Mental Health Day Centres

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spook

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Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Messages
71
#1
There is a subforum on day hospitals but nothing on day centres.
But day centres were supposed to provide a cheap and convenient alternative to keeping us locked up in hospitals.
They are cutting back more and more beds.
Yet they are also closing day centres.
I have recently started thread about Isledon Road Resource Centre which has had a very high reputation and directors of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust have said that they have high regard for the work it has done. But all day centres seem to be under threat because personal budgets are being introduced and day centres cannot operate with that system. It is incompatible. You are a member of day centre. You come and go as you need. There are, or should be community activities.
And it is really a NHS style service which needs to be free to those who need it.
My impression is that a lot of us who use the forum are socially isolated and
day centres could and should provide facilties.
I would be grateful if people would give their views on this and suggestions as
what they would want, or not want , in a day centre.
 
wendolene26

wendolene26

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Jun 16, 2011
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Location
Aberdeen
#2
I'm up in Scotland, so I suspect the local health authorities operate in a different manner. What you're suggesting is a brilliant idea. Although I work there are times when getting out of bed is far too much for me to deal with. I would quite like something like a drop in centre where there were professionals able to spend a little bit of time with you if there was something you wanted to talk through. I'd like the chance to learn new things, whether it be pottery, expressing myself in creative writing or poetry, but I think it's important that there's also the chance for folks who want to come along, have a cuppa, a biccie and just talk.

I feel something like this would be far more use to me sometimes than the appointments with the CPN and I'm sure that if it was set up and done in the right manner, than as I get time off work for CPN appointments I could get time off for attending something like this if it was strengthening my life skills and my ability to cope with things. That would be a Win-Win situation for me and my work.

I think the idea of being able to do something creative and actually finish it and achieve something would go a long way for a lot of people in helping build their self confidence back up again.
 
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anonymous1

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#3
I think the idea of having more locally available day centres, even if they were only small, is a great one. Years ago there used to be one in my town, but now you have to travel to a day hospital - and its too far for me to get too. I think that social isolation is a problem for many people.

I don't see why it could work with the personal budgets if some thought were given to it - or perhaps they could have some kind of credit system for each class or session time you attended. I think its good to have a general social time - perhaps with a crossword or quiz and tea or coffee and the chance to chat, plus other classes like various kinds of art, pottery, music appreciation/therapy, and also they could run assertiveness classes or other helpful courses.

I agree with wendolene that sometimes it could be more helpful than an appointment with a cpn. My own personal experience with cpns is that they've not always been that helpful - personally I think a lot of time has been wasted because we chat without a focus.
 
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spook

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Feb 21, 2008
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71
#4
Keeping people in hospital is expensive. For mental patients its purpose is custodial. You are only going to be admitted if you are considered to be a threat to yourself or others. If you are admitted to hospital you will be released into the community as soon as it is considered safe to do so. It is generally agreed that it is best to treat mental patients in the community. Mental health daycentres are especially important for vulnerable isolated people. So it seemed to make sense to cut beds, close wards and send patients to day centres.
Some day centres have been creative and innovative. But critics argued that day centres separated service users from the community. They wanted to get service users out of buildings and using services in different places. So from cutting beds and wards we move to cutting day centre buildings and the vulnerable isolated service users are left to sit in cafes roam about, not sure where to go. When the building is lost service users lose the protection, the sense of belonging. In the outside world they may be excluded and abused.
With the introduction of personal budgets mental health day centres are closing down.
Mental health day centres can play a crucial role in mental health.
So they ought to be valued as a NHS health facility and free at the point of use.
That is the basic principle we need to protect our NHS from privatisation. We have been told that there is no health without mental health so surely mental health day centres should be defended.

There are serious practical reasons why personal budgets should not be introduced for mental health day centres. One of them is that personal budgets are stressful for mental health service users to cope with.
The service user should be able to use the mental health centre to fit his or her mental health needs. This is not going to work out with personal budgets which require planning, bureaucratic assessment and monitoring.

And we need also to consider the mental health day centre manager’s perspective with the planning of services and financial provision. The mental health day centre will lose its service user members who are to be transformed into atomised service commissioners who will operate in an uncoordinated and unpredictable manner and have no sense of commitment to the day centre. This will also lead to changes in the way staff operate as they will no longer be monitoring the physical and mental health of the people who use services at the centre, no longer taking an interest in their activities.
Morale would be low.
I do not see how it could work
I do believe we need to consider new ideas in mental health day centres and that mental health service users should be regarded as a creative resource who deserve opportunities to work in the community as best as health permits. And I think it important for people to express views and join in debate.
 
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anonymous1

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#5
I agree with what you are saying about personal budgets. Firstly, I only found out about personal budgets about a couple of years ago - I was never advised about them through the mental health team. Then when it came to all the form filling and assessment, I found it stressful so I stopped and never got one. It's only now that I've been feeling more well that I realise what I missed out on and realise that it could have paid for me to go to the gym or even for a course to get more skills. I feel very let down by the mental health team in this area.
 
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spook

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Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Messages
71
#6
Social isolation has a negative impact on our physical as well as mental health and mental health day centres can, and should, provide social support.But they can, and should ,do much more than that. Anonymous1 mentioned in earlier post courses and classes that could be offered and Wendolene talked about wanting to learn something new which I think is very important. Also a lot of us have first episodes of mental illness in our teens maybe when finishing A levels or beginning higher education. So we may feel that have lost our chance and are ending up in a dustbin which sadly some daycentres are-the ones where you go for a cheap meal. But it need not be like that if you have staff who take an interest in their job and genuinely care. Mental health day centres can, and should be, aspirational and encourage members to continue learning. Indeed learning can be good therapy and enjoyable. And those who missed out on higher education might be encouraged to consider Open University courses. I see from the education thread that Anonymous1 is embarking on an OU course and it does make sense as others confirm. Not many of us are likely to have the initiative to do this without support and Mental Health Day Centres could, and should, offer this support. It would certainly help justify their existence if they did. If you are studying or have an interest you want to have someone to talk to about what you are doing,someone to take an interest and care. Of course OU courses will not suit everyone but everyone should have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and be encouraged to do so. Slow learners often enjoy learning and benefit from it. And I think creative writing should always be on the menu in day centres ; words are cheap.And perhaps there are some in the mental health system who might care enough to take an interest in what service users write.