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Community Support in Cornwall & Plymouth   



FOR MORE INFORMATION:                                            CALL RAY: 0743 4422 208

OR MAKE CONTACT VIA:                                            WEBSITE CONTACT PAGE.     


So after opening in October 10th 2017... Service User Network has grown yet again.

We moved out of Bridge Mews, Portreath in November 2018 to Unit 6 in Marketplace, Camborne,
but had to settle for the same space as we had in Bridge.

It become very clear, that a lot more activities and support information was required.

It is strange how things happen, We were looking at a double unit when we went to Camborne, but it was taken by Penta. Unfortunately, Penta lost their funding and are in the process of closing down. We have now moved into their old unit and are organising it, so we will be able to cater up to 10 people to take place in groups, whilst keeping our self-help book and 5D embroidery cross-stitch shop.

We will be up and fully running on Monday 4th March at 11:00am..... See the Home page header for full details and our opening times... See you soon.


Distressing news have been reaching service users of a emotional / mental health respite facility.

The over subscribed respite home, has been a life saver for thousands of service users over the years. Many of the guests were revolving door patients of acute mental health hospitals.

Oakleigh House has been a resounding success for service users in Cornwall.

Once upon a time, Cornwall mental health service users were the envy of the rest of the UK. It had a really active service user representative group (SURG) and led where many other groups followed.

It wasn't just a talking shop but a very active body, it was listen too by Social Services and The old Primary Care Trust and Cornwall Mental Health NHS. Services users sat at the top tables of all decisions affecting services, even sitting on the interviewing board for staff at all levels.

Through this process, one of the biggest shouts were for a respite care facility as an alternative to having to spend time on a psychiatric ward. If your going through a rough time and not able to think straight, a stay in hospital is the last place you want to be, especially if there are very disturbed patients on ward.

Over the last few years mental health services have deteriorated in Cornwall to a miserable state of affairs. Staffed Day-Centres have ceased, unless people are there to attend a structure course, or drop-in can be run by the service users. This can put people at high risks, without the back-up of trained staff to intervene in crisis resolution.

There were also Service User led drop-ins, but these were cash starved and the poultry sums involved, saved the tax payer a lot of money. Helping those who needed to just talk through issues the chance to do this without going to hospital.

Oakleigh House accommodates five guests at a time, including a ground floor room for anyone with mobility issues. The staff are all very intuitive and can empathise with the guest who maybe experiencing a lot of emotional / mental pain. This is because staff are selected by them their selves, have or still have some of their issues. This enhances their ability to treat guests with total respect and non-judgemental, no matter how the guest are. The staff dedication is second to none of those who I have known throughout a lifetime of issues.

I will write again in a couple of weeks time. But in the meantime, if you are affected, please make contact with SUN via the CONTACT page.... I guess most who are allowed to go to Oakleigh, have this on their care plans.... What has been put into your Care Plan to make sure you still get respite, I know how much it is needed, I don't fancy going to hospital again.

Also are there any service users who have been consulted on this backward move?

In the same time frame Penta ( remnants of West Cornwall Mind, was hosted by Pentreath Industries)

hasn't received any funding, so service users in Camborne, Helston & Penzance are all left high & dry.

 Service User Network Cornwall open our doors to all those who are left without support. We cannot advise, but together we can support each other, we are not funded, nor do we have the energy to chase funding... This is SERVICE USERS DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES... A lot of us are in this position because we were abandoned or let down when we were young.... Well SUN don't rely on others, we do it for each other.

Take care of yourselves and others who need it... looks like we are on our own.

Once I have the full facts, I will keep you informed and look at a massive campaign throughout Cornwall.

Well done to those who phoned into Laurence Reed on Radio Cornwall 12 noon to 3:00pm on Friday.

Laurence is going to try and get some answers and will be on today (18th Feb) with a special programme regarding Oakleigh... But please do call him if you have lost any support or services. We are receiving many calls from people in crisis. The worse one so far, someone who says they were in hospital with an overdose back last November and are still waiting for an assessment from the Community Mental Health Team.. This isn't good enough, no one would put up with it with a physical health issue.... NEITHER WILL WE....

10th October 2017..... Thank you all who came along for the opening of our first Face to Face and book store. We sold many books, think we were right about the lack of lower priced self-help books and therapy colouring books.

Throughout October, we hope to be open from 11:00am to 4:00pm every Saturday and Sunday.

So if you want to join us for Face2Face support or of course buy from our stock of self-help books.

We welcome all volunteers.... once we have more volunteers trained, then we will be opening more days and can give more intentional peer2peer support.

We look forward to seeing you.


Cornwall Council is abandoning the

closure timetable for the Murdoch &

Trevithick Centre - a day centre for

adults with learning disabilities in

Redruth, after the plans were met with

massive opposition from local

users and carers.

Thank you for all those who supported

the cause on Facebook and signed the

e-petition and paper petitions. Carry on

signing, so we are ready for proper


Cornwall Council wants to close down large day care centres in favour of small units, these will be located in many more towns and locations.

