Posts Tagged ‘Awareness’

Care Act Advocacy with Mind in Salford

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Our advocacy team are visiting all social work teams, community mental health teams and safeguarding teams in Salford giving awareness briefings on our new Care Act Advocacy role.

The Care Act came into force in April 2015, bringing in a new legal framework for care and support. Welfare and involving the individual are central to the new standard, and it enshrines the role of an advocate in helping people who may have difficulty being involved and no-one appropriate to help them.

Care Act Advocacy builds on our pre-existing community advocacy role, adding a legal framework to advocacy relating to care and support needs. All our advocates are undertaking additional training to help them meet this new role.

Care providers & assessors in Salford are responsible for referring eligible people to us to make sure people have their voice heard.

ICAA LeafletVisit our Care Act Advocacy page or click on the booklet to the left to understand more about who is eligible and what help an advocate will provide.

Blog – Talking about Depression…

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

There has been a lot of public debate about mental health recently, specifically relating to depression and suicide.

Two key phrases I’ve heard repeatedly are ‘ask for help’ and ‘talk more about mental health’. Whilst this is encouraging I feel these sentiments can be misconstrued to place all the responsibility on dealing with depression with the person suffering from depression.

Asking for help is not always easy – depression often goes hand in hand with low self esteem, and without being prompted, without being asked, there can be a tendency to think that others do not care how you are, and that you are not important enough to be helped.

Talking about mental health is not always easy – constantly having to find a way to explain what it is like, that depression is a fatiguing & debilitating condition, not just being a little sad; that the anxiety you have is a little different to feeling a little afraid of flying.

Media stereotypes of other conditions make talking about them even harder – trying to explain the terror involved in OCD without someone thinking it’s a big joke, trying to explain the voices in schizophrenia without someone thinking you are a ‘crazed mental patient’.

How do I help someone who is suffering?

In the age of the internet, with Google, Wikipedia and mental health resources like Mind at your fingertips, why does the person who is ill have to justify themselves repeatedly? If you care about someone, look up the condition, understand it a bit more, and ask considerate questions of the person who is ill. Often it can feel like you are being asked to prove that there is really something wrong with you, rather than the asker showing compassion for the person suffering.

One of the biggest things you can do for someone who is depressed is to ask them how they are and to spend some time with them. Show them you care. Don’t shun them because they are finding it difficult to talk to people or socialise – withdrawal is a symptom of the illness.

It’s also important to talk about more than just mental health – because someone is ill doesn’t mean they become just the illness. Talk about your own life too, talk about football, films, music, celebrities or even (grimace) tennis if that’s what you would normally talk about with the person.

It can be extremely soul destroying suffering from mental health problems, finding out that you don’t have complete control over your mind. Some people don’t want to talk about their mental health problems – but that doesn’t mean you don’t talk to them at all! Most people still need to feel wanted, to have some evidence to counter the misinformation about their self worth coming from their own minds.

How do I find out more about mental health

It’s important if you haven’t experienced mental health issues to be aware of its effects so you can help those close to you. It’s important if you have a mental health condition to understand that you are not alone, that others suffer the same and (sooner or later) recover their health.

I’ve previously written about anxiety, depression and me, and our manager Markus has written about how he learnt to hug the black dog. There are many more really good mental health blogs out there – Time to Change is a good place to start, and I’m a fan of Black Dog Runner’s blog too.

At Mind in Salford we run Mental Health Awareness Training for organisations, helping them to support and understand people better. The training helps you to be more aware of the actual symptoms of mental health issues, re-thinking the tabloid stigmas and thinking about how you can help everyone’s mental health, whether they have mental health problems or not.

As stated above, Mind also have many well written guides to various mental health conditions and other related topics, and Time to Change have some basic myth-busters and tips on talking to people who are ill.

Advocacy Awareness Campaign

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Do you have something to say, but feel like no one is listening?Mind in Salford is currently trying to increase awareness of our advocacy service throughout Salford.

Putting up Posters in Mocha Parade
We’re going to every GP surgery, every pharmacy, every social services hub & every community mental health team in Salford putting up posters & leaving leaflets for the public.

We’re re-briefing adult social services teams on how our advocacy service can help people.

We’re advertising in the local CCG magazine to try and encourage GPs to refer.

Discussing Advocacy in Walkden
We’re attending council run events to encourage the public to self refer.

Graph showing Referral OriginsWhy now?

The campaign was inspired by our quarterly reporting showing very high self-referral rates, and low referral rates from other agencies.

This told us that potentially vulnerable and disenfranchised adults are having to search for our service, rather than be referred to us.

We’re hoping to make it easier for these people – by making it easier to find us and more likely they’ll be referred by someone else.