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Those who self-harm as teenagers are more at risk of developing mental health and substance misuse problems as adults, new research from the biggest study of its kind in the UK has revealed.

Researchers at the University of Bristol, working together with colleagues from the University of Oxford and University College London, collected data from 4,799 adolescents as part of Children of the 90s - one of the world's largest population studies - to examine the outcomes of self-harm for the first time.
The research paper, funded by the Medical Research Council and published online in the BMJ today [22 October], reveals that almost a fifth (19 per cent) of 16-year-olds who took part in the study had a history of self-harm and most had not sought help from health professionals.
Examining their progress over the following five years showed that even those who self-harmed without suicidal intent had an increased risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, compared with adolescents who had not self-harmed.
They were also more likely to self-harm in the future and to have substance misuse problems, such as using illegal drugs, smoking and drinking too much.
Those who self-harmed with suicidal intent were also more at risk of poorer GCSE and A-level results and were less likely to be in further education, training or employment three years later.


[For more of this story go to]


animaltherap Animal-assisted therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and loneliness among college students, according to researchers at Georgia State University, Idaho State University and Savannah College of Art and Design. Their findings are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

The researchers provided animal-assisted therapy to 55 students in a group setting at a small arts college in the Southeast. They found a 60 percent decrease in self-reported anxiety and loneliness symptoms following animal-assisted therapy, in which a registered therapy dog was under the supervision of a licensed mental health practitioner.
Eighty-four percent of the participants reported their interaction with the therapy dog, Sophie, was the most significant part of the program.
The group sessions were held twice monthly during an academic quarter. Students were invited to stop by and interact with the therapy dog as long as they wished, up to two hours. They were allowed to pet, hug, feed, brush, draw, photograph, sit near and play fetch with the therapy dog.
Dr. Leslie Stewart of Idaho State, who led the study, began the research as a Ph.D. student at Georgia State. She collaborated with Drs. Franco Dispenza, Lindy Parker and Catherine Chang of Georgia State and Ms. Taffey Cunnien of Savannah College of Art and Design.


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Nine years before an Afghan girl named Soheila was born, her half brother Aminullah eloped with a woman who had been betrothed to his cousin, an event that led to years of violent feuding between two sides of their family in Nuristan.

Soheila’s mother died while giving birth to her. Her father, Rahimullah, then bartered his daughter’s future for family peace, betrothing Soheila at the age of 5 to the aggrieved cousin, a man her father’s own age.

The practice is known as baad, in which young girls are traded between families to resolve disputes. Although illegal, baad is still widely practiced, especially in remote areas of Afghanistan. Once of legal age, 16, Soheila would become the fourth wife of an elderly man.

Fast-forward to late last month, when Soheila, who uses only one name and is now 24, sat in the offices of the advocacy group Women for Afghan Women and for the first time watched her own story unfold on screen.

Wide-eyed, she watched the documentary “To Kill a Sparrow,” a half-hour-long piece by the Iranian filmmaker Zohreh Soleimani that showed Soheila’s long struggle to escape the destiny her father had intended for her.

Much of the documentary, which was filmed over about a year and a half, took place while Soheila was in the women’s shelter run in Kabul by Women for Afghan Women, which is the largest private organization in Afghanistan operating shelters and other facilities for women in crisis. It is where she spent much of the past four years as the group’s lawyers worked to resolve her case.


[For more of this story, written by Rod Nordland, go to ]



smoking_40217Nonsmokers who live with smokers are exposed to triple the World Health Organization's recommended safe levels of harmful air particles, a new study warns.


That means that air-particle levels in a home with a smoker are similar to that of the air in large, polluted cities, the study found. Living in smoke-free homes could offer major health benefits to nonsmokers, according to the authors of the study published online Oct. 20 in the journal Tobacco Control.

"Smokers often express the view that outdoor air pollution is just as much a concern as the secondhand smoke in their home," study author Dr. Sean Semple, of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said in a journal news release.


"These measurements show that secondhand tobacco smoke can produce very high levels of toxic particles in your home; much higher than anything experienced outside in most towns and cities in the U.K. Making your home smoke-free is the most effective way of dramatically reducing the amount of damaging fine particles you inhale," he advised.


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It is time to return to what feminism has to tell us. It is time to make the case for what women have to say about the perils of our modern world. But the case cannot be made along the lines that have become most familiar. We cannot make it only by asserting women's right to equality or by arguing that women are qualified to enter the courts of judgment and the corridors of power. Those claims are important but they tend to be made – loudly, as they must be – to the detriment of another type of understanding, less obvious but no less vital, that makes its way into the darker spaces of the world, ripping the cover from the illusions through which the most deadly forms of power sustain and congratulate themselves. This we might call the knowledge of women. In its best forms, it is what allows women to struggle for freedom without being co-opted by false pretension or by the brute exertion of power for its own sake.


[For more of this story, written by Jacqueline Rose, go to]

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Is there research that looks individually at Parental Separation/Divorce as the only ACE, and what the health outcomes are? While ACEs tend to cluster, some people do have only one. Soon I will be speaking to an important statewide group of Domestic...
One of our local schools is looking for a very brief tip sheet on how a parent (or teacher) can detect a child suffering from trauma. Is there one out there that I can recommend?
I can talk about this stuff for days, but what about when I only have 30 seconds with a family member, friend, or someone I meet at my office (aka- the coffee shop)? Please take a moment to share you're most compelling no-fail go-to 30 second or 1 min...
  Hi All: In the Media section Val submitted a graphic called ACE-Network__Circlegraphic. On the Right she has a large circle entitled "Whatever you call it".  It that circle are multiple terms that potentially could be used by various...
Hello Colleagues,   I'm looking for a graphic that depicts the relationship between ACEs and involvement in the adult criminal justice system as well as statistic on early exposure to trauma and violence and involvement in criminal activity and...
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