In the News: Mental health and debt crisis: we have to act, say thinktank founders

One of Nick Clegg’s closest advisers, credited with pushing mental health as a focal point for the Liberal Democrats during their time in power, is to head up a new thinktank to examine the potentially life-long effect that mental health issues can have on a person’s finances.

In an interview with the Guardian, Polly Mackenzie, a former No 10 special adviser, said the coalition government had generally failed to see beyond immediate, clinical issues such as NHS waiting times.

“For understandable reasons, in government we got totally obsessed with trying to drive changes in the performance of the NHS. We did good work – it’s very much not completed yet, but I’m not in government any more so I can’t fix that,” she said.

“Something I don’t think we did adequately enough in government is looking beyond the clinical and the NHS sphere and looking at the environmental and the social factors.”

Launched this week, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is funded and chaired by MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis, who has given the venture £2m.

For Mackenzie – the daughter of a clinical psychologist, whom she credits with first sparking her interest in mental health – focusing on a practical, fixable problem is a bonus after five years of firefighting in the coalition. “In government, you wake up every day and you’ve got at least 3,000 problems you ought to be trying to fix,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to say, actually, I can’t fix that. I’m just going to focus on the stuff where I can make a difference.”

She admitted it was easier to look openly at some of the social effects on mental health now she was no longer part of a government imposing welfare cuts. “I think there is something in that, yes,” she said. “I think one thing that was a mistake is this idea that you want to treat people who are benefit claimants as the same as anybody else, to be given more and more responsibility for money management.

To read the full article, please visit: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/05/mental-health-debt-crisis-martin-lewis-polly-mackenzie?CMP=oth_b-aplnews_d-2

Would you like to work for Harmless and The Tomorrow Project?

We are currently recruiting for a number of positions within the organisation to join our specialist self harm and suicide prevention team.

For an application form and job description, or for more information please email info@harmless.org.uk or call 01159 348445 (admin line only). Please include which job you are applying for in your email.

Positions:

  • Suicide Bereavement Project Worker
  • Suicide Crisis Project Worker

Application closing date(s) Friday 18th March 2016.

Interviews to be held w/c 28th March 2016.

More information on all positions can be found below:

JOB TITLE: Suicide Bereavement Project Worker

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Pay:  £19k to £24k pro rata (Depending on experience)

 We are currently recruiting a project worker to join the Harmless team. This role will primarily involve working with clients who access the service who experience self harm or are at risk of self harm and suicide.

MAIN PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE JOB

  • To provide a bereavement pathway for individuals effected by the traumatic loss of a self-harm or suspected suicide death.
  • To provide an early response (within 72 hours) of bereavement, making contact with the primary bereaved and informing them of our service
  • To distribute the Help is at Hand document to all bereaved families with whom we have contact and to undertake a preliminary assessment of need and risk.
  • To offer, for those wishing to uptake, a short term support service of individualised care in order to promote the health, hope and recovery amongst people impacted by suicide.
  • To support and offer information relating to the inquest process.
  • To work collaboratively with communities of need to promote health and recovery amongst individuals by using and demonstrating a range of non-clinical interventions that promote coping and resilience and that enable people face and overcome their traumatic bereavement.
  • To support the recovery of service users by engaging in activities and practical support that will improve the quality of life, for instance support employment, social engagement, advocacy and housing; to support clients to manage the very specific set of difficulties that can be faced when a traumatic bereavement through self harm.
  • To ensure that clients are engaged in the appropriate services to meet their longer term support needs.
  • To co-ordinate, where necessary a safeguarding response in line with local practices and services to ensure that an individual is safe and has a coordinated package of care to ensure they survive their crisis in the most helpful manner for them.
  • To support the Clinical and Support services manager to uphold the short term, medium term and long term organisational and the clinical and support team’s objectives.

OTHER DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

To undertake collaborative multidisciplinary work to uphold safety and support for the communities of need e.g. working with school staff, mental health staff or peers to ensure they are contained by well-informed communities.

  • To uphold and assist referral pathways for service users and reduce stigma associated with seeking help for suicide bereavement and/or crisis and/or working with other services to promote the most effective care package for the individual.

