Reflections on policies & trends influencing Mental Health

Reflections on policies & trends influencing Mental Health

Reflections of influences on mental health placements: these were in Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) and secure inpatient units.

Negative influences

  • Politics  removal of benefits
    • reduction in PIP* for one lady with severe anxiety reduced her support  and reduced access to the community as a result, she felt her MH was worsening
    • What? middle aged man with EUPD & psychosis felt it was unfair the cuts to disabled benefits, when he was assessed for his PIP he felt because he could ‘function’ in the interview and speak coherently he was marked up in his ability whereas he felt he could not manage day to day. He said this reflected people often dismissing mental health because it cannot be seen and he looks ‘normal’.
    • So what? He felt very angry about this and sometimes this was directed at any healthcare staff even those not responsible for benefits, such as when groups were cancelled due to staff shortages.
    • Now what? Reflected at the time that it must be difficult to find an outlet for your frustration and anyone working for public sector could be a symbol of the government, remember to not take anger at service constraints personally.

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Article review: “A qualitative study of referral to community mental health teams in the UK: exploring the rhetoric and the reality” by Chew-Graham et al (2007)

Article review: “A qualitative study of referral to community mental health teams in the UK: exploring the rhetoric and the reality” by Chew-Graham et al (2007)

CMHTs (Community Mental Health Teams) provide specialist care to people experiencing mental health crises, as well as ongoing primary care support for people with chronic mental health conditions with the aim to prevent admittance to secondary or tertiary health care. Different professionals make up a CMHT but usually includes specialisms such as psychiatrists, psychologists, community psychiatric nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists.

This article examines the referral stage of the OT process: the attitudes of CMHTs receiving referrals, and the GPs who refer patients to them. The qualitative information was gathered via semi-structured interviews, referral meeting transcripts and questionnaires.

 

Problems with the referral process in CMHTs

Overall, Chew-Graham et al found a lack of consistency between CMHT teams, and referral criteria boundaries varied depending on the individual attitudes of CMHT team leaders. Referring GP’s knowledge of mental health issues and caution around risk also varied between individuals. Read more