Would you like to work for Harmless as part of our Clinical Team in Leicestershire?

Harmless are pleased to offer these exciting opportunities to join our passionate team and help us save lives.  We are looking for dynamic individuals, who are willing to develop their skills; work outside the box and challenge themselves in order to do whatever is required to help people attain recovery.

We are currently recruiting for the below positions, which will be based predominantly in Leicestershire, to join the Harmless team.

Positions available:

Specialist Therapist (Leicestershire)

Project Worker (Leicestershire)

The deadline for applications for the Specialist Therapist position is 20th July 2018 at 5pm, with interviews to take place on the 1st August 2018.

The deadline for applications for the Project Worker position is 13th July 2018 at 5pm, with interviews to take place on 23rd July 2018.

 

To download the application pack for the Specialist Therapist role, click here.

To download the application pack for the Project Worker role, click here.

 

These roles are particularly well suited to those early in their career looking for a long term opportunity to develop as a specialist therapist / project worker.

Please note: These positions will be primarily based in East Leake (Nottinghamshire), with work to also be delivered in Leicester City and across Leicestershire. Driving will be a necessary part of the role and therefore applicants will need to hold a valid driver’s license and have access to a car to be able to undertake the position.

Please submit all applications and any questions regarding these positions to admin@harmless.org.uk by the above deadline. Any applications received after the deadline may not be considered.

JOB TITLE: Specialist Therapist (Leicestershire)

HOURS: Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: Up to £23,250 per annum
(Depending on experience)

START DATE: September 2018

This position has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

JOB TITLE: Project Worker (Leicestershire)

HOURS: Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: Up to £20,000 per annum
(Depending on experience)

START DATE: September 2018

This position has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

In the News: Children turned away from mental health help unless ‘acutely suicidal’, psychotherapists warn

Children are being turned away from psychotherapy unless they are “acutely suicidal”, a report has claimed.

A survey by the Association of Child Psychotherapists found that members were concerned that seriously mentally ill children were not being offered help unless they were threatening to kill themselves.

Child and adolescent psychotherapists working within the NHS said that cases were “having to be re-referred several times and reaching a crisis point before being accepted”, its report found.

One in three of the 416 psychotherapists who responded to the survey said they felt the service they were working within was “mostly inadequate or completely inadequate”, and 73 per cent felt there had been a negative change in staff morale.

Another psychotherapist said that “inadequate resources” were “making it hard to provide service for children in need of mental health support” but who were not “currently suicidal”.

Others warned that even suicidal children were “not followed up due to both inexperience and being overwhelmed”, leading to a growing number of “near misses”.

Children who “may become psychopaths” were among those that practitioners said were turned away for treatment because it was assessed that they “do not yet pose a risk”.

Another respondent said that sexual abuse was “no longer considered a reason for referral”.

In one case study outlined in the report, a girl who was threatening to kill herself by jumping from a window was not prioritised for treatment because it was decided that she was safe because “her mother was checking the windows”.

Respondents to the survey also said that specialist staff were increasingly being replaced by managers or generalists, and mental health services were increasingly using locums and agency staff to fill gaps in provision.

Dr Jon Goldin, vice chair of the child and adolescent psychiatry faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the report “highlights that many children and young people, especially those with severe and enduring needs, are not receiving the specialist care and treatment they require.

“A well-led multi-disciplinary team of experienced clinicians is crucial to the delivery of high quality services and the report shows that this is lacking in many areas.”

Dr Goldin backed calls by the association for a review of specialist services.

Dr Marc Bush, head of policy at mental health charity YoungMinds, said: “Every day we get calls to our helpline from parents whose children have been waiting months for an appointment with CAMHS, or who have been turned down because the thresholds for treatment are so high.

“The system is overstretched and disjointed, with a devastating impact on thousands of families across the country.”

The report comes after concerns were raised by the most senior family judge in England and Wales as the NHS struggled to find a mental health place for a suicidal teenage girl.

Sir James Munby warned last August that the nation would have “blood on our hands” if a specialist hospital bed could not be found for the 17-year-old, who was due to be released from youth custody and had made a number of “determined” attempts on her life.

 

Our service was set up because of these desperate gaps in provision. This is why the work we do is so essential and life saving.

