ncuis REUIEUI Hardships
A fatherless child allowance,
guarantee of maintenance payments, better day care provisions for state
Having been asked to submit evidence to the Finer Committee on One-Parent Families, the Council for Children's Welfare decided to obtain its information at grass-roots level. They wrote to 33 local papers across the country inviting parents who were coping single-handed to write in to them. Their main request was for information on how working parents coped with looking after their children, but comments on other problems were invited. The first 100 letters received were analysed in detail and the findings
suggestions to alleviate what is threatening to become a major social problem in view of the increasing number of divorces. the
Available from the Council for Children's Welfare, 183-189 Finchley Road, London N.W.3. at 25p per copy.
Ambitious work of reference
have now been published, together with selections from the letters, in The Plight of One-Parent Families.* From the evidence of these parents, it's pretty obvious they're still not
In February, Search Press published the first of a unique three-volume 'Encyclopedia of Psychology'* unique because this is the first
fair deal?nor, of course, are their children. The outstanding problem, and one which brings other problems in its wake, is poverty 85% of the parents mentioned money problems at great length. Going out to work can be difficult given the high cost of child-minding and the present tax system. Being forced to stay at home with small children during the day and unable to afford baby-sitters in the evenings the often already severe feelings of isolation are
aggravated. Irregular maintenance payments and the difficulty of enforcing them means further poverty, and no money for sweets, 'treats' or even
adequate clothing swiftly isolates the children from their friends. It's easy to see how isolation and con-
sequent loneliness spirals. Clearly some radical social and economic changes must be made if the plight of these parents and is not to get even their children ?
(Volume II will appear in May and Volume III in August.)
extended reference book of psych-
published. encyclopedia, which is being published in seven European langever
uages, has over 300 authors from 21 different countries. The three editors are all professors of psychology: Hans J. Eysenck, of the University of
London, Wilhelm Arnold, of Wurzburg University in West Germany and Richard Meili, of Berne University, Switzerland. Atthough the core of the book obviously deals with psychology, terms have been included from fields which border closely on psychology such as psychiatry, sociology and education. The encyclopedia will have the two-fold purpose of standardising
terminology and information on modern psychology and of drawing attention to work being done in other countries. *
Encyclopedia of Psychology; ed. by H. J. Eysenck, W. Arnold and R. Meili; Search Press, London. Vol. I, ?8.00.
The well-worn theory that depression and suicide rates fall dramatically in times of war, has been given a fresh boost by a recent report in the British Medical Journal from Dr. H. A. Lyons, a consultant psychiatrist at Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast. Dr. Lyons found the greatest dein crease depressive, illness in Belfast was among the lower social groupings in areas where there had been the worst rioting. This confirms the theory that opportunities for overt expression of aggressive feelings prevent the build-up of frustration which can lead to depression and sometimes, ultimately, suicide. In inner West Belfast, scene of the most violent rioting, cases of depression which, in men under 40, had averaged 16 annually in the pre-riot years of 1964-8, in 1970 fell to 6 a decrease of over 60%. These figures were reflected over the whole of Belfast. In 1970 the number of men suffering from dea fell from 177 to 119 decrease of over 30% figures
which compare interestingly with the overall statistics for the United Kingdom where depressive illness has increased by 75% over the last
eight years. Unfortunately other statistics are not as encouraging. As might be expected, the incidence of violent and homicide in Northern Ireland rose sharply after 1968 when serious rioting began. 1964-8 there were only three cases of homicide, in 1970 this had risen to 19, or 43 crime
including 'injuries resulting from operations of war' and 'legal intervention'.
Design service handicapped CEH, the Centre the
has been growing
since its modest
in 1969. Financed by grants from the Department of Health and Social Security, the King Edward's Fund and the Spastics Society, it is now operating from the Hospital Centre at 24 Nutford Place, W1H 6AN. CEH aims to give information and advice on the design of the full range of facilities needed by the handicapped throughout their lives regional and city planning, buildings and their interiors. ?
people instinctively become worried when something initially makes breathing difficult. By linking this of constriction with breathing
irrational fears the research unit discovered that easing people's breathing, eased the fear at the same time. Treatment involves holding the patient's nose and closing his mouth for a few seconds at a time. As the patient struggles for breath he is shown either photos or real-life examples of his phobia, and these images are removed when he is allowed to breathe again. It all sounds too good to be true but the report says that four spiderhaters actually touched spiders after undergoing the hold-your-nose treatment.
