World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

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Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by, this blog is helping to raise awareness for Suicide prevention day, which occurs every year on the 10th of September.

The day an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The theme for 2017 is ‘Take a minute, change a life.’

To see the video I made for the awareness event please click below.

Over in the UK there are many organisations and charities are promoting this special awareness day from Mind to Samaritans, Rethink and also SANE.

Suicide is a cause of premature death which is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors.

More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and Ireland, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year – an average of 18 a day. in the UK biggest killer in men under age of 45.

What can you do to help someone who may be in need? Start a conversation today if you think a friend, colleague or family member may be struggling. There are also other ways you or others can help spread awareness of suicide prevention. Try and ask your government to launch initiatives to prevent suicide. Attend or speak at Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures about suicide prevent. Educate yourself by watching Media programs promoting suicide awareness and prevention.

Showing compassion and empathy can help a person to turn things around and point them towards recovery.

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Lambeth Mental Health Carers forum August 2017

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Welcome back and here is the update for the Lambeth MH carers forum for August 2017. This Mental Health Carers is for those who care ‘unpaid’ for someone suffering from a mental illness. This is the third forum, which I co-chaired with a fellow carer member.

To see the video version click below.

On the agenda for discussion the following.

Personal Budgets (Financial breakdown in care plans)

The Involvement of Healthwatch lambeth who will listen to carers concerns and suggestions. We want to work closely with them and also learn from each other.

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Other involvement would be the Black Thrive inititive, which is gaining a lot of group in the area of Lambeth, since many BME suffering from neglect and injustice especially if suffering mental health.

The next involvement groups are the Living Well Network and Certitude Solidarity in a Crisis

Next up for discussion was carer’s assessment as the carer reps of the carer centres plan to meet with SLaM regarding updates on how carer assessments are being done. We also want more engagement and transparency.

We also discussed further Promotion of the forum be it online or physical as in the poster and Business cards. I have always felt that if you have a card, other carers can easily network with the forum as it grows from strength to strength. We were hoping to have a guest speaker, but they could not make it for August and we hope to see them in September.

Southwark Mental Health Carers Forum August 2017

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This is a update from the new Southwark Mental Health Carers forum for July. The Southwark Mental Health Carers forum took place on August the 31st over at Southwark Carers. Yes, the forum has moved from the Maudsely hospital to down the road where Southwark Carers is based.

This is the Second mental health carers forum to take place for Southwark and we had some interest carers attend this forum who also attended the carers support group. Since the forum was fairly new, I presented on updates which occurred the previous month, that being July.

 

To see the video of the forum report, click below

We are looking to run the forum every last Friday of the month. I presented what the forum is about, regarding that

  • It can be difficult for Carers in Southwark have an idea on Mental Health services and influencing them.
  • There has not been a Mental Health forum for some years, although there are Mental Health carer support groups.
  • Mental Health carers need some empowerment in their role.
  • Services have suffered from cuts, carers need to act in order to support everyone.

Mental Health Foundation are working to develop a series of pilot programmes on with The aim is to improve mental health wellbeing for all.

Mental Health and Wellbeing – Strategy patient engagement event where Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southwark Council wish to improve mental health and wellbeing across the borough

Plus talking about the upcoming CarersUK AGM and the South London & Maudsley AGM.

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Next we had a presentation from Ana who is the co-chair of the forum about her involvement at South London & Maudsley. We also discussed the importance of attending carers support groups

Lastly, Carer support worker Lillian spoke about the definition of a carer.

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The next Southwark MH Carers forum will be on 29th of September.

Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum August 2017

Here is the update for the Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum for August 2017. This is one of the older mental health carer forums in south London, the carers forum has been running for more than a year. Of course, When I say “Mental Health Carer”, I mean someone who is caring unpaid for a relative, friend or neighbour suffering from some form of mental illness.

To See the video report, click below

We had a special guest for the August MH Carers forum. The clinical services lead for our borough dropped by to talk about her role and to engage with the Mental Health carers forum. She talked about the services, who was doing what within the borough and gave us a breakdown of changes.

Through the discussion there was talk on how patients were introduced to the service and the pathway through to different aspects of the team the clinical lead manages. We did query the number of carers recognised by the service, but that can only be borough up via the patient system. Other discussions were issues from carers who personally found their circumstances challenging and requested some assistance, which the clinical lead gave support.

