Month: February 2011

A Bi-Polar Board Game

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When Joyce Duncan from Caerphilly was diagnosed with bipolar disorder she struggled to explain her condition to others.

So she devised a board game to help her friends and family understand her illness.

Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness – a documentary which caused a debate.

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A television documentary following the path to assisted suicide taken by a man suffering from bipolar disorder has focused debate on the practice for the mentally ill.

Read more and comment would be welcome!

Police launch Facebook Cyberbullying crackdown.

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Police in Berkshire are to begin using a social networking website to tackle the problem of “cyber bullying”.

The Alastair Campbell Opinion: Shirley Williams and the NHS.

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Shirley Williams talking sense on NHS, Philip Hammond talking sense on rail, but Big Society could derail him……..

Read on:

Government warned by Social Security Advisors against cutting mobility payments to disabled.

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Ministers have been told by their own social security advisers to abandon plans to cut £160m of mobility payments to disabled people – because the move would reduce their ability to lead independent live

Benefit Scrounging Scum: An Open Letter.

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The government’s implementation of welfare reform is destroying the covenant of care between disabled people and the welfare state (Report, 23 February). The most vulnerable people in our country are being subjected to cruelty. The work capability assessment is not fit for purpose. It is denying employment support allowance to those whom the 2007 Welfare Reform Act deemed it not reasonable to require to work.

Atos and Siemens. Eine Verbindung gebildet in der Hölle?

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Siemens are most famous for their use of slave labour during the holocaust.  Prisoners were utilised by Siemens to build the gas chambers in which they would eventually be murdered.  Siemens ran factories at Ravensbrück and in the Auschwitz subcamp of Bobrek, whilst the company supplied electrical parts to other concentration camps.

Paul Jenkins, Rethink CEO, on tragic events in Barnstaple.

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“The events of that day have left us all deeply shocked. Cherry Trees has been here for 25 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.

“We are carrying out a thorough investigation into what happened and will share our findings with residents.”

In a statement after the meeting the charity said: “We are unable to comment further on the cause of the incident or the events leading up to it, as the facts are still being established by the ongoing police enquiry and our own internal investigation.”

Oklahoma, pioneering prison reform for women.

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A program in Oklahoma City is helping women stay out of prison by teaching them behavioral skills and ways to address their trauma.

Ruby Wax: More “aid” needed for mentally ill.

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COMEDIENNE Ruby Wax has called for more rehabilitation centres and places of refuge in Britain for people suffering from mental illness.

Toddlers Suffer Mental Illness, claims research.

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A new research has shown that infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders, yet they are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent lasting developmental problems.

More on this…

“Locked-In Syndrome”. Patients report being ‘happy’.

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Most people with locked-in syndrome are happy, according to the biggest survey of people with the condition.

The longer somebody has had locked-in syndrome, the more likely they are to report happiness – suggesting they adapt to life with the condition, researchers said


more on this!

Housing Benefit: Find out exactly how you will be affected.

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Housing benefits slashed in April. New Guide
A million people face average £600/yr cuts. Find who’s affected & how to protect yourself
If you receive housing benefit or plan to claim soon, you need to know massive changes are coming, eg, a big house in Brighton could see the payout drop from £1,800 to £1,300 a month.

  • The rate paid will drop. Currently payments are based on the median (or middle) value of properties in the area, meaning 50% of other local properties are more expensive and 50% less. From 1 April it’ll be set so 30% of properties are less expensive and 70% more.
  • Payouts will now be capped. Payouts are currently unlimited, from April it’ll be a max £250/week for a 1 bed property, up to £400 for a 4 bed (the new max. number of bedrooms considered, it was five). Plus, if your rent’s less than the allowance you can no longer keep the difference.
  • What to do? For most these changes are unavoidable, so you must plan asap. First find out your new benefit level (see the guide) and do a budget (Free Budget Planner) to ensure you’re managing the income reduction. Do a full Benefits Check Up to ensure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to. FULL info on how to do all this, and the changes in detail in the New Guide: Housing Benefit Cuts Help

Click the link for more info:

Dying In Wait! Demand for fairer benefits tests as two die!

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THE deaths of two people who were waiting for appeals to be heard against the loss of benefits has prompted calls for a fairer assessment system.

NHS Job Cuts mean Mental Health services will suffer greatly. (No sh*t)!

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More than 50,000 NHS jobs will be lost over the next five years due to Government spending cuts, a campaign group claims, as Channel 4 News finds mental health services could be badly hit.

BBC (America) How Prisons are managing increased burden of mentally ill inmates.

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Treating mental illness is always a challenge, but in the US, after decades of declining funding for mental health care, the burden is increasingly falling on the prison system. The BBC was granted access to a local jail in the state of Virginia to see first-hand how staff and inmates are coping.

University College Hospital (UCH), London, multi agency approach to health and homelessness.

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The hospital taking direct action on treating homeless people

Homeless people admitted to A&E are often twice as sick as the general public and cost eight times as much to treat. Has one hospital found the solution?

Money Saving Expert: Free eBooklet, Debt and Mental Health

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Be under no illusions: mental health problems can cause severe debt, and severe debt can cause mental health problems.

Debt isn’t just a financial problem, it causes relationships to break up, people to lose their homes and families to break down. No matter who you are, it can be hell.

For many living with mental health issues, debt is a common problem. My usual line is we should focus on being responsible borrowers, as you can’t expect lenders to be responsible – their job is flogging debt.

Yet a few years ago, I had my eyes opened. A man came up to thank me for the MoneySavingExpert. com website. I asked him if he’d saved much money, and his answer surprised me:

“I don’t use it for myself. I’m a mental health case worker, and almost every one of my clients has debt issues. It’s tough for them to control many areas of their life. I use your site to help them sort through their problems.”

This is the crux: how do we help those who are unable to be responsible for themselves? It is not always easy to be responsible for yourself – and the easy credit years created a potential disaster scenario.

Since then I’ve heard that story echoed time and time again, and, as we headed into recession, the reverberations increased. While the noise grew, the coverage didn’t. I pitched to TV outlets several times, only to be told it doesn’t resonate with enough people.

That’s wrong. Many people have either had issues or have a family member who has. One in four British adults experience at least one mental health problem in any one year, according to the Office of National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report 2001. This is an issue we have to tackle.

Yet it’s not right to simply stop anyone with mental health issues getting credit. Often issues are temporary, and, even if not, debt isn’t bad, bad debt is bad. A rational decision to borrow cheaply is fine. Mortgages, student loans and more are an integral part of the modern financial world.

While describing the problem is easy, the solutions aren’t. I wish I could promise this guide will solve them, but it won’t, though it should help make things easier to understand and deal with.