In this show we look at how professionals working in mental health relate to their own experiences of distress. Can a worker’s own history of difficulties enrich their practice? Or are other factors more important? Should a worker’s own experiences be taboo when talking to service users, or It is helpful for a professional to be open about things that have happened to them?
In this edition we discuss the compulsory powers available in the mental health system in the UK These include the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act (MHA). The regular panel is joined by Emma Rye, a Clinical Psychologist working in in the field of learning disabilities. Emma is currently in training to take up the role of a ‘Responsible Clinician’ under the MHA. We also have interviews with Dr Matthew Debenham, an NHS psychiatrist, and with service users Rai Waddingham and Raza Griffiths, both of whom discuss how compulsory powers were used in their own treatment.
In this edition we focus on the Prime Minister’s speech making mental health policy and improved suicide prevention priorities for the UK Government. We discuss a recent House of Commons Health Select Committee report on suicide prevention policy and the Department of Health’s updating of their Suicide Prevention Strategy (referenced in Theresa May’s speech). John also interviews Ian Marsh from our own University. Ian has written extensively about the way we treat suicide and the policy implications that result.
On Monday Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, will make a speech promising to improve mental health services and to reduce the suicide rate. The speech is, in part, a response to recommendations from NHS England’s mental health taskforce, and to the House of Commons Health Committee’s interim report on suicide prevention published just before Christmas. Whilst we welcome a renewed focus on suicide, we worry that (if you will excuse a macabre pun) the Government are flogging a dead horse. The central thrust of the proposals seems to be that we need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing (unsuccessfully) for decades, only more of it.
In this discussion we focus on two reports. The first is forthcoming book from a London School of Economics group, involving Lord Richard Layard, and titled ‘The Origins of Happiness’. Even though this hasn’t yet been released, it has prompted a great deal of debate: especially with the conclusion that poverty and inequality may be less important than good mental health for human happiness. The second document is a major report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and written by the Mental Health Foundation’s Iris Elliot. This offers what may be a less surprising conclusion: that poverty and inequality are intimately bound up in the development of mental health problems. Links to the reports and other pieces related to the discussion are listed below.