Archive for April, 2007

Wales Primary Care Mental Health Network

April 26, 2007

Below is a link to the conference information for the Wales Primary Care Mental Health Network.  It is advertising the conference –

 Managing Common Mental Health Problems in Primary Car

which takes place at Llandrindod Wells on 24th May.   There are up to 10 free places available for service users and carers, although there will be plenty of interest.

If you would like to go then let me know urgently – 01291-673952 or e-mail   If you are interested then make the decisiion and let me know quickly, and we can probably help with travel costs as well.   Should be an interesting day. 


Wrong about Mental Health? – surely not!

April 26, 2007
    Mental Health Bill – can you prove the Government wrong?
    The Government are saying that Community Treatment Orders (CTOs), proposed in the Mental Health Bill, will ensure that people with mental health problems get support outside hospital. We know that CTOs will just be draconian restrictions on people’s lives: there is nothing in the Bill to guarantee people any level of care or support if they’re put on a CTO. We need to help the media understand that CTOs don’t mean that people will get extra support. Only better services can do that, and at the moment, services are over-stretched. If you have experience of being let down by over-stretched community services and are willing to speak to the media about it, the press team would be very keen to hear from you.         Reply to:
    • All information is kept confidentially. We will never disclose any of your details without seeking your permission each time.

    Mental Health Bill

    April 26, 2007

    The following has been received from MIND – support their actions by having a vote! 

    Will the Mental Health Bill be good for service users? Of course not! The Bill will divert scarce resources from already over-stretched services into the bureaucracy of forced treatment in the community, and it will deter people from seeking help when they’re unwell. Its focus on compulsion rather than compassion will fundamentally damage mental health services.

    Vote now in the Community Care poll, go to the bottom right hand side on the home page.

    The results will be printed in the next edition of Community Care, the biggest health and social care journal — read by professionals and policy makers.

    David Stone
    Parliamentary Officer

    15 – 19 Broadway
    London E15 4BQ

    new header image

    April 22, 2007

    OK, so at last I have uploaded a new header image – messed up the previous one and couldn’t get it right till now.   Flowers to welcome the beautiful spring weather and, hopefully, cheer us up too. 

    Back on line

    April 9, 2007

    Some people have commented that I seem to have ‘disappeared’ for the past couple of weeks, and in a sense they are right.   Of course there is a story, which is to do with a serious computer failure, and the chain of events that occurred in trying to get it repaired under guarantee. Briefly it has taken the best part of 2 weeks to obtain the label to stick on the box to send it back!   In the meantime I have managed to borrow a temporary replacement which will keep me going until I get my own returned.   Other things causing delay and interruption have happened too, but they are stories for another occasion.   So it is apologies to everyone, but I’m back in action again now. 

    Accidents and delays on the M 4, of which there have been several recently, provide unexpected ‘space’ for thinking about issues, and mental health comes quickly to mind as you watch the antics of some of the drivers around you.  But it is the gawpers in the ‘other’ carriageway that really get to me.   Everything seems to slow or stop in both directions simply because some person has had the misfortune to have an accident – why does everyone travelling in the opposite direction have to slow almost to a stop to have a good look at the wreckage of their cars/caravans/bodies?   I suppose there is some explanation for this but I can’t think what it is.   However, back to the M 4 and a recent jam.   I was idly watching other drivers walking around the carriageway, some smoking, and wondered whether a motorway is a public space as it is owned by a public agency?Are you allowed to smoke when walking around a motorway?  In view of the potential danger might this be excused as a ‘last request’?  I didn’t demand that they all put their cigarettes out as they already looked quite angry to me, but perhaps I should have done for the sake of all the non smokers also caught up in the jam – not that many people seemed to be bothered enough to turn off their engines to reduce the carbon emissions – but maybe the things we chose to ‘pick’ on are very specific and personal?(Yup, this also has links to my thinking about stigma and how it occurs – and that won’t surprise those who know me).  All a bit of nonsense really, but it led me on to wondering about the individuals contained in a nearby van used for transporting prisoners, (they seemed to be quite rowdy and banging on the sides of the van – but maybe that was enforced nicotine withdrawal) –  and what is happening in the prison service?   That led to fantasy’s about prisoners being released onto the roadway outside their prisons several times a day to allow them their human right to smoke.   Would a gathering of several hundred prisoners constitute an illegal group which had to be moved on, and to where?   Then how would all this be managed??   With difficulty I would think – but are prisons exempt?   It seems that the ‘rules’ are being applied quite vigorously to public buildings and similar institutions, regardless of the felt needs of some of the people who use them, and are very definitely in support of the overall health of staff working in them – and I agree with that.   But are not prison staff also affected by second hand smoke, and what of the visitors and children using the facilities to see their relatives?   So, has smoking been banned in prisons, and if not why not?  And surely, if we are seriously worried about the effect on public health of noxious emissions,  would not a law which makes drivers switch off their engines in traffic jams have a much greater effect on the general improvement of public health?   I feel letter to Dr Brian Gibbon coming on, and if I get a reply I will let you know, but I won’t hold my breath.