Monthly Archives: April 2013

You have to raise your voice to get mental health issues on the agenda

It’s time to talk about mental health

Angela McNab, chief executive of one of England’s larger mental health trusts, explains how listening to patients has led to improvements

You have to raise your voice to get mental health issues on the agenda, says Angela McNab.

In government, as in society, attitudes tend to change gradually, so health minister Norman Lamb’s commitment to “prioritising mental health like never before, making sure that it sits on par with physical health” has come as a welcome step change to mental health professionals.

Although one in four people in the UK will have mental health problems at some point in their lives, mental health services suffer institutional disadvantage compared to physical health services; press coverage of mental health is scant; and jokes or insulting language about mental illness are common.

When the previous government introduced major policies on payment by results, waiting times and patient choice, it excluded mental health and, despite considerable investment in the NHS overall, in the early 1990s spending on mental health declined.

Peer support for service users like Chill4us is for Carers

Why providers should invest in peer support for service users

A group of charitable providers have set up an independent organisation to provide peer support to service users. This approach can help improve service quality, efficiency and flexibility, say Bernd Sass and Sue Taylor.


Monday 22 April 2013 14:50

Providers have long been told of the need to personalise their services and use any such redesign as an opportunity to involve and empower people with support needs. At the same time ‘lived experience’ has been seen as the answer to many problems in access to services and in achieving lasting and positive health and independent living outcomes, not to mention productivity gains. Yet little concrete action has followed from either providers or commissioners to bring the multiple positive effects of peer support to fruition.

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Now a consortium of charities in the North East has set up an independent user-led organisation for disabled people in order to change this. Peer Support North East has been established as a community interest company by Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Your Voice Counts, Mental Health Matters and Sight Service Gateshead.
It now has 20 mentors who are supporting 350 of their peers a month, with disabled and older people supporting each other across age ranges and impairment groups, cutting across the boundaries between services.

Young carers receive £250,000 help in Norfolk

KING’S LYNN: New service to help young carers

YOUNG CARERS AT SNETTISHAM                                  Jane HallwoodYOUNG CARERS AT SNETTISHAM Jane Hallwood

A new Lottery funded service has been launched to help ease the passage into adulthood for young carers.

Jane Hallwood will be providing advice and emotional support to teenagers and adults who are caring for sick relatives in Lynn over the next three years.

Norfolk Carers Support Service has received a £250,000 Big Lottery grant to run the Adolescent into Adulthood Service in Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Ms Hallwood and the two other project workers will be filling the service gap for 16-to-24-year-olds.

The project aims to provide social and respite opportunities along with assistance with employment and further education and benefits advice.

Ms Hallwood is looking forward to working with youngsters in the area.