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, 18:21

Both of Camden’s Labour MPs who backed Owen Smith in the leadership contest have called for party unity as speculation mounts over whether they will serve on Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team if invited.

Yesterday, 18:05

Police figures show the number of drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel is on the rise.

Yesterday, 17:06

The suspect apparently had nothing in which to stash the money and left a trail of cash as he left

Yesterday, 16:35

Local MPs have overwhelmingly backed calls for the government to make historic changes to end the secrecy surrounding offshore property sales.

Yesterday, 16:01

Highgate farmers’ market organisers are encouraging more community gardeners and allotment groups to get in touch to sell their produce

Yesterday, 14:05

Jeremy Corbyn may have called for unity after decisively seeing off Owen Smith in the Labour leadership challenge, but his plea fell on deaf ears with Lord Mitchell of Hampstead, who announced this weekend that he has quit the party.

Yesterday, 11:18

A brave and adventurous 14-year-old boy is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of his sister who died recently

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Crouch End woman and three others have been sentenced for their roles in attempting to defraud a Camden housing association of nearly £430,000.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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