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 Mental health services need attention, says Theresa May

Posted on 17th August, 2017 by NCH News

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that ’10,000 members of staff will be trained spotting issues around mental health’ adding that the National Citizens Service ‘will build in mental health awareness’ after admitting to the BBC that the UK’s mental health services are ‘patchy’ and need to be reviewed.

The Prime Minister told BBC’s News Beat she would support teenagers through a new strategy and better access to help.

While 6,000 mental health nurses and doctors have been cut from the HS since 2010, Mrs May denied there’s a big problem with mental health provision in the UK, despite Labour accusing ministers of letting a generation of young people down and not funding services properly.

Earlier this year, a survey of NHS trusts suggested that mental health services in England could be overwhelmed by a combination of rising demand and staff shortages.

And Mrs May told the BBC: “One of the things I’ve been doing is actually looking at the community mental health services for young people and reviewing that across the country because it is patchy.”

While services seem to be struggling, clinical hypnotherapy is an alternative source of help for those suffering some mental health issues. It is also known that more young people are suffering from stress and anxiety than in previous years which can lead to further problems as they grow up, if not treated.

Says the National Council for Hypnotherapy, which has more than 1,800 highly-trained therapists across the UK: “Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide.”

The Council explains that hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes. An external influence (the hypnotherapist) assists in activating the inner resources of a person (the client) in order to achieve realistic goals.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH. “Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

There could be people who want help but cannot get it due to the strains on the NHS. But, says the NCH, you may be ‘one of those people but are now ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life, free to do things that bring you joy’,

Mrs May told the BBC: “Over the years we haven’t given mental health the same focus in our National Health Service and other services as I think is necessary. Intervening early for young people is important. We’ve increased the number of mental health beds for young people and we’re putting record amounts of funding into mental health in the NHS.”

She adds: “We do need to ensure is that we are raising that awareness and seeing that support there.”

But that could take time and it is known that GPs are under pressure too. Mrs May said she had visited a school recently and saw ‘some of the first sets of training that we’re doing for teachers and staff in schools so they can better identify when young people have mental health problems and to know what is the right support to give to those young people’.

Is workplace stress becoming an epidemic?

Stress at work is spiralling out of control, with many employees in danger of completely burning out, a survey shows while a psychologist has warned that over-stress is ‘a time bomb ticking away in the basement of UK plc’.

The survey, reported the Daily Mail, warns that 25% of those in professions such as teaching, social work and the police are suffering from serious stress. In other occupations up to 15% of staff have problems with those in the private sector suffering from the requirement to deliver higher and higher productivity per person.

In the public sector – particularly in the NHS – staff are being asked to take on more responsibility with fewer resources, the survey leader Professor John McLeod of Abertay University, Dundee, said.

People who need workplace counselling show signs of psychological distress equivalent to that found in out-patient psychiatric hospitals,” said McLeod, adding that the culture which gives employees and bosses the longest working hours in Europe must change or Britain will
‘break down’.

While he said this was not ‘a minor worry any more but a serious crisis in people’s lives’, Ruth Lea, of the Institute of Directors,disagreed, saying: “’People should really get things in perspective. Most people are comfortable at work and often stress is just part and parcel of a job.

“There may be people who are too stressed but this can be addressed. It is usually a sign of bad management which can be changed.”

McLeod warned that workplace anxiety will not go away unless Britain learns how to offer help to staff. But he said the British ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude often prevents people admitting how awful their workplace is.

Undiagnosed anxiety conditions now cause more absences from work than traditional complaints such as backache, hangovers and stomach trouble.

His report, for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, claims counselling can reduce the incidence of office-related stress by half. Countering stress boosts performance and cuts the number of sick days taken.

Dealing with stress and anxiety is becoming more common for clinical hypnotherapists, says the nation’s largest professional association, the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH. “Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

Many NCH hypnotherapists offer special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work.

“Stress is one of the major reasons people take time off work, and investing in stress reduction schemes companies can increase productivity, happiness and subsequently loyalty in their employees,” adds the NCH, “It is worth talking to your employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.”

During sessions with a hypnotherapist, the therapist will help assess the stress or anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will set a goal asking how the person would like to feel, how they would like to be, and things that they would chose to do if free of stress and anxiety.

“They will then work with the person to reach theirr goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal,” says the NCH. “After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.”