If you would like to support our life saving work with a donation please click here: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

If you would like to book onto one of our training courses please click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/harmless-lets-talk-training-14795237737

 

Link to full blog: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/25/children-turned-away-mental-health-help-unless-acutely-suicidal/

 

In the News: Mental health services for the young is NHS’s ‘silent catastrophe’

Failings in treatment of children and young people with mental health problems is a “silent catastrophe” within the NHS and is due to chronic underfunding and serious structural issues, a report by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) claims.

The report, which exposes a “serious and worsening crisis” for the health service through a survey of those working in child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs), says trusts are being hollowed out and specialist services are disappearing owing to underfunding and the transformation and redesign of services in recent years.

The results are rising levels of suicide, self-referral to A&E departments and pressure on in-patient units, it says.

The number of children and adolescents failing to receive the right treatment or “fully slipping through the cracks” is on the rise, the report says. But Camhs funding is only part of the problem, with specialist services moving “towards something of much less quality and rigour”, it adds.

The survey of 416 frontline NHS child and adolescent child psychotherapists found the worst affected patients were those with the most severe and long-standing needs.

Specialist services are disappearing, and senior clinical roles and disciplines are being dismantled, leading to pressure on lower-banded staff, the report says.

Treatment is focused on symptoms rather than the whole child or young person in context, it continues. Children and young people are left to “get worse before being seen” and there is an “increasing mismatch between need and treatment offered”.

Competitive tendering has led to “unrealistic and under-funded service models” and left services fragmented and staff isolated, it says.

The failings have led to high staff turnover, poor morale and poor working conditions. One child psychotherapist, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I am considering leaving the NHS as I am worried it is no longer safe to practise.

“It is tragic to witness the demise of a once-flourishing and truly multi-disciplinary specialist Camhs. My skills are going to waste.

“Once the service was taken over by a new trust, the service was redesigned and now does not meet the needs of a large section of the population who have significant mental health needs. There is no time for proper assessments and treatment.

“Specialist treatment for the most vulnerable children offered by child psychotherapists and others survives despite, not because, of service design.”

The ACP said it wanted to shift debate from recognition there was a crisis in Camhs to an understanding of the factors and forces ”behind our collective failure to respond to it”.

This year, the NHs watchdog the Care Quality Commission rated 39% (26 services) of specialist Camhs as requiring improvement. Those surveyed by the ACP were asked whether they could see any evidence of the government’s claim of making “one of the biggest expansion of services in Europe” – 93 % of respondents said they saw no evidence of this.

Dr Nick Waggett, the chief executive of the ACP, said the report showed the lack of funding, and the loss of clinical expertise and leadership in the recent redesigns of the service could lead to patients not being offered the effective and timely assessment and treatment they required.

Dr Marc Bush, the head of policy at the charity YoungMinds, said: “Every day we get calls to our helpline from parents whose children have been waiting months for an appointment with Camhs, or who have been turned down because the thresholds for treatment are so high. The system is overstretched and disjointed, with a devastating impact on thousands of families across the country.”

He added that there was a need for increased spending and greater recognition of specialist roles.

The survey of frontline NHS Camhs staff suggests a deterioration of specialist services:

  • 61% of respondents said the main NHS service they work in was facing downsizing
  • 72% said the threshold for access to services has increased in the past five years
  • 33% described services as mostly inadequate or completely inadequate
  • 73% reported a down-banding of specialist clinical posts
  • 64% reported negative changes in the number of practitioner posts
  • 62% in sessions per client
  • 65% in the frequency of sessions
  • 73% said they felt there had been a negative change in staff morale.

 

Our service was set up because of these desperate gaps in provision. This is why the work we do is so essential and life saving.

If you would like to support our life saving work with a donation please click here: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

If you would like to book onto one of our training courses please click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/harmless-lets-talk-training-14795237737

 

Link to full blog: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/25/mental-health-services-young-nhs-silent-catastrophe-survey-chronic-underfunding

An enormous thank you to the Astraseal Mastics team for raising over £500 to support our life saving service!

An enormous thank you to the Astraseal Mastics team for raising over £500 to support our life saving service!

The team comprised of Andrew Almond, Karen Almond, Stephanie Eastham, Sean McPartlin, Jack McPartlin, Wayne Jolly, Ceyhan Crosthwaite and Scott Spiby.

