Mental Health, The News & Policies.
Aside Posted on Updated on
Last year the first #Twentalhealthawards were held on the World of Mentalists blog, recognising the best in mental health tweeting. It’s now returning for a second time, and you lot get to decide the winners.
Meanwhile, the judges for the This Week in Mentalists Awards 2013 have been voting on the shortlist of mental health blogs and vlogs, and the results will be announced publicly on 21st December. Meanwhile, you can still nominate up to that date in the Best New Blog/Vlog and Most Sadly Missed Blog/Vlog categories by clicking here and leaving a comment.
For the #Twentalhealthawards, the categories are:
Professional Not Otherwise Specified (basically a professional involved in mental health who isn’t a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, social worker or OT)
1. Submit your nominations by leaving them in a comment to the blog post announcing nominations (ie. this). Each individual can nominate as many Twitter accounts as they like, in as many categories as they like. However, they must submit at least two tweeters overall for nomination.
2. For impartiality reasons, my own Twitter feed @thus_spake_z, and that of this blog @quinonostante and my other blog @NotSoBigSociety, are not eligible for these awards.
3. NO SPAMMING/MANIPULATING THE NOMINATIONS! Suspicious nomination patterns may result in a tweeter being disqualified from the awards. In the event of any suspicious nomination patterns, the decision of the adjudicators (Phil and Dawn) will be final.
4. The tweeters with the most nominations in each category will be declared the winner. Up to two runner-up prizes in each category will also be awarded. To be eligible for a runner-up prize, a Twitter feed must have received at least three nominations.
5. Only public Twitter accounts are eligible for the awards.
6. You cannot nominate your own Twitter feed.
7. You can nominate a feed in more than one category (e.g. if you think a tweeter is both “subversive” and “helpful” you can nominate them in both). This would only not be the case if a feed bears no relation to the category title (e.g. nominating a tweeter for “nursing” if their content was nothing to do with nursing). In the event of any confusion on this, the adjudicators will make a final decision.
8. Winners will be announced on Sunday 2nd January 2014.
How fortunate I am, I have two sons. Actually this year I count myself as especially fortunate because one almost died. My sons are quite nice, Matt is 26 and Kriss is 24. Both are lucky enough to have secured work in the current economic climate, which should be a relief to me as their Mum, but alas this is not always how it plays out.
This is the true story of a year in the life of my two sons.
It’s great when you can find a job that you like, and which pays you a reasonable wage. Matt has a great job, he’s not a uni grad or powerful business man, he works outside in a leisure park, it’s what he loves and he counts himself fortunate to have a job he enjoys. He walks away with a pay packet netting him around £280 a week after deductions and pays £65 a week for his room in a shared house with his brother and mates. It’s a fun bachelor life and Matt is satisfied with his lot. That is until he gets a pesky ‘brain tumour’ in July and almost dies, and suddenly discovers, as many workers do, that there’s no company sick scheme and his wages drop to around £85 a week which is Statutory Sick Pay. He applies for Housing Benefit. They pay him £45 a week. He can’t pay his mobile contract, his phone gets disconnected, he can’t pay his credit card, he has debt collectors hounding him. He can’t afford to keep living with his brother and mates, because he can’t cope with the laddish lifestyle following the brain surgery, he can’t afford to heat his room and he feels the cold much more. He can’t really afford to move either he has no savings left, they went on settling bills and paying rent whilst council dilly dallied over housing benefit claims. Last week he got a toothache, bad toothache, but the NHS dentist couldn’t treat him as he’s not on benefits! He has to fill out a 15 page form before he can get treatment. He thinks “Flipping heck I nearly died, but now I can’t afford to live.” (He is still working on his recovery and not well enough to work).
Kriss made a choice. Almost two years ago he decided he would like to become a Firefighter. He’d had various unskilled jobs yet had always hankered over a career in the Fire Service. He applied to become a Retained Firefighter, it was a tough selection process, but he made it and underwent some of the most impressive training, and last December became the newest recruit in a fully retained service. Retained Firefighters traditionally were people who volunteered at local stations as their 2nd job, and they worked alongside full time fire crews. Alas Government cuts have meant that more and more stations are completely reliant on Retained Firefighters. Kirss would like to become a full time Firefighter, but recognises that this will take time, he needs continued training and experience, and is prepared to keep at it, and learn from the more experienced people on his crew. `As his Mum I’m proud, who doesn’t love a Firefighter? Well clearly our Government have little respect for them, and it’s quite sickening to see my son paid £290 after taxes and have to pay £280 for his rent. Clearly we can’t blame the Government because there were less fire and rescue situations that particular month meaning Kriss only has £2.50 a wk to eat, clothe and warm himself, however we can look at a system which says he is not entitled to claim any other financial support. He can’t claim ‘working’ tax credits because he’s under 25. He can’t claim JobSeekers – he has a job. He can’t get Housing Benefit, he’s earned too much, say the Council. He’s tried for plenty second jobs, and as much as the country loves a Firefighter, they really don’t want to be worrying that he pay have to drop a shift to er..y’know…save a life or something…
We hear from this Government how much it invests in young people and I watch a twitter feed which agrees with Osborne and his cronies when they say they are investing in youth. It’s utter twaddle. They have condemned them, and left them hopeless and in many cases homeless with their draconian policies.
