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

CLIENTS CAN BE PARENTS TOO

T. Gillam

Mental Health Today, May 2003, p.24-26

Presents a case study of the Goldenhill parental support service for mental health service users.

COMMON CAUSE

C Jackson

Mental Health Today, May 2003, p.8-9

Reports results of a survey of the mental health service user movement in England. While many respondents felt that they were engaged in changing things for the better, others felt that the movement had lost its way and did not have a national voice. There was also concern that black and minority ethnic service users' views were under-represented. It was also felt to be important that groups did not lose their focus on provision of practical help and support in pursuit of direct user involvement in service development.

(See also Mental Health Today, May 2003, p.20-23)

CONNEXIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Connexions

Nottingham: DfES Publications, 2003

Suggests that the embedding of Connexions personal advisers in the mental health system could improve services for young people and reduce stigmatisation.

HOW TO BE HEARD

M. O'Sullivan and A. Donovan

Mental Health Today, May 2003, p.31-33

Describes how Derby City Social Services devised and ran a training course in participatory skills for mental health service users. The course emerged from the wide-ranging reforms governing the participation of service users in the planning and delivery of mental health services.

LEARNING DISABILITY TODAY: KEY ISSUES FOR PROVIDERS, MANAGERS, PRACTITIONERS AND USERS

S. Carnaby

Brighton: Pavillion Publishing, 2003

This book is an introduction to some of the central issues in the lives of people with learning disabilities and their supporters. It provides context, underpinning knowledge and practical strategies for giving care and support to people with learning disabilities that promotes rights, independence, choice and inclusion.

MAKING DECISIONS: HELPING PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTY DECIDING FOR THEMSELVES: SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO CONSULTATION

Lord Chancellor's Department

London: 2003

The original consultation related to the first drafts of a pack of proposed leaflets intended to provide help and guidance on substituted and supported decision-making on behalf of people with impaired mental capacity. This document covers the background to the report; a summary of responses to the report; a summary of comments on the proposed leaflets; and next steps.

MENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION: CONSULTATION DOCUMENT

Social Exclusion Unit

London: 2003

The Social Exclusion Unit is undertaking a project to investigate how to reduce social exclusion among adults with mental health problems. The project will consider:

  • how to improve rates of employment through support in taking up and retaining work;
  • how to promote social participation and access to a broad range of services in the community.

The consultation will give service users and providers, the community, business and voluntary sector the chance to have their say.

MENTAL UNBLOCK

J. Davies

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, May 8th 2003, p.10-11

Mental health trusts will be able to apply for foundation status in time.

MONEY ON THE MIND

J. Trueland

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, June 5th 2003, p.14-15

There are concerns among activists that mental health services are a lower funding priority than cancer or heart disease treatment. A new report putting the social and economic cost of mental illness in England at £77.4bn may help to redress the balance.

NO RECOGNITION FOR INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY

S. Aspis

Community Living, vol. 16, no.1, 2002, p.10-11

The Lord Chancellor's Office has published guidance on when it is appropriate for relatives, carers, doctors, social workers and lawyers to make decisions on behalf of people with learning difficulties. Article discusses the shortcomings of the guidance. Argues that:

  • parents cannot be trusted to make decisions because they may be over-protective;
  • doctors may withhold treatment because they consider the quality of life for people with learning difficulties to be so low that they are better off dead;
  • paid workers have their own financial interests to safeguard.

There is concern that the guidance does not give people with learning difficulties the right to an independent advocate.

OUT OF BOUNDS

P. Kennedy and M. Smyth

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, May 15th 2003, p.32-33

Crisis resolution and home treatment services have proved effective in reducing admissions to acute psychiatric wards. However the services still face resistance from some mental health teams. Concerns, which the authors dispute, include applicability to deprived areas, increased patient risk, and changes to the work of consultant psychiatrists.

PAY ATTENTION

J. Wallcraft

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, June 5th 2003, p.28-29

Reports on research conducted by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health into how to make mental health service user groups more effective. Survey responses revealed concerns about a lack of real input, use of volunteers, lack of payment and burnout of activists. The responses also revealed a wide spread feeling of "influence without power".

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