are concentrating on handicap, although they later hope to extend this to the mentally ill, the physically handicapped and the blind, deaf and elderly. In practical terms they are offering a range of services to people working in many disciplines?architects, administrators, teachers, doctors,
nurses and so on. A reference library is available for
Centre, consultation on specific problems is offered and visits can be made to existing facilities to advise on improvement. They also hold meetings, seminars and conferences and publish reports. Wide use has already been made of the CEH in its first year's service and they are hoping to expand their study
spider sends you scuttling into the opposite corner try curing your fright by holding your nose. A recent report by Dr. Arnold Orwin in the British Journal of Psy-
chiatry describes how Dr. Orwin's behaviour research unit at Hollymoor Hospital in Birmingham discovered that some people could be cured of their phobias by holding
their noses. The theory
ted concern at what appears to be a growing misuse of psychiatry in world. of- the countries some Although opinions differ as to what
constitutes 'mental health', everyone would agree that each man should have freedom of opinion, to think according to his conscience and to form his own moral values. It is clear that some countries are abusing psychiatric practice by forc-
ing people to receive 'treatment' and confining them to psychiatric hospitals simply because their opinions are critical of the society in which they live.
length by the Executive Board and
statement was issued to the effect that 'the World Federation for
Birmingham Regional Hospital Board has just completed a two-year study which could brighten the lives of its long-stay patients many of them in hospitals for the mentally ill and handicapped. The Board has suggested a new clothing policy which would put an end to the store' present 'quartermaster's
Mental Health resolutely opposed any such abuse of psychiatric procedures and calls on its Member Associations throughout the world promptly to investigate all such allegations, and to defend the indi-
and the 'institutional' appearance of the clothing issued to
patients. system, about 20 stores would be set up in main centres of the Hospital Board's Under the new
where long-stay patients are treated. These shops, each run by a manager, would be supplied from a central warehouse and stocks would be replenished about every three weeks. In charge overall would be
vidual's freedom of opinion where it appears to be threatened.' Delegates to the Hong Kong meeting have now discussed this with the UK and Eire Committee of the World Federation and representatives of the member bodies are now discussing this in their own organisations.
fashion trends. The
specialist buyer up-to-the-minute
If the sight of
At last November's annual meetof the World Federation for Mental Health in Hong Kong this question was discussed at great
Decent clothes and
Don't panic?hold your nose!
Freedom to believe
(presumably) of knowledge patients' require-
ments would be assessed at ward
level. This method would have considerable economic advantages. At the moment buying is done on a hospital group basis which is obviously more expensive since the quantities of clothing required are smaller and a less rapid turnover means that
stocks cannot possibly keep up with changing fashions. Copies of the survey have been sent to the other 14 Hospital Boards and hopefully they will follow Bir-
mingham's forward-looking policy.
In January this year the first 'Nightliners' national conference was held, attended by representatives of 22 universities. 'Nightlines' are student centres manned nightly by 2 or 3 volunteers.
They do not claim professional expertise although most centres have a preparation course for volun?
lectures on social, psyand sexual problems. The aim is rather to provide friendship and support wherever it is needed.
somewhere between They fall friends, who may at times be unreliable, unavailable or non-existent, and the student health services with
and so on.
Some callers are seeking practical advice such as how and where an abortion can be obtained, or where they can get treatment for VD. Other calls may entail the student on duty having to talk someone down from a bad LSD trip. Sometimes the student may be referred for professional psychiatric advice and treatment, but often the caller wants to talk about one of the problems frequently encountered in university, and particularly campus a broken romance (where the life confines of a campus make avoidance of the ex-partner difficult), exam nerves or general worry about ?
'keeping up' academically. Student health officers reckon that many as 25 per cent of all students will at one time or another need some help with personal problems of one kind or another. To as
quote Dr. Nicholas Malleson, presi-
dent of the British Student Health
Association, 'The occupational dis-
of students are in the head, of miners are in the
just as those lungs'.
children Children with learning and behaviour problems in four Inner London areas are to receive muchneeded help. At the end of January the Inner London Education Authority announced that it was spending ?150,000 on four pilot projects to be based in North Kensington, North Islington, Brixton and Peckham. The plan is to have one teacher seconded full-time to each area to assess the best ways of helping the children. He or she will have strong local support in the form of help from teachers and members of the probation, medical and welfare services. The seconded teachers will assess
the children not only in their schools but in the context of their homes and general environment. This decision to examine the child's whole environment is particularly important in view of the fact that the ILEA is now proposing to send only children with very severe problems to its special schools. It has been increasingly clear for some time that children in areas like the four selected for the pilots are not being adequately catered for by special schools or even child guidance units. Waiting time to see a child psychiatrist can be up to three months and for a place in a special
staff/pupil ratios are improving the situation but obviously Better
ideas include 'nurture deprived children are
groups' where provided with a family-type situation, language centres for immigrant children and better child guidance facilities for those with lems.