News story: New pocket guide for troops to access mental health support

first_img Samaritans is committed to bringing the expertise we have gained in training people to provide peer support to the military, in order to prevent suicides. This is the first step in a journey to provide a variety of support for serving personnel, veterans, reservists and their families. Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said: The suicide prevention guide will also help personnel spot signs that colleagues may be having suicidal thoughts and provides information on how such a situation should be approached, and where support is available.The number of military personnel who take their lives continues to be below rates for the general population, with the military rate of suicide being 8 per 100,000, in 2017, compared to 18 per 100,000 in the general population in 2016.The Ministry of Defence is now spending £220-million over the next decade to improve mental health services for serving personnel. In February of this year, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also announced the establishment of a 24-Hour Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families, funded by the MOD and run by the charity Combat Stress.The MOD’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy is designed to encourage all members of the armed forces to recognise the importance of mental fitness and encourages individuals to seek support if they are struggling with their mental health. Identifying someone struggling to cope with mental health issues Understanding the complexity of suicide Knowing when to intervene, support and report Where to get further support, including the Samaritans service, whose volunteers are available any time, via phone and email or in person at the charity’s 201 branches, and the recently launched Combat Stress 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline The suicide prevention guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support and gives information on where help can be found.All military personnel and reserves, some 200,000 people, will have access to either a hard copy or digital version of the booklet.The new guide builds on the range of support already available to service personnel who are struggling with their mental health, including access to specialist mental health medical care, training and education on good mental fitness and the Combat Stress 24-hour Mental Health Helpline.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: While military mental health continues to be slightly better than the general population, we’re committed to ensuring that those who need help are able to get the support they need. This guide, alongside our extra investment in mental health care and the 24-hour Mental Health Helpline, will be invaluable in helping our people to help each other. Samaritans and the MOD have announced several joint initiatives to offer training and support to serving personnel, veterans and their families who are struggling with mental health issues.The Samaritans programme has been funded by £3.5m from LIBOR, and the guide is the latest part of this programme. A separate booklet is set to be launched for veterans, and the wider military community.The next stage of the project will include the launch of other peer support tools, specially designed training courses for military personnel and a confidential webchat service. Training for Samaritans volunteers on how address mental health in a military environment will also be introduced.Samaritans CEO, Ruth Sutherland, said: Specifically designed to promote peer support amongst those serving, the guide champions “looking after your mates”, and covers: Mental health issues can affect anyone and I want to ensure no one in our military suffers in silence. It is vital that service personnel know where to turn to in times of crisis, and this guide will raise awareness of the support available. By helping our people to spot the early signs that someone may be struggling, we give them the best chance of a full recovery.last_img read more

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Notre Dame expands Asian studies courses

first_imgThe creation of a 2014 summer studies program in India and the on-campus Asian Studies Seminar on China this semester will provide Notre Dame students with the opportunity to further investigate their interest in Asia.According to Inez Suhardjo, director of undergraduate studies at the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the summer India studies program comes in the wake of Fr. Jenkins’ recent travels to Asia and the announcement of the University’s partnerships with various Asian universities.“We wanted to keep up with the momentum of India being important on campus,” she said.The summer India studies program will allow students to spend two weeks at the St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai while earning three Asian Studies credits, Suhardjo said.“It’s a specially designed program with nine different modules, anything from popular culture, to traditional Indian art, to history,” she said. “It’s going to be a kind of survey introduction to India for any students interested, anyone who wants to get a sense of India, on the ground in India.”Suhardjo said student interest also contributed to the creation of the India summer studies program.“I had met with students at the end of last year, who had either been to India or were from India, and they were saying that Notre Dame just doesn’t have enough [classes] about India,” she said. “This is a way to speak to those concerns and those wishes, for something to do with India programmatically.”  Steph Wulz | The Observer Suhardjo said the summer program is just the first of several programs the University plans to develop with the intent of building stronger ties with India.“There are also some programs in the works for exchange programs, and we’re hoping after this pilot run of our summer India studies program that we can build this from here and make it bigger and better, to have it apply to University requirements,” she said.Students from all majors are encouraged to apply to the program, Suhardjo said.“India is going to be such an important player on the world stage that it’s important for everyone to really think about India on a deeper level, and get to know it and understand its position in the world,” she said. “It’s open to people who are looking to build Asia as a concept in their degrees, so it’s definitely something we’re hoping to get everyone involved and interested in.”As for the Asian Studies Seminar, Suhardjo said this one-credit course is built around a series of guest lecturers and will take place this semester from March 27 to April 4.“It’s a way for us to encourage students to connect with really important, prominent scholars that are coming to campus,” she said.The guest lectures are open to the public, but Suhardjo said visiting scholars will additionally lead small class sessions for students in the Asian Studies Seminar.“This semester we have a couple of very prominent scholars coming from China, and they will be discussing China today, in a historical and religious context,” she said. “One is speaking about the cultural diversity of rural areas, and another will be speaking about philosophical Daoism and Confucianism in China today.”Suhardjo said these programs aim to promote a deeper awareness of global interaction among students.“Both China and India are important, and these programs are a way for us to make sure the Notre Dame community is linked in to what is going on in Asia and seeing how the world is interconnected,” she said.Tags: Asian studies seminar, China, India, Liu Institute, study abroadlast_img read more