That sounds really great and logical, but if these centres were being run for those of us who have no problems, then we wouldn't attending the centres.

Larger Centres are more cost effective..... why???? lets say for example a very large centre has 100 clients, so we develop 5 local centres for 20 people.

Staffing for the large centre required one per ten clients = ten staff.

Staffing for the smaller centres, making sure cover is always there including annual / sick / training days would have to have at least 5 staff times this by 5 local centres, this means 25 staff. Each centre would need a manager, assistant manger and a clerical assistant.

Staffing costs alone does not add up from the need to reduce budgets.

That is coming from the driving force COSTS... savings of the transport budget. Let us learn lessons from the "Care in the community" fiasco, we are still paying for it and the one thing I haven't really mentioned yet, are the clients.

Yes clients find change very hard to cope with and sometimes change can be a benefit once they settle in. But unless you suffer or have suffered from a learning disability / emotional or mental cognition problem, then you are not able to understand the issue of trust.

Trust can take many, many years to build up. Larger centres can help for you to feel more safe, because if you fall out with 10 people in a large centre, then you have fallen out with just 10%, but to fall out with 10 people in a small place, you have fallen out with 50%, yes half of the entire centre.

A larger centre also means there are a number of areas you can use, if you need time alone or to do some craft things. A smaller place can be claustrophobic and this can be very detrimental to a number of people.

It is easier to find friends with an hundred people than with twenty, especially if its sexually balanced. Some males need just male company and the same with females who may only feel comfortable with their own sex. Of course their is the other side where some people only feel safe with the opposite sex. In smaller units the choice will diminish.

 People power can work, all come together and be united in our fight to save the Murdock and Trevithick Day Centre in Redruth.

Download more paper petitions from:

Join the Facebook group:

  Save Murdoch & Trevithick Centre Redruth                       4 Learning Disabilities

This and other user sites will work to resolve this issue, we will not settle for anything which will make people's lives harder, especially as everyday is a struggle to be part of society. We have to fight everyday, where others living is just natural.

Information & News for SUN Cornwall & Plymouth

IT'S GOOD NEWS WEEK...... (23/09/17)

After all these years (started in 2005) Service User Network Cornwall (SunCornwall) are going to meet with you face to face.

On 10th October, which is World Mental Health Day, SUN Cornwall along with SUN Plymouth, join together. We will be known as Service User Network Cornwall & Plymouth.

World Mental Health Day, we open our first information and support centre for those who have a need to know about emotional health and mental health.... there is a very big difference.

The address: Unit 4, Bridge Mews, Bridge Mills Retail Park, New Portreath Road, Redruth, TR16 4QL

On our opening day, we will be there from 12:00 noon until 4:00pm.It would be great if you could come along.

We have trustees coming from Cornwall and Plymouth, so a nice get together, you will be very welcome to join us.

This is an entirely independent Service Users initiative. We will treat everybody with respect, curtesy, empathy. Hopefully we will be able to pass on information from other organisations to support and help you. A bit like CAB, but with people who have or are still going through Emotional and Mental trauma.

We welcome volunteers and supporters alike. The more we have, the more days we will be open and the longer opening times.

To begin with, through October we will be manning the stall / shop from 11:00am until 3:00pm every Saturday and Sunday. We hope to increase this through November, December and January... We will be guided by the demand.

What will volunteers and supports get out of it? Peer to Peer support, somewhere to meet up with like minded people, helping each other, not wasting our lives away in bed. This can be what we want it to be, very organic. My wishes for you is you learn some self esteem and self worth, a way to tailor your life to your condition.

We really don't have to live for others, we learn how to live and love for ourselves. I believe in EVERYBODY and EVERYBODY has a right to reach their maximum potential, no matter what that is, it doesn't matter. We have been given life, it doesn't matter what life is, what matters is we have been given it... SO LET'S LEARN HOW WE CAN LIVE OURS...

We are getting the paperwork sorted out so we will be registered as an unincorporated association. What does this mean? well we can set up a bank account and ask for donations, were not likely to ever have over £5,000, so we won't be bogged down submitting accounts to the Charity Commission or Business register. But of course we will have to keep our own accounts as we will be appealing to the public.

Why do we need money? to pay for the stall, the website, volunteers receipted expenses. Hopefully to start the second Face2Face in Plymouth, then the third in Penzance.

Look after your emotional health along with your mental health in Cornwall and Plymouth, we are here to support with information and mind wellbeing.

Well that is what is ongoing at present..... Hopefully I will see you on Tuesday 10th October.

Here for you, can you be here for others?

Love to all .... Ray, Jan, Barbara, Tracey, Jason and Amanda xx

NHS Comissioners discriminate against Mental Health patients

The NHS is failing mental health patients,” The Independent informs us today. Meanwhile, BBC News warns that NHS managers have been accused of “shocking discrimination” in providing mental health services.

