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Well-being and encourage mental health professionals to concentrate instead on treating the symptoms of serious mental illness with compassion and without judgement.’ Above all, the Commission calls for a change in attitude: ‘People with psychosis… need to be given the hope that it is perfectly possible to live a fulfilling life after a diagnosis of schizophrenia or psychosis,’ said Murray. ‘We have no doubt that this is achievable.’ Responding to the Commission’s report, former DCP Chair Professor Peter Kinderman at the University of Liverpool said he welcomed the document but that it didn’t go far enough. ‘The Commission missed the opportunity for more thorough-going reform,’ he said. Dr Brabban told us she was delighted

with the media coverage that the Schizophrenia Commission had attracted, thereby raising ‘awareness that psychological therapies can help people with psychosis; that service users want access to them and yet for the majority they’re not available’. She added: ‘If this leads to genuine service change with greater investment in high-quality psychological therapies for those with psychosis, it will be a wonderful achievement. What I don’t want to happen is for mental services to expect inadequately trained staff to deliver something which they call CBT but bears no resemblance to the genuine, evidence-based approach, and which therefore doesn't help anyone and ends up giving psychological therapy a bad name.’ CJ I www.schizophreniacommission.org.uk/ the-report

From care to Cambridge A group of Cambridge graduates, led by Dr Peter McParlin, a consultant child psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society, is setting up a mentoring scheme to help looked-after young people with their academic studies. The ‘From Care to Cambridge’ project, launched in Westminster in October with the support of John Hemming MP and Lord Adonis, will provide regular face-to-face contact for pupils from care in the last few years of their school life, supporting them through A-levels and the university application process. Dr McParlin grew up in care himself, and knows firsthand how the relationship with significant, nurturing people can help develop resilience and confidence. ‘After leaving care, I became homeless, and ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Liverpool aged 17. A chance friendship with some young university students encouraged me to return to education, initially to gain the school-leavers’ qualifications, and to aspire to go to university.’ ‘The vast majority believe, wrongly, that most Cambridge and Oxford students Challenge the perception that these come from independent schools,’ McParlin universities are ‘not for me’ told us. ‘This can fuel the perception that those universities are “not for me”, and perhaps this is where a Cambridge-educated mentor can help. An increasing number of looked-after young people have demonstrated that they have the ability to undertake a degree course, and now is the time for more looked-after students to attend Britain’s best universities.’ JS I Further information about the scheme can be obtained by contacting Peter on petermcparlin@yahoo.com or 0113 232 3928

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the first of its annual reports into the state of the nation’s well-being Life in the UK 2012 (tinyurl.com/clx2ceg). The data show that people’s life satisfaction has remained broadly stable over the last decade, despite the financial effects of the recession, including higher unemployment and a reduction in real-terms income. The average satisfaction with family life stands at 8.2 out of 10. Healthy life expectancy (average time spent in good health) has increased (63.5 years for men; 65.7 for women), so too our satisfaction with our own health. The data also show that our average well-being is related more strongly to average levels of household income, rather than to nationwide GDP. Reflecting on the results at a press conference, David Halpern, head of the Behavioural Insight Team, told The Guardian that economic measures and subjective well-being measures do not always correlate. For instance, he said Rutland has higher average levels of life satisfaction compared with the similarly affluent Wokingham, perhaps because of environmental advantages in the former area. ‘It seems that if you can see a tree you are happier,’ he said. Community trust appears to be another factor, perhaps explaining the high levels of subjective well-being in Northern Ireland where the Troubles may have had the effect of bringing neighbours together. The ONS has also published a ‘National well-being wheel of measures’, which allows anyone to view at a glance key statistics for different aspects of the nation’s well-being, from individual wellbeing to personal finance, health, relationships, and more (tinyurl.com/blwnh9s). CJ I The programme to measure the UK’s well-being began in 2010 (for more background, see our News pages: April and September 2011, September 2012)

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The Psychologist January 2013