Croydon “Hear Us” mental health forum

matthew mckenzieWelcome back to the first blog post of June. This time my blog is about a mental health forum that takes place once every month over in the London Borough of Croydon. I have been known to visit many mental health and carer forums around London, mainly to network and sometimes even help promote what those groups or forums are trying to do, however I certainly enjoy attending the “Hear Us” forum when I get the time.

The forum is the “Hear Us” reach out forum has been running for many years and if you remember a while back, every now and again I tend to cover briefly what happens at their forums.

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Below is a video I did 2 years ago on one of their forums, although I have done blogs much older regarding the “Hear Us” open forum.

As noted from the video, Hear Us focuses on bringing the community together to update and discuss what is happening in regards to mental health services, they also update collaborations and represent and act as the voice of people that use the local mental health services in Croydon.

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When I entered the forum on Tuesday 6th of June, there was plenty of leaflets to browse through and I was provided with a healthy lunch.

As a note, if you want to see the video version of what I am writing about, see the video below.

Those who attended and chaired the forum I found very friendly and welcoming and it was great to catch up with old friends.

 

The theme for forum was “understanding medication“, which was presented by Georgina Boon who one of the pharmacists at the Royal Bethlam Hospital, before the presentation there was a “shout out” which allows other members to speak on updates the attendees might find useful or interesting. The current “shout outs” were for a tour around an area in the London borough of Croydon and updates on how service users can train emergency services regarding mental health stigma.

Medication presentation

There were several topics brought up in the presentation from Georgina Boon, which I felt was well presented and easy to understand. It was important that the audience was told what a pharmacist does within an inpatient mental health ward. Another topic which was presented on that day was how the pharmacist could involve the patients in their decisions regarding medication and with consent involve families or the carer of the service user.

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A lot of the presentation and discussion centered on the problem of side effects of medication as many in the audience had mostly difficult experiences with medication. It was stressed that medication is only part of the service users journey on the road to recovery and it is important to consider therapy to be included as part of that journey.

Other things mentioned in the presentation was why a patient should continue to seek advice and information from their Dr or care coordinator, plus finding about medication can sometimes be done by reading provided leaflets and downloading information from the internet.

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The last part of the presentation looked at anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication. We were given a list of 1st and 2nd generation of medication and a description of their effects and side-effects. The last part of the presentation had many questions and experiences from the audience. It is always a joy to visit the Croydon “Hear US” open forum and I certainly advise anyone who is interested in mental health to check out their forum.

For more information, please check out their website : http://www.hear-us.org/

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