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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2004): Mental Health Services - UK

BABY MENTAL HEALTH - MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE, SAYS CHARITY

Anon.

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p.164

The children's mental health charity, YoungMinds, is calling for baby mental health teams to be established across Britain. The group claims that a baby's mental health is dependent on the security of the "attachment" formed with its primary giver, and argues that early intervention is key to ensuring the attachment is strong and becomes the basis of lifelong mental health.

DIRECT CHOICES: WHAT COUNCILS NEED TO MAKE DIRECT PAYMENTS HAPPEN FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

Department of Health

London, 2004

Through best practice examples, this guide provides help and advice on encouraging and supporting people with learning disabilities to take up direct payments.

FAITH HEALERS

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, May 20th 2004, p.28-29

An inner London mental health trust wanted to improve services for Muslim inpatients. It held staff workshops on the religion and appointed a "cross cultural" nurse to sensitise staff to the cultural dimensions of patient care. As a result, service users feel increasingly able to discuss their beliefs.

FROM OUT OF THE ASHES

J. Shapiro

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, May 13th 2004, p.16-17

The article reflects on findings of an inquiry into patient abuse in a psychiatric in-patient ward. The ward was run as a semi-independent fiefdom and the trust board was kept in the dark about what was going on. The prevailing culture made it difficult for whistleblowers to act.

GEOGRAPHIES OF EXCLUSION

C. Philo, H. Parr and N. Burns

Mental Health Today, May 2004, p.20-23

Discusses the response of rural communities in the Scottish Highlands to people with mental health problems. These communities can be unwelcoming to people whose behaviour does not fit with established norms. In order to be accepted and avoid attracting gossip, people with mental health problems may conceal their difficulties. There is much appreciation of the services provided by community psychiatric nurses and voluntary drop-in centres.

IT'S AN ILL PILL …

L. Friedli

Mental Health Today, May 2004, p.8-9

There is widespread concern among voluntary agencies in the field about the safety of antidepressant drugs. It is argued that the evidence base about antidepressants has serious flaws and is tainted by the distortion created by commercial research.

KNOWING WHAT TO DO

S. Shimmen

Mental Health Today, May 2004, p.24-26

Introduces the Scottish Mental Health First Aid Training Programme. This aims to equip public and private sector workers to recognise the symptoms of mental illness, to provide initial help, and to guide people towards professional assistance.

A LEAP IN THE DARK

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, May 2004, p.10-11

Outlines the provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 which comes into force in April 2005. Discusses the challenges faced by Scottish mental health services in implementing the Act, including lack of funding and trained staff.

A MULTI-AGENCY SERVICE FOR CHILD BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS

S. Window, L. Anderson and P. Vostanis

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p.180-184

Children with behavioural problems frequently require support and assistance from a variety of community health, social, educational and non-statutory agencies. These all work in isolation, leading to high costs through referrals to Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and long waiting lists. As a result a multi-agency service has been established, covering the interface between primary care practitioners and specialist child mental health services. The study compares the outcomes children of referred to the multi-agency service to those referred to specialist CAMHS in areas without a primary care service. Results showed that mutli-agency services within primary care could be accessible, responsive and suitable for children with a variety of problems that do not require specialist assessment. However, such services need to be developed in conjunction with specialist child mental health teams, who can then focus on the assessment and treatment of more complex problems.

A PLACE IN SOCIETY: THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING FOR LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS

National Autistic Society

London, 2004

The report pulls together evidence on current outcomes for people with autistic spectrum disorders, using real life examples to illustrate the particular difficulties in planning for life created by social and communication impairments associated with autism. While a statutory framework exists in the UK for transition planning after compulsory education, its implementation is at best patchy.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

C. George

Mental Health Today, May 2004, p.12-13

Announces the launch of a new organisation, the Association of Mental Health Advocates, which aims to promote the development of better quality services and to represent its members at national policy-making level.

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

K. Evans

Community Care, May 13th-19th 2004, p.38-40

Autistic spectrum disorders are neither a learning difficulty nor a mental illness. Consequently there is a gap in service provision for people with this condition.

VALUING PEOPLE: MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER: THE GOVERNMENT'S ANNUAL REPORT ON LEARNING DISABILITY 2004

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons Papers, session 2003/04; HC 507)

The paper reports on the efforts government departments are making to promote social inclusion for people with learning difficulties and their families. It covers access to health services, supported housing, paid work and cultural and leisure services.

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