Guardian: “Four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants”

Data obtained by the Guardian shows that one in six people in England were prescribed antidepressants in 2017

prescriptions

More than four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants, new figures obtained by the Guardian show.

You can read the full article on the Guardian website here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/10/four-million-people-in-england-are-long-term-users-of-antidepressants

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Mental Health News: Now online!

Issue 9 front pageThe most recent edition of Mental Health News is now online and contains articles about forgiveness, the closure of Daleham Gardens day unit, transcranial magnetic stimulation, updates from VoiceAbility, the future of Service User Involvement in Camden and a memorial to former Peer Mentor Sian Witheridge and much more. You can read it here:

Mental Health Newsletter (Issue 9) Summer/Autumn 2018

BBC Minds Matter programmes

“One in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem over the course of a year – so most of us will either have experienced it ourselves or know at least one person affected by it.”

BBC 1 in 4

The BBC has launched a campaign called #1in4 to try and break through the stigma associated with mental illness and making it easier to talk about your mental health.

You can find out more information and see the programmes on the BBC website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04t6bc1

CBUG & Peer mentoring at St. Mungos Mental Health festival!

VoiceAbility supported CBUG volunteers Romano, Davide and Mark and Peer Mentors Maria and Jahanara to run two stalls at the St. Mungo’s Mental Health festival on Thursday 5th July.

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Above: Mark (CBUG), Ani (VoiceAbility Peer Mentor Coordinator) and Jahanara (VoiceAbility admin volunteer).

The festival was great fun for everyone involved with activities like spray painting & graffiti workshop, drum playing, dancing and hand henna design. There was also a delicious grill, salads and drinks. Our volunteers made the most of this opportunity to promote the Peer Mentoring Project and CBUG with flyers, banners and forms.

All in all it was a great sunny day! 4 people showed an interest in becoming peer mentors, 5 people enquired about CBUG and a couple of people were also interested in Camden Frontline and the Sunday Project (substance misuse groups).

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Above: drumming at the festival.

We had interesting conversations with many attendees who showed interest in VoiceAbility projects. We also did some networking with the stalls of other organisations who promote mental health awareness.

There was Yoga, music performance by the charity Key Changes, stand-up comedy, massage and flower arranging!

Evaluation of Service User Involvement in Camden

Tonic report front page

Camden commissioners hired an independent organisation called Tonic to do an evaluation of service user involvement in Camden. Tonic heard from 123 users of both mental health and drug & alcohol services and they have produced a report which you can read here.

Tonic: Camden Service User Engagement report

The report proposes the following options for the continuation of Camden involvement. Watch this space because commissioners will decide soon!

Option 1: Refine and review the current specification. Commission an independent organisation to co-ordinate service user involvement across the Borough for mental health and substance misuse. This service would operate as the ‘go to’, impartial, service for service users to share views, or for the council to seek input for consultations.

Option 1a: Commission two separate independent organisations to co-ordinate service user involvement; one for substance misuse and one for mental health.

Option 2: Offer independent funding directly for service user groups (e.g. directly from the council to service user groups e.g. CBUG)

Option 2a: Stipulate in new contract with independent provider that some of the budget should be retained for service users to apply for grant funding for new initiatives.

Option 3: Contract with a current commissioned provider to provide and coordinate independent service user involvement activity across the cohort (either substance misuse or mental health). Key to this option is that service users feel confident that their views will not affect their care from said provider and this function is seen as an adjunct to the other activities offered.

Option 4: Do not commission an independent service user involvement service outside of the current service providers, as they already promote service user engagement as part of their individual contracts. This would, however, not benefit from a resource to pool together all of the separate service user engagement and feedback into one place for providers and commissioners and service users may be concerned they cannot give honest feedback to the service providers about their care/treatment.

What is it like to be sectioned? (BBC video)

Many people suffer a lack of dignity when they are detained under the Mental Health Act, an independent review has found. The review was set up to look at the rise in the number of people being detained, issues around detentions of people from black and minority ethnic groups and if the act is out of step with a modern health care system.

The BBC spoke to four people who have been sectioned to find out their experiences.
If any of these issues affect you then find out more by visiting Rethink. or VoiceAbility

Sectioned

To see this and other related videos on the BBC website, please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-43974488/what-is-it-like-to-be-sectioned

Mental Health inpatients struggling with debt to be given breathing space

Good news: Thousands of people who are in mental health crisis and struggling with serious debt will be given breathing space from further interest, charges and enforcement action following a campaign victory by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

Breathing space

The Recovery Space Campaign team delivering the petition

Read the full article on the Money Saving Expert website here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/protect/2018/04/people-in-mental-health-crisis-to-be-given-breathing-space-from-serious-debt-problems-

National Day of Action to Stop and Scrap Universal Credit

Disabled against cuts

Disabled campaigners held a national day of action yesterday (Wednesday 17th April) calling on the government to halt the roll-out of its Universal Credit.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Single Mothers’ Self-Defence and WinVisible activists demonstrated in Westminster against the national introduction of the new benefit system.

To find out more about DPAC please visit their website: https://dpac.uk.net/2018/03/national-day-of-action-to-stopandscrap-universal-credit/

You can see the protest reported here:

CQC: Monitoring the Mental Health Act report

“Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2016/17” is the CQC’s annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA), it looks at how providers are caring for patients, and whether patient’s rights are being protected.

CQC mental health report cover

During 2016/17, the CQC carried out 1,368 monitoring visits, met with 4,114 patients and required 6,475 actions from providers.

Their Second Opinion Appointed Doctor service carried out 14,594 visits to review patient treatment plans, and changed treatment plans in 26% of their visits.

They received 2,353 complaints and enquiries about the way the MHA was applied to patients.

They were notified of 186 deaths of detained patients by natural causes, 54 deaths by unnatural causes and 7 yet to be determined verdicts.

They were notified of 642 absences without leave from secure hospitals.

CQC detentions in hospital

Their findings

They have seen limited or no improvement in the key concerns they have raised in previous years.

They found:

  • 32% (1,034 of 3,253) of care plans reviewed showed no evidence of patient involvement. This was 29% last year.
  • 17% (594 of 3,434) showed no evidence of consideration of the patient’s particular needs. This was 10% last year.
  • 31% (550 of 1,788) showed no evidence of the patient’s views. In 2015/16, 26% had not been recorded.
  • 17% (588 of 3,372) showed no evidence of consideration of the least restrictive options for care. This compares to 10% of records last year.
  • 24% (570 of 2,403) showed no evidence of discharge planning, compared with 32% last year.

To read the whole report visit the CQC website here.