Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

The digital clinic

Sunday, March 29th, 2020 | Business & Marketing

They say that the necessity is the mother of all invention. With the impending COVID-19 crisis looming, we decided it was finally time to make virtual appointments part of Leeds Anxiety Clinic’s offerings.

That was easier said than done. Because of the social distancing recommendations already in effect, and Amazon having halted warehouse shipments, the few webcams that were available had all been panic-bought by other people. Luckily, we were able to beg and borrow the equipment we needed until we could get our own.

We’re still playing around with how to produce the best quality experience, both in terms of the technical setup and the differences between delivering therapy face-to-face, where you can easily scribble a diagram or analyse holistic body movements, and delivering it digitally. Early efforts are working well, though.

Intelligence and mental health

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 | Science

Many people believe that there is an association between intelligence and mental illness. And there is. But it probably is not the one you think.

The media has often reported on the idea that mental illness is higher among intelligent people. In a way, there is some truth to this. Mental illness does seem to be prevalent among geniuses, for example. One study demonstrated that there were higher rates of mental health issues among Mensa members.

But this is one study and specifically looks at people who are abnormally high on the intelligence scale. It ignores the wider pattern of evidence that says increased intelligence correlates with better mental health. Wikipedia offers a good roundup of the evidence, but I also provide one below.

A 2016 study in the journal Intelligence found that intelligent youths were more likely to receive a dianogsis of depression at age 50, but less likely to have mental health issues on self-report measures.

A 2006 study found that intelligent people were less likely to have PTSD.

A 2008 study found that intelligent people were less likely to have schizophrenia.

A 2018 study found that intelligent people were less likely to have OCD.

And, perhaps most notably, a Swedish study that used over a million participants concluded that:

Lower intelligence is a risk factor for the whole range of mental disorders and for illness severity.

Of course, the biggest predictor of intelligent is individual difference. Struggling with mental illness says nothing about your intelligence. But the idea that having a mental illness is a sign that we are more intelligent is a myth.

Sorry. I was gutted as well.

How to be incredibly productive, even when you have anxiety

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 | Public Speaking

Last week, I presented a talk as part of Leeds Anxiety Clinic’s series of events on helping people manage their anxiety. It was entitled How to be incredibly productive, even when you have anxiety.

I thought it went well. Everyone turned up for a start. We weren’t expecting that. When Anxiety Leeds ran a trial, we invited 30 people and 4 turned up on the day. Everyone who had bought a ticket (it sold out a week in advance) turned up, so we were scrambling around for extra chairs just before the start.

Worfolk Anxiety adds three more languages

Sunday, January 20th, 2019 | News

Worfolk Anxiety is predominantly an English language website. However, for years we’ve also had some of our best articles professionally translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

As of this month, we’re also making content available in French, Estonian and Polish. Depending on the results, we’re looking at adding more languages in the future, allowing an even wider audience to benefit from our help.

Digital Marketing for Therapists

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 | Business & Marketing, News

In June, I launched my course Digital Marketing for Restaurants to help restaurant owners and managers access new customers via digital media. Since then over a thousand people have enrolled on it and it has achieved a 5-star rating.

I’m now pleased to announce that I have launched a brand new digital marketing course, this time for therapists and counsellors.

It covers building websites, using Google Ads, using Google My Business, Facebook pages, posts and ads, and using Eventbrite. It’s available now on Udemy and you can preview it here.

Here’s the preview video:

Become a Mental Health Ambassador

Friday, November 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing, News

Last week, I launched my new course Mental Health Ambassador Certificate. It offers you the chance to become a qualified Mental Health Ambassador, allowing us to improve mental health across society and help those in need.

My previous courses in mental health have predominantly been around self-help, so I’m excited to launch something that can help people help others. It teaches the fundamentals of a range of conditions, how to assist others using the Real Support Framework (REAL-SF) and how to speak confidentially about mental health.

So far, over 600 people have enrolled and the first wave has already begun to earn their certificates.

You can find the course on Udemy.

Good stress talk

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 | Life

Last week, Leeds Anxiety Clinic held its first public talk “How to build good stress into your life to make you immune to bad stress”.

As a first event, it has been a success. It was more than sold out: we had a waiting list with people emailing us asking how they could get tickets or just stand at the back. So, it is great to see there is demand for what we do.

Chris delivered the talk with confidence and the feedback we received via Survey Monkey afterwards was generally positive. We’re looking forward to announcing more events in the near future.

Join the #ThisIsNormalLife campaign

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 | News

Social media paints an unrealistic portrait of life. It’s full of pictures of people with perfect make-up who spend the whole lives drinking champagne and flossing in front of the Effiel Tower. Many of us do get the chance to do these things, of course, but most of the time we’re going to work, cleaning the kitchen or just passed out exhausted on the sofa.

The problem is that being bombarded with these images is bad for our mental health.

So, this September, Worfolk Anxiety is launching a campaign called 30 Days of Normal Life. We’re encouraging everyone to post boring pictures of their life with the hashtag #ThisIsNormalLife.

Won’t you join us in a month of making the internet a lot more dull and a little less depressing?

Leeds Anxiety Clinic opens

Monday, July 9th, 2018 | News

We’re pleased to announce that Leeds Anxiety Clinic has opened its doors. Here are my personal thoughts about it.

I’ve been working in mental health for around five years now, running the charity Anxiety Leeds, blogging over at Worfolk Anxiety and conducting research into mental health technology as part of my master’s degree. Getting involved with a company like this seems the next logical step.

The feedback we’re getting at the moment is that Leeds IAPT has a 9-month waiting list. Therapy takes time to work, so if you’re looking for help, realistically you’re looking at more than a year of your life before you can see any change. That’s too long.

And whether you go via the NHS, or you go via private therapy, you will usually get a generalist. Some organisations run “mental health” group sessions, for example. You might be a high functioning anxiety sufferer but you find yourself sat next to a schizophrenic. They’re both very different conditions that require different skills. Or your counsellor also does bereavement or addiction, and sidelines with anxiety. They don’t have the specialist skill set. It’s like taking your boat to Kwik Fit because “all vehicles are pretty much the same”.

We’re aiming to fix both of these problems by providing specialist care, with a range of options to suit different circumstances. Including some educational events that we’re planning to announce shortly.

All of this runs alongside my existing commitments to research and Anxiety Leeds, which will be unaffected by anything we’re doing here. Although, I very much hope that what we do at the charity will be informed by anything we learn at LAC, so that we can continue to improve the group.

Can you help with anxiety research?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 | Science

As part of my research at Leeds Beckett University, we’re recruiting people with anxiety to take part in a 4-week trial you can do from home using your mobile phone.

We’re giving people a range of different phone apps designed to reduce anxiety, to see which ones work and which ones don’t. As part of the research, you will need to complete some short questionnaires and use the app for four weeks. Or, you may be allocated to a waiting list in which case you will just need to complete the questionnaires.

To find out more information, and to see whether you are eligible, please see the project’s website.