Topics for this month:

October is a busy month for awareness raising campaigns and we are highlighting just a few of them in this month’s edition.

ADHD- awareness month

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, will act without thinking and they may have trouble concentrating and act on impulse.

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but the condition has been shown to run in families. ADHD can occur in people of any intellectual ability, although it’s more common in people with learning difficulties. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 3 to 7 years old, but sometimes the condition is diagnosed later, and not recognised until later in life as an adult.

The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems and face challenges. People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.

However, in the UK and Europe, around 90% of adults and young people with ADHD are undiagnosed, especially girls and women. In England only 0.35% of girls and 1.5% of boys are receiving treatment, compared with a global average of 5.3% of children.

Therefore, raising awareness of ADHD is so vitally important and lots of extensive research is being carried out to improve diagnoses, get the message out about the condition and develop the right structured support for people with ADHD.

ADHD is best treated using a combination of different medical and therapeutic interventions, along lifestyle support and services. The combination of intervention and support should be tailored to the needs of the individual.

Hyperactivity and impulsiveness can also be presented as follows-

-being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings.

-being unable to concentrate on tasks.

-excessive physical movement.

-excessive talking and interrupting others

-being unable to wait their turn.

-Difficulty focusing

Common causes of ADHD

-Brain injury.

-Exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age.

-Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.

-Premature delivery.

-Low birth weight.

Things that can help ADHD:

-organisation and time management, using tools to help.

-following instructions step by step

-focusing and completing tasks

-coping with stress

-Get plenty of exercise. …

-Take activity breaks. …

-Learn to meditate. …

-Pay attention to all the good things about you.

For more information, please click the link below for the ADHD.UK website, where you can find out more about ADHD, and get involved in their fundraising, as well as access resources and newsletters to help someone with ADHD.

There is also a diagnosis pathway page to help you get help if you feel you may have ADHD and need some advice and support.


Go Sober for October

Taking a break from drinking is a great way to give your body a break from alcohol, and it has lots of benefits.

Every year, Macmillan runs a Sober October campaign to encourage people to go alcohol-free in October to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Have you been sober in October?

What to expect when you give up alcohol

If you’ve decided to give up alcohol, you might be surprised how quickly you start to notice some of the benefits.

  • A better night’s sleep

Alcohol can disrupt your sleep pattern meaning you spend less time in more restful deep sleep.

  • More energy

Hangover-free and refreshed you’re likely to have more energy. Maybe now is the time to take up a new hobby or kick-start a fitness regime?

  • Weight loss

You might have already started to notice some weight loss. Alcoholic drinks are high in empty calories and regularly adding lots of extra calories on top of your recommended daily intake can make it difficult to maintain or lose weight.

  • Save money

When you stop spending money on alcohol, you’ll be saving yourself money. Why not treat yourself to something nice to celebrate sticking to your Sober October goals?

Top three tips for a successful Sober October

  1. Understand the effects of alcohol

Understanding what effect alcohol has on your mind and body can help motivate you to stay on track. From heart health to anxiety and depression alcohol can have a wide-ranging effect on our bodies.

  1. Alcohol-free alternatives

Sparkling mineral water is great – but there are many other alcohol alternatives out there. Why not make a mocktail, try an alcohol-free beer or even one of the new alcohol-free ‘spirits’?

  1. Tackle your triggers

Understand what prompts you to have a drink so you can stay in control and avoid old habits.

Beyond Sober October

A month off alcohol could be your chance to make lasting changes in the way you drink. Alcohol consumption is linked to seven types of cancer, and the more you drink the more your risk increases.

So just a few small changes to the way you approach alcohol could have a big effect on your long-term health, and how you feel.

One thing you might find after a period without drinking is that your tolerance to alcohol drops. So it might take less alcohol for you to feel its effects.

In order to keep the risks from drinking to a low level, make sure you stick within the low risk drinking guidelines of no more than 14 units a week, with at least three drink-free days.

Taking a break from alcohol is a great for your body and mind, so keep up the positive changes beyond October.

Visit Drink Aware to find out more and explore the resources available to help you to stay on track!

Breast Cancer Awareness

With around 150 women being diagnosed with breast cancer every day, it is the most common form of cancer in the UK, the good news is about two thirds of women will survive for 20 years or more.

Although rarer, 390 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer each year,

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth (tumour).

Breast cancer starts in the breast tissue, most commonly in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. It is the most common cancer in the UK. It mainly affects women, but men can get it too. 

Breast cancer symptoms

The first symptom of breast cancer most people notice is a lump in their breast or some thickening.

Breast symptoms to look out for:

  • a new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
  • skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breast feeding
  • changes in the position of the nipple

These symptoms listed here are more often caused by other medical conditions. But if you have any of them it is important to see your doctor.

More information around symptoms

And for Men ……

The most common symptom is a lump in the chest area which is often painless.

Other symptoms of male breast cancer may include:

  • Liquid, sometimes called discharge, that comes from the nipple without squeezing and which may be blood-stained
  • A tender or inverted (pulled in) nipple
  • Ulcers (sores) on the chest or nipple area
  • Swelling of the chest area and occasionally the lymph nodes under the arm

For more information, advice, and support about breast cancer in men

Further information

For anyone affected by breast cancer you can find support, help and advice here

To speak to a breast cancer care nurse tel:0808 800 6000

For information around other forms of cancer

Cyber Security Awareness Month

October has been designated as Cyber Security Awareness Month and this year’s themes are Phishing and Ransomware.

We have included some tips below on the best methods to protect yourself from these types of cybersecurity threats.


Tips on how to avoid being scammed by phishing emails:

  • Look for poor grammar and unprofessional language
  • Remember that cybercriminals push you to act urgently
  • Look for links to malware sites. Never click on them!
  • Don’t always trust the URL you see when clicking on a link
  • Check the greeting on the email: cybercriminals never use your first and last name and the message is usually addressed to a generic recipient
  • Look out for personal information questions, e.g. passwords, PIN, bank account details, National Insurance numbers etc
  • These emails often include attachments with hidden malware. Never download them!
  • Never trust promotional offers which look “too good to be true”


Tips on how to prevent yourself becoming a victim of ransomware:

  • Never use unknown USB sticks. If you do not know where they came from, don’t connect them to your computer
  • Never click on unknown links. Always double-check the URL of a link for anomalies, before clicking on them in spam messages or on unknown websites
  • Never open suspicious email attachments. Don’t trust an email with information you have never asked for. You can fall victim to ransomware
  • Be extra careful before opening unexpected emails. Always check the sender’s real address, as well as any attachment or hyperlink
  • Perform system updates, as they are prompted on your laptop, or if your IT Department tells you to do so
  • Use virus protection on all your devices. Install one which includes ransomware alerts and ensure you keep them always updated
  • Follow your organisation policies regarding backups. It’s crucial that you always have backup copies of your files, preferably in the cloud or on an external hard drive
  • Access your account safely. Use always strong passwords and enable two factor or multi-factor authentication