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Portfolio Health


of things - the anti-stigma work and the recovery work and Choose Life. As long as those can be seamlessly worked into this strategy and its promotion then that should be fine.” Indeed, the Government acknowledges in the document that it is not starting with a blank sheet of paper and says “real progress” has been made in promoting positive mental health, preventing mental health problems and improving mental health services. To help it build on this work and deliver better outcomes across the whole pathway of care, the Government has identified four priority areas in


Government to remember the broader mental health community while it is considering its plans to reshape care for older people. “Now, that may mean that their needs are best met by continuing to use mainstream mental health services rather than be put into older people’s services. Te second thing is ensuring if they do need nursing home care that it is appropriate to their needs because we are not talking about huge numbers of people – we are talking about people with psychosis, with longstanding schizophrenia, for example. We have heard cases where people require that


Former Minister for Public Health Shona Robison and SAMH CEO Billy Watson


“Te emphasis here is about supporting carer and family engagement in the individual’s care and treatment. Now, the principles of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 talk about the information and support that carers need in order to care. It is absolutely critical. In order to support engagement in people’s care and treatment, carers desperately need support in their own right. Tey don’t just need information, they don’t just need to be involved - to fulfil a meaningful caring role they need support too. Like all carers, that is the case. But there are particular challenges if you are talking about caring for someone with a serious mental illness. It can be very, very challenging and people do need support in their own right.” Te consultation’s January deadline allows plenty of time for “proper, meaningful” discussion, she says, which she argues is typical of Scotland’s approach to mental health since devolution. “I have to say that has been the Scottish


Government’s approach since devolution, it has been very inclusive. It is one reason, for example, that the Mental Health Act went through in very different circumstances than it did in England because it had a much more inclusive way of working with communities of interest.” Similarly, Watson praises Scotland’s Mental


the first instance, including: improving access to psychological therapies; examining the balance between community and inpatient provision and the role of crisis services; preventing suicide; and implementing the National Dementia Strategy. Te latter is undoubtedly important, states,


Mary Weir, chief executive, Support in Mind, which acts to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people affected by serious mental illness. However, she stresses that all people with pre-existing mental illness, as well as older people who develop mental health problems other than dementia in later life, should be able to receive appropriate support, and urges the


level of support because of physical frailty are then put into a dementia ward or unit and it is completely inappropriate to their needs.” Overall, however, there is much to be


welcomed in the document, says Weir, pointing out that she is “delighted” by the focuses on the whole person, their recovery, and the importance of effectively engaging with families and carers to support care and treatment. “We are probably the organisation working in mental health with the most expertise of mental health carers, so we do welcome its inclusion. However, what I would say is I would like to see it go a bit further,” she says.


Health Act as “one of the best pieces of mental health legislation of its generation”. While there had been some discussion prior to the election about whether additional legislation would be preferable to a strategy, Watson argues the strategic vision is the real prize. “Te Act still stands the test of time. Tere was


a review of it during 2009-10, the McManus review, which makes some good points and probably needs some legislation to tidy up some aspects of the current Act, particularly around things like the Mental Health Tribunal system… but a strategic direction vision and ambition are the real prizes that I think we need to focus on rather than that manifesting itself necessarily in


Scottish Clubhouse Coalition - a simple but successful philosophy


The Scottish Clubhouse Coalition is currently made up of all four existing Clubhouses these are Buccleugh, Caledonia, Flourish House and Scotia Clubhouses, with a newly formed clubhouse in Orkney ‘Blide Hoose’. We have all been accredited by the International Centre for Clubhouse Development and are registered with the ICCD as a Clubhouse Coalition.


Scottish Clubhouses have their origin within an international Clubhouse movement with a unique ideology, a framework of internationally agreed Standards, a system of accreditation and training.


Clubhouses are highly effective in achieving positive outcomes through personal development, promoting new opportunities for people who have been disadvantaged through serious mental health problems, and supporting people’s recovery.


Reasons members join the Clubhouse include seeking a structure and routine to the day, wanting meaningful, enjoyable opportunities, seeking access to employment, education and training, to improve health and well-being, for social reasons, and because it focuses on people’s abilities rather than their illness, and is participative and person- centred.


Clubhouses encourage members to use the Clubhouse as a “stepping stone” to work, education and voluntary work. When members feel that they are ready to move on, the Clubhouse provides them with opportunities in different types of employment placements. Transitional employment placements, unique to the Clubhouse model, provide members with part-time and time-limited “real” jobs in the community. In transitional employment, the job


belongs to the Clubhouse and the Clubhouse is responsible for selecting, training and supporting the member - the desire to work is the single most important factor in members returning to the workplace.


Clubhouses provide a range of opportunities for all members; regardless of their abilities, this is very empowering and gives them control over decisions which affect their lives. Members usually come into Clubhouses nervous and apprehensive and with little insight into where their lives are going. We can see them develop, and set and achieve their own personal goals.


The Clubhouse model achieves great results in individual members: it is a very simple but successful philosophy.


For further information contact John Linn (Flourish House) Tel: 0141 333 0099 54 www.holyrood.com 19 September 2011


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