher education and mental health treatment since the previous guidelines were published.

One such change is the increase in the number of disabled students declaring mental health conditions, which has climbed by around 4 percentage points over a five-year period.

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Dolygaer activity centre put up for auction by Merthyr council

The outdoor centre, which offers activities including rafting, abseiling and bouldering, has a guide price of £145,000 to £160,000

Dolygaer Outdoor Activities Centre is going up for auction as part of Merthyr council’s plans to plug a budget deficit.

The local authority revealed in October it is selling off the educational centre as part of its bid to save £15.3m in the next four years. The centre, which offers activities for schools and groups including rafting, abseiling and bouldering, has a guide price of £145,000 to £160,000 with Lambert Smith Hampton auctioneers.

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Teenage girl held by police under mental health act went 'without food or water for two days'

Report finds found some children are being held in police custody overnight unnecessarily

A teenager was detained in police custody and went without food or water for 44 hours, a report has found.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the 16-year-old girl went without eating or drinking for almost two days while she was detained under the Mental Health Act by Nottinghamshire Police, the BBC reports.

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Mental health warning to councils running own services

Local councils trying to provide mental health care are "storing up problems" for the future, a charity has claimed.

Replacing specialist services with generic care to cut costs would result in long-term problems for some, Hafal chief executive Alun Thomas said. He claimed many people would "end up losing portions of their lives".

The Welsh Local Government Association said councils were doing their "utmost" to protect services for vulnerable people but faced "massive pressures".

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Hundreds turn out to save libraries - Despite Carping

HUNDREDS of concerned residents took to the streets on Saturday against plans to slash library services across Cardiff — but a Labour councillor dubbed them a “collection of egos.”

Many of the 600 people brought their favourite book to the demonstration outside Cardiff Central Library against plans to reduce services at seven libraries across the city (pictured).

Their campaign is supported by Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield, who warned the plan would turn Cardiff into a “cultural wasteland.” Despite also opposing the cuts, Cllr Ralph Cook said the 600-strong demonstration would do nothing to save the seven threatened libraries.

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Dorset PCC backs call to stop ‘scandal’ of psychiatric patients locked up in police cells

A CALL to stop the “scandal” of psychiatric patients being locked up in police cells has been backed by Dorset’s crime commissioner.

R A Home Affairs Committee report has demanded a change in the law, which currently allows cells to be used as a ‘place of safety’ for mental health patients.

Its chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, said the detention of children with psychiatric problems in police cells needs to “cease immediately”.

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Labour to double paid paternity leave to four weeks

A future Labour government would double the amount of paid paternity leave available to new fathers from two to four weeks, Ed Miliband has announced.

RThe Labour leader has also pledged to increase statutory paternity pay by more than £120 a week to £260 a week, paid for by savings in tax credits. Some business leaders have said the £150m move amounts to a business "tax". A new system of shared parental leave championed by the Liberal Democrats comes into force in April.

The Lib Dems are also proposing, in future, a month's worth of paternity leave after a child's birth on a "use it or lose it" basis. The Conservatives have supported greater flexibility in parental leave, arguing that all future spending policies need to pass a "families test".

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Number of people in mental health crisis being detained in police cells in Staffordshire has fallen by two-thirds despite major problems in the rest of the UK.

THE number of people with mental health problems being detained in police cells in Staffordshire has fallen by two-thirds.

Organisations from across the area have been working together for two years in a move that has seen the number of mentally ill people detained in police custody fall by 59 per cent – from 168 in 2012 to 69 in 2014.

This comes as campaigners in Burton continue their efforts to boost provision in the area following the closure of the Margaret Stanhope psychiatric facility in the town in 2012.

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City region plan for Cardiff, Newport and Bristol unveiled

Details on how Cardiff, Newport and Bristol plan to work together as a city region under the title of Great Western Cities have been unveiled.

It is hoped the move will boost the economy in the region and help to develop renewable energy. The logo for the Great Western Cities region was also unveiled at the launch.

The announcement is the latest step for councils either side of the Severn Estuary to work together to rival England's 'northern powerhouse'. The cities involved have already formed partnerships to shape transport plans.

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Lincolnshire mental health initiative awarded £500k to scale up care

A Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust initiative has been selected to be a part of a £3.5 million improvement programme, with up to £500,000 set aside to support the work.

The trust’s service model Outcomes Orientated Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (OO-CAMHS) will join six health care projects across the UK in benefitting from the programme – Scaling Up Improvement.

The initiative from LPFT will involve a whole service model through working in partnership with eight UK CAMHS teams.

