Jackie Doyle-Price MP
- Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament for Thurrock
Jackie Doyle-Price MP
- Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament for Thurrock
Create a law to protect models from getting dangerously skinny!
I’m a 25 year old model, a clothes size 8. The girl in the picture is me. When I walked into one of the UK’s biggest model agencies last year they told me I ticked all the boxes except one -- I needed to lose weight. So I did. Four months later I lost nearly a stone, 2 inches off my hips. When I returned to the same agency they told me to lose more weight, they wanted me "down to the bone".When I look in the mirror I see someone that is healthy and comfortable in their skin. That’s because I had the guts to carve out my own path and refuse to let people pressure me into losing more and more weight. But with London Fashion Week the reminders are everywhere that we need a law to protect young girls, and boys, who are put under pressure to be dangerously thin.Modelling can be a very lonely place, especially for girls working internationally who are away from the usual support network of friends and family. When models travel overseas they are often put into shared accommodation with other models, and being surrounded by girls who are all striving to stay thin can perpetuate bad eating habits and encourage eating disorders. I’ve been on shoots for up to 10 hours where no food is provided -- the underlying message is always that you shouldn’t eat. The agencies managing and recruiting models have a responsibility to the wellbeing of girls on the catwalk at fashion week, and in the industry as a whole.Earlier this year France became the latest country to vote to criminalise the use of models who are dangerously thin. Those breaking the law face fines and up to six months in jail. And there is growing momentum for change in the UK -- Caroline Nokes MP is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and is campaigning for the Government to look at the possibility of legislating to ensure models are of a healthy weight. The time is now for us all to come together.Please sign my petition to create a law to protect vulnerable young girls and boys in the industry.*Note: the fur in the image is fake fur!
Add Mental Health Education to the mandatory teaching curriculum for all schools in the UK
When working to reduce stigma, I am continually concerned how a lack of education around mental health is contributing factor. This is something regularly raised as a mutual concern by guests on my mental health podcast plus several of them are actively working to fill this need by doing talks and workshops in schools. With one in four of us experiencing mental illness every year according to the charity Mind, this seems to be a real and very significant gap in our education system. KEY STATISTICS: - One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years has been diagnosed with/shows signs of a mental health problem, and many continue to have these problems into adulthood. (1) - Over half of all mental ill health starts before the age of 14 years, and 75% of this has developed by the age of 18. (2) - NHS England estimates that poor mental health costs the NHS and society £105 billion a year in England alone. (3) The statistics are shocking, yet whilst there is a whole subject in the curriculum around our physical health in the form of PE, our young people are left without any knowledge of even the most common mental illnesses. Not only does this leave them unprepared and vulnerable when it comes to looking out for their own mental health, but also sets the standard that Mental Health is not discussed. This plants a seed of stigma that many carry for their whole lives. Upon further research, there generally seems very little in the way of guidelines currently. For example, if Romeo and Juliet is studied as part of the curriculum when the two title characters kill themselves, this is considered the end of the story or worse romanticised as an ideal form of love. The very serious topic of suicide is frequently not even mentioned as part of schooling, and yet according to the BBC, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 49. It’s time to make a change. Even if a law was passed so every child receives one class about mental health during their time at school, this would be more than the vast majority currently get. We are keen to hear back from those in power on a more extensive plan to better the lives of our nation’s young people. CAMPAIGNING FOR: - Mental Health education becoming mandatory teaching for all schools in the UK without the addition of any exams or homework on this subject. - Every child having the ability to access a qualified counsellor through their school. This is something that many workplaces already offer. - Every school offering Mental Health training for its staff. Please join our petition to help bring us one step closer to making these requests a reality, thus helping safeguard the health of generations to come. Thank you for reading, Bobby Temps Host of ‘Mental - The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health’. Learn more about this petition and it’s creator at mentalpodcast.co.uk/petition 1. Source: Green h, McGinnity A, Meltzer h et al. (2005) Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain, 2004. