Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2007): Mental health services - UK

Art for mental health's sake

J. Secker and others

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2007, p. 34-36

In 2005 the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Department of Health jointly commissioned research into the mental health benefits of participation in arts work. This article reports findings from two key strands of the research: an outcomes study providing quantitative evidence of the benefits of arts participation for people with mental health needs, and a series of qualitative case studies of six arts and mental health projects that explored how people benefited from arts participation.

Building bridges in Liverpool: black and minority ethnic children and their families

I.A. Fatimilehin

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.15, June 2007, p. 7-16

The Building Bridges project in Liverpool set out to address issues of accessibility and appropriateness in mental health services for Black and Minority Ethnic children and their families. The project offered help to both children and adults. It took account of social and economic disadvantage as sources of psychological distress and offered advocacy services to improve users' access to a range of resources. It prioritised community participation in the development of more accessible services.

Changing the focus of community mental health teams: a study in one English locality

B. Hatfield, I. Sharma and T. Ryan

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.15, June 2007, p. 17-28

This study examines the refocusing of community mental health teams following the implementation of the mental health services national service framework in Knowsley. It provides information about changes in the service user group and in the nature of work undertaken by the three community mental health teams following their reorganisation.

Developing the mental health workforce capacity in primary care: implementing the role of graduate primary care mental health workers in England

D. Rushforth and others

Journal of Mental Health Workforce Development, vol. 2, June 2007, p. 42-49

The incidence of common mental health problems has grown significantly in the past decade and is putting pressure on frontline primary care staff, who are ill-equipped to cope due to inadequate training. The government has responded through investment in additional workforce capacity in the shape of graduate primary care mental health workers. Commissioning of this graduate workforce commenced in 2002 in response to the publication of target numbers. This paper examines the scale of common mental health problems, the policy response, and the commissioning process.

The health impacts of policy interventions tackling the social determinants of common mental disorder

B. Candy and others

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 6, June 2007, p. 28-39

The most disadvantaged socially and economically are most at risk of a range of poorer health outcomes, including common mental disorder. The need to evaluate policies likely to have a direct or indirect impact on health is well recognised in Britain. This article reports findings from a literature review which explored evidence on the health impacts of UK policy interventions aimed at tackling the determinants of common mental disorder: socio-economic deprivation, unemployment, psychosocial work characteristics, and poor social relationships. The authors identified some positive impacts on common mental disorder of urban regeneration schemes, but evidence was sparse on interventions relating to the other determinants.

High aims

A. James and M. Janner

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2007, p. 18-20

There is evidence that conditions in more than half of psychiatric in-patient wards in England and Wales are untherapeutic and unpleasant. This article reports on two initiatives which aim to improve the situation. The Star Wards scheme is seeking to encourage staff to provide more interesting low-cost activities for patients to combat boredom. An alliance of mental health professionals is also seeking to turn the tide through the launch of a national ward accreditation scheme.

Listening to Deaf people

B. Tuohy and G. Cooper

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2007, p. 27-29

The prevalence of mental distress within the Deaf community is disproportionately high, but they face communication barriers in accessing mental health services. This article introduces the work of a multi-agency partnership in Leeds which is pioneering new approaches to meeting the needs of Deaf people through the establishment of a BSL (British Sign Language) counsellor post, launch of a website that explains mental health issues and services in BSL, and the appointment of a community development worker to help Deaf people define and assert their needs.

Mental health law: policy and practice. 3rd ed.

P. Bartlett and R. Sandland

Oxford: OUP, 2007

Mental health law is an area of considerable legal and social complexity, and this book challenges the readers to question the system and the policies that have been developed. It provides a detailed overview of the law and the socio-legal, historical, sociological, and cultural issues that surround it. Mental health law, at its heart, involves the forcible confinement and medication of some of society's most vulnerable people. With reference to recent cases and new legislation, the book analyzes the legal structure and functions of the mental health system, the problems inherent in characterizing mental health law, and the social and human rights issues of those who suffer from mental illness The legal issues described contain implied premises as to what it is to be a citizen, what the role of the state is for the vulnerable, and what the relative roles of law and medicine are in the regulation of control and deviance.

NHS learning disability services: implications of the Cornwall report

J. Dow

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.15, June 2007, p. 37-40

A report by the Healthcare Commission issued in 2006 revealed widespread institutional abuse of people with learning disabilities in care homes run by the NHS in Cornwall. It recommended that NHS bodies which run care homes or domiciliary services should immediately seek to register them with the Commission for Social Care Inspection. This article considers the implications of this recommendation in the context of the requirements of the Care Standards Act.

Sounding off

E. Dent

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, July 19th 2007, p. 22-24

The incidence of mental illness among deaf people is around 40%. Only three NHS services currently provide in-patient and day hospital care for the deaf. Deaf service users are often prepared to travel to get specialist care, and some even relocate.

Violence reduction in mental health and criminal justice: recent and current developments

G. Miller and others

Journal of Mental Health Workforce Development, vol. 2, June 2007, p. 28-41

Traditional methods of addressing workplace violence against mental health and criminal justice staff have relied on reactive measures. It has been assumed that violence in these services is inevitable and must be managed. This paper argues that many incidents can in fact be prevented and outlines emerging evidence to support a structured, holistic approach to so doing. A three-pronged approach to violence prevention is proposed:

  1. rooting out the causes of violent behaviour by improving the social and physical environment
  2. use of conflict resolution and de-escalation skills
  3. reducing reliance on physical restraint.

Well fit?

C. Kitson

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2007, p. 12-13

There is strong evidence that people with severe and long-term mental illnesses have difficulty in getting their physical health needs met, leading to reduced life expectancy. Scotland is tackling the problem by introducing routine physical health assessments every 15 months for all people with a severe mental illness. They will also be offered free smoking cessation treatment, dental treatment and optical examinations.

What is the role of a hospital service user's representative scheme for promoting service user involvement in mental health care delivery?

S. Haswell and D. Bailey

Journal of Mental Health Workforce Development, vol. 2, June 2007, p. 12-22

Since 1997, patient and public involvement in healthcare has been one of the central elements of the Labour government's NHS modernisation policy. In this policy context the Service User Representative Scheme was developed in the Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside Mental Health Trust to meet the need for the service user voice to be heard within the organisation. Representatives, who have themselves used mental health services, are recruited by the Trust and trained as volunteers. Their role is to visit allocated wards regularly to establish and build up relationships with patients and ward staff, to listen and identify issues of concern, and to work with staff and service users to facilitate positive solutions. This paper reports on an evaluation of the scheme.

Why model prices might produce unsatisfactory returns

B. Ferguson

Caring Times, July/Aug. 2007, p.10-11

Local authorities have introduced a 'fair prices' model for placement of people with learning disabilities in residential homes. The model is complex and is aimed at obtaining value for money from home owners for tailored packages of care for individual clients. However, the model has no inbuilt mechanism for price reviews and fails to include an objective formula for calculating return on capital invested by the home owner.

You need to have been there

S. Nelson

Mental Health Today, July/Aug. 2007, p. 37-39

Self-help groups are among a range of methods used to alleviate depression and anxiety. This article reports on Scottish research which explored ways in which groups contribute best to recovery and to maintaining good health, and the factors that lead to the success or otherwise of groups. Results showed that self-help groups are able to deliver a range of benefits at modest cost, but to be successful and sustainable they must be founded on high quality provision in their establishment, in their selection of venues, recruitment, training and supervision of facilitators and in networking with other agencies.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web