My boys are far from perfect, but I’ve watched them grow up, with dreams and aspirations and try hard to find their place in society. I wonder how we can sit back as a country and allow them to become so disillusioned.
My daughter is off to University in 2014 to study medicine, to become a Doctor. It’s bloody amazing that she feels an urge to complete a degree, end up with over £40,000 of student debt even before she’s earned a penny in practice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant career choice, just a shame she had the misfortune to be born when she was. Only a couple of years earlier she’d have been respected for choosing to study and serve, not screwed over with enormous debt.
Why am I ranting today? Just because….because it’s sickens me to see how much this county is prepared to blame young people for their situations, when the majority are actually probably just like my kids, doing their best in a county which places no value upon them.
(not satire - it's Gideon!)
Here's George Osborne's Autumn Statement in a nutshell so you don't have to read all the boring, predictable details:
- All you old, poor and disabled people are still costing us far too much, so we're just going to have to punish you even more now.
- Don't blame me, it's Gordon Brown's fault for causing the global economic recession.
#Devon Partnership Trust’s #MentalHealth services to be in the first five new regime inspections. #ukmh
The chief inspector of hospitals has acknowledged plans to inspect mental health services are behind the acute sector but has said he is determined to achieve “parity of inspection”….
The first five organisations to be inspected under the new regime will be Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, Devon Partnership Trust, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust, South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust and Solent Trust
There is a growing body of evidence which claims that singing as part of a group can have a range of health benefits…
Parents set up The Maccas Project to raise issues of mental health in memory of 19-year-old Thomas McCauley…
The case of a woman whose baby was forcibly removed has caused outrage this week. But her story is far from unique…
Organisers spoke of their delight after hundreds of workers, patients, carers and members of the public attended the first meeting of the Campaign to Defend Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk last Monday and hundreds of people have already joined an online page, which was set up at the weekend.
The DWP have suffered yet another humiliating legal defeat after Appeal Court judges upheld a decision that the Atos assessments for sickness and disability benefits discriminate against people with mental health conditions.
This follows an earlier decision by the Upper Tribunal in January that the Work Capability Assessment - the notorious computer based test which has led to hundreds of thousands of claimants declared 'fit for work' - substantially disadvantaged those with mental health problems.
#Essex County Council responds to interest in story headlined “Essex removes baby from mother” #MentalHealth
There have been lengthy legal proceedings in this case over the past 15 months….. (read more)
I recently had a question posted in the comments thread to one of my blog posts, by 'Reading Enquirer'.
Is there actual evidence that a community of statutorily regulated health professionals commit fewer abuses on average than the unregulated? Does this cure depend only on supposition and faith or is there an actual peer-reviewed evidence base? Is there evidence that statutorily regulated health professionals have greater efficacy in the relief of human suffering than the unregulated?
Are you local Councillor in Devon? #MentalHealth NEEDS you! http://www.mentalhealthchallenge.org.uk/the-challenge/
Local authorities have a key role in implementing the mental health strategy and improving mental health in their communities. We (see right) want to support and encourage local authorities to take a proactive approach to this crucial issue. So we’ve set up the Challenge.
It took far too long for folks to wake up to the #Tory war on #disabled, but they did.. #WOWpetition scores over 100,000 signatures.
100,000 sign War On Welfare petition asking for assessment of cuts to the sick and disabled
Do #Police exercise a ‘disproportionate use of restraint’ in #MentalHealth situations? Charity Inquest says ‘Yes’…
Concerns over the ‘disproportionate use of restraint’ on vulnerable people suffering from mental illnesses have been raised by a leading charity. INQUEST is calling for urgent action to put a stop to ‘dangerous practises’ by police.
Another tragic suicide has been reported which appears to be linked to the brutal Work Capability Assessments used to strip people of benefits by declaring them 'fit for work'.
According to South East London newspaper, the News Shopper, Victor Cuff, aged 59, hung himself in May after his sickness benefits were cut. The newspaper reports that Mr Cuff had previously had suffered from depression and an inquest into his death heard that he had been "feeling down" and was having money problems after his sickness benefits were reduced.
The Challenges of Tackling Self-Harm and Suicide in School Age Children and Young People
Date(s)Friday 24th January 2014 (09:30-16:15)Contact
To register your place on this conference, please visit our online shop.
The cost is £20 (£12 for students), which includes lunch and refreshments.
A woman stripped of benefits after being found 'fit for work' by Atos has taken her own life the Bristol Post have reported today.
"PARTIALLY-sighted and only able to walk with the aid of a stick, Jacqueline Harris suffered crippling pain due to slipped discs in her back and neck. Her mobility was reduced further when a dog savaged one of her wrists.
Later on today Iain Duncan Smith will announce that he is planning a massive shake-up of the welfare system which will see the Department of Work and Pensions end its controversial partnership with Atos, a private company that managed to make 'fit for work' the three most terrifying words in the English language since 'Jimmy Savile's here', and instead work with the Grim Reaper from now on.
I've read that you first started to hear voices at age 14, can you tell me what happened?
Every Sunday the radio would play the UK top 40. I listened to it and taped the songs I liked. All of a sudden the music went quiet and a troll-like voice issued from the radio: “What do you want, Dolly? How much do you want?” My skin prickled.