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2. Source: Murphy M and Fonagy P (2012). Mental health problems in children and young people. In: Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2012. London: Department of Health. 3. Source: NSPCC. How safe are our children? 2016
End cuts to breastfeeding support - stop letting down millions of mothers
Last January, The Lancet confirmed the importance of breastfeeding – in both rich and poor countries – to the health of babies and mothers and to the economy. It also reported that the UK has the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. But the government has done nothing to reverse this. Meanwhile, across the whole of the UK, but especially in England, there have been deep cuts to breastfeeding support services in the last two years and these are continuing apace. Recent examples include Blackpool Council, which ended its highly acclaimed and well-liked breastfeeding peer support service last June, and Kent County Council, which scaled down its exemplary breastfeeding service this June. They join a long and growing list. The author of The Lancet report, Dr Nigel Rollins of the World Health Organisation, wrote: “The success or failure of breastfeeding should not be seen solely as the responsibility of the woman. Her ability to breastfeed is very much shaped by the support and the environment in which she lives. There is a broader responsibility of governments and society to support women through policies and programmes in the community.” Supporting mothers doesn’t mean simply telling them that breastfeeding is good for them and their babies. Most mothers in the UK already want to breastfeed. The last Infant Feeding Survey found that 81% of mothers began breastfeeding – by 8 weeks, half of them had stopped altogether. Of those, 80% of mothers said that they stopped breastfeeding before they wanted to. With around 700,000 births annually in the UK, that means almost a quarter of a million mothers are being let down, every year. We, the undersigned, call on the UK government and the governments of the devolved nations to: ensure that all mothers have access to high-quality, timely breastfeeding support provide the funds to local councils and health boards to deliver these services Midwives, health visitors and doctors cannot offer this support alone. Integrated breastfeeding support services must be set up in every area (as per NICE and PHE guidelines), making efficient use of the skills and time of peer supporters, breastfeeding counsellors and lactation consultants. Improved breastfeeding rates would save the NHS millions and would add billions to our economy, but breastfeeding support is inexpensive. It’s estimated that an investment of around £30 million would be sufficient to ensure access to high-quality, timely breastfeeding support for all mothers who want to breastfeed in the UK. We, the undersigned, also support the Better Breastfeeding campaign to help bring about an environment in which all mothers in the UK who want to breastfeed are supported to do so. ---------------------------------- Find out more about our campaign at www.betterbreastfeeding.uk, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please consider donating to our campaign to help create high-quality briefings to get our message across to commissioners and policymakers. Other campaigns you may be interested in Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Change the Conversation campaign and Call to Action on Infant Feeding Open letter from Royal Colleges, health professionals and breastfeeding organisations (Photo above by Paul Carter/wdiip.co.uk)
Make Menopause Matter in Healthcare,
Employment and Education. #MakeMenopauseMatter
