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Welfare Reform On the Web (March 2006) : Mental health services - UK

J. Davies

ChildRight, issue 223, 2006, p.18-21

Children and young people with learning disabilities have historically experienced a double disadvantage. They have an increased risk of developing mental health problems and experience huge difficulties in accessing fragmented services. Article summarises the shortcomings of community teams for people with learning disabilities and of child and adolescent mental health services in addressing the needs of this group.

J Wallace

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2006, p.14-15

Article describes three projects which use peer support to promote the recovery and social inclusion of people with mental health problems.

P. Gilbert

Community Care, Jan.19th-25th 2006, p.36-37

Article discusses the work of a spirituality and mental health project set up in 2001 by the National Institute for Mental Health in England. The project focuses on the importance of the spiritual dimension in people’s lives and aims to construct positive relations with faith communities and faith-based organisations.

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2006, p.8-9

The national census of psychiatric inpatients carried out in March 2005 confirms that black and ethnic minority patients are heavily over-represented on acute wards. However the data does not reveal the pathways which Black and Minority Ethnic people have followed on their route into psychiatric hospital or the misery they suffer on the wards.

The future of mental health: a vision for 2015 (PDF)

L. Main

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2006

The report says that by 2015 mental well-being should be promoted in all schools, employers should be able to compete to become “well-being workplaces”, and talking therapies should be available as a matter of course to all who need them, along with advice on staying in work and maintaining an ordinary life. It says that people with severe mental health conditions should have their own budgets to pay for the services they want, including a range of alternatives to hospital admission and an “associate” to help them manage their lives, that the majority of care should be delivered outside the hospital setting, in people’s own homes or in crisis houses and through primary care, and that action to tackle stigma and discrimination should mean that people with mental health problems feel able to access mainstream community facilities

J. Dow

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.14, Feb. 2006, p.22-24

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides that independent mental capacity advocates (IMCAs) must be consulted before certain decisions are made on behalf of people who lack capacity. This article describes the principles in the Act under which such decisions are made, the role of IMCAs and proposals for the establishment of the IMCA service.

Lasting power of attorney: forms and guidance (PDF)

Department for Constitutional Affairs


This consultation document invites views and comments on the draft Lasting Power of Attorney forms, prescribed information and accompanying guidance as outlined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Under this Act, Lasting Powers of Attorney will replace Enduring Powers of Attorney as the main way of choosing a decision-maker to act in the event of loss of mental capacity. In addition to property and affairs, donors will be able to delegate decisions affecting their personal welfare, including healthcare.

B. Hudson

Disability and Society, vol.21, 2006, p.47-60

The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is complex for people with learning disabilities and has not been handled well in the UK as it has been characterised by discontinuities and disruption of care. The response from government has been to introduce law, guidance and good practice guides, but these have had only limited effect. This article examines explanations for the limited progress in this area. It identifies inter-organisational divisions as a crucial factor, and is critical of the top-down approach that has characterised policy responses.

P. Seebohm and others

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2006, p.31-34

Sharing Voices is a community development project based in Bradford that works primarily with people from the South Asian, African, and West Indian communities. Sharing Voices aims to liaise with statutory service providers to improve the range and quality of mental health services available to people from black and minority ethnic communities, to develop capacity within communities and support voluntary sector and self-help activity in mental health and well-being, and to stimulate debate about the nature of mental health, diversity and ethnicity.

Reforms, rights or wrongs? A Foucauldian exploration of the new Mental Health Bill in the United Kingdom

M. Bertram and J.L. Powell

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.25, no.12, 2005, p.1-21

Article provides a critical analysis of the New Labour government’s reforms of the Mental Health Act 1983 grounded in Foucauldian insights. The analysis shows that the new Bill would introduce a draconian system of surveillance, monitoring and control of service users. The development of “new” categories of disorder through the medicalisation of human distress will open the way for the policing of normal behaviour through surveillance and detention. The ostensible aims of the Bill in relation to safeguarding the human rights of service users will not be achieved. The proposed safeguards pale into insignificance in the face of the sweeping wave of coercion introduced by the Bill.

D. Sallah and M. Clark (editord)

Edinburgh: Elsevier, 2005

The book addresses the important issueof the role of research in the modernisation of mental health services. It explores theoretical, methodological and practical issues relating to the development of evidence to underpin the improvement of mental health and social care.

E. Forrest

Health Service Journal, vol.116, Feb.23rd 2006, p.22-24

Mental health trusts are merging to form large organisations. The mergers are designed to help trusts compete with others, move towards foundation status, and protect improvements after funding stops growing in 2008. The new trusts will control budgets in the region of £250m, and there are fears that their size could distance them from commissioners and service users.

A. Nocon and J. Owen

Mental Health Today, Feb. 2006, p.26-30

Reports the interim findings of a Disability Rights Commission investigation into the health inequalities experienced by people with mental health problems or learning difficulties in England and Wales, with a particular focus on what is being done to reduce these inequalities through primary care. The results so far confirm that people with mental health problems/learning difficulties are more likely than the general population to suffer from diabetes or heart disease, to smoke, and to be obese. Poverty, poor diet and lack of exercise all contribute to ill health. Side effects of medication are another significant factor in health inequalities, including adverse interactions between medical and psychotropic drugs. People with mental health problems/learning difficulties experience huge barriers to accessing adequate primary care, including diagnostic overshadowing, where physical health problems are wrongly attributed to the mental health condition.

S. Harrison and L. Berry

Community Practitioner, vol.79, 2006, p.56-59

The health of people with learning disabilities in the UK has been an area of concern for many years. This paper discusses Access all Areas, a comprehensive programme using a public health model of health care where people with learning disabilities are being supported to make healthy choices and given information in accessible formats to facilitate those choices. Led by health visitors, staff in all agencies involved in the care and support of people with learning disabilities are being trained to raise standards across organisations and prioritise the health and well-being of this marginalised group.

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