Health Service Journal, vol.113, Nov.6th 2003, p.15
Introduces the First Steps Trust, a charity which provides services such as gardening and painting and decorating run mainly by people with severe mental health problems. It aims to rebuild their confidence and help them re-enter regular employment.
G.A. Roose and A. M. John
Child: Care, Health and Development, Vol. 29, Nov. 2003, p.545-550
There is concern over whether services to meet the increasing mental health needs of children and young people are adequate. This study solicits children's views about an appropriate service for their age group, including location, structure and staffing, and also ascertains their understanding of the concept of mental health. Two focus groups were set up, containing 10- and-11 year-old children. The children proved to be extremely knowledgeable about mental health and raised a number of issues regarding service provision. They felt that school was not an appropriate setting for mental health services, pointing the problem of confidentiality and that fact that school nurses were rarely full time. Primary proposals for provision of services were that there should be a large number of centres, that the staff needed to be experienced, both personally and professionally, and that confidentiality must be paramount. The article concludes that these findings present a challenge to service development for children and young people.
Explains powers conferred by the Act for the compulsory detention and treatment of people with mental disorders and the safeguards available to them.
Social Care Law Today, Issue No. 14, September 2003, p.4-8
In S v London Borough of Newham the court ruled that a local authority can remove a vulnerable adult from his/her home even where they are not at risk of significant harm, so long as it is in their best interests. This ruling fills the gap or "lacuna" in the Mental Health Act 1983. A similar approach would be likely to be taken by the new Court of Protection proposed by the draft Mental Capacity Bill. This bill would allow the Court of Protection to decide where a person should live (and other matters related to a person's personal welfare, including contact) if s/he were incapable of deciding that matter.
(See also: Community Care Law and Practice, Issue No. 6, September 2003, p.10-14)
Community Care, Oct.23rd-29th 2003, p.30-32
Discusses the negative stereotyping that afflicts minority ethnic people using the mental health services. Assumptions that people are dangerous and more ill than is in fact the case have led to over-use of sectioning under the Mental Health Act 1983.
R. Levenson, A. Greatley and J. Robinson
Report identifies good progress in improving London's mental health services in some areas, but points out a number of problems. These include:
Mental Health Today, Nov. 2003, p.20-23
People are using medical technology to transform themselves, ward off shame and social stigma, and achieve self-fulfilment. Doctors have become the means by which the pharmaceutical industry sells enhancement technologies such as antidepressants, breast augmentation and sex-reassignment surgery to the public.
London: Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2003
Superficially spending on adult mental health services increased by 11.5% in 2002/03. In fact, most of the increase was swallowed up by increased pay and prices, leaving about 3% for developing additional services. In 2003/04 the situation is worse, with a real growth in spending of 1.6% once inflationary pressures have been taken into account.
Community Care, Nov.6th-12th 2003, p 40-41
As people with learning difficulties live longer, more are developing dementia. At present a significant number of these clients live with family carers, who need extra help in their own home to enable them to cope. Article describes a project launched by Ulster Community and Hospitals Trust to develop services for this group.
Health Service Journal, vol.113, Nov.6th 2003, p.13
Mental health trusts will be able to apply for foundation status from 2005. There are concerns that, given the stigma attached to mental illness, the greater community involvement required by foundation status may be contrary to the interests of service users.
Community Care Oct. 30th -Nov. 5th 2003, p 36-37
Describes the work of the Black Spaces Project which aims to improve services for black and minority people with mental health problems by disseminating best practice. Its research has shown the importance of:
Community Living, vol.17, no.1, 2003, p.22-23
Uses examples from India and other less developed countries to show how people with learning difficulties could be empowered to participate in civil society.
Community Care, Nov.20th-26th, 2003, p30-32
Government is developing new services for people with dangerous and severe personality disorder and is building specialist units. This has caused controversy because of the large sums being invested in a very small group of users. There is also concern about the implementation of the draft Mental Health Bill for people with personality disorders. Under the Bill, they would be subject to compulsory treatment and could be detained if assessed as being likely to cause harm.
Public Finance, Nov.14th-20th, 2003, p28-29
Mental health services are beset by long-standing debts, staff shortages and rising costs. They are also suffering from the fact that investment in mental health is a low priority for some of the primary care trusts which now commission service and their spend in this area varies widely
Mental Health Today, Nov. 2003, p.8-9
Discusses the unhealthily close relationship between pharmaceutical companies and mental health professionals. Acceptance of meals and travel expenses to sponsored educational events is associated with increased prescribing of the sponsor's products. There is also a trend towards redefining personal difficulties as diagnosable mental disorders, which require drug treatment, swelling company profits.