Every day of every of week I counsel women who have been struggling to get the right advice and support for their menopause symptoms. Six years ago I had to have a total hysterectomy including removal of both of my ovaries putting me in to immediate surgical menopause. I received no counselling or advice about the possible effects of my surgery and was simply told to visit my GP after a few weeks when I left hospital. Due to a lack of the right information and support I did not receive the treatment I needed at the right time. A few months after my surgery I fell in to a very deep, dark place where I came very close to ending my own life. I was lucky; I had a supportive husband and family who got me the help I needed when I was not capable of doing that for myself. I have become increasingly aware of just how many women are not receiving the right support and advice at menopause, from their doctors, their employers and sometimes even their own families and friends. This is all due to a chronic lack of menopause education and awareness. GP's receive little, if any; mandatory menopause education during their training which is shocking when you consider that it is a stage of life that 50% of the population will experience. I don't want women to have to continue to struggle with their menopause symptoms in the way that I did and that’s why I am calling on Penny Mordaunt Minister for Women and Equalities, Jackie Doyle-Price and Steve Brine from the Dept of Health and Social Care to work together with the NHS the Royal College of General Practitioners and medical schools to make comprehensive menopause training a compulsory part of GP education and to expand menopause services throughout the U.K The result of this lack of education is that far too many women are left to endure menopause symptoms and the long term health effects of falling hormone levels. Women are regularly being misdiagnosed as depressed and prescribed anti depressants when they are in fact peri menopausal. Far too many women are being forced to fund private consultations to access treatment that should be readily available to them via their GP practice. Many women who experience an early or premature menopause are told they are too young to be menopausal, others are denied first line treatment when they are told they are too old or ineligible due to their lifestyle or health. Those women with complex cases are enduring lengthy waiting lists due to a chronic lack of NHS menopause specialist clinics throughout the U.K. This lack of education and awareness is costing women their health and wellbeing but it is also costing the NHS. Many women seek repeated appointments with their GP's to attempt to address a host of common menopause symptoms including joint pain, palpitations and anxiety. These women are often incorrectly referred on to secondary care incurring further distress for the individual and further cost for the NHS. Better education and implementation of the 2015 NICE guidelines would result in quicker diagnosis and treatment for women and savings for the NHS. There are currently around 4.3 million women aged over fifty in employment in the UK. Recent studies have shown that two-thirds of women said they had no support at work and 50% have reported finding work difficult due to their symptoms of menopause. Approximately one in four consider leaving employment due to their symptoms and 10% of women have actually given up work all together as a result of their symptoms. I have personally counselled four NHS nurses over the last six months who have all left the organisation due to a lack of awareness and support. In recent years we have seen surveys, statistics and reports outlining the impact of menopause on productivity and profitability but the hidden costs are to family finances, personal confidence and the benefits system, when women, who have always been in employment, find themselves relying on benefits for the first time in their lives. Supporting women to remain at work by implementing a few simple adjustments is common sense. Government and business need to recognise that menopause guidance in every workplace is a win win situation. Surely it is time to make menopause education and awareness a priority for our young people in the PSHE curriculum. Every woman and man deserves to understand a stage of life that will affect us all whether directly or as a partner, family member, friend or employer. Age appropriate education will ensure more autonomy for women and greater understanding and compassion from those around them. The most heartbreaking sentiment that I hear from women when supporting them is "I wished I had known this information before, I think it might have saved my relationship" Surely anything that avoids the loss of personal health, employment opportunities and relationships makes it worthy of inclusion in the curriculum. Finally, a few months ago while doing some research I took a look at the most recent suicide figures produced by the Office for National Statistics. The age group for women with the highest suicide rate per 100,000 in the U.K is 50-54, the average age of menopause is 51. Is this the ultimate hidden cost of a lack of menopause education, information, advice and support? Please join me in calling on the Minister for Women and Equalities and Ministers responsible for health, work and education named in this petition to #MakeMenopauseMatter.