They took on a 5 mile obstacle course in Preston, Lancashire on the 10th June 2018. This course has been designed and built by Royal Marine Commandos and Army engineers and was predicted to be a very fun and challenging course.

“Over the past few years each one of us has experienced the effects of losing somebody close due to suicide and we would like to provide support to other people who have found themselves in a similar situation and are feeling the loss of losing somebody special.”

The fantastic team came first and second place in their wave time, with one completed in 50 minutes! It was a scorching hot day of around 25 degrees so an incredibly challenging course. The team has done so well and we are so proud!

They have managed to raise a whopping £546.25. 100% of this will help us save lives.

A huge well done from the whole team here at Harmless and an even bigger thank you

for supporting our service.

#LifeSavers

In The News: James Arthur says stars have ‘responsibility’ to talk about mental health as he talks about his struggle with depression

James Arthur has opened up about his mental health, and explained people in the public eye need to do more to help others speak out. The Say You Won’t Let Go singer – who won X Factor back in 2012 – has struggled with anxiety and depression in the past. And, during an appearance on Lorraine, the 30-year-old urged others to be more open about their own battles. ‘I think people in the spotlight have a huge responsibility to talk about these things,’ he confessed.
 
‘I remember when I was really badly suffering with anxiety and depression, internalising all of that was the catalyst amongst all that. It led to lot of bad decisions in my life.’ James is now an ambassador for charity Sane, and wants to get rid of the stigma that surrounds talking about mental health issues. ‘The best medicine is to speak about these things,’ he continued. ‘If those of us in the spotlight can encourage that, I think it’s a great thing. ‘The X Factor feels like a million years ago, but I’m still talking about it. Within a matter of six months I went from a guy who was robbing milk from the corner shop to this… ‘I’m settled now, I’m used to the madness of this life now. I embrace the uncertainty.
 
 
‘I want to be the best I can possibly be.’ The You Deserve Better singer also credited his friends with helping him become more grounded in his success. And he admitted it’s because they are not afraid to call him out on his behaviour.
 
‘100% [you need your friends]. I’m the best version of myself when I’m around my mates,’ he added. ‘It’s always where I feel the most myself. I feel like my feet are on the ground. They’re the first to say, “Who do you think you are? Behave.” ‘You’ve got to have someone to bring you back down to earth.’
 
 
Link to full blog: https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/22/james-arthur-says-stars-responsibility-talk-mental-health-talks-struggle-depression-7651262/

Estimating suicide among higher education students, England and Wales: Experimental Statistics – Office for National

The Office of National Statistics has recently released a new paper on suicides among higher education students in England and Wales. Here are the key points of the paper….
 
 
• The rate of suicide in the 12 months ending July 2017 for higher education students in England and Wales was 4.7 deaths per 100,000 students, which equates to 95 suicides; this is higher than in most of the earlier years studied, although the small numbers per year make it difficult to identify statistically significant differences.
 
• Between the 12 months ending July 2013 and the 12 months ending July 2016, higher education students in England and Wales had a significantly lower suicide rate compared with the general population of similar ages.
 
• Male higher education students had a significantly higher rate of suicide compared with female students.
 
• The number of suicides in the analysis is lower than previous Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates of student suicides; this is likely to be because this analysis focuses on higher education students only, while the ONS previous estimates will cover other students, for example, those in further education.
 
For the full paper please click here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/estimatingsuicideamonghighereducationstudentsenglandandwalesexperimentalstatistics/2018-06-25

One in four UK employees who seek help for mental health issues delays getting treatment because they do not understand their symptoms.

Research from private healthcare group Bupa examined employees’ understanding of psychological and behavioural symptoms of six of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the UK.
 
More than 70m working days are lost each year in the UK due to mental health problems, statistics from the Mental Health Foundation show.
 
The Bupa research shows that inaccurate assumptions caused almost 7m to delay seeking support for a mental health problem.
Although the findings show that general awareness of mental health issues have improved among nearly three quarters of workers over the last five years, knowledge of symptoms is still lacking, with six in 10 (59 per cent) unable to name the main traits of specific conditions.
 
More than 70m working days are lost each year in the UK due to mental health problems, statistics from the Mental Health Foundation show.
 
The Bupa research shows that inaccurate assumptions caused almost 7m to delay seeking support for a mental health problem.
Although the findings show that general awareness of mental health issues have improved among nearly three quarters of workers over the last five years, knowledge of symptoms is still lacking, with six in 10 (59 per cent) unable to name the main traits of specific conditions.
 