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There was a request that more support groups be set up for those who suffer from mental ill health, but such groups are difficult to set up due to resource problems. There are a few things which are work in progress, that being on the process of making complaints and building a better relationship to GPs in Lewisham.

We hope we can get another guest speaker for September, but if not, then there is plenty of things to discuss for the next forum.

The Care Act 2014

care-act-2014Welcome to another blog post. This time I want to focus on the Care Act. The Care Act 2014 is a major piece of legislation to put unpaid carers wellbeing as a priority. Carers have faced hardship and lack of identification regarding their needs for a long time.

When I talk of unpaid carers, I am talking about those who are caring for a loved one, relative, close friend or even neighbour. The Care Act 2014 heavily focuses on those who are WILLING to care and tries to avoid the casual carer. Unpaid carers go through so much and there are unfortunately still major problems with the Care Act.

The main focus for the Care Act is that

– Carers are entitled to a carer assessment
– Puts carers on an equal footing with the cared for
– Increases identification of the carer needing support

If you have the time to watch the video I have made explaning some of the basic parts of the Care Act 2014, then please do so by clicking on the video below.

The video covers the following

  • The main focus for the Care Act.
  • What carers need support on.
  • Problems with the care act.
  • What you or your family can do regarding carer assessments.
  • Local Authorities responsibilities.
  • How carer needs are provided.
  • What happens if you refuses an assessment?
  • Care and support plans.
  • Safeguarding.
  • Independent advocacy.

Although I mention that the Local Authorities have responsibilites, so do health boards, mental health trusts, housing officers, social workers, assessors and so on.

The Care Act can be a major force for carers like myself up and down the country, but it is only as good if carers or carer advocates do not know their rights. There are those who will take every chance they can get to ignore the Care Act and misuse their powers to prey on the vulnerable and when I mean vulnerable, it is not just the carer alone, but also the cared for. Still not every carer is an angel and there are safeguarding issues in some families, but as it stands the Care Act looks to prevent such crisis before they happen.

Top 100 psychotherapies

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Welcome back. I have always mentioned to fellow unpaid carers who care for someone using mental health services to have an interest in psychology. In order to help develop an interest I have spent some months producing the video below.

This video lists and describes over 100 different forms of psychotherapies. Most mental health carers actually may have come into contact with at least 3 or 4 types of therapy. One being CBT, the other could be family counselling sessions and the most common would be group therapy, especially if attending a carer’s group. It is important carers have access to a therapeutic setting and are not treated as information retainers.

Carers often have to go through difficult and trumatic incidents and giving a carer a leaflet and telling them to get on with it is a lazy way of doing psychotherapy. Anyway, I am getting off my soap box and hope the video helps raise some interest of the vast world of psychology.

The video covers many therapies from Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), Drama therapy and Art therapy all the way to CBT and DBT. I would have continued on with the video and done a list of 200 psychotheraphies, but this has taken a lot of time and I felt I should just get on and release the video already.

Hope you enjoy!!

Tips from mental health survivor on caring

coverWelcome everyone and I am hoping you have had a good weekend. Today’s topic is another collaboration. This collaboration is with Alex from her Youtube channel “The truth about mental illness”. We decided to present on the importance of caring for someone suffering mental ill health.

There are situations where those with lived experience do not get support from a close relative or carer. There are those who feel carers are not essential. Each situation is complex and there is not often a right answer, but if someone suffering mental ill heath can get support from a carer (e.g. someone in the family or friend), then the outcomes usually tend to be better.

Living with mental illness can be challenging enough and having to go through mental ill health by oneself can be overwhelming. So I was glad to hear that Alex who is a mental health survivor wanted to present on how her mother provided support for her.

Alex promotes mental health experiences and well-being off her Youtube channel, it is worth a look to get her views, but before you check out her videos. I hope you could view the video we collaborated with below.

Alex spoke about important caring and support tips regarding how carers may have to judge the situation by gut feelings. There will be times when a carer has to assess how to provide care and support. It can be almost walking like eggshells if a carer crowds the “caree”. Alex explains this well in the video.

The collaborated video also looks into how a carer’s experiences can be vital in providing care and support, plus we look at some other tips which could be important to both the and service user or carer’s journey.

I hope you enjoy the video and blog and hope to see you next time when I take on an immense project in which I examine different types of therapies.