Archive for January, 2008

MDF – Bipolar Organisation Cymru

January 29, 2008

Bipolar Disorder, Mood Swings, Mania & Depression

Or do you support anyone with any of the above ?

We have Self help Groups in
We offer support, help and advice to anyone affected by Bipolar Disorder
For further information contact

Sue Wigmore
MDF the Bipolar Organisation Cymru
08456-340 080


Big Lottery Fund Mental Health Conference 13.3.08

January 24, 2008

We have received the following letter of postponement from the organisers:


21 January 2008

 Dear Colleague 

Big Lottery Fund Mental Health Conference

I am sorry to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances we are postponing the mental health conference planned for Aberystwyth on 13 March. 

I would like to thank you very much for your interest and we will contact you again once we agree a later date for the conference, most likely to be nearer the Summer.

Thank you very much.

Yours Sincerely

Deian Creunant

Pennaeth Cysylltiadau Cyhoeddus / Head of External Relations


January 21, 2008

  It works for them…..teamwork

Mons Mental Health User and Carer Network Meeting.

January 17, 2008

jen-4-concur.jpg  Not just a talking shop…….we get ‘stuck in’…

Next Wednesday, 23rd January, at The Sessions House, Usk – as usual.   Ipm for coffee/tea and start at 1.30pm.   Meeting should end by 3.30pm.   Please note that there is no Forum  that day (see next paragraph) as this meeting will be an extended discussion with Mike Collins, Senior Nurse, who will be focussing on area services and in-patient provision.  We are hoping that as many people as possible will take the opportunity for this question and answer session with Mike Collins.

We are trying a different approach to the Network and Forum meetings over the next few months, after which there will be a review.   People sometimes find that having both meetings on the same afternoon means that discussions have to be limited, and that this is not satisfactory.   Therefore we will be holding the Network this month; the Forum in February; Network in March – and so on. Let’s see if this is an improvement.  Making this change raises a ‘touchy’ issue.  Our tradition is that the Forum meetings are open to anyone with an interest in mental health services in Monmouthshire – be they professional workers, carers, helpers, service users, or members of the public.   However, the Network has been kept as a meeting for service users and carers with their Monmouthshire involvement and development workers, and anyone else can only attend by invitation of this group.   To be a member you have to be aged over 18, living in Monmouthshire, and currently receiving mental health services, or directly caring for a person currently receiving mental health services.   If you are not receiving services you can’t be a member.   However, you are welcome to come to the Forum.  Hopefully this will clear any misunderstandings.

Don’t forget that the CONCUR newsletter can be found under ‘Pages’ on this site, and also the Notes of the most recent meetings of the Forum.  

Come along on the 23rd if you can.


Mental Health and Older People.

January 16, 2008

A mental health pandemic and an inadequate Government response mean that over 3.5 million older people who experience mental health problems do not have satisfactory services and support, according to the final report from the UK Inquiry into Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life – a major independent inquiry supported by Age Concern.

The UK Inquiry into Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life has published its final report, Improving Services and Support for Older People with Mental Health Problems. 

The report follows the Inquiry’s first report, Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life, which was published in June 2006.

Click here to download:

Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Wales

January 16, 2008
IMCA Wales is the largest provider of Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy services in Wales.  
To see their website click on the following link:

Mental Health News.

January 15, 2008

Courts failing to use the option of mental health treatment for offenders outside prison, says new report. 

From the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.   For more information click on Mental Health News in the Pages section on the right.  This report is interesting.

New page added.

January 15, 2008

A new page has been added in the column on the right – Network and Forum notes.

This is so that the Notes of meetings are available in full for anyone who wants to read them.   Summaries are also included on CONCUR newsletter.   Printed copies can be made available if requested, altho anyone with internet access can can copy and print these pages.   Any comments, criticisms, or paraise – please let us know.

yet another one …

January 7, 2008

So, having written my piece on Britney and others on Sunday, there I was on Monday morning, around 6.15am, watching the BBC news through very bleary eyes.    But they opened wide enough when I found myself looking at a sargasso sea type hairstyle which seemed to have legs underneath.  It did; it was apparently 4 years of age, female, and enjoying playing tennis on a court with a BBC sports reporter – at 6.20 am or so.  Maybe the child did not know better, but what about the reporter?  Well, there you have it; apparently the little girl wants to play tennis and practise like this every day – she wants to be a ‘star’ we gather – rather than be a little girl until she can decide for herself.  Or are we all believing that this little one decided at around the age of 3 that her chosen career would be international tennis etc etc.  Oh yeah!  

