Impact News

Responding to Violence, Suicide, Psychosis and Trauma

Violence in Social Work

Senior people in the Social Work and Social care comment on their own experiences of violence.|SC|SCDDB-20130822


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Managing Dangerous Psychotic Behaviour – On YouTube

Iain Bourne discusses the principles underpinning Psychosis Containment Skills – or the interactive, face-face professional skills used in responding to immediately dangerous  psychotic behaviour. Features include the relationship between psychosis and violence; dysphoric vs reactive drivers; how to spot whether the psychosis is driving the behaviour; the differential role of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia; the involvement of persecutory and command auditory hallucinations; the psychotic vs non-psychotic world; changes in the sensory filtering system; personal space and catastrophic reactions.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

YouTube Video for “Facing Danger in the Helping Professions”


Filed under: Uncategorized

Suicide Rates Rise in UK

According to the Office of National Statistics the suicide rate for men aged 45-59 in the UK is now the highest since 1986. Against a trend over the past two decades that has seen suicide rates gradually falling, suicide rates are now rising again for both men and women wih highest suicide rates being among men aged 30-44. According to stephen Platt at Edinburgh University disadvantages midlle aged men face a perfect storm of “unemployment, deprivation, social isolation, changing definitions of what it is to be a man, alcohol misuse, labour market and demographic changes that have had a dramatic effect on their work, relationships and very identity.” Next month the government will award research contracts worth £1.5m to develop new initiatives as part of a “refreshed” suicide prevention strategy.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Bipolar disorder, creativity & writers

here is an interesting study from Sweden investigating the link between mental illness and creativity:


Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Razor’s Edge: Suicide & Self-harm Workshop in Nottingham

Nottingham HLG are putting on an open access workshop delivered by Dr Iain Bourne on 27th November 2012. For further information and booking details visit:

If you would like this course to be delivered in-house visit or email

Filed under: Impact Training, self-harm, Suicide, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Nepotistic patterns of violent psychopathy: evidence for adaptation?

I’ve seen a number of articles along similar lines of late. The argument seems to be that psychopaths rarely harm close family, while those with mental illnesses sometimes do. As a result, psychopathy could be seen as adaptive rather than disordered. On the other hand I have heard that in the US some judges are viewing psychopathy as a mitigating factor in sentencing. Strange, since most would hope that psychopaths, with full access to their faculties when they perpetrate atrocities should be locked up for longer?!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Bullied children more likely to self-harm

Unsurprising, but with 25% of UK children reporting that they have been bullied, it does suggest that unless more is done to reduced bullying, the self-harm epidemic will continue to grow.

This is based on research by  Fisher HL, Moffitt TE, Houts RM et al. Bullying victimisation and risk of self harm in early adolescence: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ 2012; 344, and reported by the NHS.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Suicide rate masked by coroners’ verdicts

By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent
07 Oct 2011, Daily Telegraph (

Many more inquests are ending in “narrative verdicts” rather than a ruling that someone killed themselves, often because of caution over their intention.

But it is feared that this may mean up to 6 per cent of suicides being wrongly classified as accidents, which could be “masking the effects of the economic crisis on suicide”.

In an editorial published in the British Medical Journal, Prof David Gunnell at the University of Bristol and colleagues said: “This increased use of narrative verdicts has important effects on the estimation of national suicide rates because these verdicts present coding difficulties for the Office for National Statistics – when suicide intent is unclear such deaths are coded as accidents.”

Official figures show there were 4,648 suicides in England and Wales in 2009, based on the verdicts given by coroners after inquests into unexpected deaths.

But many hangings, overdoses and poisonings are being treated as possible accidents, with coroners ending inquests in narrative verdicts that give an account of how the death occurred in a few sentences.

The number of narrative verdicts has risen from just 111 in 2001 to 3,012 – more than one in 10 inquests – in 2009.

This is despite the fact that suicide is sometimes strongly implied in the verdict, with phrases used such as “deceased took his own life with an accidental overdose”, according to the BMJ study.

If all deaths from hanging and poisoning were classed as suicides rather than given narrative verdicts, the suicide rate would be 6 per cent higher.

This would account for almost a third of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy’s target of reducing suicides by 20 per cent.

But even this figure could be an underestimate because the ONS did not include all common methods of killing oneself.

The academics warn: “As the use of narrative verdicts rises, so too may the underestimation of suicide.

“The consequences of this could be incorrect rate estimates, misleading evaluations of national and local prevention activity, and masking of the effects of the current economic crisis on suicide.

“Furthermore, because coroners vary greatly in their use of narrative verdicts, suicide rates may (falsely) seem to decline in areas served by coroners who make most use of such verdicts.”

But Prof Louis Appleby, chairman of the Government’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, insisted: “There is nothing new in finding that some probable suicides are omitted from official statistics because of doubts about the person’s intent.

“Coroners used to record verdicts of accident or misadventure in many such cases, now they may record a narrative verdict.

“There is no reason to doubt the fall in suicide in England in the last decade, though of course we should continue to examine how narrative verdicts are used.”

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Supervision lacking on emotional issues

Supervision lacking on emotional issues, survey finds
Kirsty McGregor, Community Care
Tuesday 12 April 2011 12:12

Nearly three-quarters of social workers (71%) do not feel supervision covers the emotional issues that arise in practice, a survey has shown.

BASW – The College of Social Work released the survey results to launch a consultation on its draft supervision policy, published today. This stipulates that supervision should enable social workers to manage the emotional impact of their work.

It comes a week after children’s minister Tim Loughton told Community Care that employers should “debrief” social workers after particularly traumatic child protection cases to avoid burnout.

“Supervision is an absolutely vital element to successful practice, to social workers’ confidence, morale and, in some cases, mental health,” said BASW policy officer Fran McDonnell.

Two in five survey respondents said they received formal supervision every two months or less, and 11% rarely or never received it.

“This survey shows that many social workers are not getting even the most basic of requirements from employers, which jeopardises the quality of support they can provide to families most in need,” McDonnell added.

BASW’s supervision policy recommends that every social worker, no matter how experienced, should receive formal supervision at least once a month. Supervision should be weekly and then fortnightly for newly qualified staff.

The Social Work Reform Board recommended the same frequency in its draft supervision framework for social workers in England, published in December 2010.

More than half of the online survey of 177 BASW members do not feel their supervision covers accountability issues or personal development and training.

Community Care’s social work contract states that social workers should receive a minimum monthly professional supervision of at least 90 minutes.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,