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Norfolk and Suffolk mental health services branded 'inadequate'

The mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk is being recommended to be placed in special measures after being rated inadequate.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) was "not a safe, effective or responsive service", said the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report said there were also concerns about a lack of beds and "urgent action" was needed.

The trust said it would improve services and put patients first.

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Tyneside Mental Health Charity Launches Mood App

A mental health charity on Tyneside's launching an app to help people understand their moods better.

Last November Tyneside Mind showcased a new piece of technology aimed at helping people to recognise patterns in behaviour through mood recordings. After the success of the soft launch and with a strong community of supporters Tyneside Mind look to the future and the release of the Mind Mood Tracker as a downloadable mobile free app. 

After securing lottery funding Tyneside Mind began developing the web application and mobile app, in partnership with The Creative Branch, last year with the aim of helping individuals gain a better understanding of their moods and behaviours and the effects this had on their wellbeing and mental health.

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Mental health first aid training helps cut stress in the workplace

With some 70 million working days lost each year to mental health issues, according to England’s chief medical officer’s 2014 annual report, mental health first aid is one solution for the workplace. Caroline Hounsell explains more. 

The 2014 report of chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies focused on mental health, and looked at the cost of mental ill health to UK employers. It recommended that organisations prioritise mental health when it comes to investing in their employees.

Over the past year, social enterprise Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) has reported a marked increase in demand for workplace training. MHFA’s mission is to increase the nation’s mental health literacy and it offers employers a cost-effective way of tackling this issue in the workplace.

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Green Party Fareham candidate calls for better mental health provision

GREEN parliamentary candidate Miles Grindey has backed calls for better provision of support for people in mental health crisis.

Mr Grindey is due to stand for election for the Green Party in May in Fareham. He said: ‘Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked and brushed aside.

‘One in four constituents will experience a mental health problem this year and countless more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and other people in their lives.

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Tesco names 43 UK store closures

The supermarket giant Tesco has named the 43 stores it is closing across the country, a move that will see 2,000 staff lose their jobs.

The company is currently informing staff at the affected stores.The Express and Home Plus stores will close on 15 March with the Tesco Metros and Superstores on the list closing on 4 April.

Tesco warned earlier this month that 43 stores would be shut as part of plans to cut costs.

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Occupational therapy and mental health: ‘It’s not about basket weaving’

Occupational therapy for mental health patients helps people live fulfilling and meaningful lives

Jane Reynolds can’t imagine doing anything else: “I love working with people. I love hearing their stories. I love seeing how they can change their life with a bit of support.”

She makes it sound easy, but as an occupational therapist (OT) working as a community forensic mental health practitioner, Reynolds is tasked with engaging some of the hardest to reach service users: people with severe mental disorders, including severe and enduring mental illness and personality disorder, usually with a history of violent crime. “They don’t want to listen to country and western music, or dig a garden, generally,” she says.

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Durham Oriental Museum teams up with mental health charity to create its latest exhibition

Service users from Sunderland based The Art Studio are exhibiting their work at the Durham museum for three months

A mental health charity has launched the most high profile exhibition in its 25 year history as part of a partnership to make a museum more accessible to the community.

No Stigma Attached, at Durham’s Oriental Museum, will run until April 29 and has seen the university-run museum team up with Sunderland-based mental health charity The Art Studio.

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Cost-cutting plan to end a mental health service for older people

MORE details have been revealed about a cost-cutting plan to end a mental health service for older people.

But a senior councillor has insisted that people will not be left worse off because of the change. Bradford Council's Labour leadership is proposing to slash its adult services budget by £8.5 million from April.

One of the projects due to come to an end is a mental health service for older people provided by the organisation Creative Support. The contract will soon expire and a decision not to renew it would save £200,000 a year, the budget proposals show.

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Archbishop of Canterbury and daughter back churches' mental health health toolkit

The UK's largest Christian disability charity, Livability, has joined forces with Premier Mind and Soul to create new resource to help churches better understand people with mental health needs in their congregations.

The pack has won endorsements from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby; the Bishop of London, Rt Rev Richard Chartres; director of Time to Change, Sue Baker; youth charity XLP founder Patrick Regan and worship leader, Matt Redman.

The pack was developed in response to a growing demand from churches keen to better understand mental health issues. It aims to equip churches with relevant knowledge and tools incorporating theological, psychological and medical perspectives on mental health as well as signposting them to other specialist external sources.

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Ministers under fire over huge drop in mental health research

PSYCHIATRISTS have called on health bosses to take urgent action to find new treatments for mental illnesses, after it emerged that funding for vital research has plummeted under the SNP.

