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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2002): Mental Health Services - UK

BEST PRACTICE IN MENTAL HEALTH: ADVOCACY FOR AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITIES

A. Rai-Atkins
Bristol: Policy Press, 2002

Project explored the needs for advocacy services of black and minority ethnic mental health users in the Trent and Yorkshire areas of the NHS. It identified two distinct strands of advocacy. The first, common to mainstream advocacy, is about supporting the individual. The second approach, termed Community Advocacy, is about creating culturally appropriate structures , enabling communities to identify and take control of the development of new services. Researchers conclude that, without culturally appropriate models, advocacy and mental health services will be unable to meet the needs of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian Communities.

CARE STANDARDS

 P. Williams, K. Symons and B. McGinnis
Community Living, vol.15, no.3, 2002, p.3-5

Authors present differing views on the impact of the Care Standards Act on services for people with learning difficulties.

GETTING CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY

S. Kelly
Community Living, vol.15, no.3, 2002, p.18-19

Discusses how specialist services for people with learning difficulties, although dedicated to helping them live in the community, can increase their social isolation.

GOING HALVES

E. Peck, D. Towell, and P. Gulliver
Health Service Journal, vol.112, Apr. 18th 2002, p.26-27

Joint commissioning and provision of mental health services in Somerset failed to produce significant benefits to users over its first two years. Users considered that access to services deteriorated and concerns remained that there was no alternative to hospital admission in crises after two years. Users and carers were included as non-voting members of the commissioning board, but felt less involved in care planning than previously. The combined health and social care trust does not seem to have delivered anything not achieved elsewhere with less upheaval.

THE INVISIBILITY OF BLACK WOMEN IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

K. Chantler
Mental Health Review, vol.7, Mar. 2002, p.22-24

Evidence of racism within mental health services is well-documented, but the research literature fails to identify the specific needs and concerns of black women. Practitioners have responded to accusations of racism by engaging with issues of colour. Unfortunately this has worked against black and Asian women because their oppression has been deemed a cultural matter. Article discusses the complexities associated with the use of cultural understandings in relation to issues of suicide and the role of spirituality in coping with mental distress.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: IS IT TIME TO DO BETTER?

J. McCarthy and J. Boyd
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol.46, 2002, p.250-256

Study aimed to determine the extent of specialist health service use during adolescence by a group of patients with intellectual disability (ID) and mental health problems. Results showed that 64% of subjects with persistent challenging behaviour from childhood into adult life and those with an established childhood psychiatric disorder received no specialist mental health care in the transition to adulthood. The development of mental health services for this vulnerable group has been poor for a number of reasons including lack of recognition at the primary care level and insufficient numbers of trained professionals within specialist services.

OUTREACH ACROSS THE POND

R. Winchester
Community Care, Apr. 4th-10th 2002, p.30-31

Article describes assertive outreach in mental health services as practised in the US and as developed in the UK. Assertive outreach involves workers contacting clients in their own environment and offering a broad range of support services indefinitely.

PLANNING AN ADVOCACY SERVICE

J. Stevens Pope
Community Living, vol.15, no.3, 2002, p.11-12

Describes a project aimed at designing an advocacy service for people with learning difficulties around the needs and desires of potential service users. The project demonstrates how users can work alongside professional, and play a significant role in service development.

SERVICE RESPONSES TO WOMEN WITH MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS

J. Williams and S. Scott
Mental Health Review, vol.7, Mar. 2002, p.6-14

There is now a wealth of evidence that points to a social origin of women's mental health problems in their lived experiences of inequality and abuse of power. There is also evidence that mental health services for women are inadequate in that they are unsafe, replicate social inequalities, and are dominated by the medical model. Article goes on to suggest how services could be improved by user participation, mainstreaming gender issues, etc.

SOMERSET PARTNERSHIP MODEL LAYS GROUDWORK FOR CARE TRUSTS

L. Revans
Community Care, Apr. 18th - 24th 2002, p.18-19

The Somerset Partnership NHS and Social Care Trust was launched in 1999 as an integrated mental health services and social care provider. Article reports on the implications of joint working for staff. Evaluation of the Somerset partnership shows the importance of addressing the following issues:

  • staff workload;
  • cultural differences;
  • clarity of professional roles and responsibilities;
  • clarity about the organisation's direction and purpose.

STUDENTS' MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS: PROBLEMS AND RESPONSES

N. Stanley and J. Manthorpe
London: Jessica Kinglsey Publishers, 2002

This book explores how the needs of students can best be met by student and community mental health services. It looks at the experiences of students and their families following a breakdown and parental perspectives following suicide. It explores the problems by identifying student concerns and degrees of debt and by looking at student's mental health problems in primary care settings.

It also identifies effective responses in terms of supportive services in higher education, using structured self-help materials and through faith and spirituality.

TAKE YOUR PARTNERS

M. George
Mental Health Today, Apr. 2002, p.10-11

Article discusses the four newly launched care trusts, three of which focus on services to people with mental health problems. These pioneer care trusts are soundly based on pre-existing cross-sector partnerships and service users are being involved in decisions about planning and delivery. These trusts appear to be offering a solution to long-running structural and operational problems in providing seamless health and social care services.

TOWARDS WOMEN-SENSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

M. Barnes et al
Mental Health Review, vol.7, 2002, p.19-21

Paper discusses women-only mental health services. Covers gender differences in diagnosis, treatment, the impact of mental illness on people's lives, and service use.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE? MHAC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DETAINED PATIENTS' SERVICES

M. Kinton
Mental Health Review, vol.7, Mar. 2002, p.25-27

Summarises the recommendations for the improvement of services to detained patients found in the 9th biennial report of the Mental Health Act Commission. Covers issues of rights and respect, quality and standards of care, safety and security, high security hospitals and services to specific groups (children, women and minority ethnic people).

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