We observe at UserWatch that "Beyond the Water Towers" (taken from the book SCMH promotes echoing the "bad" old asylum's appearances) is in fact the newly built re-institutionalising Corporo-Towers which SCMH helped to institute .. And , we'll come to that a bit more later below .
From the very beginning the SCMH with its push to drive people back to work through "Pathways To Work" led by Dr Bob Groves, a SCMH employee seconded into the Dept of Work and pensions, has had a post-victorian system delivery work agenda (not a Patient Choice agenda). It has done this alongside its charity colleagues like Mental Health Foundation (run by Andrew McCulloch previous ex-CEO of SCMH) and Mental Health Media (which Angela Greatley is a Trustee of) , Mind and Rethink who are all selling to Govt that "Stigma" by society and employers is one of the main problem areas. We do not believe this . We think discriminatory services are the real problem and SCMH has been forced to see many mental health Users have been re-asylumed into prisons .. Well done SCMH for your influence..
The MH charities all of course push this "stigma" line and its very well funded and they are expanding their influence and reach into communities on the back of this with lottery money .. One of their ex crew a previous CEO of Rethink Cliff Prior works for part of the Big Lottery .
Mind however after a major push of some 5000 surveys in 2007 turned out only 300 + service Users living mainly in sink areas who they say complained of "stigma"....Rethink lately has gone very quiet about its 25000 stigma examining survey which it was supposed to report back to the public about this April ....
The problems is the Charities need a line to push and they do not favour "Patient Choice" because of its greater inherent power shift back to the patient. SCMH and all the other Charities have pushed the notion of the "User Voice" ...Its been the cheaper system driven way of actually depriving people of their voice away from instituting real choice .. This will never be squared but it will be played with because already with Direct Payments (a method of funding some Service Users) and even we think with the so called Individual Budgets evolution, the gatekeepering of these will be constantly narrowed .. There will be no real "Patient Choice" for many - but more suffering and being pushed by financially lean services into new forms of marghinalisation ..
We see Social Inclusion as a fraud why ? Because the idea of SCMH with its Dept of Heasth baby NIMHE which it purchased the cradle website for and the Dept of Health lost the records for grew into a kind of cosly bureacracy for the more middle class corporo-aping Users...These self circlers many of which were actually kind people just used money up shifting around information inside meetings and diverting potential growth of "Patient Choice" into the more corporately acceptable "User Voice" .....
Lord Dickie Layard (London School of Economics) when he did give his first endorsing speech in 2005 at SCMH about the need for therapies for Users - something pushed by SCMH, chose CBT : The anti emotional non-inner world self-suppressive cogntive fix ...Botic-psychology.... Who owns the patient's mind - the patient ? NO . Its the orthodoxy of the system deliverers and cheap fixes pushed by a supermarket charity post victorian approach .. Adminsitered by the superficial poor solution bringing professional class of nearly all of the practitioners in mental health .. The good few are rare - they are there, we know some so we'll insert that too before we are biffed by friends ...
Social Inclusion trumpteted by SCMH and Charities is more like Social Pinned-clusion . Some Users actually have badges made by Trusts to reward them with status and belonging as well as a whole new raft of User-groups but hardly any are seeking more autonomy and true self management . They are pinned . Like special butterflies they colourfully dot NHS websites now and the few in house magazines that Trusts always produce . Some of this is deliberately rigged too with recruited ex-Users and even PR firms are involved - this is the case in Birmingham .
In Birmingham and Solhull Mental Health Trust they underpin for £6000 a year a cluster of centralised roups that are dependent on the rent of their premises being paid for by the Trust . Local wider approaches and support is far less if at all, and User "autonomy" is still managed in the shadows by the Trust . "Mainsteaming" though is seen as all and the sensible bridges for progress do not exist but the pinned-clusion is not an answer either . So what is ? Critics that we are do we have any answers ?
Yes we do ..
Again its wider and widened Patient Choice. Pinned clusion happens because patients are not helped properly and have no power to bring training to them (Grants) which they purchase and control - paranoia and social exposure fear are important to factor into making progress not "Get to college for training" ....The NIMHE-ites could achieve that in more black and white performance mode - many were ex-uni types (a few we know and drink tea with) and they know their views were favoured as were ex-Users "voicing " for others in Trusts and meetings based on their own "expert experience" ..
One of UserWatch's collegeaues observed one ex User, now working for a Mental Health Trust (we'll never forget it ) saying of other Users in parrot fashion of a well know Trust top jerk "Get them out of their comfort zones" ... What a limited view that was given so happily and it was generalised upon to the approval in a main meeting with managers listening to what they need to hear .....
So will we get beyond the new Corporo Towers Angela ? NO .... Mental Health cleaner concentration camp experience tells us the guards are wearing more informal and coloured clothes and the Trustees have increased and are wearing new shiny badges like kids and the new strait-jacket is let the charities and Services do your marketed "stigma" thinking for you while a Patient Choice culture never really takes off ....Sad isnt it Angela ... ?
- Published: 11 July 2008 09:00
- Author: Angela Greatley
- More by this Author
- Last Updated: 11 July 2008 09:00
"Next year, the first of the government's national service frameworks will come to an end. The adult mental health framework was published in 1999 as a 10-year plan for improving services and setting out what patients could expect from them.
"The question many are now asking is: what next? Many of the services the framework promised are now in place, thanks in part to the extra funding that has come into the NHS since 2000 and the targets contained in the NHS plan that year for crisis resolution, assertive outreach and early intervention teams. Other elements of the framework, notably in primary care, have fallen short of expectations.
Nonetheless, the conclusion of the framework's 10-year life provides an important opportunity to review what has been achieved and set out the direction for the next decade. Unless we do, the risk is that the sense of urgency and purpose the document created will dissipate and we will simply drift without a clear sense of long-term, strategic direction.
"The aim should be to demonstrate that mental health matters to all of us and that the role of public services is to support those who experience mental ill-health"
In addressing this question, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health has worked with partners in other mental health charities, the NHS Confederation and ADASS to set out what a new vision for mental health beyond 2009 would look like. The outcome is the discussion paper A New Vision for Mental Health.
The document notes that people with severe and enduring mental health problems now have access to better services than they did in 1999, but that their lives continue to be constrained by communities that still do not accept them as equal citizens and by services that do not do enough to give them the same opportunities in life as everyone else.
Mental health is still seen as a minority issue, something to be avoided and ignored rather than an inevitable fact of human life.
Our starting point for the next decade, then, is to look beyond what we have achieved in building better services and to focus on helping people build better lives for themselves.
From promoting better mental health in schools and workplaces to giving people with severe and enduring mental health problems control of their own care and support (as Lord Darzi's next stage review has begun to iterate), the aim should be to demonstrate that mental health matters to all of us and that the role of public services (all public services) is to support those who experience mental ill-health to live the lives they want to live.
In other words, we need a new national framework, not another national service framework, for mental health. Central to this framework is leadership across government, with a Cabinet-level champion for all aspects of mental health and well-being.
Mental health is so important to all of us, as individuals and as a society, that it needs a voice where national policy gets made. It must no longer be an afterthought of government policy, stuck out on the margins of health and social care. It is so fundamental to the human condition that no policy discussion - about the NHS, law and order, welfare reform or education, for example - should take place without it.
For more on the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, see www.scmh.org.uk
To read the discussion paper, visit www.newvisionformentalhealth.org.uk
- Author: Angela Greatley.Angela Greatley is chief executive of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.