Parents worry about children’s low self-esteem and unhappiness

Children’s charity Spurgeons says we are living in a society where children are struggling and parents don’t know where to turn for help. Parents are most worried about low self-esteem and their children being unhappy, or being bullied, and young parents are particularly concerned about their children self-harming or committing suicide.

“But the sad thing is half of parents think there is little to no support available. Therefore Spurgeons is calling on government, charities, schools and GPs to do more so families do know where to turn for help,” said the charity as it marked its 150th anniversary with the launch of its Parent Report.

The report shows that, across the UK, 46% of parents are most worried about their children having low self-esteem or are that they are unhappy while 46% also worry about their children being bullied.

The research, among parents with children under the age of 18, also showed that 20% of young parents (aged 18-24) worry about the prospect of their child self-harming or feeling suicidal and 42% think there is little to no support available from statutory, community or voluntary services to help with family challenges like divorce and conflict.

Only 34% of parents have ever used a support group or social care service for their children and only 10% would turn to a children’s charity for support on any issues affecting their children.

Spurgeons Chief Executive Ross Hendry says: “This research shows that parents of all ages and backgrounds are concerned for their children. And many of the most vulnerable are struggling the most. This is true across society. But for youngsters facing challenges, who are caring for a relative or who have a parent in prison, it’s much worse.”

Another charity, ChildLine, says it has noticed an increase in counselling for children with low self-esteem and says children are ‘struggling to cope with the pressures of modern life, creating a generation of children plagued by loneliness and low self-esteem’.

And the mental health charity, Mind, says talking treatments can help with children suffering from low self-esteem, being bullied or other emotional issues affecting behaviour.

Among treatments which can help is clinical hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has around 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who can help and are experienced in dealing with such issues.

Says the NCH: “Hypnotherapy is a very effective treatment for children as it utilises their imagination in order to help them create positive ways of coping with the trials of growing up. The NCH has many members who specialise in working with children – there is help out there.”

“People can suffer from thoughts of low self-esteem, or obsessive thoughts about someone or something,” says the NCH, adding: “Hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes. An external influence, the therapist, assists in activating the inner resources of their client in order to achieve realistic goals.”

Adds Hendry: “What’s important is that families get the support they need when they need it. The good news is that there is support out there, through a range of different organisations and services. But it is clear that we must all – government, charities, schools and GPs included – do more to let people know where they can turn, and for what support, so every child can look to the future with a sense of hope.”

The pros and cons of teen internet use

Social media use and ‘being online’ seem to be part and parcel of modern living with UK teenagers have some of the highest rates of internet use in the developed world – something that has a strong link to lower levels of well-being.

But limiting children’s use of the internet will not protect them against the ills of social media, researchers say. The BBC reports that the Education Policy Institute study said restricting usage can prevent children gaining the digital skills and emotional resilience to keep them safe.

The report, written by the EPI’s Director of Mental Health, Emily Frith, said restricting a child’s use of the internet reduces the chances of children meeting difficulties online, but does not give them the skills to deal with problems they may run into at a later date.

“Restriction was also linked to the young person having a lower level of digital skills” she read, adding: “The research highlighted in this report indicates that restricting a young person’s access to the internet could inhibit the development of the skills needed to handle online risk.”

But research also shows that more than one-third of the UK’s 15-year-olds are classed as ‘extreme internet users’ – defined, by a study from the international think tank OECD, as someone who uses the internet for the equivalent of their whole evening online or more than six hours outside school on a typical weekend day.

The report said concerns were frequently raised about the potential effect on young people spending a great deal of time online.
And according to research from Ofcom in 2016, quoted in the study, it led to nearly eight in 10 (78%) young people (aged 16 to 24) being told off for doing this.

Seven out of 10 said they had missed out on sleep because of their online habits and 60% said they had neglected school work as a result. And 59% of those questioned by Ofcom said they felt they spent too much time on the internet, with a quarter saying they felt nervous or anxious when offline.

The EPI research highlighted that those spending large amounts of time on social networking sites were more likely to have symptoms of mental ill health, and that excessive internet use has been linked with depression.

It is well-documented that lack of sleep, stress, anxiety and depression can have a detrimental effect on our lives and, in particular, children while at school.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy says in today’s world, about one in seven people is suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, adds the NCH, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

“Anxiety and stress can manifest itself differently for everyone but common physical signs of anxiety or stress include a racing heartbeat, butterflies in the stomach, nausea, sweating, panic attacks and insomnia,” says the NCH.

