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‘Through discipline comes freedom’. Over two thousand years ago Aristotle warned that freedom means more than just “doing as one likes”. Ancient Greek societies survived plagues, though the hardship they endured tested all constitutions and often caused a breakdown in traditional values.
On the 24th of November 1999, the United Kingdom banned the use of asbestos. Twenty years later and this toxic mineral still plagues public health, being linked to multiple diseases including mesothelioma. But why has asbestos remained such a threat to public health, despite laws which prevent its use?
It’s 50 years since Ken Loach’s groundbreaking film, Cathy Come Home, documented the inhuman effects of homelessness. Without a home, as his heartbreaking film shows, families collapse, children are deprived of a stable childhood in which to thrive and individuals – Cathy herself – are put under intolerable mental and emotional strain with tragic and unjust consequences.
In its latest volley of relentless negativity, the Remain campaign has targeted the grim outlook for UK trade were we to leave the EU. Last week its aim was fixed on the 3 million jobs dependent on the union.
Arguments against Britain leaving the EU have focused on economic cost-benefit-analyses and arguments from national self-interest. This does a disservice to an organisation which, with its rare idealism, should be valued beyond a banal calculation of whether we get out more than we put in.
Announcing £1 billion increase in funding to mental health, David Cameron rightly said that there needs to be a ‘revolution’ in mental health care. Much of the money the Prime Minister is pledging is to flow into acute mental health services; £250 million for emergency mental health in A&E and £400 million for investment in crisis resolution.
The NHS began with a bitter doctor’s dispute. Nye Bevan, the towering socialist Welsh force of nature, and Minister of Health whose single – some would say bloody – mindedness in pushing through the root law that set up the world’s first fully funded public healthcare system, in 1948, was a hate figure for most doctors.
The UK’s immigration rules and systems affect some children and young people in almost every aspect of their lives. Their immigration status can determine whether they have enough food to eat and a safe place to stay, whether they have access to the healthcare and services they need, and if they can continue in education or training after their school years.
Our recent report at The Children’s Society’s, Access Denied: a teenager’s pathway through the mental health system, shows that last year out of 200,000 teenagers referred to specialist mental health services around 30,000 were turned away without any offer of support.
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