Implement scanning for all UK newborn babies for Hip Dysplasia
I am re-raising this issue as it is something that has personally touched my life and since being diagnosed in my teens I have faced years of multiple surgeries and continuous pain. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute suggests 9 out of 10 cases of hip dysplasia are only diagnosed during adolescence or adulthood and is the most common cause of hip arthritis in women younger than fifty, and the reason for 20% of all total hip replacements in the USA. Early diagnosis, prevention, and simple treatment is the best solution An ultrasound scan could pick up this 'silent' condition and allow the child to have less-intrusive treatment rather than surgery later on in life. Dysplasia, when detected within the first few weeks of life, can usually be corrected by simply placing the baby's legs in a special harness for about three months. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the 'ball and socket' joint of the hips don't properly form in babies and young children. Implementing scanning for all UK newborns for hip dysplasia and ensuring immediate less-intrusive treatment if found could reduce lifelong surgery and disability. It is said that 'If all babies were scanned and treated in their first 6 months of life it would reduce dysplasia surgery by 90%'. The NHS is incredible and this is in no way meant to cause offence to them as they provide incredible care but we all know the NHS is in financial crisis. The cost of scanning all newborns and treating those with hip dysplasia early is far cheaper than the costs of finding it later with inevitable repeat surgeries, joint replacements, education and career disruption, disability benefits and treatment for depression and chronic pain. We currently check babies using the 'Ortolani test' which is a manual examination where both legs are gently grasped and rotated outwards - a clicking sensation indicates a possible abnormal hip. This manipulation test can unfortunately be unreliable even in experienced hands. It is also suggested that hospitals do not always pick up on bilateral dysplasia as it works on one hip feeling different to the other. It is estimated that up to 50% of abnormalities remain undetected, even though babies are routinely examined twice - once soon after birth, and again at the six-week postnatal check. Hip Dysplasia is often known as a “silent” condition. It does not cause pain in babies and doesn’t normally prevent them from learning how to walk at a normal age. So if the diagnosis is missed it may not become apparent until a toddler starts walking with a limp which then can only be corrected by surgery. In girls it is often not picked up till adolescence. This is something that needs to change. I beg you to look into this issue and for everyone to sign this petition so we can activate change. This is not a preventable condition yet scanning babies will result in avoiding the need for surgery later in life and cases of disability.
Depression to be taught in Secondary school
Physical education became compulsory in schools over 100 years ago and is continually being improved in terms of teaching children about the value of nutrition and exercise. However within my 18 years within education never was I taught about mental health issues such as depression. Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration. 1/4 people suffer with a mental health issue such as depression in their life time, along with 50% of these people attempting suicide at least once within their life. The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment of depression and other mental health conditions. However how is this possible if we aren't even taught about it in the first place. Although mental health support in schools is growing, this applies only for the children already diagnosed, rather than providing general menth health education for all pupils, this therefore leading to even further stigma around the whole topic. We should all be taught that feeling low or anxious is nothing to be ashamed about, maybe this would not only help children open up about how they're feeling but also start the prevention of it developing later on in life. A child or young person with depression can have major problems in not only how they feel, but also on how they behave. This may cause difficulties at home, at school, as well as relationships with family and friends. The longer the illness continues without understanding the worser effect it can have on a child's life. Therefore educating them on depression could not only ease the effects it can have, but also possibly prevent it before it even arises. All i hope is that the mental illness, depression can get put into the curriculum within compulsory subjects such as PD. Educating children on what depression is, how it can be caused, and how it can be treated. This could lead to reduced stigma, promoting early identification, and encourage early intervention.
Lives are being lost to mental health issues. We need change.
I don't get the chance to be treated the same way as someone with a broken leg. It doesn't matter if I come home every day contemplating suicide, sitting alone face down on my bed crying and fighting the thoughts in my mind. I am alone in this dark place. I am a prisoner of an invisible merciless force that I cannot see and I cannot fight. I play the role of the puppet of the dreaded darkness and my head is in flames and I am screaming for help internally but no one can see these flames, no one can feel these flames. It doesn't matter if I struggle to leave the house and surround myself with other people. My leg sliding on the ground as I hyperventilate and struggle to move. I am panicking with crystal beads of sweat erupting on my forehead and dripping onto the concrete ground and all I want to be is at home. Home alone, because I am afraid of the outside and I am afraid of people and I am self conscious. Speaking to people is like learning a new language. But so what right? They're just thoughts, can't be too bad. Just get over it. "It'll be fine, just hang in there." 1 person commits suicide every 40 seconds according to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Many of which suffered from a mental health condition. It wasn't fine for them was it? Support isn't adequate. There is a massive stigma regarding mental health implanted in the minds of those who have never had to face it. They call us names: weak, exaggerative, dramatic. I am tired of living like this. I sympathise with those who are going through similar things to me. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have received counselling before. My depression has improved but my anxiety still affects me immensely. I used to come home from school and cry whilst thinking about suicide. I used to wake up in the morning and question why I was alive. This happened constantly for 4 years and it still does from time to time. My anxiety makes me feel extremely self conscious. I start panicking as soon as I am outside and surrounded by people. This stigma needs to be tackled, more support for those like me is needed. Why are people like me not taken as seriously as someone with a broken leg if 1 person commits suicide every 40 seconds? Why do we need to hide this in the background? This is why I am here today asking for your support in order to reach out to those who can make the real change. There needs to be much more campaigns tackling mental health stigma. We need to solve this societal misunderstanding that shroud the minds of many people. There needs to be more investment in mental health services. Mental health services are being provided with insufficient fundings to create a bigger impact and to help those in need. This proves that there is little care for people like me. We are being neglected. Ultimately, there needs to be a discussion for new forms of treatment within government regarding mental health. Counselling and medication is not sufficient for all people, we need other options. We need change. We can't wait. Now is the time.