JOB TITLE: Suicide Crisis Project Worker

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Pay:  £19k to £24k pro rata (Depending on experience)

MAIN PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE JOB

  • To provide an assertive outreach approach across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, to promote a preventative and early intervention approach to people experiencing suicide crisis that are not eligible for existing provision.
  • To work collaboratively with communities of need to promote health and recovery amongst individuals by using and demonstrating a range of non-clinical interventions that promote coping and resilience and that overcome crisis.
  • To support the recovery of service users by engaging in activities and practical support that will improve the quality of life, for instance support employment, social engagement, advocacy and housing.
  • To ensure that clients are engaged in the appropriate services to meet their longer term support needs.
  • To co-ordinate, where necessary a safeguarding response in line with local practices and services to ensure that an individual is safe and has a coordinated package of care to ensure they survive their crisis in the most helpful manner for them.
  • To support the Clinical and Support services manager to uphold the short term, medium term and long term organisational and the clinical and support team’s objectives.

OTHER DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

To undertake collaborative multidisciplinary work to uphold safety and support for the communities of need e.g. working with school staff, mental health staff or peers to ensure they are contained by well-informed communities.

  • To uphold and assist referral pathways for service users and reduce stigma associated with seeking help for suicide crisis and/or working with other services to promote the most effective care package for the individual.

Mental health is becoming one of the greatest issues of our time

Mental health is becoming one of the greatest issues of our time, with increasing numbers of people seeking help and support. One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem, with too many people receiving no help at all, leading to lives being put on hold or ruined and thousands of tragic deaths. Suicide in England is now the leading course of death amongst men aged 15 – 49 years.

Mental health services should be given parity of esteem with physical health for NHS funding. There needs to be a different mind-set for NHS Mental health services.

An Independent taskforce released a report into the state of mental health services, which has resulted in a pledge from the NHS England to help more than a million extra people facing mental health problems.

The report painted a devastating picture of England’s mental health service, with many people struggling to get the right help at the right time, and evidence-based care being underfunded. Suicide in England is rising after many years of decline, with 4,477 people killing themselves in an average year.

One in 10 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem and are having to wait for 21 weeks for a routine appointment with a mental health practitioner. More than 10 per cent of children seeking help from specialists are having their appointments cancelled due to staff shortages.

The Government need to find an extra £1.2 bn, to provide access to mental health care seven days a week. Such as Crisis Resolution providing treatment teams (CRHTTS) offering intensive home treatments. Whilst also ensuring that every area develops a multi-agency suicide prevention plan to intervene in high risk locations and support high risk groups.

If you need help and support please contact us at Harmless and the Tomorrow Project at info@harmless.org.uk

Upcoming Training at Harmless

ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

30th and 31st March 2016 9:00am – 5:00pm

MHFA (Mental Health First Aid)

4th and 5th April 2016 9:30am – 5:00pm

General introduction self harm training

6th April 2016 9:30am – 4:30pm

MHFALite (Mental Health First Aid Lite)

5th May 2016 1:00pm – 4:00pm

To book on any of the courses listed above or to find out more information contact Sophie Allen (Training Co-ordinator) on Sophie@harmless.org.uk or training@harmless.org.uk or call the team on 0115 934 8445

Harmless’ first national self harm conference, From Harm to Hope, a great success

Yesterday, Harmless were proud to launch our first National Self harm conference, From Harm to Hope.

Harmless were keen to help establish Nottingham and The East Midlands as a centre of excellence for self harm. The conference delivered a message of hope and focused on five key themes: collaborative partnership, service user representation, effective practice, driving change and overcoming stigma and discrimination.

From all of us here at Harmless, we would like to thank all our amazing speakers for their thought-provoking and inspiring presentations. Throughout the morning we heard inspirational presentations from Dr Ellen Townsend, Dr Christabel Owens, Karen Lascelles, Fiona Brand, Charlotte Ball, Dr James Roe, Harriet Ball and our C.E.O Caroline Harroe.  We would also like to say a special thank you to our chair on the day, Keith Waters, who ensured that the proceedings went without a hitch, while providing us with his valuable knowledge and experience in the process.

We would also like to thank all of those who presented workshops in the afternoon of the conference. These include Dr Ellen Townsend, Dr Ruth Wadman, Anne Garland, Keith Waters, Jenny Ness, Marie Armstrong, Pam Burrows, Hayley Green, and our very own Trainers, Sophie Allen & Sarah Kessling.

The whole team here at Harmless are very proud of what we have achieved and would like to thank all of the delegates for joining us and being part of the day. The conference enabled us to share knowledge and research in the field of Self Harm meaning that we can all be in a better position to help those who need it in the most effective way possible, echoing the message “Change will happen if we believe it can”.

We have already started planning for next year’s self harm conference, which will be on Wednesday 1st March 2017, as we look to build on the success of yesterday.