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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Mental Health Services - UK

CONSULTATION RESPONSES TO DRAFT MENTAL HEALTH BILL: PROFESSIONAL ISSUES: MENTAL HEALTH NURSING

Department of Health

2002

Nurses' responses to the proposals in the draft Mental Health Bill have varied from outrage to a range of views which see opportunities for them within it and greater flexibility for service users.

DEVELOPING SERVICES FOR CARERS AND FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

Department of Health

London: Dept of Health Publications, 2002

Contains guidance on developing and sustaining mental health carer support services and includes a sample job description for carer support workers. It should be read in conjunction with standard 6 (caring for carers) of the Mental Health National Service Framework and guidance on the implementation of the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000.

THE DRUGS DON'T WORK

S Wellard

Community Care, Oct 31st-Nov 6th 2002, p.32-33

Some young people take drugs to help them cope with mental health problems; in others adolescents drugs use may cause psychosis. Unfortunately services for teenagers that combine treatment of drug dependency and mental illness are almost non-existent.

THE ENEMY WITHIN

R Winchester

Community Care, Nov 7th-13th 2002, p.32-33

Referral to statutory mental health services is stigmatising for teenagers and exposes them to peer rejection. Alternatives include Youth Information, Advice and Counselling centres which offer a range of services, telephone helplines, and a higher profile for mental health issues in schools.

GETTING ORGANISED

P Cutler, R Hayward and J Shears

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.24-26

Describes the work of the Hamlet Trust in setting up self-help groups for people with mental health problems in the transition states of Eastern Europe. Most state mental health services, if they exist at all, are institutionally based.

HUMAN RIGHTS 'RISK' IN MENTAL HEALTH BILL

A Travis

The Guardian, November 12th 2002, p.10

A wide range of people, including those suffering from epilepsy and diabetes, could be subject to compulsory treatment under the government's new Mental Health Bill, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights warned yesterday. The proposed definition of what constitutes a 'mental disorder' goes much further than is necessary to ensure that dangerous people can be removed from situations where they cause risk.

(See also Daily Telegraph, November 12th 2002, p.10)

AN ILL FOR EVERY PILL

L Hurcombe

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.10-11

User groups and professionals are bringing pressure to bear on big pharmaceutical companies to restrain their aggressive marketing of powerful and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs. Advertising targeting the public and family doctors glosses over adverse side effects.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, CONFIDENCE

R Griffiths

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.30-31

Describes the work of the Media Bureau in providing skills training for mental health service users to enable them to present themselves in a positive light to the TV and newspapers. This is in line with Mental Health National Service Framework Standard One, which focuses on action against stigma and discrimination.

MENTAL HEALTH BILL IS BACK ON THE AGENDA

N Morris

The Independent, November 15th 2002, p.10

The government will press ahead with controversial reforms of mental health laws, Alan Milburn, the Secretary of State for Health, said yesterday. The absence of a draft Mental Health Bill from the Queen's Speech had fuelled speculation that the planned reform was being dropped. Mr. Milburn insisted the plans had merely been delayed.

MENTAL HEALTH IN PRIMARY CARE - A NEW APPROACH

A Elder and J Holmes (eds)

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002

Divided into four parts, this book examines the encounter with the psychiatric patient in the GP consulting room; the stresses and strains of such work; and the role of wider primary care mental health team in counselling, family therapy and group dynamics. It looks in detail at specific disorders such as psychoses, eating disorders, depression, suicide and trauma as they are found in the primary care setting.

MIND THE GAPS

N Valios

Community Care, Oct 17th-23rd 2002, p.32-33

Social workers need better training if services to young people with mental health problems are to be improved. A recent survey by Young Minds showed that 80% had received no relevant training. There is also a shortage of specialist staff such as child psychiatrists.

NAILING STIGMAS

J Sellen

Community Care, Oct 24th-30th 2002, p.32-33

Research in Lambeth showed that limited information is available to young people about mental health and ill-health, the factors that improve and harm their mental health, what services are available, and what they can expect from local mental health services. They are frequently dependent on their families and peers to support and understand their mental health needs.

OUT OF SIGHT

P Smith

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Nov 21st 2002, p.10-11

Reform of the mental health legislation was omitted from the Queen's speech at the opening of Parliament, but has not been abandoned. A Bill will be introduced once entry criteria used to define those who can come under compulsory treatment orders have been tightened up. There are also concerns about the ability of under-resourced mental health services to cope with any changes.

PURE MADNESS: HOW FEAR DRIVES THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM

J Laurance

London: Routledge, 2003

This book looks at the current state of the care provided to mentally ill people in Britain and how we got to this stage. It uses interviews, visits and case histories to illustrate a "service driven by fear in which risk reduction through containment - by physical or chemical means - is the priority". It also looks at the new meaning of community care.

RIGHTING WRONGS

R Daw

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.12-13

Outlines the key features of a just and progressive Mental Health Act. Such an Act should specify that compulsory treatment should only be permitted in cases where the patient lacks capacity to consent. It should always take place in a hospital setting. Patients should have guaranteed rights to:

  • independent advocacy;
  • appropriate aftercare following a period of compulsory treatment.

There should be an obligation laid on clinical teams to heed any advance directive relating to treatment made by the patient.

RING THEIR BELL

Anon

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.14-15

Standard three of the Mental Health National Service Framework says that anyone with a common problem should have round-the-clock access to local services. This could be achieved by NHS Direct acting as an initial point of contact and referring callers on to a range of specialist helplines.

SUPPORTING THE SUPPORTERS

P Hare and E Newbronner

Mental Health Today, Nov 2002, p.27-29

Summarises results of a consultation with carers of people with mental health problems on the support services they need. Contributors agreed that services should be:

  • individualised and flexible;
  • accessible and responsive;
  • integrated and co-ordinated;
  • inclusive.
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