Make CRPS a properly recognised condition amongst health professionals in the UK & the NHS
CRPS which is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a rare chronic pain condition suffered by those of all ages and has been recognised by medicine under various names for a long while. Despite this it is still not recognised by many health practitioners (doctors, nurses, surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational therapists etc) in the UK. This leads to unnecessary suffering, development of life changing symptoms and mental health problems. CRPS is known by some as the "suicide disease" as it is the most painful condition known to medicine and can make life unbearable for the sufferer. In my case, I went from being an active 16 year old girl who loved kayaking, to one who was wheelchair bound and in and out of hospital just before I turned 19. Just from a minor knee sprain. From this I have had the condition spread to affect both my legs and my left wrist and hand, I developed anxiety, had a mental health scare, skin breakdown, loss of muscle function and dystonia which I have had to overcome multiple times, relearn to walk multiple times, accept that my medical team are my new best friends, that physiotherapy and pain management will be a life long commitment and essentially learn a new way of life with chronic pain and I am only 21. My story on Channel 5 National News CRPS Channel 5 News at 5pm Yet on every occasion I have been admitted to hospital or visited a GP that wasn't the one I normally see, or been to hospital for something else. None of the doctors or nurses had a clue what CRPS was, with some going as far to say that it was all in my head and psychological. Which has been disproved as stated on the NHS website. Doctors on these occasions will ignore my requests to not grab or touch my legs or the fact I cannot move them because of pain and I have been accused of self harm due to the skin breakdown. When my CRPS spread to my hand and fingers, I went to get it checked on request by my normal GP, despite a splint being requested urgently the splint making department said I would have to wait two days to even be fitted with one let alone have access to hand therapy. If that physio had more awareness and understanding of CRPS and its complications she would have understood the urgency of the situation. This is only a small insight into the lack of understanding of CRPS in the UK, other problems include disjointed services across the UK in the NHS, extremely long waiting lists for pain clinics, a lottery over funding and treatment and not many health care practitioners being able to recognise and give primary treatment of or help manage CRPS. The first three things the government need to change is: - Increase the education of health practitioners on chronic pain especially neuropathic pain conditions, so that they can recognise and begin treatment earlier, and also understand patients and help them rather than question / dismiss them or tell them its psychological as above. - Create a tick box on NHS systems that means that all CRPS patients can be logged and therefore counted. Which would enable the specialist CRPS centres and pain centres to apply and access more funding. Leading to better research and treatments. - Make CRPS a recognised chronic condition with management services and treatment pathway to match, rather than saying there is nothing else we can do and leaving people stranded. If these three basic points are achieved the life of CRPS sufferers and their family and friends plus future sufferers will be made a lot less stressful. Potential secondary conditions such as mental health conditions may be avoided in their severity. The more people who are treated efficiently and effectively from early on after recognition should lead to a greater number of people achieving remission plus those who have long term management and support will enable them to lead better lives and potentially return to work or education. If the health system recognises CRPS in these ways then the care system including PIP (personal independence payments) and similar are more likely to also recognise the severity of the condition and provide more help. Finally if CRPS is recognised and management services are provided to match, then sufferers should be eligible for free NHS prescriptions as management of long term conditions is extremely expensive for the sufferer and their families. Even though I personally have only experienced a few problems with health practitioners compared to some sufferers, at times it has been very demoralising and unnerving for me and my family. Currently I