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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2006): Mental Health Services - UK

Asylum seekers

M. Gould

Health Service Journal, vol.116, Jan.26th 2006, p.24-26

Acute mental health facilities still suffer from overcrowding and dilapidation. However, some trusts have found innovative ways to improve services through triage, condition-specific wards, better environmental design, provision of therapeutic activities and avoidance of admission through crisis resolution techniques.

Last resort

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, Dec.2005/Jan. 2006, p.10-11

People with mental health problems found behaving in a disturbed way in a public place or their home are being detained in police cells as a place of safety as defined by s.136 of the Mental Health Act. There they wait until a doctor can carry out an assessment. Police cells are not appropriate for the mentally ill, nor are the police equipped to care for them.

Layered care: a proposal to develop better primary care mental health services

A.R. Arthur

Primary Care Mental Health, vol.3, 2005, p.103-109

At present traditional counselling is the main psychological treatment for people with mental health problems provided in GP surgeries. This precludes patients from benefiting from a variety of other mental health interventions. Article proposes a layered approach to mental health service delivery in primary care. This model provides patients with access to a range of services from minimal interventions (e.g. advice and information) to more specialist treatments (psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy). Following the general practitioner’s initial assessment, there is a single point of entry into layered care through a key worker, who may be a primary care mental health worker. This person works with the patient to develop an individual care plan made up of a range of treatments selected from a menu of available options.

Lessons from practice: developing advocacy for children with disabilities

S. Sherwood, R. Hatt and M. Cummings

ChildRight, issue 222, 2006, p.22-25

The Children’s Legal Centre has been running an advocacy service for children with learning difficulties in Essex for two and a half years. The project aims to inform learning disabled children about the role of advocates and show them the easiest ways of accessing the services that advocacy provides.

Modernising day services

L. Lingwood

Mental Health Today, Dec.2005/Jan. 2006, p.33-36

Article introduces a new toolkit which offers guidance on how to re-orient traditional day services towards more socially inclusive outcomes. Services should facilitate the development of social networks and support users to access mainstream opportunities for creative and leisure activities and education and training. The toolkit offers guidance on the process of change management, including funding, workforce development and evaluation.

The process of setting up a self-help clinic in primary care: one graduate primary care mental health worker’s experience

S. Cassidy

Primary Care Mental Health, vol.3, 2005, p.123-130

Presents a case study of the experience of a trainee graduate primary care mental health worker in setting up a one-to-one self-help clinic in a primary care practice. The success of the venture shows that graduate mental health workers with no previous therapeutic training can, with support and supervision, carry out evidence-based therapeutic interventions. The paper also highlights the importance of collaborative working both with practice staff and with a clinical supervisor.

Race rights

M. MacAttram

Mental Health Today, Dec.2005/Jan. 2006, p.8-9

Presents evidence that the Department of Health has not consulted adequately with the Black and minority ethnic community about the impact of the draft Mental Health Bill. It is argued that the Bill will impact more heavily on black people, particularly people of Afro-Caribbean origin, than on the White population.

Rediscovering primary care mental health: experience from Waltham Forest in East London

S.M. Dadabhoy, C. Drennan and N. McNulty

Primary Care Mental Health vol.3, 2005, p.149-154

Article presents a personal account of the authors’ involvement in a major redesign of the delivery of mental health services in Waltham Forest Primary Care Trust in East London. The Trust serves an outer London borough with high levels of deprivation and diversity. The service redesign involved the introduction of a stepped care model offering four levels of support:

  • Information and self-help
  • Assessment and referral to appropriate services, including secondary care and the voluntary sector
  • Intermediate care for people with complex needs, including psychological therapies and holistic support with other needs such as housing problems and access to employment
  • Management of patients with stabilised serious mental illness transferred from secondary care.
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