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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2005): Mental Health Services - UK

ADDRESSING THE IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGE: INTRODUCING PRIMARY CARE GRADUATE MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS

K. Newbigging and others

Mental Health Review, vol.10, Mar.2005, p.16-21

The introduction of primary care graduate mental health workers is a central element of a national strategy to enable primary care to respond effectively to people presenting with mental health problems. Article presents a case of how these workers were introduced in the North West region of England.

BEYOND THE FRINGE

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, vol.115, Apr.21st 2005, p.24-26

Black and minority ethnic patients are profoundly estranged fom the mental health services due to their institutional racism. Involvement of community organisations and promotion of culturally sensitive staff practice are key to tackling the problems.

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: STRATEGY, PLANNING, DELIVERY, AND EVALUATION

R. Williams and M. Kerfoot (editors)

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005

The mental health problems of children and adolescents are a major concern and a challenge to policymakers, service designers, planners, commissioners, and providers of services within health and social care. However a considerable amount of evidence has accumulated in the last 50 years about effectiveness and the factors that affect how best to deliver services. This book brings together this evidence in the following areas:

  • the background developments in policymaking, strategic thinking, and adult education that impact on the future roles of professionals, managers, and child and adolescent health services;
  • how to identify problem populations and devise effective methods for obtaining reliable and valid measures of need that will enable service planning to take place, and which will then promote the development of commissioning strategies that make sense to practitioners;
  • the evidence base for current interventions so that informed choices can be made, particularly in relation to expensive and residential provisions ;
  • how to ensure that children and families are directed to services that are likely to have the optimal effect in relation to their identified needs;
  • how services are currently being mapped and what recent experience tells us about the performance of state-funded services in the UK;
  • what we know from international sources about how the impact of mental health problems on younger people translates into burden on parents, families, carers, and primary level staff;
  • how their experiences relate to demand for and on specialist child and adolescent mental health services, and what the literature tells us about demand management;
  • the developments that have occurred in services in the last 15 years and likely future directions.

COMMISSIONING INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

J. Rodgers and R. Townsley

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.13, Apr. 2005, p.44-48

Article reports results of research on how organisations can effectively commission information in a variety of formats that is genuinely accessible and useful to people with learning difficulties.

CRISIS TALKS

J. Hocking

Community Care, Apr. 21st-27th 2005, p.34-35

Teenagers' mental health has declined over the past 25 years. GPs lack training in dealing with distressed teenagers and their treatment and referral options are limited. Schools should do more to educate young people about mental well-being, but the current focus on improving academic standards leaves teachers with little time for pastoral work.

EARLY INTERVENTION AND MENTAL HEALTH

J. Camm

Community Practitioner, vol.78, 2005, p.124-125

Health professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of early intervention in severe mental illness, and government would like every NHS trust to have an early intervention service. Article explores the role of community practitioners in helping patients with mental illness get early treatment.

FEAR AND FREEDOM

K. Leason

Community Care, Apr.14th-20th 2005, p.32-34

Two recent homicides by mental patients have led to renewed debate about risk-taking and risk assessment by professionals. Proposed new mental health legislation also disproportionately emphasizes the danger posed by people with mental health problems to the general public. There is now a climate of fear both in society and in the mental health services which is leading to more people being compulsorily detained in psychiatric hospitals. This may discourage people with mental health problems from seeking treatment.

GOVERNING MENTAL HEALTH: A VIEW FROM PRIMARY CARE

L. Gash and S. Campbell

Mental Health Review, vol. 10, Mar 2005, p.30-32

Mental health care is not easy to govern. PCTs commonly lack the expertise to fully utilise the clinical governance agenda to improve care for people with mental health problems. At the same time mental health trusts may not prioritise working with primary care. Authors conclude that mental health must be both incorporated effectively into the clinical governance agenda in primary care and limited to people with expertise in the field.

HAS THE MEDICAL MODEL A FUTURE?

A. McCulloch and others

Mental Health Review, vol. 10, Mar 2005, p.7-15

The medical model views mental illness as arising from a disorder of the brain or CNS which should be amenable to pharmacological treatment. However drug treatments, although very widely used are not particularly effective for depression or schizophrenia. Alternative approaches such as exercise and CBT for depression and family interventions for schizophrenia should be considered. Article goes on to consider the future of the medical model in mental health care and proposes a way forward through integration with other approaches.

MENTAL CAPACITY ACT 2005

London: TSO, 2005

Act's key provisions are:

  • a best interests check list for people acting on behalf of those who lack capacity to make their own decisions;
  • empowerment of carers and professionals to make day-to-day decisions on behalf of someone who cannot consent;
  • a new Lasting Power of attorney, which enables people to appoint an attorney to act on their behalf should they lose capacity in the future;
  • creation of independent mental capacity advocates to support people lacking capacity who have no-one else to speak for them;
  • empowerment of people, while they have capacity, to make advance decisions to refuse treatment (living wills) should they lose capacity in the future;
  • introduction of a criminal offence of ill-treatment of a person who lacks capacity;
  • creation of two new public bodies, a Court of Protection and a Public Guardian

NEW LANDSCAPES FOR MENTAL HEALTH

A. Burls

Mental Health Review, vol. 10, Mar.2005, p.26-29

Ecotherapy refers to supporting marginalised people with diverse disabilities to work with nature. It delivers therapeutic strategies designed to reconnect people with themselves, their community and nature. Article discusses how the approach might be promoted through practitioner training.

SUPPORTING GOVERNMENTS TO ADOPT MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES

R. Jenkins

Mental Health Review, vol.10, Mar.2005, p.33-38

Governments need to develop locally tailored approaches to mental health service provision suited to the culture and resources. They need to prioritise:

  • delivery of mental health services in primary care;
  • tackling learning difficulties in schools;
  • treating mental disorders amongst prisons;
  • response to natural and man-made disasters.

WE ARE HERE

Anon.

Mental Health Today, Apr.2005, p.16-17

Describes the work of the Touchstone community support centre in Leeds which offers targeted services to black and minority ethnic people with mental health problems. The centre offers a drop-in service and one-to-one case management for clients with complex needs.

WORKFORCE OR WORKFARE?

H. Parr

Mental Health Today, Apr.2005, p.28-31

Article draws on recent in-depth ethnographic and interview work in two community gardening projects for people with mental health problems, one in Nottingham and one in Glasgow, to explore how historical themes about the curative powers of nature connect with current debates about recovery, purposeful employment and social inclusion.

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