Despite a growing consensus that psychological conditions should be given the same priority as physical illnesses, new figures have revealed that a declining fraction of Scottish Government research budgets are spent on increasing understanding of conditions such as depression and dementia or developing new drugs and therapies.

The findings have led to demands that ministers back up their rhetoric over the importance of helping patients with mental illnesses with action. A recent survey revealed that more than a quarter of Scots have experienced a mental health problem.

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Cut to mental health charity confirmed

Glasgow City Council has confirmed it is to reshape mental health services, a move which will mean a leading charity suffers a 40% cut in funding.

The proposal, which is expected to lead to 30 redundancies at Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) was confirmed by the council's executive Committee, which voted 10-6 to back the plans.

It had been forced to reconsider the issue after opposition councillors helped send it back for further scrutiny. However the mental health service review, which includes asking GAMH to work more closely with GPs, was confirmed without any changes.

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The big fight against mental health problems

AT least 3,000 people a month are battling with depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health problems in Brighton and Hove at the moment.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust treated 3,157 people for mental health problems with inpatient care and community care at the last recording in November.

The organisation, which oversees and helps to provide mental healthcare in the city, said this was just a snapshot of how many people were treated in a month in November last year. Exactly a year before that, 3,482 were recorded as being treated.

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York A&E launches 24-hour mental health service

A 24-HOUR service has been launched for patients who visit York Hospital's emergency department with mental health problems.

The Mental Health Liaison Service means professionals, including mental health nurses, a senior clinical lead and a consultant psychiatrist, are accessible to provide medical support and advice to staff.

Dr Alastair Turnbull, medical director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said the service was 'extremely good news' and began to address the needs of some of the hospital's most vulnerable patients.

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How benefit sanctions punish people with mental health problems the hardest

Some of the most vulnerable people on benefits are being sanctioned at alarming rates - even when they're in hospital.

It's hard enough dealing with a mental health issue - but it's made much worse if you're not able to work.

David (not his real name) suffers from schizophrenia and receives two types of income support to help him live while he deals with his illness. He was sanctioned twice in 2013 for not attending work focussed interviews and appointments due to his deteriorating health.

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Chief Inspector of Hospitals welcomes new Mental Health Act code of practice

This year saw publication of the latest revision of the Mental Health Act (MHA) code of practice

The MHA Code of Practice gives providers advice on how to make sure that the Mental Health Act 1983 is followed correctly and is used in the best interest of people who are detained under that Act. The last revision of the code was in 2008.

The revision provided us with an opportunity to review what’s been learned from our visits to check on the application of the Mental Health Act over the past five years.

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Number of British soldiers with mental illness increases by a third, new figures reveal

Experts raise concerns about the long-term impact of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as figures unearthed by The Telegraph show stark rise

The number of servicemen and women suffering from mental illness has risen by almost a third amid cuts to defence spending, The Telegraph can reveal.

Official Ministry of Defence figures show the number of armed forces Armed Forces personnel with "mental health disorders" has risen from 3,927 in 2011 to 5,076 in 2013.

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40% of British families ‘too poor to play a part in society’

8 million lacking required income level, says charity, as rising figure reflects cost of living and benefit cuts

Nearly four out of 10 households with children, or 8.1 million people, live below an income level regarded by the public as the minimum needed to participate in society, according to new research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The number of those on less than the so-called minimum income threshold in 2012/13 was up by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09, the charity says.

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Dentists not clear about costs, says Which?

People could be paying too much for dental treatment because dentists are not being clear about their prices, consumer champion Which? has found.

A survey of 1,000 people in England found one in five was overcharged for treatment while 50% said no price list for treatment was displayed. Which? said dentists should be "upfront with patients about costs".

The Department of Health said dentists were contractually required to display up-to-date charges. The people surveyed had all been to see their dentist in the past six months.

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Ebola takes mental health toll where 'life has frozen' in Sierra Leone

Panic and depression rise in hard-hit area as communities battle bereavement, changing family roles – and even boredom.

Ebola is causing mental health problems in Sierra Leone, with the country’s overstretched health system unable to deal with the psychosocial legacy of the outbreak, according to a report by the International Medical Corps.

Fear, panic, stress, shame and isolation are increasingly common feelings, says IMC, an NGO that conducted interviews, focus groups and surveys in the town of Lunsar – the capital of Port Loko and one of the worst-hit districts in the country. The area was neglected in the earlier stages of the outbreak before IMC opened a hospital in December.

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