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Content tagged with 'violence'

MENTAL HEALTH APPS

06 November 2017

 

The NHS App library has lots of different apps, some of which have clinical evidence to show that they help some people (these ones are labelled ‘NHS Approved’) and others are currently undergoing testing to see how effective they are.

https://apps.beta.nhs.uk/?category=Mental%20Health

WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?

06 November 2017

We all have mental health and we all have to take care of it. It affects how we think, feel and behave as well as determining how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Our mental health can change over time. Some people call mental health 'emotional health' or 'wellbeing'.

What are mental health challenges?

Changes in mental health are very common, for example with the stresses and strains of life. But if these changes don’t go away, and start to affect our everyday life, this can lead to challenges with our mental health.  Over the course our lives, if we experience mental health challenges, our thinking, mood, and behaviour can be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health challenges, including our genes and life experiences.

How common are mental health problems?

Anyone can experience challenges with their mental health from mild stress to diagnosable mental health challenges, and it is thought that at any one time at least 1 person in 6 is experiencing a mental health challenge.

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Who Can Help Page for lots of services who are local and national!

SELF-HARM

06 November 2017

What is Self-Harm?

Self-harm is when someone chooses to inflict pain on themselves in some way. It is a sign of distress and can take many forms. Often self-harm is someone's way of coping with feelings and is a sign that something is wrong. Self-harm can be dangerous, and it is a sign that there is an underlying problem, therefore you should get help.

It is important to realise that self-harm is not the same as suicide, with self-harm there is not always an intention to end life like in suicide. The intention is more often to punish themselves, express their distress or relieve unbearable tension. Sometimes the reason is a mixture of both. Although the intention may not be to end life when self-harming, it is important to still get help.

Treatment for people who self-harm usually involves seeing a therapist to discuss your thoughts and feelings, and how these affect your behaviour and wellbeing. They can also teach you coping strategies to help prevent further episodes of self-harm. If you're badly depressed, it could also involve taking antidepressants or other medication.

Who can help?

If you're self-harming, you should see your GP for help. They can refer you to healthcare professionals at a local community mental health service for further assessment. This assessment will result in your care team working out a treatment plan with you to help with your distress.

Below are some organisations that give more information on ways to cope with self-harm, you can also speak to your GP for further support.

There are organisations that offer support and advice for people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families. These include:

 

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Who Can Help Page for lots of services who are local and national!

SEXUAL VIOLENCE

06 November 2017

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual assault is any sexual act that a person did not consent to, or is forced into against their will. It is a form of sexual violence and includes rape (an assault involving penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth), or other sexual offences, such as groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse or the torture of a person in a sexual manner.
Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without the victim’s active consent. This means they didn’t agree to it. It is not uncommon for a victim of sexual assault to have no physical injuries or signs of their assault. But sexual assault is still a crime and can be reported to the police in the same way as other crimes.

What to do if you need help:

If you've been sexually assaulted, there are services that can help. You don’t have to report the assault to police if you don’t want to. You may need time to think about what has happened to you. However, consider getting medical help as soon as possible, because you may be at risk of pregnancy or sexually transmiitted infections (STIs). If you want the crime to be investigated, the sooner a forensiic medical examination takes place, the better.

Try not to wash or change your clothes immediately after a sexual assault. This may destroy forensic evidence that could be important if you decide to report the assault to the police.

The following services will also provide treatment or support, and can refer you to another service if you need more specialist help (such as a sexual assault referral centre also referred to as SARC):

Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and emotional support. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you.

Services here to help:

  • Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre - Deliver a range of support services to women and children in Cambridgeshire who are survivors of rape, sexual abuse and violence.
  • Peterborough Rape Crisis Centre is committed to supporting and empowering female survivors of rape and sexual abuse, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, age and other discriminatory factors respecting individual lifestyles through the provision of a confidential telephone help line, a face to face support service and other appropriate support mechanisms.
  • Victim Support - As an independent charity, we work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. We help people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. Our support is free, confidential and tailored to your needs.
  • The Survivors Trust - Living with the consequences of rape and sexual abuse can be devastating. At TST, we believe that all survivors are entitled to receive the best possible response to their needs whether or not they choose to report.
  • Women's Aid - We believe everyone has the human right to live in safety and free from violence and abuse. Women are the overwhelming majority of victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is a violation of women and their children’s human rights. It is the result of an abuse of power and control, and is rooted in the historical status and inequality of women in in society.
  • Survivors UK - We offer individual counselling, group work and helpline services from our base in Shadwell, London E1 for men who have been victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
  • Cambridgeshire Independent Sexual Violance Advisor (ISVA Service) - ISVA offers a Professional support and advise and a counselling service to survivors. Accepts Self and Professional referrals. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) is trained to look after your needs, and to ensure that you receive care and understanding. Click here for info about - who are ISVA, who are CHISVA and ISVA's Service Guide.
  • GALOP - LGBT+ anti-violence charity. If you’ve experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, we’re here for you. We also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.

 

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Who Can Help Page for lots of services who are local and national!

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

06 November 2017

What is Domestic Abuse? 

Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

Domestic violence can happen against women and against men, and anybody can be an abuser. If you're worried someone might see you have been on this page, find out how to cover your tracks online.

Signs of domestic violence and abuse

These are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship. 

Emotional Abuse

Does your partner ever: 

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Physical Abuse

Does your partner ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.

Does your partner ever:

  • touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

If you decide to leave

The first step in escaping an abusive situation is realising that you're not alone and it's not your fault. If you're considering leaving, be careful who you tell. It's important your partner doesn't know where you're going.

Before you go, try to get advice from an organisation such as:

Women's Aid has useful information about making a safety plan that applies to both women and men, including advice if you decide to leave.

