How to spot mental health misinformation

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Learn the signs and protect yourself and others

How to spot mental health misinformation

Misinformation is a problem and, in the 21st century it’s spreading faster than ever before. When it comes to misinformation about mental health, the consequences can be dire. Ranging from being unhelpful to unsafe, mental health misinformation can interfere with recovery, put people at risk, and feed into stigma.

Whether you see it online, on social media, or hear it from the people around you, it’s important to learn the signs that what you’re being told might not be accurate. Here, we’re exploring some of the ways that you can spot mental health misinformation.

Is it overly simplistic?

This is usually the first sign that something isn’t right. Mental health is a complicated topic, and each experience will vary from person to person, which means that blanket statements can often be inaccurate.

Be particularly cautious around claims that link to diagnoses. For example, ‘X is a trauma response’. In this example, whatever X may be, it could very well be a trauma response for one person, but not for another.

In the same vein, ‘quick fixes’ are often fictitious. There are many different tools that we can apply to our mental health, such as diet and exercise, or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, that really can make a difference. But long-term change often happens with long-term support and work over a lifetime.

Ultimately, it can be helpful to return to the question, is it too good to be true? Are the claims too bold, and is the line too simplistic? If so, you might be being given one part of the story, when, really, it’s the rest that makes it make sense.

Who is sharing the information?

It’s always important to consider the source of the information. For example, is it coming from a qualified, accredited individual?

Professional bodies exist to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists, and in order for individuals to join, they must meet a certain set of standards, and abide by a code of ethics.

This is a good place to start when you’re considering the source when it's coming from an individual, but what about the information you’ve found online?

If you’ve seen something spread online, and you’re not sure about the claim, the first step you can take is to put that claim into Google. Now, if that claim comes up multiple times, it could be a good sign, but don’t stop there. See if you can find the original source. Does it come from a study published in a respected journal, or did it all start somewhere more dubious?

Additionally, there are other signs that you can look out for when searching for reliable information online. For example, has the post been reviewed by an accredited expert? Does it include dates of publication? Are any edits or amendments listed? Does the site have a PIF TICK stamp – a UK quality mark for health information?

Is there a sales push involved?

There are many products out there that can support us

5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

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Find out how technology is being used to help restore our planet

5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

To counter the effects of climate change takes a great deal of tenacity, and thinking outside the proverbial box. But, fortunately, there are some astounding people and companies demonstrating the creativity, brilliance, and ingenuity required to face this challenge.

Here, we’re marvelling at five eco innovations, looking to reduce or reverse human beings’ impact on the world around us. From stepping up our survival instincts to agricultural advances, feel inspired and get curious about what other possibilities might be on the horizon for green technology…

AirCarbon

Call it awe-inspiring, call it a ‘breath of fresh air’... AirCarbon is an award-winning invention, created by Newlight Technologies, that is a carbon-negative, renewable form of ‘plastic’. Not only does it not produce the typical emissions and waste that come with plastic production, but it actually cleans the air instead!

With an estimated 400 million tons of plastic waste produced annually around the world, the clever creation combats this by combining air with methane-based carbon. The end result is completely natural, meaning it can be broken down by microorganisms to provide nutrients, plus it’s been FDA-approved so it is safe to come into contact with food – offering a host of possibilities for replacing traditional plastic packaging and containers.

3D printing in construction

One of the largest polluting sectors worldwide is construction – with research by the US Green Building Council claiming the industry is responsible for 40% of worldwide energy usage, and another report suggesting it’s accountable for up to 50% of climate change.

5 surprising eco innovations you need to know about

Clearly, something needs to change. And offering the cornerstone to build a more environmentally friendly future is the possibilities of 3D printing. With several companies already exploring the potential of ‘additive manufacturing’, as it’s also known, the real advantage is the ability to use local materials in the printing, such as soil, clay, sand, and plant fibres, drastically cutting down the need to transport materials (potentially by 95%), and avoiding the use of cement. Having the printer on site also means constructors only need to print the exact materials required, encouraging less waste.

Partnering positivity for the environment, with doing good for people too, charity Habitat for Humanity utilised this technology to build a 3D printed home in Virginia in 2021, to house low-income families who volunteer with them. Incredibly, the two-bed bungalow was printed in just 12 hours, demonstrating the ability to produce eco-friendly, affordable homes in a much more time-effective manner.

Vertical farming

With the ever-increasing global population, as well as climate change impacting the success of a harvest, demand on agriculture is increasing in turn. But farmers are taking things to the next level, literally, by stacking crops in pillars, enabling them to radically increase their yield for the same square footage – potentially up to 10 times the normal amount for the same space.

What is so differe

8 must-read subreddits if you’re struggling financially

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Hailed as the ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is so much more than a place to enjoy funny cat memes and keep up with the latest gaming, movie, and TV news. We share eight subreddit communities to help you better understand your finances, create a workable food budget, and expand your skills to help take the edge off of growing financial worries

8 must-read subreddits if you’re struggling financially

I love Reddit. Despite not being their target demographic (around 70% of the site’s users are American, with 18-29s making up 64% of their user base), Reddit is one of those sites where you can find a community for everything. Literally.

Want nothing but cute photos that make you go aww? There’s a subreddit for that (r/aww). Need a good laugh, but tired of the same old memes? r/BirdsWithArms has nothing but bird videos with hilarious clipart-drawn arms and expressions. Want to find a supportive community, filled with others who are sharing their lived mental health experiences, and experts highlighting advice and guidance? Well, there are dozens of dedicated mental health and wellbeing subreddits to help you feel accepted and connected.

When it comes to talking about our finances, things can feel tough. Research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that 42% of us who have borrowed money and are struggling choose to ignore lenders’ attempts to contact us, due to feeling ashamed. A lack of knowledge is also causing us unnecessary stress and strain, as 40% who are struggling financially incorrectly believe that talking to a debt advisor will have a negative impact on their credit file.

Over half (52%) of us wait more than a month to seek help when we are struggling financially. New data from Financial Capability revealed that over 20.3 million adults (39%) in the UK don’t feel confident managing their money and over 11.5 million of us have less than £100 is savings. With nearly 9 million in serious debt, and only a third receiving help, things are only set to get worse over the coming months, as prices continue to rise.

We’re not saying online communities are the answer to all of our money problems. But talking about our struggles, reaching out to others, and sharing tips and tricks to make our money stretch further can all have a significant, positive impact on how we feel.

Feeling anxious or stressed about talking money with your partner? Counselling Directory explains more about how you can get the conversation started.


Feel more confident managing your finances


Financial literacy (having the skills and knowledge to make informed, effective decisions about your financial resources) is an area that is so important, yet many of us feel we lack the tools to understand

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