Bipolar is the most misunderstood condition with 85 per cent of people unable to identify the symptoms of lacking energy, feeling sad, hopeless and irritable, and having difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms include elevated mood and hyperactivity.
Nine out of 10 (91%) are able to identify the key symptoms of depression and nearly half (49%) are able to recognise the most common signs of anxiety which include restlessness, a sense of dread or insomnia.
 
Link to full article here: http://www.cityam.com/288003/one-four-employees-delays-seeking-help-mental-health

Beat the Blues: How to go back to work after a holiday

The sun is shining; the pollen count high and with the arrival of summer so too begins the time for holidays. Holidays are a fantastic opportunity to rest, recuperate and restore both the body and mind whether you are going abroad, or lounging at home. Hand in hand with holidays comes the daunting, stomach twisting post-holiday blues that often makes us feel like chucking it all in and opening up a small café on some Mediterranean island.
 
However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I’ve been asking the staff here at Harmless for their best tips to prepare you for heading back to work.
 
Enjoy the time you have left; Katie suggests planning in lots of self-care activities in the lead up to returning to work
New adventures; Chloe likes to makes sure that she has future events to look forward to.
 
Be kind to yourself; Val recommends, when you return to work, make sure you eat your lunch away from your desk and remember to take breaks
 
Spend time with your loved ones; Colin enjoys spending time with his children being silly and having lots of fun.
 
Reminisce the good times; Claire advocates reflecting on how nice your time off has been, and what you’ve gained from spending some time away.
 
Win the fight against emails; I (Sarah) find it really helpful, when I return to work, to read through my emails in chunks deleting those I don’t need and ‘flagging’ those I need to action.
We hope you find these tips helpful! If you have any good tips on how to beat the back to work blues please feel free to share them with us in the comments…

FREE mental health training for Derbyshire county workers!

Harmless are happy to announce we’ve been funded by Derbyshire County Council to deliver mental health awareness sessions to staff and volunteers from statutory, community and voluntary sector organisations working in Derbyshire county. Over the next year, we’ll be rolling these sessions out across Derbyshire to build knowledge and confidence on mental health within the county’s workforce, and we’re excited that we’re now taking registrations of interest for our first two dates!

 

Monday 16th July (pm) Melbourne

Wednesday 18th July (am) Chesterfield

The only prerequisite for the training is that you must work in Derbyshire county (not city).

Next week we’ll be confirming more details about times, locations, and how to book your place. For now, email us at training@harmless.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the news: Mental health at work: how far have we come?

Mental Health Awareness Week is an important annual event which brings the topic to the forefront both in our personal and professional lives.

Accountancy Age did some special features during the week to mark the occasion, but it didn’t stop there. Together with HRD Connect, we put out a survey to our audiences asking about their experiences of mental health at work.

The overwhelming focus of the feedback was on communication. We need to be able to talk about mental health at work, freely and openly and with no fears of any consequences. We must view it on par with our physical health. Only then can we progress.

Is mental health accepted in the workplace?

Out of the survey respondents, 22% said they would not feel comfortable in disclosing a mental health illness to their place of work, while 30% were unsure whether they would. This meant less than half of respondents gave a positive response, with 33% saying they would feel ‘quite comfortable’ and only 15% would be very comfortable to talk to their workplace about their mental health.

In spite of the above, 55% of respondents said they had taken a day off work for mental health reasons, meaning many of those who are or have suffered with their mental health did not feel comfortable in disclosing this at work. Indeed, 38% of those who have taken a day off for mental health said they did not tell their workplace it was for this reason.

Part of accepting mental health is talking about it, and letting others know that they can share how they are feeling it if they want to. While attitudes towards mental health are slowly changing, 40% of respondents said that it is hardly ever discussed at work, and 20% said they only talk about it maybe once every month. When you ask your colleagues how they are every day, they should be able to respond honestly.

The majority of respondents, 49%, agreed that mental health is no longer a taboo subject, reflecting the fact that we are moving in the right direction, even though 46% think it is still taboo, and 5% said they don’t know.

How can leadership help?

When asked whether they would prefer to speak to colleagues or managers about mental health, the majority said colleagues (36%), although 22% said they would talk to managers.