The national body adds: “Common psychological signs of stress and anxiety include inner tension, agitation, a fear of losing control, irritability, feelings of detachment and phobias and fears. Anxiety can also manifest itself in different worries; it may be fear of being around other people, it may be anxiety in specific social situations, anxiety in your relationships with particular people at home, at school or at work.”

A government spokesperson said the internet had given young people wider opportunities to increase their knowledge, but helping them to deal with the risks they face online is vital. He said: “Cyber bullying and staying safe online are key parts of Relationships and Sex Education, which we are making mandatory. We are also helping schools to spot mental health problems and respond in the right way by offering mental health first aid training for a member of staff in every secondary school.”

And Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, told the BBC industry, schools and families should all rise to the challenge of social media.

“What will jump out to parents is the link between excessive social media use and a greater chance of mental health issues,” he said.

Conquer social media addiction with hypnotherapy

The recent accidental fatal shooting of a man live on YouTube – in an attempt to draw more followers to their site – has been described by US authorities as a ‘social media stunt gone wrong’ and has highlighted the dangers of social media addiction.

Monalisa Perez, 19, was booked into a Minnesota county jail after shooting at Pedro Ruiz as he held a book to his chest, believing it would stop the bullet, the BBC reported. The couple’s three-year-old child and nearly 30 onlookers watched as she fired the fatal bullet into his chest.

A relative of Ruiz said he had told her Ruiz said they did it because ‘we want more viewers, we want to get famous’.

One of the problems with social media’s rise in popularity is that people think their list of ‘virtual friends’ and the number of ‘hits’ they get for each item they post makes them ‘more famous’ and this need to be famous or popular can become an addiction.

Breaking an unwanted habit or addiction is not easy but clinical hypnotherapy can help people conquer their addictions and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has around 1,800 therapists across the UK who have had success in helping people stop smoking, overcome alcohol misuse, drug dependency and other ‘problem behaviours’.

Says the NCH: “We define a problem behaviour as an unwanted habit or addiction; something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about.

“Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common. But there are other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.”

An addiction can feel like it controls your life, says the NCH but the good news is that we are in control and can change how we react to certain situations and you can protect ourselves in ways that are healthy.

The NCH says the reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it ‘works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently’.

An unwanted habit can also lead to stress and anxiety – another area in which hypnotherapy can help.

Says the NCH: “Why is it important to reduce anxiety in your life? What difference will it make to you? Research shows that prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress related hormones can cause memory problems, a weakened immune system, an increase in blood pressure and even reduce fertility.”

AN NCH hypnotherapist can help assess a person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety and then they will set their client a goal asking how they wish to feel, how they would like to be, and things that they would chose to do if free of anxiety.

“They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques,” says the NCH. “Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal. After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you.

“Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily. People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

The rise in the popularity of social media is staggering. Facebook alone now has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. This changing world has brought new opportunities but also pitfalls. Every week there seems to be a news headline about someone who has got into trouble through social media.

Referring to the tragic YouTube shooting, the Ruiz relative said: “It was just a prank gone wrong”.

Ms Perez, who is pregnant, is now facing charges of second degree manslaughter. The single gunshot was fired from about one foot away as neighbours gathered to watch outside their Minnesota home.

Coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through hypnotherapy

The horrors of a terror attack are immediate and frightening but for the heroes who rush in and do their duty to help the injured and make things safe, the after effects can be long lasting and debilitating.The attack by a suicide bomber, targeting young people leaving a pop concert in Manchester, will leave scars for a long time – not only for those who lost loved ones but also those who were there and survived.For most of us, dealing with the horror of such an event is difficult; for those who survived, were injured or lost loved ones, it is even harder. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often suffered by people involved in such events.

Already stories are emerging of emergency workers who say the harrowing scenes will stay with them for a long time. One, Adam Williams, told the BBC of the ‘harrowing’ experience of working through the night trying to save people and said ‘what he saw, what he did’ were constantly going through his mind. He added: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of that.”

And that is a worry many will face but PTSD can be overcome.

According to the NHS, PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events and someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, maybe even experiencing feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later. It is estimated that the disorder affects about 1 in every three people who have had a traumatic experience, although it is not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not, adds the NHS.

“While it is normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, most people improve naturally over a few weeks,” says the NHS. “You should visit your GP if you or your child is still having problems about four weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome. If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.”