And what do you think would happen to a scrap metal collector who took his four year old daughter out each morning at 6am because she wanted to learn how to be a scrap metal woman?  I don’t think that her statement that she wanted to be a scrap metal woman would cut any ice at the ensuing Child Protection Case Conference.   And what would happen to the mother who took her 3 year old son to the recycling site each morning at 6.30 because he wanted to learn how to be a recycler?  A humbug for each correct answer.   What does the BBC think it is doing – reporting such parental behaviour as though it is to be admired?  I said it all in the piece about Britney et al, and now this shameful piece of reporting has strengthened my viewpoint.   Why is the first behaviour patriotic and publicly praiseworthy, when the second and third are neglectful and abusive?   Perhaps because if, at the age of four, you can be taken to a tennis court  to play with an expensive specially made racquet and a hired adult, you smell of money; whereas if you are taken out to work on a scrap truck learning how to sort metal with a relative, you are being abused and neglected.  I will be interested to receive any  alternative explanations – or any explanations.       

Britney Spears, young celebrities and mental health.

January 6, 2008

The latest news about Britney Spears, and her loss of parental responsibility for her two children, is not only a story of personal tragedy – but also an indictment of the failure of the United States’ politicians to develop effective child protection for working ‘celebrity’ children.  We are well aware of Spears, and also Michael Jackson, and there are others who come to mind including River Phoenix, Drew Barrimore, and Judy Garland.   And is it just the United States that is at fault?  No, it has happened in the UK as well; some of us will remember Lena Zavaroni and the incurability of her anorexia – resulting in her early death, and I am sure there are other ‘celebrity’ young people that we can think of, including Jack Wilde, from the past and the present, who suffered greatly from the pressures they experienced at a time when they were unable to cope with them.     Why are these people of interest in a Mental Health ‘blog’?  Well, because many of these celebrities, and also other individuals who started out as so called child ‘stars’, have ended up in very obvious need of mental health support and services for their circumstances, and for public understanding.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether they were involved in acting, music, television or whatever – for many of them the end result has been mental instability and relationship breakdowns, often coupled with drug and alcohol experiences.   And where and when did those experiences start?   Reading people’s biographies are a good starting point, and many are available in full or synopsis on the internet.  Some tell of being supplied with ‘medication’ – usually speed – to help them through the demands of the film or theatre role, and of their inability to give up the drugs as they grew older.  When you consider the obvious physical fitness of individuals like Madonna, and the lengths they have gone to as adults in order to maintain that fitness -then it is hardly surprising to hear that much younger ‘stars’ – maybe in their teens – needed to be given ‘medication’ to enable them to keep going on stage or while recording.   And what of the developmental conflicts forced on them by adults wanting to persuade the public of one virtue or another of their child/protegy – Britneys public statements about her chastity and virginity come to mind, as does the ‘clean’ image of the Jackson family.  What WERE the adults around Britney thinking of?  It’s hardly surprising that she seems to have gone seriously ‘off the rails’ since being able to make her own choices.

The ‘media’ of course  – (a generalisation I admit) –  grasp the opportunity for reporting (and fuelling?) a ‘good’ story, and rarely find time to research and examine the root causes of these very public failures.   Why?   I am sure there are many reasons, including business income, but I think they are missing a ‘trick’ here.     These are stories that need to be told; stories of the steady decline of individuals into mental ill health and sometimes an early death.   Research into how many others, who maybe never reached ‘celebrity status’, experienced the same ‘support systems’ and ended up on the scrap heap of human failure.   But of course, it wasn’t failure – these children and teenagers weren’t obtaining and administering these items themselves – they were being given them – as some of them record.   I find it a contrary world to have laws and strict regulation about the hours of work for paper boys and girls and for school age shop workers, based on the assessed psychological and physical effects of such work and the young persons’ need for free activity, regular education, etc., and yet to allow – admittedly with regulation – young ‘stars’ to commit to hours of rehearsal each week, and hours of performance even if eased by shift rotas.   And then there may be be world travel; performing before world Personalities, and then the let down when precocity is replaced by normal physical development, and earning power drops.  How can this be right?  I am not impressed by smiling faced twelve year olds telling the news cameras of their delight in their stage roles and how much they are enjoyed.  I am even less impressed by the parents who think that this is a suitable childhood for their children.  Am I a cynic to think it is probably about money and short term futures – because many of these young people are never heard of again in any major roles?   And then, sometimes – all too often it seems to me – we do hear of them; and like Britney and Michael Jackson, and Jack Wilde and River Phoenix, and Lena and Drew and Judy Garland; it is a story of tragedy, emotional pain, dissolusion, relationship difficulties, huge professional treatment fees, and serious mental ill health.  And sometimes self harm and death.  All these individuals were owed the duty of safe parenting, and if that was not there for them, then they were owed the duty of state intervention.  It is too late for Britney; although the state has intervened to protect her children, it did not protect her when she needed it.   And the same for the others.

If you have a similar experience in your own life – of unreasonable expectation and possibly exploitation, then write and tell me.  It may not be to do with the stage, or performance arts, but to do with academic and personal expectations and what happened when they were not achieved.  Did you follow the ‘wrong career’, shack up with the ‘wrong partner’,  or were you just made to feel a failure?  Are you willing to share these experiences with the readers of SpeakEasy?