The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) have published a new report, 'Advocacy: a voice for the future', that outlines the benefits of advocacy, such as better safeguarding, greater personalisation and improved support planning. The report uses case studies to show how advocacy helps prevent, detect and respond to abuse by enabling disabled and/or vulnerable people to learn about and gain confidence in promoting their rights.
John Adams, VODG general secretary, said: “Effective advocacy is absolutely critical to disabled peoples’ citizenship; many vulnerable people and their families still live on the margins of society without a voice. This is truer than ever in today’s tough economic climate and with radical welfare reforms underway. Advocacy can make the difference between people merely existing from day-to-day, or living fulfilled lives.”
For further information visit the VODG Website
Click here to read Advocacy: a voice for the future
Hardest Hit have published a new report, 'The Tipping Point - The human and economic costs of cutting disabled people's support', that looks at the impact of the Government's welfare reforms on disabled people, including those suffering mental ill health. The report compiles a a survey of over 4,500 disabled people, a poll of more than 350 independent welfare advisers, and more than 50 in-depth interviews with disabled people with varying conditions and impairments. The report finds that the impact of the cuts has been devestating to many disabled people; some key findings in the report include:
- 8 in 10 disabled people claim losing their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) would drive them into isolation, and would leave them struggling to manage their condition.
- 9 in 10 fear that losing DLA would be detrimental to their health.
- More than three-quarters said their health got worse as a result of the stress caused by their Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Stand to Reason have published an article which looks at 'the business case for change', specifically the cost of mental illness in the workplace due to loss of productivity, sickness leave and the replacement of staff. 'Mental Health at Work: Developing the Business Case’ is a Centre for Mental Health Policy Paper that estimates that mental health problems amongst staff are costing employers a total of nearly £26 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce. These figures can be broken down as follows:
• £8.4 billion a year in sickness absence. The average employee takes seven days off sick each year of which 40 per cent are for mental health problems representing 70 million lost working days a year, including one in seven directly caused by a person’s work or working conditions.
• £15.1 billion a year in reduced productivity at work. ‘Presenteeism’ accounts for 1.5 times as much working time lost as absenteeism and costs more to employers because it is more common among higher-paid staff.
• £2.4 billion a year in replacing staff who leave their jobs because of mental ill health.
Click here to read the Centre for Mental Health Policy Paper
The North East Women's Network has published a press release that is being disseminated to local, regional and national media and have received confirmation that this will be feautred in The Guardian on Wednesday 24th October. This will come online on the evening of 23rd October at about 7.30/ 8.00pm - NE Women's Network is calling everyone that uses Twitter to look out for it and Tweet about it to try and get national media coverage on the day of launch. The press release is as follows:
A report evidencing the impacts of the UK Government’s austerity measures upon women in the north east of England is being officially launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday 24th October 2012 as part of a Lobby of Parliament being organised by UK Feminista . Representatives from NEWomen’s Network, an organisation that works to sustain women’s organisations and services and champion women’s rights are travelling to London to launch the report and present it to their MPs. “The report highlights the devastating impacts of austerity measures and welfare reforms upon already unacceptable levels of gender inequality in the North East of England,” says Sue Robson, co-ordinator of NEWomen’s Network and co-author of the report. (See full article for rest of press release)
The Department of Health has published key information about the role of the director of public health in the new public health system. The information describes both the statutory and non-statutory elements of the role, and outlines arrangements that are designed to allow local authorities to have confidence in the director of public health appointments they make, and to build on their own good practice while meeting national requirements. The guide has been split into two publications, 'Roles, responsibilities and context' and 'Guidance on appointing directors of public health. Please use the links below to access each guide.
Click here to view 'Directors of Public Health in Local Government: i) Roles, responsibilities and context'
Click here to view 'Directors of Public Health in Local Government: ii) Guidance on appointing directors of public health'
The Department of Health has become the first Government department to sign the Time to Change mental health pledge. On World Mental Health Day (10th October) the Department signed up to Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma programme, to encourage a wide range of organisations to act as catalysts for change. This is part of the department’s mental health strategy No Health without Mental Health that states mental health will be given equal priority with physical health. Care Services Minister Norman Lamb said: “We need to change the way we think about Mental Health problems and by signing up to the Time to Change pledge, we are able to show our support to stopping the discrimination people face at work due to their condition. This is just one small step in the right direction and we fully support any action taken that can bring about a change in the way we as a society see people with mental health problems.”
The NHS Alliance and ACEVO have worked in partnership to produce a new guide for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), entitled 'A Clinical Commissioner’s Guide to the Voluntary Sector'. The guide is intended to encourage closer and more effective working between clinical commissioners and voluntary organisations. An important resource for both CCGs and VCS organisations, the guide explores models for successful collaboration between commissioners and sector organisations in the new landscape of clinical commissioning and developing provider markets.
Click here to view 'A Clinical Commissioner's Guide to the Voluntary Sector'
The Scottish Transgender Alliance has published a report showing the findings of a recent survey into the mental health of Transgender individuals. The largest survey of its kind, The Trans Mental Health Study 2012 provides crucial information on transgender people's mental health needs and experiences in the context of daily life, transition, social/support mechanisms, general health care, mental health services and gender identity services.
The report explores how the process of transitioning (social and/or medical) impacts mental health and wellbeing, and is unique in that the survey looks at both the positive and negative impacts that being transgender has on mental health and wellbeing. Key findings include: '74% felt that their mental health had improved as a result of transitioning. The 5% who reported a decline felt this was in relation to lack of appropriate support, losing family and loved ones, or for reasons which respondents felt were unrelated or ‘not directly related’ to the transition, such as employment or cultural/environmental issues'. 88% of respondents had or felt they had depression; 80% had or felt they had stress; 75% had or felt they had anxiety.
Click here to read the full report
The Mental Health Strategic Partnership, a partnership of leading mental health charities, have developed a series of briefings to help develop better local mental health services. Following the publication of the implementation framework for the Government's mental health strategy, these briefings set out the steps that local authorities and NHS commissioning groups can take to improve mental health care, treatment and support. The briefings explain in practical terms the ways that the new local structures and organisations can make sure that there are good quality mental health services in their local area as well as improving mental health and wellbeing for everyone in the community.
Seperate briefings are available for each of the local services that deal with mental health; there are briefings available for: CCGS, Local HealthWatch, Health and Wellbeing boards, Directors of Public health, Local authorities and Overview and Scrutiny Committees. Please use the links below to download a copy of the appropriate guidelines.
Click here to download the guide for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
Click here to download the guide for Local HealthWatch
Click here to download the guide for Health and Wellbeing boards
Click here to download the guide for Directors of Public Health
Click here to download the guide for Local Authorities
Click here to download the guide for Overview and Scrutiny Committees
Women Supporting Women is a new group in South Tyneside for women who are lesbian, bisexual or simply unsure of their sexuality to share their experiences with like-minded women. Women supporting Women also provide a discreet meet and greet service prior to support group meetings to alleviate any worries or concerns before attending. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month, 2pm – 4pm, at Women’s Health in South Tyneside (WHiST), Mile End Road, South Shields, NE33 1TA. For further information please call the confidential hotline on 07950 529 816 or contact via email - firstname.lastname@example.org