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Intervention Strategies to challenge the Rise in Mental Ill Health

SHORT COURSE 8th and 9th September 2009

Aims and Objectives of the course
•     To promote the latest predictions of the World Health Organisation concerning a global rise in mental ill-health
•     To raise awareness of the WHO predictions concerning a 50% increase in child mental-ill health by 2020
•     To acknowledge that depression has taken over from other diseases such as obesity and cancer combined as the number one global killer
•     To gain knowledge concerning the latest research practices and treatments across diverse disciplines: from neuroscience to psychiatry
•     To better understand and explore the link between mental health and nutrition

Who should attend?

The programme is designed with speakers who, although specialists, will present material in a readily understood manner by people without specialist knowledge. It will range from the presenting of the front line evidence base on nutrition and environmental conditions on the brain as well as providing evidence from the operation of practical programmes to address the issue of mental ill health.
It cannot in two days be totally comprehensive but for those new to the topic will provide the basic science, the facts and examples of practical experience in the field. For those already involved there will be new evidence on brain, development, epigenetics, plasticity and ageing. For all, it will demonstrate the gravity of the rising cost of mental ill health and the consequences should it continue to rise this century as heart disease did last. It is a timely reminder that in 1972, it was predicted that brain disorders would increase following in the wake of the rise of death from heart disease unless action was taken. This prediction was based on common nutritional principles of the vascular and neural systems.  The more careful protection of the brain during embryonic and fetal life implied the impact of nutrition and environment would exhibit a time lag compared to the vascular system which continues to grow during childhood and into early adulthood. That prediction has now been proved correct and raises perhaps the most serious health challenge of the present time.

Download the Prospectus here 

Mary Langman Prize Essay 2012/2013

The ‘Mary Langman Prize'; is an annual £500 award for an essay that furthers the lessons learnt at the Pioneer Health Centre about the social, emotional and environmental determinants of health. This year's competition is now CLOSED but please visit the website to learn more and register an interest in other initiatives and the 2013/2014 competition.

Further information about the Peckham Experiment is available on the Pioneer Health Foundation website at

Pioneer Health Centre

Pesticides: High Court Judgement on over-spray

Active ImageThe following are a few key statements taken from the High Court Judgment by Mr. Justice Collins:- "The word 'bystander' is not on its face entirely appropriate for consideration of the risks to residents, who will be exposed far more regularly than those who happen to be near a field which is being or has recently been sprayed" and in relation to residents that "It is therefore recognised that their exposure must be properly considered and any harm to their health cannot be permitted."
  • "All exposure factors must, it is said, be taken into account. It is not enough to consider exposure to the immediate spray [drift] alone. There must be recognition that residents may be exposed to vapours which persist in the air for a considerable time (certainly hours and possibly days, weeks or even longer) and to residues which may, for example, be contained in harvest dust or may have settled in gardens or within houses. Exposure may occur by various routes. These will include inhalation, through the skin, eyes or mouth (for example, if a child plays in a garden and sucks a toy which has been exposed to spray). And such exposure may occur throughout each year over a number of years."
  • "It is important to bear in mind that operators and workers are not the only individuals who are exposed to pesticides and, while their protection is of course most important, they can benefit from the use of protective clothing and other measures not available to residents. Some individuals may be particularly vulnerable (for example, the asthmatic, the elderly, children, pregnant women), but they must be protected too."
  • "....the fundamental requirement that human health be not harmed must in my view require that the precautionary principle is to be applied so that measures to ensure the protection of all who may be affected by use of the pesticide must be considered."
  • "There is in my judgment solid evidence produced by the claimant that residents have suffered harm to their health....It is clear that the precautionary principle must apply."
  • "Thus as it seems to me there cannot be compliance with the Directive if such risks [for residents] are not taken into account and measures taken to remove them."

 He went on to conclude that, "The need to inform residents of intended spraying and of the composition of the pesticides to be used is I think clear. Voluntary action is not achieving this" and recognised elsewhere in the Judgment that voluntary measures are "totally unenforceable."

  • Justice Collins also concluded that there is a very strong case for the introduction of no-spray zones around residential areas.


To see further information on the result of the Judgment, the press release I sent out on 14th November 2008 and the full statement I made outside the High Court are available at:-

Further revelations on the effects on evolution of pesticides and other chemical pollutants containing endocrine disrupters – or gender-benders - are made in this article in The Independent.

New Look for Website

Coming soon is a Picture menu giving direct access to Articles and Categories, showing how Nutrition and Environmental issues affect human health and reproduction.
The picture will give access to topic areas with a single click from the Front Page:

  • organs and systems, deficiencies and diseases affected by diet
  • Nurture
  • Reproduction, Breast feeding
  • Rivers & Estuaries
  • Marine development of Homo Sapiens
  • Food Groups: pulses, fish, dairy, fruit and veg, staples, Minerals; Wild meat vs domesticated
  • Fish, Fisheries, atmospheric quality
  • and many more to be added. Existing Contents may be categorised and or "Tagged" to draw these threads together...