One way leadership can help improve attitudes towards mental health at work is by sharing their own experiences. Almost three quarters (74%) of survey respondents said this would be helpful to them and their colleagues, and it’s an initiatives that managers and directors at quite a few firms are now adopting, including the Big Four.

Expanding on this, we asked the audience how senior management could help to normalise mental health in the workplace.

Lots of suggestions were shared, including having trained Mental Health First Aiders, a company-wide mental health policy, allowing sick days for mental health, educational talks and seminars, encouraging work-life balance, taking every case seriously, and disciplining any manager who fails to assist staff with issues.

Personal experiences of mental health at work

Over half of respondents, 52%, said that a mental health condition had made them feel isolated at work at some point. Also 23% said they had been discriminated against for a mental health condition at work, a shocking figure when no-one should face treatment like that.

Issues like this can be changed be simply improving communication around the subject, listening when people need you to, and not letting others be disrespectful.

Very few respondents said that working with a colleague with a mental health condition would make them feel uncomfortable, though for the 10% that were unsure and the 1% who would feel uncomfortable, there needs to be an education piece.

Those who said they weren’t sure they would be comfortable cited reasons like they don’t want to make it worse by bringing the topic up in conversation or they feel like they don’t understand the condition. Again this can be remedied through education.

What needs to change

The fact that 43% of respondents said their company has a fair attitude towards mental health is encouraging, but something needs to be done about the 18% of people that feel their company doesn’t. People should not be driven out of jobs or made to suffer in silence because their employer is not caring for them properly.

In the same question, 39% answered that ‘more could be done’ and then provided some suggestions.

Recommendations included encouraging discussion around mental health, including mental health in private healthcare coverage and educating employees and management about mental health.

Are we stressed at work?

An overwhelming majority of 77% of respondents said they regularly feel stressed at work.

Work load was the main reason people get stressed, followed closely by the people they work with. The environment they work in and the daily tasks they have to complete were also causes of stress. For 30% of respondents, work is naturally stressful because of the demands of the specific job they do.

Other sources of stress are commuting, unsupportive management, no prospects, lack of recognition, unrealistic expectations, and self-pressure.

Interestingly, stress seems to be viewed in a slightly different way to general mental health, since 64% of respondents said they would tell management if they were feeling regularly stressed.

Those who said they wouldn’t feel comfortable addressing this with management cited a myriad of reasons as to why, including being worried about losing their job, receiving a negative response or being judged, or feeling like a let-down.

Respondents also came up with solid solutions that workplaces could take on to combat stress.

A flexible working policy and stress-relieving activities at work were the top two solutions. Classes on managing stress, a better working environment, and education around how to be healthier were also desired among respondents.

When asked for specific feedback, our audience shared very powerful advice:

“Listen to us. Hear us. Understand us. Value us. All the bells and whistles in the world cannot make up for being unappreciated.”

“Ensure that people are treated with respect at all levels of the organisation. Stop insisting we check emails when we’re supposed to be on holiday. Stop suggesting weekend work.”

“We need better education at leadership level on how to treat people as people and active encouragement for people to put wellbeing first. After all we know that when that happens people work more efficiently, get more done and to a higher standard.”

How important is a work-life balance?

When asked what people define a good work-life balance as, having a flexible working policy was the favourite option (47%). A lot of people also thought that occasionally working over time was ok, as long as you mostly stick to contracted hours.

What was more negative was the fact that 83% of respondents have, at some point, sacrificed their wellbeing or happiness for the sake of their career.

The reasons people felt they had to do this were because they were scared of losing their job, they needed to stay due to their finances, and because colleagues were doing it so they felt pressurised.

Instead of encouraging employees to work overtime, which in the end has a negative impact on productivity or employees’ health, we should be sharing ways to relax, switch off, and find balance in our lives.

Exactly 50% of respondents said they switch off by relaxing at home with a book or their favourite TV show. Lots of people (37%) enjoy socialising and 30% said they relax by pursuing a hobby outside of work. For 47% of respondents all of the above is built into their lives outside of work. Unfortunately 11% said they struggle to switch off at all, and this is where it is important for colleagues and management to be setting good examples and telling people it’s ok to look after them.

Link to full blog here: https://www.accountancyage.com/2018/06/14/mental-health-at-work-how-far-have-we-come/