This could include being prescribed medication – but there can be side-effects – or some form of talking therapy such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Talking therapies involves treatment that can help the PTSD sufferer feel more in control of their emotions and result in fewer symptoms, although there might still be some bad memories.

Signs of PTSD include intrusive flashbacks of the moment; nightmares or recurring bad dreams; insomnia; sudden bouts of rage or temper tantrums; the inability to relax and continuing stress, tension or fears. Often these are caused by a ‘trigger event’ which causes the PTSD sufferer to relive those horrific events.

Clinical hypnotherapy has a proven record in treating anxiety, stress, PTSD and other similar issues as the hypnotherapist will work with the subconscious mind and identify and treat those ‘triggers’, allowing the person understand them and cope with them in the future.

A fully qualified National Council for Hypnotherapy therapist – of which there are almost 2,000 across the UK – can help a PTSD sufferer understand their current thought patterns so that they can identify those that are harmful and unhelpful.

The aim of hypnotherapy is to unlock stored emotion so that the trauma can be revisited and explored from a different perspective and there are various forms of hypnotherapy a practitioner may use and in order to determine which is the most suitable, says the NCH.

“In some cases, a therapist could use cognitive hypnotherapy or analytical hypnotherapy, both of which function on a deeper level than suggestion hypnotherapy and are able to work with the unconscious mind so that negative beliefs which were built up during the trauma can be explored and alleviated.”

During hypnotherapy sessions, sufferers can learn to come to terms with their trauma and gain a sense of control over their fear. By focusing on realistic thoughts, they can avoid falling back into negative thinking patterns whenever they encounter a trigger.

Social media platforms can cause anxiety and lead to mental health issues

A survey in the UK has revealed that Instagram is rated as the worst social media platform in terms of its impact on young people’s mental health and the Royal Society for Public Health says social media may be fuelling a mental health crisis’ in young people.

The BBC reported that the poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to score popular apps on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image. About 90% of young people use social media – more than any other age group – so they are particularly vulnerable to its effects, although it is not clear what these are on current evidence.

And, while mental health charities have urged companies to act to increase users’ safety, Instagram said keeping the platform a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority.

The RSPH report said social platforms should flag up heavy social media use and identify users with mental health issues and, while there is the threat of a mental health crisis, it added that social media can also be used as a tool for good and Instagram claimed it provides tools and information on how to cope with bullying and warns users before they view certain content.

The survey showed that YouTube was considered to have the most positive impact on mental health, followed by Twitter and then Facebook with Snapchat and Instagram given the lowest scores overall.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said: “It is interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

In light of the findings, public health experts are calling for social media platforms to introduce a series of checks and measures to help tackle mental health, and the report also recommends that NHS England comes up with a vetting scheme for health and well-being information so young people are better able to judge whether information is trustworthy.

“As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a ‘wild West’ when it comes to young people’s mental health and well-being,” Cramer added.

Earlier studies have also shown that social media can be addictive and have warned of its dangers to mental health among younger people and Tom Madders, from mental health charity YoungMinds, said: “Increasing safety within social media platforms is an important step and one we urge Instagram and other sites to act upon. But it’s also important to recognise that simply ‘protecting’ young people from particular content types can never be the whole solution.”

Dealing with addictive or unwanted habits is among successful treatments clinical hypnotherapy can offer and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has almost 2,000 highly-trained therapists across the UK who can offer such help.

The NCH warns that addictive habits can be something people feel they have no control over which can affects their lives the lives and make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.

“If you have an unwanted habit or behaviour, it may often feel as if you are out of control, that there is someone else or something inside of you that is making you do this. A ‘little voice’ that always tells you to do something when you don’t want to do it. But that little voice is part of you and is part of your protection system,” says the NCH.

The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently,” adds the national body.

Anxiety leads to UK teens being less happy

While most 15-year-olds seems happy with their lives, according to an international study of students’ well-being, UK teenagers had a below average satisfaction score. Anxiety about exams and bullying remains a problem for many young people.The findings are based on a survey of 540,000 students internationally by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which showed an average satisfaction score of 7.3 on a scale from zero to 10. UK teens had a score of seven, reported the BBC. The study reveals large variations in life satisfaction out of 48 OECD countries and partner nations.

