Mid June mail-out of mental health, health, and social care news,views and stuff

Oh don’t lean on me man, cause you can’t afford the ticket, I’m back from Attachment City. And boy, what a bundle we have.

  • First up a handy pdf report about self-management, "Helping People Help Themselves".

Key findings were that self-management works, but that some issues need investigating/further consideration, most pointedly, given our looming NHS changes that "GPs defined patient involvement narrowly, thought it took place solely during consultations and felt that they had limited time to engage with people.Thus there may be work to do to educate clinicians about the value and scope of supporting self-management and the skills they need to achive this.Research in the UK suggests that clinicians may take a ‘compliance orientated’ approach to self-management and this is unlikely to be helpful"

  • Next comes the marvellous Maureen from NEMHDU, and her round up of news’n’snippets, also accompanied by NEMHDU’s end of year report.
  • Now a request for help into a research project on Mindfulness, the aim of which is to increase the psychological understanding of mindfulness, and the mechanisms that potentially underlie mindfulness therapies. Do get in touch with Alice at alice.reid-williams if interested.
  • Our mates at NIWE(the regional eating distress charity) have their AGM a-coming up (July 15th) and an invitation is attached.
  • Also attached is a poster for Middlesbrough MIND’s new CDs/mp3s: self-help "audio leaflets".
  • And we have the revamped, and subtly renamed renamed ADHD support group (next meeting Monday 20th of June)
  • If OCD is an issue that has affected you, then you might like to take part (remotely) in a piece of research, flyer attached.
  • Here’s a link to a Dept of Health letter about Mental Health clustering (for payment by results). Actually the region is ahead of the game on this, but the intent is for all service users in the nation to be ‘clustered’. Whether that’s a good thing or not is another matter (some see it as helpful, others as a reversion to labels and putting service users in boxes-not literally, of course, unless there’s been a major policy change)
  • Inexplicably mentioned, but not attached last tiem, please clock the (South Tyneside) Mental Health Carer Support Service newsletter.
  • 29th and 30th of June sees Hartlepool MIND running two wellbeing events (thanks Cath). Attached is the flyer for the 29th and the 30th

Fort a little, well not light relief, but something a tad more philosophical, have a peek at this, a good piece about the term "mental distress", its rise to prominence and whether it is actually better or worse than "mental illness" as a term.

Phew, the Govt’s NHS listening exercise has concluded. I’ll refrain from too much comment, since we’ve covered the tale of Lansley’s travails at great length.How much will the government "listen to the listening exercise" when it reports back next week? A cynic replies:they will probably pretend to but, like the first draft, there will be lots of nasties hidden in the small print. It is a pity this will now be rammed through rather than taken back to the report stage…Anyone would thing this was a bodge and they weren’t proud of the detail.
If you desire more comment and analysis try

. A cracking indictment of why politicians (in successive governments) get health so wrong can be read here.

By the way, you may recall being told by these mail-outs of the curious case of Circle health, a body rather in favour at the Dept of Health.As ever ahead of the herd,it’s only now that the mainstream media’s picked up on their puzzling business arrangements and deceptive PR. Other intriguing health financial arrangements (and conflicts of interest?), this time concerning some GPs are readable here (hat-tip to AP).

Enough with NHS reform (hmm, that can be read in two ways). And so to social care, and the accompanying issue of welfare,er, ‘reform’ (that word again: does anyone else shudder when a politician uses it?).Bit cloudy here too, I’m afraid. Great piece here (cracking final paragraph, thanks,Mark).

Via Tim comes a DWP report which suggests that things are certainly not perfect, but that they mightn’t be as bad as some say in relation to the migration from IB to ESA and the accompanying controversial assessments (attached).

Others disagree:the system is malfunctioning (a comment well worth reading) , while there is a a marvellously excoriating piece to be read here ("How do you sleep at night, Chris Grayling [Work and Pensions minister]")

Got a request here: do be mindful when speaking to the media, any media outlet, and preserve your privacy, but this is kosher.

The Guardian reporter John Domokos is going to be focusing on Mental Health benefit claimants and the effect the benefit cuts are having on us. He will be making a video for the Guardian’s website and is keen to hear from people who are in line to face a Work Capability Assessment during the current migration from IB to ESA and who would be prepared to talk about how it will affect them. He can change names for anonymity. I think it’s really important for our voices to be heard and his work is sympathetic to us. He has written a few excellent articles on benefits changes recently and will be doing more specifically about mental health and benefits. He wants to speak to people ASAP. If you are prepared to speak to him or know someone who is contact John directly at: john.domokos@guardian.co.uk If you want to phone him, his numbers are: 0203 353 2570 or 07798717775

Oh, and don’t forget that there is another meeting of the North East Mental Health Service User and Carer Welfare Action Group, 12.30pm on the 27th of June at Launchpad (address below, get in touch for details), as previously publicised.

Trying to be more positive, and looking at what help may actually assist mental health service users in attaining employment (as opposed to using the big stick approach) brings us to the attached Sayce report (thanks,Tim) which makes interesting reading, and shows that certain approaches barely touch service users with more severe and enduring MH problems, a group with the joint lowest likelihood of being employed out of all categories of disability.If you haven’t the time, and trust my reading of it, in brief it points to the Access to Work scheme being underused for MH service users, Residential Training Colleges RTCs) and Remploy Enterprise Businesses being of little,if any use for this user group, but that IPS (Individual Placement and Support) when done properly is the most effective model, and best at ensuring service users are "Not Just Stacking Shelves" to use Miles Rinaldi’s phrase (nice guy,genuinely nice).

And with that pile of reading, I’m offski,


Alisdair Cameron
LAUNCHPAD Team Leader,
NTWSU&C n/wk co-chair (with Mish Loraine)
(for network business: ntwsuc)

Offices 210 and 211,
Holy Jesus Hospital,
City Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,

Tel 0191 2330382 (personal mobile 07736074213)
E-mail launchpadncl

or alisdairscameron

Helping people help themselves.PDF

News and snippets 9 june.doc

Yr end report 10-11.pdf

mindfulness pdf.pdf



Audio CD Launch Poster.pdf

North East ADHD adult support group leaflet.doc

OCD Participant Information Sheet.doc

Carers Newsletter.pdf

full life conference flyer.pdf

david lorimer seminar.pdf

IB Report (June2011).pdf


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