don't see a health system that can continue managing CRPS the way it does and it is letting down numerous sufferers as it stands. I have friends with CRPS who are housebound, had their limbs amputated, are bed bound, suffered from sepsis the list is endless. They have all come across the lack of awareness and understanding amongst medical professionals and like me find it upsetting to say the least. As media and public awareness of the continues to grow more and more people may think and self diagnose CRPS but unless the medical practitioners on the front line understand and recognise CRPS there is not much that will happen. The longer people are left with CRPS the tendency is for it to worsen at various rates, leaving more demand on the health service, if there was more recognition amongst medical professionals and better general management strategies this may not happen and therefore reduce the strain long term on the NHS for example. Even if the government makes a few simple changes to the way health practitioners are trained and treat CRPS patients it would make a massive difference to myself and the community who deserve so much better!
Recognition of Dissociative Disorder within the NHS and Formation of Appropriate Treatment
The condition Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which is listed within the DSM 5 in the category of Dissociative Disorders; desperately needs wider recognition, acceptance and understanding in the UK. DID develops during the formative years of childhood. Initially as a coping mechanism for severe, repeated experiences of trauma. In essence, the brain fragments or compartmentalises the different overwhelming emotions, experiences and memories. The formation of dissociated parts enables the person to function to some degree, allowing a separation and disconnect from overwhelming trauma. A person with DID may present very differently, although often this is not always evident as DID is first and foremost a coping mechanism for survival, hence is not always overtly obvious. This combined with a lack of recognition and understanding can exacerbate how many individuals go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed (with disorders such as, Borderline Personality Disorder - BPD, Eating Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders etc.) to their detriment. Despite potential symptom overlap, it is important to note, DID and BPD, in particular, are not synonymous. It is important to acknowledge Dissociative Disorders may encompass a vast range of symptoms which without relevant knowledge causes individuals to be repeatedly let down and labelled, which may lead to inappropriate and often rigid approaches and treatment pathways. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (2011) estimate a person may be in mental health services for 5-12 years without an accurate diagnosis of dissociative disorder. In addition, research shows that many people with dissociative disorders accrue up to 4 inaccurate diagnoses before receiving a valid diagnosis. Complex Dissociative presentations generally require up to 5-10 years of specialist therapy. Therefore, such individuals often spend many years in inappropriate placements, receiving a lack of understanding, appropriate treatment or support; often leading to repeated admissions, unsuitable placements and many years of wasted funding (at best, many others go completely unsupported). This leaves the individual and associated services frustrated and no further ahead. A way to mitigate such circumstances, which have varying degrees of negative impact on all involved, would be to provide relevant specialist training to primary and secondary NHS services. Which would enable earlier recognition and therefore avoid revolving door admissions with no sustainable progress. There are currently no dedicated solely NHS services for Dissociative Disorders throughout the whole of the UK. We call on all parties this petition has been issued to, to be proactive in forming appropriate treatment packages for people with Dissociative Disorders. This should be expedited as a matter of urgency, due to desperate need and the lack of current provision.
Don't let elderly people be alone this 2018
Millions of OAP's will be alone again this year. You can help change their lives! We would like see more funding, help and support for befriending services to assist with the large number of volunteers wishing to visit and help lonely and isolated older people in their homes. We would also like to see funding towards awareness campaigns highlighting the need for activities and events for lonely older people. Thank you so much Charlie