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

Yesterday, 18:54
The Old White Bear pub in Hampstead

Developers who own the derelict Old White Bear pub in Hampstead have been ordered to take down scaffolding at the historic building by the end of the week or face enforcement action by Camden Council.

Tue, 17:41
Tributes have been paid to actor Burt Kwouk

Tributes have been paid to renowned Hampstead actor Burt Kwouk, famous for his role in the Pink Panther films.

Tue, 17:15
Tom Franklin, former chair of the Camden Green Party, pictured with Sian Berry and other supporters outside court

Eight protesters cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest will not face a retrial after a judge refused an appeal lodged by the Crown.

Tue, 16:18
The Ratclliffe family when Gabriella was one week old

The husband of a West Hampstead mum who has been held for 50 days in Iran without charge has hit out at the government for not doing enough to secure her release.

Tue, 14:04
Heather Brett, with her mother, Nora

A daughter is urging hospitals to prioritise dementia care after her 90-year-old mother had a “traumatic” experience at the Whittington.

Mon, 17:50
Left to Right: Artist Dom Pattinson, Zebra One gallery owner Gabrielle du Plooy, actor  Phil Daniels and Blur's Dave Rowntree with artwork for auction at the Star Boot Sale

A fan has bid £6,500 on an outfit worn by former Spice girl Melanie Chisholm, which was among celebrity cast-offs being sold off at the Star Boot Sale on Sunday.

Mon, 14:44
Barnet and Camden's re-elected Assembly Member Andrew Dismore said the inquiry currently being undertaken by Barnet Councill into the polling day blunder is looking

Barnet and Camden Assembly Member Andrew Dismore has claimed the inquiry into the mayoral polling day debacle in Barnet is looking “increasingly like a whitewash”.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Mayor of Haringey Councillor Ali Ozbek. Photo: Polly Hancock

Haringey appointed its first mayor of Kurdish Alevi descent at a ceremony boosted with overseas family and the Turkish press on Monday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe