June 2013

All Wales Curriculum for Primary Mental Health Workers Launched

A new primary care mental health qualification has been launched across Wales to help improve these kinds of services for users.

The All Wales Curriculum for Primary Mental Health Workers is a resource which has been created to help the local mental health partners and managers delivery an effective and efficient service across the country

This curriculum has been developed in response to the demand from these services for training to support primary mental health workers.

As a result, the new curriculum will provide primary care professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and competence to deliver effective an holistic services that will have a positive impact on the lives of the individuals who use these services.

The qualification was launched last week at the Annual Mental Health Conference in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales by Health Minister Mark Drakeford who said the Welsh Government was committed to tackling the stigma of mental ill-health and helping people living with mental health conditions recover and live fulfilled lives.

Mr Drakeford said: “This innovative national curriculum will be used to further support the development of the primary care mental health support service and also supports our initiatives for a flexible and sustainable workforce.

“Service users and their carers will benefit from interaction with a more skilled workforce close to their homes, with values and attitudes appropriate to the provision of mental health services in primary care."

For more about the qualification you can read or download a copy from this site using the following link All Wales Curriculum.

Praise For New Guide For Those Affected By Suicide

A self-help guide for people bereaved through suicide has been praised for providing invaluable solace to those who need it most.

Hundreds die by suicide every year in Wales and the Help is at Hand Cymru guide is a resource for those who are and bereaved through suicide or other unexplained death and been produced by Public Health Wales.

Speaking at the guide's launch, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford said: “It will provide invaluable solace and support to those who need it the most – those who find themselves in the tragic position of having lost a loved one through suicide.”

Over 300 people die and thousands are affected by losing a loved one, work colleague or friend and the guide will be sent to frontline professionals right across Wales.

The guide was originally developed in England and been adapted for Wales with the support of Mind Cymru and others and is available for free download via the Public Health Wales website

New BBC Three Season Covers Teenage Mental Health

BBC Three is launching a new season films covering the range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today.

The "It's A Mad World" season launches tonight at 9pm with the screening of new documentary series Don’t Call Me Crazy which follows events at the former McGuinness Unit in Manchester.

Since filming the unit has been replaced by a new facility but it was one of the largest teenage mental health inpatient units in the country and a place of last resort for many adolescents with eating disorders or psychosis, who self-harm or are suicidal.

The new series follows a year in the lives of inpatients at the former teenage mental health unit - which has now been replaced by the new £10m Junction 17 centre - as they work this staff to try and turn their lives around.

More than 500,000 young people across the UK are being treated for some kind of mental illness, and over 3,500 teenagers passed through inpatient units like this last year.

For further information about the shoute please visit the Don’t Call Me Crazy web page on the BBC Three website.

Deafness and Hearing Loss Information Sheet launched at National Assembly

We've joined forces with a leading deafness charity to help improve access to mental health services for those with a hearing loss across Wales

Alongside Action on Hearing Loss we've published a new Information Sheet for health professionals entitled Mental Health, Deafness and Hearing Loss which has been sent to every GP surgery in the country.

This joint initiative was launched in at the National Assembly for Wales by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford AM, who said: "I would like to offer my thanks to WaMHinPC and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru for working together to develop this helpful new information sheet.

"I am sure it will be welcomed not only by service providers, but also by the service users who will benefit from heightened awareness.

"Being able to effectively communicate with health professionals is something many of us take for granted, yet for many people with hearing loss, going to see a health professional to discuss their health needs can be a daunting experience.

"As research shows, people with hearing loss are at increased risk of experiencing mental health problems. Without expert care, hearing difficulties can compound mental health leading to isolation and marginalisation, something which has no place in a modern Wales.

"All of us - Government at national and local levels, health boards, social services and third sector organisations - need to pool our resources and explore every opportunity for improving services.

"The collaborative approach used to create this Information Sheet demonstrates the benefits of co-production - an approach that draws on the skills, experience and expertise of all stakeholders but especially third sector organisations and service users themselves.

"Working together will helping services develop in a way that better meets the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing."

Our Information Sheets are part of our aim to improve mental health services and have been developed to provide valuable information, training and support tools on primary care mental health in Wales and all of them are available on our Information Sheet page.

If you have any trouble reading or accessing any Information Sheet please contact our Project Manager Lesley Hills on 029 2050 4516 or via email at lhills@rcgp.org.uk:

Mental Health First Aid (Wales) - Mental Health Training for Everyone

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) began back in 1997 in Australia and since then has developed into a training and Research Program which is currently delivered in 20 other countries.

Wales is one of the nations to have taken up MHFA which gives people the skills to help the one in four of us who suffer from mental health problems each year.

The earlier a mental health problem is detected and treated, the better the outcome and MHFA will provide you with the skills and confidence to support people in their time of need.

The Mental Health First Aid (Wales) site helps explain why you should take the course and what you will learn by taking it before helping you find a local course and instructor in your local area.

MHFA training saves and improves lives and takes just 12 hours to complete leaving you able to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with mental health problems and to respond to their crises and support and signpost them towards the appropriate help.

For further informaton please visit the Mental Health First Aid (Wales) site.

Online Support and Advice Forum Helps Anyone Affected by Dementia

If your life has been affected by dementia in any way advice and support help could just be a click away.

There are currently just over 42,700 people living with dementia in Wales and much work has taken place across the country recently to improve the lives of those with and affected by the condition.

Talking Point is the Alzheimer's Society's online support and discussion where you ask for advice, share information, join in discussions and feel supported if your life has been affected in any way by dementia.

The site offers a range of forums where you can find out all you need to know about support for people with dementia, what to do if you're worried about your memory through to how cope with you have the condition and how to deal with the loss which comes after dementia.

All you have to do to join a discussion or even start a new one is to register or if you need any help just because you're new to this sort of thing just take a look at the site's Help videos or main Help section.

To ensure Wales can best meet the challenge of the increasing number of people living with dementia the National Dementia Vision for Wales has been created which provides a long-term vision on how to tackle this issue.

If you have any questions about our own work with dementia in Wales please contact us via email at lhills@rcgp.org.uk or on 029 2050 4516.