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“Summer isn’t always easy for those of us with scars”

“Take care of yourself”. Those words from a stranger on the tube in south west London always give me hope that not all humans are going to blatantly look me up and down, trying to work out if I’m crazy and should be avoided. The woman had glanced at the scars on my arms for a split second before finding my eyes and seeing the discomfort glaring back at her. She shared a moment of sympathy with me through a warm smile and kind words before exiting the carriage, leaving an impression that three years later I still find myself thinking about.

With British Summer Time upon us, most of us hope we’ll get to wear our best summer clothes, the ones we tuck away for the majority of the year and bring out only for a few days of mild sunshine. For some of us though, it brings anxiety. No one wants to be dripping in sweat, layered up to cover the parts of their skin they’d rather not talk about. The eyes of curious strangers, whispers and occasional outbursts of anger (yes, it happens) make our skin the elephant in the room, one we so often want to hide.

Full article: New Statesman

Author: Stuart Dent
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

What we learned about suicide risk from looking at how services work with suicidal thoughts

In 2017 our charity, Suicide Crisis, started a research project into deaths by suicide which involved attending every inquest which was a possible suicide in our county of Gloucestershire.

We also spoke to some of the families of the individuals who died.

At our Suicide Crisis Centre we are fortunate and immensely grateful that no client has died in the period that they have been under our care.

However, we were still hearing of deaths in our area, and this was distressing to us. We wanted to learn what more could be done to prevent them.

Here are some interesting findings from the first six months of our research, during which time the coroner found that twenty five individuals had died by suicide in Gloucestershire.

Full story: Mental Health Today

Author: Stuart Dent
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

Call for ‘bold changes’ to outdated Mental Health Act

report by the Care Quality Commission shows a deteriorating lack of patient involvement in plans to support people to recover from distress in hospital.

  • 32% of care plans reviewed showed no evidence of patient involvement. This was 29% last year.
  • 17% showed no evidence of consideration of the patient’s particular needs. This was 10% last year.
  • 31% showed no evidence of the patient’s views.
  • 17% showed no evidence of consideration of the least restrictive options for care. This compares to
  • 10% of records last year.
  • 24% showed no evidence of discharge planning, compared with 32% last year.

Rethink Mental Illness said: “If you go to hospital with a physical health condition you would expect your views about the treatment and care you’re getting to matter. So why are the views of people detained under the Mental Health Act not even being considered a third of the time?”

“This is a clear example of where practice under the Act is badly out of date. The Act is currently being reviewed, and this shows that bold changes need to be made in order to ensure that people are involved, listened to, and respected.”

Mind said: “There are some areas of real concern. Poor care planning and problems with advocacy are depriving people of a voice while they are in hospital, the overuse of physical restraint and the use of other forms of coercion that have no place in modern healthcare are still alarmingly wide-spread, and certain groups, such as young black men, continue to be worryingly over-represented in the figures. These aren’t new issues – the CQC has been highlighting them for years yet little has changed.”

“It is clear that the Act and the way it’s applied isn’t working. With an independent review currently underway, there is an important opportunity to fight for legislation that is fit for purpose, and puts people at the heart of decisions made about their care.”

“We know that we can’t look at the Act in isolation, without addressing the ongoing failures in mental health services which result in people ending up in crisis in the first place.”

Source: Mental Health Today

Author: Stuart Dent
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

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