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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2012): Mental health services - UK

Another rather than other: experiences of peer support specialist workers and their managers working in mental health services

C. Berry, M.I. Hayward and R. Chandler

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol.10, 2011, p. 238-249

A peer support worker can be described as a person with lived experience of mental illness who offers support and/or services to other people with mental health problems considered to be less progressed in their own recovery. Research has suggested that the employment of peer support workers is beneficial to service users and the peer support workers themselves. However, some peer support workers have experienced challenges because of poorly defined jobs, negative attitudes from other staff, role conflict and confusion, lack of clarity around confidentiality, and limited opportunities for networking. This evaluation uses qualitative methods to explore the integration of peer support workers into existing mental health teams in the UK.

Croydon counts the cost of inadequate consulting

B. Schwehr

Community Living, vol. 25, no.2, 2011, p. 10-11

A decision by Croydon Council to move an autistic man with severe learning disabilities to cheaper accommodation without adequately consulting either the parents or the care home owners was overturned in court. The law is clear that proper consultation has to take place for a re-assessment decision to be valid.

Impacting on diversity in practice in an outer London borough

D. Joannou and others

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 4, 2011, p. 71-80

This paper uses a practice-based community development focus to explore some of the issues that impact on mental health promotion in the London Borough of Harrow. It describes the use of mental health community development workers to set up outreach services delivered through local voluntary groups to support Black and minority ethnic people and faith community members. It goes on to explore the impact of public service cuts and the emerging Big Society agenda on the local BME and faith groups through which support is delivered.

Independent advocacy, neuro-disability and spirituality? A history of advocacy with a case study from he Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service

G. Morgan

Social Care and Neurodisability, vol. 2, 2011, p. 208-217

This paper sets out some definitions of independent advocacy and its forms and expanding expressions in contemporary UK health and social care, including the new statutory roles of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate and Independent Mental Health Advocate. It also proposes a brief 'spiritual history' of independent advocacy and highlights the moral and religious motivations of early European practice. A case study from IMCA practice is then used to show the role of this specialist form of advocacy in relation to people with acquired brain injury. The author then relates specific IMCA training and reflective practice to the stories of the case study individuals, with the intention of broadening aspects of advocacy training in relation to spirituality.

Is there a role for psychological wellbeing practitioners and primary care mental health workers in the delivery of low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy for individuals who self-harm?

H. Williams

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 6, 2011, p. 165-174

Primary Care Mental Health Workers and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners are employed in primary care to assist patients with common mental health problems through cognitive behavioural therapy-based self-help materials. This article explores through a literature review how these workers could be trained to use such low intensity cognitive behaviour therapy to offer support to people who self-harm as a means of coping with psychological distress.

Just a click away

W. Oldreive and M. Waight

Learning Disability Today, Feb./Mar. 2012, p. 20-21

Providing people with accessible information that is appropriate to their needs has been described as integral to their human rights. This article presents a case study to demonstrate the potential of computer aided information using sound and vision to make a range of complex topics accessible to people with learning disabilities.

Making ends meet - what it's like for people with learning difficulties living in the community on low incomes

Money, Friends and Making Ends Meet Research Group

Community Living, vol. 25, no.2, 2011, p. 16-17

A group of people with learning disabilities conducted research into the barriers that make life difficult for them. These include inadequate benefits levels, leading to problems with personal debt, attenuated social networks, and lack of accessible information and advice. They would like easy access to advice centres, support when going to official appointments, and help with reaching out to make and keep friends.

Reducing the barriers to accessing psychological therapies for Bengali, Urdu, Tamil and Somali communities n the UK: some implications for training, policy and practice

D. Loewenthall and others

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol.40, 2012, p. 43-66

This study aimed to explore through focus groups how Bengali, Urdu, Tamil and Somali communities conceptualise and experience what health professionals call 'anxiety' and 'depression', and what they do when faced with mental health issues, with implications of this for staff training. Overall it is suggested that common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression were not clearly understood within the focus group discussions across the four community groups. The findings highlight that cultural, language and religious barriers were thought to exist for the participants in seeking mental health support. The findings have important implications for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. There needs to be a development of the cultural capability of mental health services in the UK to form a coherent and integrated service for minority ethnic communities which meets the needs of patients.

Square pegs in round holes: the mental health needs of young adults and how well these are met by services: an explorative study

S. Islam

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 10, 2011, p. 211-224

A significant number of mental health problems emerge in young people before the age of 25, at the point of transition to adulthood. In the absence of appropriate support, such problems can escalate into long term mental ill health. Unfortunately, services at present on offer to young adults are identical to those offered to everyone of working age (i.e. 18-65 years) and do not meet the unique and complex needs of the 18-25 age group. Interviews with 35 young adults suggest that young people would be willing to approach and engage with services as long as they are sensitive and skilled at communicating with youth.

Supported, service-user led, computerised behavioural therapy (CCBT) self-help clinics

K. Cavanagh and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 10, 2011, p. 225-233

Around the UK, a number of strategies are being employed to expand the availability and increase the accessibility of psychological treatments for anxiety and depression and to extend the reach of evidence-based interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Recommended low-intensity interventions include supported self-help programmes based on CBT principles such as computerised cognitive behavioural (CCBT) therapies for mild-to-moderate depression, phobia and panic. This paper describes innovative third sector, service-user led CCBT services commissioned within Greater Manchester.

Taking a stand

D. Parton

Learning Disability Today, Feb./Mar. 2012, p. 10-11

This article presents a report of an interview with Terry Bryan, the nurse who uncovered the scandalous abuse of patients with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour at Winterbourne View residential hospital. Mr Bryan argues that large residential hospitals for this vulnerable group should be closed down, and replaced by small units offering short term care in a crisis. Wherever possible, all people with learning disabilities should be managed in the community.

To the end

I. Tuffrey-Wijne

Learning Disability Today, Feb./Mar. 2012, p. 24-25

This article presents a case study highlighting the challenges facing carers who support people with learning disabilities at the end of life, including: late diagnosis, difficulties in assessing pain and other symptoms, breaking bad news, lack of preparation and support for staff, and inadequate facilities at residential care homes. It concludes by pointing care homes providing end of life care for people with learning disabilities to sources of advice, guidance and training.

The ultimate betrayal: moving people out of their home

R. Trustam

Community Living, vol. 25, no.2, 2011, p. 6

In order to save money, some local authorities are moving tenants with learning disabilities arbitrarily from one shared home to another in order to fill voids. They are also refusing to meet the extra costs of supporting remaining tenants during voids, which is unfair to housing providers.

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