Archive for March, 2007

Stigma and Discrimination

March 19, 2007

New link in Pages on the right.


Death by Indifference

March 13, 2007

Have a look at the Mencap site – link is below – and read their article titled Death by Indifference.   Tragic reading but we need to know and become aware.   


Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and Forum

March 13, 2007

Next meeting is at The Sessions House, Usk on Wednesday 25th April 2007

The meeting will be in two parts as usual:   1.30 – 2.30 Forum – open to all.

                                                                            2.45 -3.45  Network – for users and carers.

The Network meeting is open to all service users and carers, and their friends if they wish, but is not open to professional staff and others with management responsibility for mental health services in Monmouthshire.   This is to allow service users and carers to have a monthly space for themselves to get together and discuss issues important to them without feeling anxious about how their comments and views are being received.   The Network is Chaired by a service user.

The Forum is open to all involved with mental health services in Monmouthshire and especially welcomes professional staff for discussion and information sharing.  Outside speakers are invited to attend the Forum to bring those attending up to date with service development and planning whether in the statutory sector or volutary sectory.   If you are working in mental health in Monmouthshire you are welcome to come along and join in.

Attendance at these meetings has been growing – try to come along if you can.

Gotta show this comment!

March 9, 2007

Hi, your blog looks really good and gives great information! Anyway, nice job. Keep it up please!!! My best wishes to you all!

Well, makes you feel good doesn’t it?

Network and Forum

March 9, 2007

Dear Oberon,

Just a quick comment on the Network and Forum meeting on Feb 21st. Many congratulations to the people who attended the Peer Advocacy Training Course.

I personally apologise for the poor photos from the event, as the digital camera had a 5 second delay!

Working with service users across other areas of Gwent, it’s great to see the potential of the Network and Forum being recognised and led by service users. I’m sure this will be an inspiration to people in other localities of Gwent.

Many thanks to the Mayor of Usk, Councillor Kay Peacock, and representatives from the Local Health Board, Monmouthshire County Council and Gwent NHS Trust, who I’m sure were suitably impressed by the level of participation in healthcare planning and provision shown by members of the Network and Forum.

Wishing the Network and Forum every sucess with future developments.

Kind Regards,

Andrew Pugh
Senior Mental Health Development Officer
Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO)

Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and Forum

March 2, 2007

February 21st was a special day for the Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and Forum and yes, Debbi, congratulations are due to all who received their Certificates, and thanks due to their friends and everyone else who made a special effort to attend, including Bernard Boniface, Louise George, and Andrew Pugh.  The library at The Sessions House was crowded and it was a good afternoon.

 Cllr Kay Peacock                                     Becky Evans   

Cllr Kay Peacock                                        Becky Evans

Special thanks is offered to Cllr Kay Peacock, Mayor of Usk,  who carried out the Presentation and it is really appreciated that Kay found the time to be with us.    We hope that Kay enjoyed the afternoon and meeting those who had worked hard to achieve their award.            

And yet more congratulations, this time to Becky Evans, proposed and elected as the first Chair of the Network.   This appointment has moved everything further forward in a positive way, and this is the first stage of placing the guidance of the Network and Forum into the hands of those who it is intended to serve and support.   Best of luck Becky!  

At the next meeting, on the 21st March there will be an election for Chair of the Forum.   Bev Holbrook has been proposed so far, and if anyone else would like to be considered, then please let me know.   These appointments are significant, and are taking place at the same time as members are becoming involved in the Strategic Planning sub-group, the Integration Planning Board of the Local Health Board and Social Services Department, and also the Day Services Working group.   Others are joining the group considering the Big Lottery Funding for Wales and hopefully someone will want to join the Voluntary Sector Forum which is being re-established in the near future.  There is room for anyone receiving services, and their Carers, who would like to have a part in the development and planning of mental health services in Monmouthshire.   Future groups will be looking at Housing needs, Stigma issues, and maybe some research into Core and Cluster housing  and its benefits or otherwise.

If you are becoming aware of all this activity for the first time, or just reconsidering whether you would now like to get involved, please ring Tony on 01291-673952 or e-mail and get more information.   Help can be given with transport costs and your support will be really welcomed.      

Stigma, stereotyping and judgemental perception

March 2, 2007

Isn’t this what it’s all about?   A confusion of experiences, judgements, attitudes learned within families and in friendship groups, and the creation of stereotypes?

From such a stew it can be difficult to identify that main ingredient in our behaviour which is seen by others as stigmatising them.    But we might admit to what is sometimes seen as a lesser offence, stereotyping.

People experiencing difficulties with their mental health are not the only ones to suffer stigma in their communities.   But they may feel that they are.   And some will say that they haven’t experienced stigma because, maybe, they haven’t, and maybe because it is less painful not to ‘hear and see’ it in relation to themselves.   Everyone needs to find some way of coping with socially painful situations, and not to ‘see or hear’ is one way of achieving this.   Some children who are bullied, perhaps in PE lessons and sports activities, will justify to themselves and others why they were not selected.   Probably because of some mythical skill of the last child to be picked – the one just before them.   And as they stand alone waiting for the teacher to order them into an unwelcoming team; a loneliness full of embarrassment and zero self esteem, they have to find a way of continuing – and that may be by temporarily convincing themselves of the greater skills of their peers, and avoiding  the obvious group derision at their situation.    But are these children being stigmatised by their ‘friends’ or are their ‘friends’, as a qualified social worker said to me, just exercising their right to chose their team?   An interesting concept for a social worker, justifying children exercising their rights resulting in pain and humiliation to others.   Seems to be room for some discussions about social responsibilities here.  But then social workers over recent years have been stigmatised and stereotyped too.   Maybe this is the way some of them don’t ‘hear and see’, and interestingly several have spoken to me about the bullying they receive from managers in their departments.   So, if they stay, then how are they dealing with that?   Maybe that’s about exercising responsibility in relation to yourself?

So who else experiences stigma?   Well, just about everybody really!   Police, teachers, social workers, psychiatrists, hoodies, vicars and priests, immigrants, teenagers, LGBT people, class ‘swots’, white van drivers, asylum seekers, benefit claimants, and me.

Or is it really stereotyping?    Does stigma as an actual happening really exist?