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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2003): Mental Health Services

AUTISM: THE DEMAND FOR ADVOCACY

National Autistic Society

London: 2003

People with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are not receiving the advocacy support they need. This is due to lack of funding by local and central government and the unmet training requirements of advocacy organisations. As a consequence, advocacy organisations are unable to provide adequately for this group.

CARE REFORMS TARGET ETHNIC MINORITIES

D. Brindle

Guardian, October 17th 2003, p.9

The government is today launching a root-and-branch overhaul of mental health services for ethnic minorities, after repeated criticisms of standards of care. Under the plans, at least 80 community mental health projects are to be established across England. From these a new force of 500 paid staff will be recruited to work with black and Asian people.

DEMENTIA'S CULTURAL CHALLENGE

L. Forbat and S. Nar

Community Care, Sept. 25th-Oct. 1st 2003, p. 38-39

The article reports on research on how carers from minority ethnic communities view statutory services for people with dementia. Members of the families spoke about a variety of difficulties, among them concerns about language and cultural awareness.

DIRECT WHAT? THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF DIRECT PAYMENTS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE USERS

J. Ridley and L. Jones

Disability and Society, Vol. 18, 2003, p.643-658

Using focus groups, interviews and a telephone survey, the study explored the extent of the implementation of Direct Payments across Scotland, and the views of mental health service users, carers and professionals on the idea, the potential obstacles and the support that would be needed. Awareness of Direct Payments was low, even amongst professionals. The research showed that in order to make Direct Payments work for people with mental health problems, what was needed was "person-centred" assessment, access to proper support, advice and training, and Direct Payment schemes that were flexible enough to allow for different arrangements and for transition.

A LONG WAY TO FALL

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol.113, Oct. 23rd 2003, p.12-13

Mental health services are struggling to meet targets for the establishment of early intervention and crisis resolution teams set in the NHS Plan and the National Service Framework. In many trusts, generic services are being run down to release funds and staff to create the new teams. There is concern that new money reaching trusts is not enough to deliver the new services while still supporting existing ones.

LEADING LIGHTS TO GUIDE US

C. Lovett and J. Green

Mental Health Today, Oct. 2003, p.26-29

The Guiding Lights Project is researching what constitutes good practice in organisations and services for people with mental health problems that aim to be user centred in their approach.

MAINSTREAMING GENDER AND WOMEN'S MENTAL HEALTH: IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCE

Department of Health

London: 2003

Social isolation and poverty are much more common in women as is the experience of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, and sexual violence. The complex interplay of all these factors can have a major impact on women's mental health and have wider repercussions as a result of the multiple roles that women adopt in different communities. Guidance will help those planning and delivering mental health services to understand better what is meant by being "sensitive to the needs of women" and ensure that women feel better served by the mental health care system.

MENTAL HEALTH OFFICER SERVICES: STRUCTURES AND SUPPORTS

A. McCollam and others

Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Social Research, 2003 (Research findings; 2003, no. 32)

The changing legislative and service landscape in mental health and learning disability in Scotland poses significant challenges relating to the capacity and capability of current Mental Health Officer (MHO) services in Scotland. Research explored current models of MHO service provision and the readiness of local authorities to respond to the demands of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and the implementation of the new Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

PRAYERS, PARTIES AND PARTICIPATION

F. Ibrahim

Mental Health Today, Oct. 2003, p.30-32

Discusses difficulties faced by Asian women in accessing mainstream mental health services and the lack of specific provision for them. Voluntary sector services have been developed to fill the gap, in response to growing demand. These offer general support in an informal context, but staff may lack specialised skills.

SPECIAL EFFECTS

M. Muijen

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, Oct. 9th 2003, p.18-19

Generic community mental health teams in England are being run down in favour of specialist services such as crisis intervention and assertive outreach. In consequence, targeted groups such as high risk and difficult to engage clients are benefiting from world class services. On the other hand, those who pose no risk and are happy to engage are being neglected as a result of poor generic provision.

VACANT EXPRESSION

P. Smith

Health Service Journal, Vol. 113, Oct. 9th 2003, p.14-15

Clinical governance and continuity of care are under threat in mental health hospitals from the effects of chronic staff shortages.

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