Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Links and information about the white paper are on the ROLE group‘s site.

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Another meeting cancelled at very short notice. Carers were very disappointed. We will write to the speaker with a list of questions which we hope he can address promptly.

We will mention the following lists of issues:


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We had received apologies from the planned speaker. We had a discussion about current issues for carers in St Helens:

  1. There still isn’t a single phone number for existing service users to contact services.
  2. We were told that families would receive a prompt phone call before 11am if an appointment had to be cancelled. This doesn’t happen.
  3. Carers described a lack of support once the person they care for is stable enough to be discharged back to primary care (the GP). The person may still feel quite unwell – for example they may be taking medication and feel unable to work. But all support ends when they are no longer in primary care – and it all goes at the same time.
  4. People can only access a community support worker for 2 years. Even though they know the deadline, there is no preparation to access alternative support.
  5. If there are less beds, there should be more community support.
  6. There is still a turnover of staff with little continuity of care.

We will bring these issues up with our speaker next month.

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Mike Smith is an award winning mental health professional with 26 years experience. He was a Director of Nursing in Birmingham before leaving in 2001 to become an independent trainer and consultant. He has been a champion of recovery for many years, and has gained international respect for his innovative work on recovery and thriving.

‘We define mental distress as a human condition and variation rather than a disorder, and believe that once we view people as distressed rather than ill, it opens up a wealth of opportunities to support the individual towards recovery and thriving.’

Mike originally trained at Winwick Hospital and had worked for many years within the NHS. Now he works for his own consultancy which has developed the THRIVE model.


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St Helens Carers Centre now has a Breaks Officer who can help you towards getting a carers break payment. The amount of funding is dependent on your caring role and not on your financial situation – it is NOT means tested.

The fund can be used for any break – as long as it gives you a break from your normal day to day caring role.

The fund comes from the PCT who were allocated the money. Gordon Brown has said about this fund:

‘We have set aside the money; I want to see it spent. It is a necessary means by which we can support the energy of carers, who need time off, and therefore need respite care to be available.’

We have asked the PCT to confirm the amount available for carers in St Helens – and for a breakdown of proportions spent on people supporting someone with mental health needs. We’d also like to know how carers were involved in the decisions on how to allocate the money.

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At the last meeting, a group of carers from St Helens asked why people are not being told they’ve been discharged from services. Hopefully tomorrow, he will be able to offer some feedback.

The meeting is tomorrow – 2nd October –  from 1-4pm at Hollins Park in the Education Centre. Lunch is served from 12.30 and the meeting is open to all.

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There are several consultations out at the moment – these are your chance to influence the future development of services. (more…)

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August 12th was a social event for all carers in St Helens who support someone through mental distress (mental health problems).

The staff from together were out in force. As always, they prepared a wonderful buffet of sandwiches, home made cakes and scones as well as healthier options of strawberries. There were smoothie drinks as well as non-alcoholic refreshing fruit punch made to a secret recipe.

It was good to see so many familiar faces from all the different groups as well as new carers. There was a very welcoming atmosphere and it didn’t take long before everyone was chatting away.

We handed out copies of our mailout and leaflets as well as our last take care magazine. We took the names and addresses of everyone who attended so that we can make sure that our mailing list is up to date.

If you want to be on our mailing list to receive our mailout (either by post or email), do get in touch.

Thank you to all the carers who attended the social evening tonight. Thank you also to Beryl, one of the ward managers at Peasley Hope and Recovery Centre, for taking time to attend our meeting. And of course a huge thank you to everyone from together for their wonderful catering and support.

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Our meeting this week will be at Heath Park Lodge and NOT the United Reformed Church.
The family support workers from together have arranged for strawberries and scones at a summer get-together for all the carers groups.
Hope to see you there.
For more information contact together.

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SCIE have launched a new briefing highlighting the implications of personalised care for carers. The briefing is published by SCIE in conjunction with Carers UK; it is the latest in a series of short, “At a glance” briefings about personalisation.

Their key messages are:

Personalisation for carers means:

  • tailoring support to people’s individual needs and being part of the discussion about support for yourself and support for the person you are looking after
  • not having to take on all the responsibility and all the managing of care and support – the local authority should ensure that you are sufficiently supported
  • recognising and supporting carers in their role, while enabling them to maintain a life beyond their caring responsibilities – you should have your own needs assessed and have choices about your own support
  • ensuring that people have access to information and advice to make good decisions about their care and support
  • ensuring all citizens have access to universal community services and resources such as health, transport and leisure
  • making services more flexible so you can agree outcomes and find solutions that are right for your situation
  • if needs change over time, personalisation should enable you and the person you are looking after to change the way you are supported.

There are plenty of examples in the briefing – though none that sound specifically about mental ill health.

The briefing is available on SCIE’s website.

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