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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2011): Mental health services - UK

Building a brighter future

J. Kennedy

Learning Disability Today, Jan. 2011, p. 22-24

This case study traces the transition of John Kennedy, a man with a learning disability in his 40s, from total reliance on family support to independent living. It explores the roles of a range of agencies in enabling him to sustain a tenancy and access both paid and voluntary work.

From service user involvement to collaboration in mental health nurse education: developing a practical philosophy for change

R. Collier and T. Stickley

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 5, Dec. 2010, p. 4-11

Mental healthcare in the UK is delivered within an intrinsically political environment. Three players are involved: central government, the NHS and mental health service users. At a time when numerous influences were attempting to change the climate of user involvement in healthcare, the PINE project developed an educational programme for student nurses through collaboration between professional tutors and mental health service users/survivors. Teaching sessions delivered by service users/survivors based on their experiences were introduced into the curriculum. This article examines the philosophy of the project and how this was demonstrated in practice.

Improving mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities: users' views

A. O'Brien and J. Rose

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 40-47

This study aimed to seek the opinions of people with an intellectual disability and additional mental health needs about the mental health services they receive. Findings of a semi-structured focus group showed that participants valued staff who listened to them and actively tried to help with their difficulties. They also wanted choice and control over their lives, particularly with regard to meaningful day activities.

Inpatient services for children and young people with an intellectual disability

L. Rippon

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol.4, Dec. 2010, p. 4-8

Intellectual disability CAMHS inpatient services provide an essential component in the range of services for young people with an intellectual disability who present with mental illness and/or challenging behaviour. They can only be effective, however, if they are integrated into community provision, community professionals remain engaged throughout the admission, and all those involved with the young person are committed to implementing recommendations following discharge. Commissioners need to give more thought to planning services to ensure that all young people with an intellectual disability have ready access to inpatient services which are near their homes and accessible when needed.

Knowledge is power


Learning Disability Today, Jan. 2011, p. 18-19

Despite the overall growth in society's awareness of autism, specialist training for those who support people with the condition is not a legal requirement. In the current climate of austerity, many providers are scaling back training for staff. The exception to the rule is independent support provider, Craegmoor, which is currently implementing a new specialist training programme for staff.

The National Personality Disorder Development Programme

R. Haigh and M. Brookes (guest editors)

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15, Dec. 2010, p. 2-72

This special issue offers papers presented at the first National Personality Disorder Conference, celebrating the achievements of the programme. The programme had three active facets (services for children and young people, community mental health, and the offender population) which were showcased at the conference. The conference papers also demonstrated how the three facets were a coordinated effort across several government departments and had numerous common themes and principles.

Partnerships and public mental health

L. Knifton (guest editor)

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.9, issue 4, 2010, p. 4-47 This special issue advocates for increased understanding of value in mental health partnerships in an age of economic austerity when their effectiveness and cost may be called into question. It offers:

  1. an analysis of national partnership approaches to mental health in Northern Ireland
  2. a discussion of new directions in public mental health promotion through arts and culture
  3. an exploration of the need for partnerships between schools, health services and youth agencies in combating eating disorders
  4. an exploration of the potential for regional level partnerships across countries
  5. a study of the creation of partnerships with the community to improve public mental health in a deprived area.

Prison break

C. Royston

Learning Disability Today, Jan. 2011, p. 30-32

Prison is an inappropriate environment for people with learning disabilities who have committed crimes. Many such prisoners would benefit from specialist treatment in a secure hospital to address both their learning disability and their offending behaviour.

Social supervision, ethics and risk: an evaluation of how ethical frameworks might be applied within the social supervision process

J. Dixon

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 2398-2413

Mentally disordered offenders may be discharged from hospital under a restriction order imposed by the Ministry of Justice or a Mental Health Review Tribunal. Conditions may vary, but restriction orders will typically require service users to reside at a specified address, attend outpatient appointments, and meet regularly with their social supervisor. Over time, society's attitude to risk has altered, in turn changing the kind of supervision that mentally disordered offenders experience. Forensic mental health care has shifted its emphasis from a focus on dangerous individuals to a wider model that focuses on risk prevention. This paper considers how three ethical frameworks might be used to support social supervision of mentally disordered offenders in the community. It outlines Kantian, utilitarian and virtue ethics and their possible application to work with service users under restriction orders. The ethical dilemmas in applying risk assessment tools are then examined. Finally, the article draws on published research on service user views to consider ethical dilemmas further.

This far, yet how much further? Reflections on the allure of the mainstream for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs

A. Flynn

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 9-14

Changes in mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities over the past 50 years have been driven by two forces. The first is a general reorientation of psychiatry as a whole from the asylum to the community, which led to the closure of long stay hospitals for people with intellectual disabilities. The second is a push towards including people with intellectual disabilities in mainstream services. This article reflects on the current status of mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities against this historical and philosophical background and the arguments for their continued existence as a separate specialist entity within the field of psychiatry.

Using personalised technology to enable transition: how personalised technology, including assistive technology and telecare, has enabled the transition from registered care to supported living for individuals with learning disabilities


Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 46-50

National charity HFT is a pioneer in the development of personalised technology for use by people with learning disabilities. This case study illustrates how assistive technologies can play a vital role in supporting people with learning disabilities to make the move from traditional residential care to supported living in the community.

Women like me: supporting wellbeing in girls and women

Platform 51 (formerly the Young Women Christian Association)


This research shows that in England and Wales 63% of girls and women have been affected by mental health problems of some kind - the equivalent of 15.2 million girls and women. This has a devastating impact on their lives and their chances of fulfilling their potential. Women's integral role in families and communities means that this is something that affects wider society as well. This report shows just how widespread this problem is, what the consequences of poor mental health are and what support is available. The issues considered in this report are not new, but given the findings of the research, clearly the current approach for dealing with them is not working and the problems are getting worse. Now is the time for a new approach.

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