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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2010): Mental health services - UK

Capacity to Communicate: Sense's three year project training Independent Mental Capacity Advocates in communication skills

A. Lee-Foster

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 12, Feb. 2010, p. 32-42

Sense, the leading national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind, set up the Capacity to Communicate project in response to the new role of independent mental capacity advocate created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The project provided training and information, harnessing best practice around communication and advocacy for people who both lack capacity and have little or no formal communication, in particular those with a dual sensory loss. As part of the training, advocates were asked to submit a written assignment. These case studies have provided valuable information about the nature and process of mental capacity advocacy and what can be done to improve this new statutory role.

Cultural competence: definition, delivery and evaluation

D. Cowan

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 2, Dec. 2009, p.27-38

The Department of Health has recognised that there is an urgent need to reduce the over-representation of people from black and minority ethnic groups as users of the mental health services. To this end it published a five-year action plan, Delivering Race Equality (DRE) in Mental Health Care in 2005. As part of this programme, efforts were made to develop race equality and cultural competence training for staff. Unfortunately there is a lack of agreement about the definition of cultural competence in the context of mental health care and how it can be developed in staff.

A guiding star

O. Imonioro

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2010, p. 28-29

The mental health recovery star is an innovative outcomes measurement and key working tool that that has been designed for use in mental health services for working age adults. The tool also supports the co-production of a focused, useful and empowering staff-client relationship. The recovery star has been endorsed by the Department of Health's New Horizons programme and funding has been allocated to implement it across five strategic health authorities.

Mental health social work in context

N. Gould

London: Routledge, 2010

There has been a re-energizing of interest in social work's role in mental health services in recent years and mental health is now a core part of all qualifying social work students' training. Grounded in the social models of mental health particularly relevant to qualifying social workers, but also familiarising students with social aspects of medical perspectives, this text helps to prepare students for practice and develop their knowledge around:

  • Promoting the social inclusion of people with mental health problems
  • The changing context of multidisciplinary mental health services
  • An integrated evidence base for practice
  • Working with people with mental health problems across the life course.

Out for the count?

J. Dunning, P. Vernon and S. Shrubb

Community Care, Feb. 25th 2010, p. 26-27

The Care Quality Commission's 2009 Count Me In survey found that government targets to reduce the over-representation of people from ethnic minorities in the mental health in-patient system are on course to fail. On 31st March 2009, 22% of the 30,500 people receiving in-patient care in England and Wales were from ethnic minorities. This is above the admission rate of 20% found in the first survey in 2005. The article reviews the findings and debates the way forward.

Putting policy into practice

A. Bell and A. McCulloch

Mental Health Today, Mar. 2010, p. 16-17

The government published New Horizons, its 10-year strategy for mental health services, in December 2009. This document sets out a cross-government strategy for improvement of support for people with mental health problems and promotion of better mental health for the whole population. It offers a range of action points for all government departments and public services to change the way that they work to achieve its twin aims. There are concerns that government will be unable to live up to the promise of New Horizons.

Substance misuse and mental health

Z. Peters

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2010, p. 21-23

People who experience a combination of mental health and substance misuse problems represent around 30% of mental health service users and 50% of substance misuse service users. However, the commissioning of services remains largely focused on one primary diagnosis. This article looks at some of the challenges surrounding dual diagnosis and how services should respond.

Your starter for 10

A. Lansley, N. Lamb and P. Hope

Mental Health Today, Mar. 2010, p. 10-13

Representatives of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour Parties discuss their respective policies on mental health in advance of the 2010 General Election.

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