Initiatives

Think child, think parent, think family (publisher: SCIE)

This guide is about working with parents who have mental health problems and their children.

Parents with mental health problems and their children are a group with complex needs. Not all parents and children will need the support of health and social care services but those that do can find it difficult to get support that is acceptable, accessible and effective for the whole family.

SCIE's guidance identifies what needs to change and makes recommendations to improve service planning and delivery, and ultimately to improve outcomes for these families. It also provides guidance on policy and practice and makes recommendations for key areas of professional education, workforce development and research.

The guide has been written for staff in adult mental health, child and adolescent mental health and children services from all sectors. It is also relevant for those delivering pre- and post-qualifying education and training to health and social care staff and others responsible for workforce development. People who use these services and their carers will find useful information on what they can expect from services and where they can go for more information.

Shift - an initiative to tackle mental health stigma

Shift, the Department of Health’s anti-stigma initiative, has been working with employers to help them promote mental health in the workplace and to support employees with mental health problems. The Shift line-manager resource is a practical guide covering key topics such as promoting mental well-being in the workplace, recruitment, early intervention, keeping in touch during periods of sickness absence, returning to work and adjustments of work arrangements, and supporting staff with long-term mental health problems in work. Shift works in partnership with the Time for Change anti-stigma campaign.

Information prescriptions for depression, dementia and schizophrenia

Information prescriptions were originally a commitment in the Department of Health white paper 'Our health, our care, our say' published in January 2006. The paper made a commitment to improving access to appropriate information for people with health or social care needs.

Information prescriptions are offered to people with a long-term condition or social care need, in consultation with a health or social care professional. They are available for conditions such as depression and schizophrenia.

An information prescription tells you about:

  • Your condition.
  • Your treatment options.
  • Care services (from equipment to help you get around the house to specialised, exercise classes).
  • Benefits you may be able to claim.
  • Housing support.
  • Self help and support groups.

Improving access to psychological therapies

IAPT aims to improve access to evidence based talking therapies in the NHS through an expansion of the psychological therapy workforce and services.

The programme support Primary Care Trusts in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. At present, only a quarter of the 6 million people in the UK with these conditions are in treatment.

The programme began in 2006.  Pilot services showed the benefits for people receiving services, including better health and wellbeing and helping people stay employed and able to participate in the activities of daily living

In 2007, £173 million in funding was announced to increase services by 2010/11. The funding will allow:

  • Regional training programmes to deliver 3,600 newly trained therapists with an appropriate skill mix and supervision arrangements by 2010/11
  • 900,000 more people to access treatment, with half of them moving to recovery and 25,000 fewer on sick pay and benefits, by 2010/11.

Enhancing the healing environment

The Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) programme was launched by The King’s Fund in 2000 to encourage and enable nurse-led teams to work with patients to improve the environments in which they deliver care.

A wide range of different mental health environments have benefited from the programme. It has enabled staff and service users to create truly family-friendly rooms, renovate abandoned and overgrown outdoor spaces to provide relaxing, quiet, green spaces, upgrade day rooms into vibrant activity centres, decorate corridors and community areas with artworks, and provide spiritual spaces within acute and intensive care units.

Equalities in mental health

The Equalities in Mental Health Programme seeks to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities for people with mental health issues.

Its current work covers reducing inequalities in the areas of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion.

The programme is run by the National Mental Health Development Unit.

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