Other sources for support and help

  • Refuge - helpline: 0808 2000 247 (freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run with Women’s Aid), helpline@refuge.org.uk
  • Men's Advice Line - helpline: 0808 801 0327 (Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm), info@mensadviceline.org.uk, Confidential helpline for all men (in heterosexual or same-sex relationships) experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner.
  • Respect - helpline: 0808 802 4040 (Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm), info@respectphoneline.org.uk, Runs support services and programmes for people who inflict violence in relationships, including young men and women. Also runs the men's advice line, as above.
  • Respect not fear - Website for young people about domestic violence.
  • The Hide Out - Women's Aid website to help young people understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to them.
  • The Forced Marriage Unit - helpline: 020 7008 0151, fmu@fco.gov.uk, Joint initiative between the Foreign Office and Home Office. It assists actual and potential victims of forced marriage, as well as professionals working in the social, educational and health sectors.
  • Ashiana Sheffield - helpline: 0114 255 5740, info@ashianasheffield.org.uk, aims to help prevent murder and serious harm to black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women in England, Wales and Scotland as a result of domestic abuse and forced marriage and 'honor'-based violence. Also supports children and young people.
  • GALOP - LGBT+ anti-violence charity. If you’ve experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, we’re here for you. We also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.

 

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Who Can Help Page for lots of services who are local and national!

VICTIMS & WITNESSES

06 November 2017

Being a victim of a crime and witnessing a crime can be very traumatic. This can cause harm to your mental health, this can happen instantly or develop over time. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. 

If you report a crime you will be asked questions to find out how you have been affected by the crime. You may be asked about your personal circumstances to help identify if there is any additional support that you might need and to understand how you'd prefer to be contacted thereafter.

You will usually receive either a letter with information about the support available to you as a victim of crime, or a telephone call from a skilled victim and witness care coordinator.  They will work with you to assess your needs and create a personalised plan to help you cope and recover from the effects of crime. They will also ensure you receive your entitlements under the Victim’s Code of Practice, acting as your single point of contact, should you need them.

This support is also available to victims who do not wish to report a crime. If you have been a victim of a crime but don't want to report it, you can still speak with a member of the Victims and Witness’ Support coordinators. You can also go online to your local authority and they will have a victim and witness information and support area for you.

Everyone copes with the after-effects of crime differently and can vary from person to person depending on their personality, the support of friends and family and their personal circumstances. All reactions to crimes are completely normal and you should not be embarrassed.

Anyone can become a victim of crime. A victim is defined as “a person who has been harmed (physically, financially or emotionally), injured or killed as a result of a crime, accident or other event or action”. The definition of a victim can also include;

  • Families or friends of a person who has died as a result of criminal conduct
  • Families or friends of victims in fatal road collisions
  • Nominated representatives of a business that has been the subject of a criminal activity.

If you have seen or been a victim of a crime, you will be called a witness. As a witness, you play a vital role in helping solve crimes and deliver justice. The criminal justice system cannot work without witnesses and are the most important part in bringing offenders to justice. Witnesses can be:

  • Victims of crime
  • Someone who saw a crime or incident
  • Someone who knows something about a crime or incident
  • Someone with specialist knowledge
  • Someone who knows someone involved in a case, known as a character witness.

There are lots of support services out here for you; the different support services will be able to offer advice and support to help you manage your mental health challenges, we listed a few below:

The Cambridgeshire Constabulary - Provides a Hub of support and advice for victims and witnesses to help them get through the after-effects of crimes.

Victim Support (VS) - Give you the support you need to move forward. Our services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened. Choose from a number of ways to contact us.

GOV Website - Get free help and advice if you’ve been a victim of crime.

You & Co - You & Co is Victim Support’s youth programme that helps young people cope with the impact and effects of crime. You do not have to report the crime to the police to get support from us.

Crime Stoppers UK - an independent charity helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24/7 phone number, 0800 555 111, that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Giving Information Form. You don't have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.

SAMM - SAMM is a national UK Charity (No 1000598) supporting families bereaved by Murder and Manslaughter. We also provide advice and training to many agencies on issues relevant to the traumatically bereaved.

Karma Nirvana - is an award-winning British human rights charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Honour crimes are not determined by age, faith, gender or sexuality, we support and work with all victims.

SARI Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) is a service user/community-oriented agency that provides support and advice to victims of hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics as defined by law. Most SARI staff have some direct experience of dealing with hate motivated behaviour and all staff have a clear understanding of and commitment to the objectives of SARI.

Stone Wall - We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone. We believe we're stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain - in some of our greatest institutions - so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.

FASO - FASO is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting anyone affected by false allegations of abuse. False allegations affect people in all walks of life, in personal or professional contexts, and often without any warning or forewarning.  FASO is here to support you.

Murdered Abroad - A support group for families, partners and friends of the victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.

True Vision - True Vision is here to give you information about hate crime or incidents and how to report it. On this website, you can find out what hate crimes or hate incidents are, find out about the ways you can report them, report using the online form and find information about people that can help and support you if you have been a victim.

Equality Human Rights - We are an independent statutory body with the responsibility to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote the human rights of everyone in Britain. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation – these are known as protected characteristics.

Hundred Families - Offer accurate information and practical advice for families bereaved by people with mental health problems along with evidence based resources for mental health professionals and others interested in serious violence by the mentally ill.

Support Line - SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse.

Suzy Lamplugh - Our mission is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support. We help and support people to stay safe from violence and aggression through the provision of free safety tips, managing the National Stalking Helpline and delivering community projects.

Action Fraud - Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime.

British Transport Police - We police Britain’s railways, providing a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers across the country. This website provides advice, information and support to anyone who has been affected by a crime whilst on British Transport.

For more services here to help with your mental health challenges, check out our Who Else Can Help Me? Page!