The highest levels of satisfaction were found in the Dominican Republic (8.5), Mexico (8.3) and Costa Rica (8.2), while the UK took 38th place for life satisfaction, behind the United States, France, Germany and Ireland – lower too, than Russia and Bulgaria.

Statistics for UK 15-year-olds showed that 72% said they felt very anxious before a test – even when well prepared; almost one in four (24%) were victims of one act of bullying at least a few times a month and around 15% were made fun of by others and 5% said they were hit or pushed at least a few times a month.

But teenagers perceived a high level of parental support, with 93% saying their parents encouraged them to be confident and 94% saying parents were interested in their school activities.

On average across OECD countries, about 11% of teenagers said they were frequently mocked, 7% were ‘left out of things’ and 8% were the subject of hurtful rumours. But the OECD research found less bullying in schools where students had positive relationships with their teachers.

Across OECD countries, about 55% of students said they were very anxious before a test, even if they were well prepared for it. Girls had a tendency to worry more than boys, with girls in all 72 countries reporting greater levels of schoolwork-related anxiety than boys.

The report found students spent more than two hours online during a typical weekday after school and more than three hours online during a typical weekend day. The majority said the internet was a great resource for obtaining information and more than half said they felt bad if no internet connection was available.

Support for school students – whether bullied, anxious about exams or lacking in self-esteem – is readily available through clinical hypnotherapy.

Says the NCH: “After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident and more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you.

“Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily. People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

The national body adds that hypnotherapy helps people to make changes in their behaviour but it cannot force anyone to make any changes against their will.

“When you realise that you are the one in control, when you decide how deeply into hypnosis you wish to go, then you become aware of what hypnosis is. A hypnotherapist is a guide and helps you on a journey, but the change can only be made by you.

“Often the realisation that you are in control, and that you can make change yourself is very empowering. You’ll find that the more often you going into hypnosis, aware that you doing it, the more you realise how easy it is to let go, secure in the knowledge that you can always stop a session if you feel uncomfortable.

“It is as if hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.”

 

It is healthy to talk about mental health issues

Being stoic and silent about mental health – or maintaining the British ‘stiff upper lip’ – is not the way to go about dealing with these issues, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has said.

The future king’s comments come soon after his brother, Prince Harry, revealed he sought help after nearly 20 years ‘not thinking about the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. And the BBC reported that Prince William had also teamed up with pop star Lady Gaga – in a video call they spoke about the importance of people talking about their struggles.

He said he wanted his children to grow up able to express their feelings. Prince William’s comments on the ‘stiff upper lip’ came in an interview – alongside Prince Harry – with a magazine produced by the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), which is dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Prince William talked about his ‘tipping point’, which was his exposure to suicide – the biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK – through his work as an air ambulance pilot. He told Calm that while there might be a time and a place for the ‘stiff upper lip’, it should not be at the expense of people’s health.

Prince William spoke to Lady Gaga, as part of the Heads Together #oktosay campaign to encourage people to speak out about their mental health challenges. The pair discussed how speaking freely on mental health problems can help shatter the stigma around them.

Lady Gaga said: “There’s a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something’s wrong with you. In my life I go ‘look at all these beautiful, wonderful things that I have, I should be so happy’. But you can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, so sad, so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.”

Talking through problems like anxiety, depression, stress and other issues is what clinical hypnotherapy is all about and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has more than 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who can help people deal with and overcome such issues.

Bottling things up or maintaining that ‘stiff upper lip’ is not the ideal way to deal with mental health issues and, as Prince Harry said, it was not until his late 20s that he processed the grief – after two years of ‘total chaos’ and coming close to a ‘complete breakdown’ – by seeking counselling.

An NCH hypnotherapist, dealing with a person suffering from stress or anxiety, will, through talking with the person, help assess the anxiety and identify the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.

Then the therapist will set a goal asking how the person would wish to feel, how they would like to be, and things that they would chose to do in your life if free of anxiety. The therapist will then work with the person to reach that goal using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal.

Prince Harry admits to feeling nervous as he speaks openly about suffering from anxiety, coming close to a breakdown and being a ‘problem’ for much of his 20s. Prince Harry is this country’s most high profile person yet to talk about his personal mental anguish.

Talking through your problems with a hypnotherapist can unlock the potential you have to break free of negative thought processes.

