MENTAL HEALTH // Fortnightly Finds - 24.03.17


Meanwhile, on Planet Internet...
  • The government published a progress report on its suicide prevention strategy, but the Health Committee suggests that more practical steps are needed in order to make prevention a reality.
  • Local communities have been coming up with their own pragmatic approaches, from coastal quad patrols to rural support networks, as documented in this article - 'Could Your Barber Save Your Life?'
  • A nurse's anonymous piece in the Guardian's Blood, Sweat and Tears series raised a lot of controversy as they wrote, "I Hate Restraining Mental Health Patients but Often It's the Only Option."
  • The British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorders (BIGSPD) held their annual conference in Inverness this week. There are plenty of interesting thoughts to be read over on Twitter, via the hashtag #BIGSPD17.
  • I stumbled across an old but interesting Recovery Warriors' article the other day on 'The Anxiety Reducing Effects of Hunger',
  • While this piece by Corey Buhay - 'How Climbing Helped Me Battle An Eating Disorder' - made me a little emotional.. "I folded inward and closed up. I grew smaller in ways that dress sizes don’t measure."
  • Ruby Wax and Marks and Spencer announced their Frazzled Cafe initiative. Set to launch in stores throughout England, the fortnightly meetings will open up a safe, non-judgemental space where people can gather to talk, share their stories and admit their struggles. (I like the concept, but the cynic in me is a little put out by the caveat that "If you are currently suffering from serious mental illness it may not be appropriate to attend," because, I mean, "It's ok, to not be be ok," ..but only within reason!)
  • Elsewhere in celebrity land, Kate Middleton - representing Heads Together - helped to launch Best Beginnings' 'Out of the Blue' film series promoting mental health for parents, parents-to-be and their children.
  • There's been some solid discussion taking place around perinatal mental health in fathers, including this article in which Mr Mental Elf documents a piece of research and shares his own experience of postnatal mental health.
  • The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) published their report - 'Mental Health in General Hospitals: Treat As One' - looking at the quality of care provided for those with a "significant mental disorder" admitted for treatment in a general hospital setting, pointing to a number of challenges and areas for improvement in "bridging the gap" between physical and mental health.
  • And last but not least, I really enjoyed this powerful set of images created by psychologist Douglas Amorim, entitled 'Depressive Intimacy'. Pay a visit to Buzzfeed to check them out.

MENTAL HEALTH // Fortnightly Finds - 10.03.17


It's been an intense couple of weeks and I feel like the majority of my effort has been invested in just riding the waves with little left over for surfing the web, but here are a few mental health related links that caught my attention in the last fortnight..

  • It was Eating Disorders Awareness Week during that period and it was good to see NHS Grampian opening the conversation in the local press.
  • On the subject of eating disorders, I've been enjoying Claire Greaves' open and honest insight into her experience as a sufferer over on her blog 'Mental Illness Talk'
  • Australian artist Christie Begnell, meanwhile, shares her own experience in a powerful series of illustrations -  'Me and My ED'. (See some examples via Buzzfeed.)
  • This article by the director of Earth for Life explores the idea of eco-therapy and 'How Nature Can Support Recovery and Well-Being.'
  • Agenda - the alliance for women and girls at risk - have begun a campaign raising concerns and pushing for change in the use of restraint against females in the mental health system. 
  • Esther Beadle shares her experience of alcohol addiction in this brave blog piece
  • The Twitter hashtag #NHSMentalHealthWishList has been a fascinating conversation stream, looking at the services people would really like to see provided in the field of mental health. 
  • This article on 'Borderline Personality and the Ethics of Risk Management - The Action/Consequence Model' seems to have disappeared behind a pay-wall since I first looked at it, but is worth a read if you happen to have access.
  • If you're in the Aberdeen area, there's another Mental Health Movie Monthly event at RGU this coming Monday (March 13th), this time showing 'Welcome to Me'. 
  • Sticking at a local level, it was nice to see credit where credit's due in this piece of feedback about my current ward featured on Patient Opinion this week. Kudos to the people who take the time to share when things go right instead of just wrong.
  • And on an entirely unrelated note, I'll close with this article - 'Use A Little Restraint: Why People Who Self Harm Must be Forced to Stop' - by Occupational Therapist Keir Harding which has been my absolute favourite read of the last few weeks.
    Lines such as
    "We can wonder about why MDTs need someone who has no intention of stopping self harm to be self harm free before they are discharged.  We can spend even longer wondering how a period of stability can be achieved when long standing coping mechanisms are forbidden, everything is scrutinised, no leave or time alone is allowed, any emotional response to this treatment is written off as part of the diagnosis and if you do try to hurt yourself in a way that no one would have batted an eyelid at in the community, 3 heavy men will hold you on the floor in a vague reeanactment of one of your most traumatic experiences."

    "He was no longer suicidal but couldn’t be let off the ward until the behaviour that only occurred on the ward had stopped occurring on the ward,"
     give a lot of food for thought!

Is there anything you think I've missed and should be reading in the coming weeks? Point me in their direction, please!