JRFRough Sleepers need help with multiple problems - Nearly half of rough sleepers have a history of substance misuse, institutional care and street activities like sex work, new research has found. 

The findings, which come from a 2-year study published, are the first to systematically reveal the extent to which homelessness amongst single adults is linked with other problems such as mental illness, alcohol dependency and experience of institutions such as prison.  It also makes clear the challenges facing services if they are to do more to help people with multiple problems.

According to the Tackling homelessness and exclusion: Understanding complex lives report, a survey of 1,286 adults using homelessness, drug and other services, found that:
* 98% had experience of being homeless
* 70% had experienced of drug and alcohol problems
* 67% had a history of activities, such as begging, prostitution and shop lifting
* 62% had spent time in prison, child care or other institutions
* 47% had a history of all four

Mental health problems were also widely reported, with 4 in 5 reporting a history of anxiety or depression and over a third saying they had attempted suicide.  The report, which draws together the findings of 4 separate studies, also examined what had happened to the people before they became homeless.
Press release ~ Tackling homelessness and exclusion: Understanding complex lives' (see also links to ‘Related Content’) ~ Better Together: Preventing re-offending and homelessness ~ Cuts making it harder for homeless people to get help ~ New analysis published on homeless services ~ Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide ~ ‘Worrying times ahead’ for homeless in England ~ Severe Weather Emergency Protocols: Making arrangements to prevent rough sleeper deaths during extreme cold weather ~ Cold weather provision resources ~ Homeless Link releases guidance on addressing the needs of older homeless people ~ ESRC:  It is not as hopeless as one may think to help the homeless (scroll down to 4th item)

ICBReducing the risk, but not just yet - The Independent Commission on Banking has published its Final Report.  In June 2010, the Commission was asked to consider structural and related non-structural reforms to the UK banking sector to promote financial stability & competition, and to make recommendations to the Government by September 2011.  The Final Report sets out the Commission’s final analysis & recommendations.
Press release ~ ICB website & relevant documents ~ TUC comment ~ IEA comment ~ CBI comment

DHOnly those who have had similar experiences actually ‘understand’ - UK servicemen & women, veterans and their families will, from now, have access to specialised help from the award-winning online support network - Big White Wall.  This is a further commitment from the Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence – in a partnership with Help for Heroes - to support the mental health needs of the Armed Forces community.

The website is a pioneering online wellbeing service, staffed by professional counsellors, that has already helped many other people.  Serving personnel, veterans & their families can access the 24/7 service for FREE. Amongst other services, Big White Wall users can chat anonymously to others who may have gone through similar experiences, with a team of specially trained counsellors always online to offer support.

The DH has also launched an e-learning package it has funded for GPs so they can better identify & support veterans and their families.  It will raise awareness with GPs of the need to ensure that those seriously injured when discharged from the Armed Forces continue to receive the best possible care.  

It will also ensure that GPs are able to offer the right support to families of those currently serving or who are veterans. The package will form part of the suite of online training products accessible to all GPs who are members of the RCGP.
Press release ~ www.bigwhitewall.com ~ TRIM (Trauma Risk Management) ~ TRIM Handbook ~ Short & Long-term Occupational Outcomes in Soldiers Assessed by Deployed Field Mental Health Teams ~ KCMHR ~ RCGP 2010 Guidance ~ Previous press release, photos & related links ~ DH previous VMH press release ~ Rethink Mental Illness ~ Combat Stress ~ Management of Mental Health in Veterans: The role of the Third Sector Charity Combat Stress ~ Fighting Fit - A mental health plan for servicemen and veterans ~ Reserves' Mental Health Programme ~ BIG: Forces in Mind Trust ~ Factsheet: Medical Assessment Programme ~ Post-traumatic stress disorder ~ Shedding light on mental health in the forces

CHGI Joe & Action Man have been joined by Hacker Nerd - The potential for cyber attacks to cause damage to vital infrastructure is a real & credible threat which requires a coherent & effective strategy, says a new Chatham House report, Cyber Security and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure.  However, the cyber security threat cannot be met by government alone.

There appears to be no coherent picture of what constitutes a cyber vulnerability and little consensus on the nature & gravity of the problem.  A more coherent picture of what the consequences or severity of that vulnerability might be is required in order to mitigate & manage the threat and capitalise on the opportunities cyberspace presents.

This report examines the extent of national dependencies on information & communication technology (ICT) and what can be done to manage vulnerabilities within the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI).  The provision of essential services such as water, gas, electricity, communications, transport & banking are all ICT dependent.  With this dependency can come vulnerability to aggressors & criminals and even the merely ‘mischievous’.
Press release & links ~ Chatham House: Cyber Security – related papers ~ MoD: Combating cyber attacks ~ Digital Agenda: cyber-security experts test defences in first pan-European simulation ~ Cyber Security Challenge UK  ~ Counter-terrorism Science and Technology Strategy ~ Innovative Science & Technology in Counter-Terrorism - INSTINCT ~ Counter Terrorism Science & Technology Centre ~ National Infrastructure Plan 2010 ~ RUSI briefing ~ RUSI: Cyber ~ Infrastructure UK (IUK) ~ Centre for protection of National Infrastructure

BCEMP’s prepare for a mass game of ‘musical chairs’ - The independent Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has launched a consultation (closes on 5 December 2011) on its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.  The review of constituency boundaries follows Parliament’s decision to reduce the number of constituencies across the UK, and ensure there are similar numbers of electors in each constituency.

In England the total number of constituencies will fall from 533 to 502.  The BCE has published details & maps of its initial proposals for each constituency.  Most constituencies will have boundary changes; in the initial proposals just 77 of the existing constituencies are unchanged. Proposals for Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales will be published shortly.
Press release & proposals

HMRCIt’s bad enough paying all that tax, let alone losing the rest to fraud - Reports of fraudulent “phishing” emails have risen by 300% over the past year, HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed.  It is essential that anyone receiving an email claiming to be from HMRC telling the taxpayer that they are due a tax repayment does NOT follow the email’s instructions.

The emails provide a ‘click-through link’ to a cloned replica of the HMRC website.  The recipient is then asked to provide their credit or debit card details.  Providing the information asked for enables criminals to steal the account.  Almost 24,000 such emails were reported to HMRC in August alone and HMRC is currently helping to shut down around 100 scam websites a month.
Press release & links
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Latest whitepaper: The Rise of Employee Engagement, the Fall of Command and Control - The definitions of employee engagement from the likes of National School of Government, The CIPD and the Institute of Employment Studies describe desirable outcomes such productivity and better relationships. They all miss the point.
None explain what causes people to engage.
People engage themselves when they feel safe and rewarded for challenging and contributing to every day operational decisions and big ticket strategy and change that effects them and which they can affect.
Engagement is an outcome of distributed leadership which means well governed power sharing. It is a way of leading requiring the suspension of command and control and elaborate hierarchies.

Public sector institutions that exercise the two levers of engagement:

- Strategy and change interventions that turn the hierarchy upside down
- Grafting the values, mind set and behaviours into the day to day experience of work will create compelling and efficient work places.

Click here to receive the latest ideas to help you build and improve leader and employee engagement to drive performance, along with a free copy of our thought leadership piece 'Effective Employee Engagement - Data and Insights':

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