Hypnotherapy can ease those anxiety moments

From unexpected terror attacks to exams and from job concerns to the rising cost of living, there is enough going on in modern society to make most of us worried, anxious, stressed and even depressed. How we cope with what the word throws at us is crucial to our well-being.

While many can cope, others resort to coffee, alcohol and recreational drugs to get them through. Some, who are stressed out might seek medication from their GP. But just talking about your problems can help, too.

The mental health charity, Mind, says there is no medical definition of stress and health care professionals often disagree over whether stress is the cause of problems or the result of them. But it adds: “We all experience stress differently in different situations.

“Sometimes you might be able to tell right away when you’re feeling under stress, but other times you might keep going without recognising the signs. Stress can affect you both emotionally and physically, and it can affect the way you behave.”

Talking with a trained professional can help someone suffering from stress or anxiety, says Mind, allowing the person to learn how to deal with it ‘and become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings’.

Clinical hypnotherapy, an evidenced-based therapy with over 70,000 worldwide research references, can help people make changes to their behaviour and how they react to situations.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, with around 2,000 qualified therapists across the UK, is the nation’s leading professional association for clinical hypnotherapy and its members are experienced in helping people deal with anxiety and stress.

Anxiety and stress can make people feel as if they are ‘out of control’ but, says the NCH, changes can be made with therapy – if the person seeks to change, take control and lead a better, stress-free life.

“A hypnotherapist is a guide and helps you on a journey, but the change can only be made by you,” says the NCH. “Often the realisation that you are in control, and that you can make change yourself is very empowering. You’ll find that the more often you going into hypnosis, aware that you doing it, the more you realise how easy it is to let go, secure in the knowledge that you can always stop a session if you feel uncomfortable.”

The NCH adds that there could be a considerable variation in the anxiety and stress levels of people being treated and there is, as a result, ‘no general rule which makes it possible to say how much improvement can be achieved and in how much time’.

Some anxieties can be overcome in one session, adds the NCH pointing out that the therapist, as a member of the Council, is committed to providing swift and effective help.

“An NCH therapist will be able to give you a fair assessment of how much improvement you can expect and how many sessions may be needed by the end of the first session. But, if the problem is more complex, then you will jointly review progress from time to time,” the national body says.

 

Self-image issues increase among teenagers

Almost a third of 2,000 UK teenagers, polled for a body confidence campaign by Be Real, avoid activities like PE because of fears about their looks and the campaign says schools have a key role in combating body anxiety.

According to the report, fears about they way they look are ‘having a profoundly negative effect on a significant number of young people in the UK’ and while some young people are able to reject the pressure to look perfect, ‘those who cannot often suffer in silence, too afraid to share their insecurities with others’.

It warns that a ‘a sense of hopelessness often dominates these individuals’ and research shows that more than half (52%) of 11 to 16-year-olds regularly worry about their looks – 60% of girls and 43% of boys, the BBC reported.

The stress and anxiety caused by bullying and lack of self-esteem is widespread and, in extreme cases, has even led to suicide. And bullying is no longer limited to face-to-face situations as cyber or online bullying has become more prevalent in recent times.

As recently as December last year an American teenager shot herself in front of her family after suffering relentless cyber bullying.

The Be Real research showed that 79% of teens said their looks were important to them while 63% said others’ opinions of their looks were important and 36% said they would do whatever it took to look good. A total of 57% would consider dieting to change their looks while 10% would consider plastic surgery.

While there are several organisations that deal with bullying issues, 11% of boys felt unable to discuss the issue with friends, compared with 5% of girls.

But talking about such issues is often the best from of treatment and clinical hypnotherapy has success in dealing with such issues and the National Council for Hypnotherapy has more than 1,800 qualified hypnotherapists across the UK who can help.

Talking to a hypnotherapist will help ease the burden and the therapist will discuss a plan of action that can be followed through a variety of techniques to achieve a goal the teenager hopes to meet for their life. Usually this is being free from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life, free to do things that they want.

Says the NCH: “More and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well-being.”

Hypnosis can be extremely effective, adds the NCH. “Your therapist, as a member of the NCH, is committed to helping you as swiftly and effectively as possible. They may well be able to give you a fair assessment of how much improvement you can expect and how many sessions may be needed by the end of the first session.”

Clinical hypnotherapy is effective in that it works with the sub conscious mind to change behaviours and can help build self-confidence and eliminate unnecessary anxiety and stress. Another plus is that it is non-invasive and does not entail taking any medication.