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Italy’s Serie A to resume on June 20

first_imgRome, Italy | AFP | Italy’s Serie A can resume on June 20 after a three-month absence in a country hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Thursday.“The Technical and Scientific Committee gave its agreement on the protocol and the federation assured me that it had a Plan B and a Plan C,” Spadafora said after a video conference meeting with Italian football chiefs.“In light of these considerations, the championship can resume on June 20.”Italy football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina assured the minister that there would be a play-off system if the championship were again interrupted.“We had a very useful meeting,” said Spadafora.“From the start, I said that football could restart once all the security conditions had been met and with the agreement of the Technical and Scientific Committee on the different protocols.”Spadafora said that Italian Cup semi-final matches, between Inter Milan and Napoli and AC Milan and Juventus, could be played the week before the championship returned.“Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same,” he continued. Share on: WhatsApp “I also hope to be able to send a positive signal to the whole country by taking advantage of the week from June 13 to 20 to conclude the Italian Cup,” he added with hopes of staging the semi-finals on the weekend of June 13-14 and the final on June 17.The announcement of the resumption of the Italian league comes just after the English Premier League confirmed it will restart on June 17.The German championship has already resumed and Spain’s La Liga will return to the pitch the week of June 11.Among the five major European championships, only the French Ligue 1 has been definitively stopped.No top-flight matches in Italy have been played since Sassuolo beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9, before the championship was suspended by a pandemic which has killed over 33,000 people in the country.Most teams have 12 games left to play, but there were four postponed fixtures.last_img read more

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CVC panel to examine bank fraud above 50 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has constituted Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin to examine bank fraud over Rs 50 crore and recommend action.The ABBF, formed in consultation with the RBI, would function as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations or references are made to the investigative agencies by the respective public sector banks (PSBs), CVC said in an order. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe four-member board’s jurisdiction would be confined to those cases involving the level of officers of General Manager and above in the PSB in respect of an allegation of fraud in a borrowal account, it said. Lenders would refer all large fraud cases above Rs 50 crore to the board and on receipt of its recommendation or advice, the bank concerned would take further action in such matter, it stated. “The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may also refer any case or matter to the board where it has any issue or difficulty or in technical matters with the PSB concerned,” it said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayOther members of the panel are Madhusudan Prasad — former Urban Development Secretary, D K Pathak — former Director-General of the Border Security Force and Suresh N Patel — former MD and CEO of Andhra Bank. The tenure of the Chairman and members would be for a period of two years from August 21, 2019, the order mentioned. It further added that the board will also periodically carry out frauds analysis in the financial system and give inputs for policy formulation related to the fraud to the RBI. Headquartered in Delhi, the Reserve Bank of India will provide required secretarial services, logistic and analytical support along with the necessary funding to the board. In a bid to check such incidences, the government has already issued the ‘framework for timely detection, reporting and investigation relating to large-value bank frauds’ to PSBs, which makes it clear that all accounts exceeding Rs 50 crore, if classified as an NPA, should be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud and a report be placed before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs based on the findings of the investigation. Besides, the PSBs have been advised to obtain a certified copy of the passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies taking loan facilities of more than Rs 50 crore.last_img read more

