Search

Suicide of Camden schoolgirl prompts further training of psychiatrists in internet safety

13:00 14 April 2014

Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett

Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The suicide of a teenage girl from West Hampstead has prompted the Health Secretary to ask for psychiatrists be given more training in the role online social media can play in the mental health of young people.

Jeremy Hunt said he “recognised the increasing importance of the role of media and in particular social 
media in the lives of young people” and has asked the Royal College of Psychologists to look into making training compulsory.

He has also commissioned a study to be carried out by Bristol University to look into “the use of the internet in relation to suicidal behaviour”.

His calls were in response to a letter sent by a coroner at St Pancras Coroner’s Court who had been vocal in her concerns that mental health clinicians lacked expertise in online social media.

Coroner Mary Hassell’s worries emerged after leading the inquest into the death of Tallulah Wilson, a 15-year-old ballet dancer, who took her own life in October 2012. The schoolgirl was said to have become obsessed with online blogs about suicide and often posted disturbing images of self-harm to her 18,000 followers.

When her mother discovered her 
internet activity, she had Tallulah’s account deleted, with her psychiatrist’s support, because she was concerned about the influence these ‘dangerous’ blogs could have on a young girl.

Dr Andy Wiener, Tallulah’s psychiatrist, revealed during the inquest that he underestimated the impact this would have on her, and speculated about whether she may have felt as if she had been “deleted” as well. He said he had since undergone training and now better understands the role of the internet in young people’s lives.

The Tavistock Centre, in Belsize Lane, where Tallulah’s psychiatrist practices, has also actively worked to understand better the digital lives of young people and to encourage more communication with adults.

It recently hosted an afternoon seminar on the internet and child and adolescent mental health.

The new efforts come as the Royal College of Psychiatrists also revealed it is “very concerned” about the impact of the internet on young people who self-harm and was looking into it as “a matter of urgency”.

A spokesman said: “Within the college’s recently revised curriculum for child and adolescent psychiatrists, a number of training objectives relating to young people’s use of the internet and its relation to mental health have been included.

“These are optional, but the college has opened discussions with the General Medical Council to make them a mandatory component of training. This will be pursued as a matter of urgency.”

The college is also looking into 
developing “positive alternatives” to YouTube and other social media.

Going further, the Department of Health suggested it was up to 
social media users and sites “to point anyone talking about harming themselves to places they can get help”.

A spokesman said: “The government takes the issue of child safety online very seriously and has set out a series of measures to help keep children safe online.

“The new national curriculum will see children aged five to 16 taught about internet safety in a sensible, age-appropriate way. This is a really important step.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Friday, August 26, 2016
Yasmin Farah

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find two sixteen-year-old girls who have gone missing from Camden.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hornsey School for Girls

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Sam White has praised William Ellis pupils

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
UCS school

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now