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Bijnor MP in AMU court Student union BJP lock horns

first_imgAligarh Muslim University (AMU) students’ union and BJP leaders engaged in a war of words over the appointment of riots-accused BJP MP Kunwar Bharendra Singh in AMU court, highest governing body of the varsity.“This issue has wide ramifications because it appears that BJP has deliberately chosen to nominate a person to the membership of the court of this prestigious national institution despite being fully aware of his antecedents,” Vice-President of AMU Students’ Union, Syed Masoodul Hasan said. Hasan has demanded the resignation of HRD Minister Smriti Irani for allowing the BJP MP to be empanelled in the Lok Sabha quota for membership of the university court.last_img

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Kolkata Polices The Winners members heckled at Millennium Park 6 arrested

first_imgKolkata: A member of the special women’s team of the Kolkata Police called ‘The Winners’ was bitten on her hand while another was physically heckled while they were patrolling inside the Millennium Park on Friday night. Six persons including four young women were arrested for allegedly harassing on-duty police personnel.Sources informed that two members of ‘The Winners’ team were patrolling on foot in plainclothes inside the Millennium Park on Friday night just before the closing time. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOne of the police personnel saw two youths, identified as Md Aziz and Md Azad, and four young women under a tree. When she went to have a closer look, she allegedly found them creating nuisance there. Soon after, one of the youths allegedly hurled abuses at her and asked her to leave the place. When the police personnel revealed her identity, she was allegedly pushed by one of the youths. Seeing her colleague getting harassed, the other cop rushed to her rescue and confronted the youth. He allegedly bit her on the hand and shoved her. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe other police personnel raised an alarm and soon other members of ‘The Winners’ team surrounded them. Seeing resistance, the accused persons allegedly broke into a scuffle and tried to flee. Till then, North Port police station was also informed. Within a while, back-up had arrived and all six accused including the four women were detained. The injured police personnel were sent to a hospital from where they were treated and discharged. Later a case was initiated for allegedly preventing police personnel from discharging their duties, harassing and assaulting on-duty police personnel. They were arrested immediately. All the accused persons are from Entally’s Mehar Ali Lane.last_img read more

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InstaGAN A neural network that does object swapping in images

first_imgKorean researchers have developed a GAN that can achieve image translation in challenging cases. Instance-aware GAN or InstaGAN as the authors call it can achieve image translation in various scenarios showing better results than CycleGAN in specific problems. It can swap pants with skirts and giraffes with sheeps. The system is designed by a student and an assistant professor from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and an assistant professor from the Pohang University of Science and Technology. They have published their results in a paper titled InstaGAN: Instance-Aware Image-to-Image Translation, last week. Systems that map images aren’t new but the authors of the paper say that they are the first to report image to image translation in multi-instance transfiguration tasks. The methods used in image to image translation before InstaGAN often failed in challenging cases, like multi-instance transfiguration where significant changes are involved. A multi-instance transfiguration task involves multiple individual objects present in an image. The objective here is to swap objects in an image without changing the background scene. InstaGAN uses the instance information such as object segmentation masks improving on the challenging areas for image to image transformation. The method showed in the paper translates an image as well as its instance attributes. They introduce a context-preserving loss, which encourages the network to learn the identity function outside the target instances. A sequential mini-batch training technique handles multiple instances when using a limited GPU memory. This also enhances the network to generalize better when multiple instances are involved. The researchers compared InstaGAN with CycleGAN and doubled the number of parameters for CycleGAN. This is done for a fair comparison as InstaGAN uses two networks for image and masks. In areas where CycleGAN fails, the new method generates ‘reasonable shapes’. InstaGAN preserves the background while making changes to the objects in images where CycleGAN is unable to maintain the original background. Source: InstaGAN: Instance-Aware Image-to-Image Translation The authors said that their ideas of using the set-structured side information have potential applications in other cross-domain generation tasks such as neural machine translation or video generation. For more details, examples of the model where images are swapped, check out the research paper. Read next NVIDIA demos a style-based generative adversarial network that can generate extremely realistic images; has ML community enthralled Generative Adversarial Networks: Generate images using Keras GAN [Tutorial] What are generative adversarial networks (GANs) and how do they work? [Video]last_img read more

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