The news is based on an academic policy report on the state of mental health services in Britain. The report found that mental illness accounts for nearly half of all ill health in people younger than 65, and that only a quarter of people in need of treatment currently get it. The report concludes that money spent on treating physical conditions could be better spent on cost-effective psychological therapies, which are still not widely enough available.

This story is covered appropriately by The Independent and other news sources. However, it is important to note that terms such as "discrimination" and "horrific scale" come from a press release, rather than from the more cautiously-worded report, which describes "inequalities".

While the report makes several significant recommendations, it is worth bearing in mind that these are aimed at a national and local NHS policy level. They are not recommendations for the care of individuals with mental health problems.

How widespread and severe are mental health problems according to the report?

The report, from the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance Think Tank, was produced by a team of economists, psychologists, doctors and NHS managers. It says that mental illness is widespread and is generally more debilitating than most chronic physical conditions. The researchers report that a third of all families in Britain have a family member with mental illness. Additionally, nearly half of all ill health in those younger than 65 years is due to mental illness and only a quarter of those needing treatment receive it. The report estimates that 6 million adults have depression or anxiety and 700,000 children have a mental health disorder. The report also found that mental health problems account for nearly half of absenteeism at work and a similar proportion of people on incapacity benefits.

What criticisms of mental health care does the report have?

According to the report, mental illness accounts for only 13% of NHS spending on health despite the existence of cost-effective treatments. It offers the explanation that those in charge of planning NHS services (commissioners) are failing to fund the necessary mental health services or expansion of services and are, in some cases, cutting mental health provision, especially for children.

The report states that the under-treatment of people with mental illness is the most glaring case of health inequality in the country. The report goes on to say that mental illness can increase the scale of physical illness and that the extra physical healthcare caused by mental illness now costs the NHS £10 billion. It says that much of this money could be better spent on psychological therapies because the average improvement in physical symptoms is so great that the savings on NHS physical care outweigh the cost of the psychological therapy.

Why are mental health problems being under-treated?

In 2008, the government initiated a six-year programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT). The report says that:

as a result of the IAPT initiative, the situation has improved in some areas, while others are failing to meet the needs of those with mental illness

many local NHS planners are not using their budgets for their intended purpose

where effective psychological treatments do exist, they are sometimes not available widely enough

the £400 million earmarked by the government for psychological therapy to local NHS planners was not always used for its intended purpose because there was no obligation to do so

more expenditure on common mental disorders would almost certainly cost the NHS nothing overall. According to the report, therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) lead to rapid recovery from depression or anxiety disorders in more than 40% of cases. If these therapies were more widely available, this would cost the NHS little or nothing due to the savings on physical healthcare and the savings on incapacity benefits and lost taxes.

What does the report recommend is done to improve mental health care?

The report recommends that:

the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies mental health policy is implemented in every local area and completed as planned. This will include using the £400 million provided to local NHS planners for 2011–2014 to fund services to treat 900,000 people with mental illness

targets set by the government are included in the NHS Outcomes Framework document (the official list of government targets that NHS planners are supposed to achieve)

mental health becomes a priority both locally and at a national level

GP training is in keeping with government mental health policy, and recruitment to psychiatry is increased

The report states that beyond 2014 there should be another major expansion of mental health services, aimed especially at the millions of people who have mental illness as well as chronic physical conditions.

The report lead, Lord Layard, has called for the challenges of mental health to be placed at the heart of government. He said that NHS planners “should be expanding their provision of psychological therapy as it will save them so much on their physical healthcare budgets that the net cost will be little or nothing”. Lord Layard concluded that “mental health is so central to the health of individuals and of society that it needs its own cabinet minister”.

Links to the headlines

Scandal of mental illness: only 25% of people in need get help. The Guardian, June 18 2012

NHS is 'failing' mental health patients. The Independent, June 18 2012

Mental health 'shockingly' under-treated, claims report. The Daily Telegraph, June 18 2012

'Shocking discrimination' in mental health services. BBC News, June 18 2012

Further reading

LSE Centre for Economic Performance’s Mental Health Policy Group. How mental illness loses out in the NHS (PDF, 991kb). Published June 18 2012

Press release

London School of Economics. Shocking discrimination against mental illness within the NHS. Published June 18 2012

BOYCOTT The Sun paper................


Last Wednesday, 27th June 2012 was the day to say goodbye to Sancreed House. Clare is moving to a new home, near to Land's End air field. So until August 1st 2012, there is no Space For You activities at Sancreed.

These will resume with a welcome ceremony at Trebartine House on Ist August @ 2pm. Keep up to date on .

Service User Network Cornwall would like to thank Clare and her team on all the good work they do for Service Users. We will miss Sancreed House and the retreats and Wednesday activities, but know that is for just a short time.

Our thoughts are with you and Ellena on your respective moves, moving can be a very stressful time. But remember there are a number of people who would be more than willing to help you move.

Also we would like to thank you both and the Space For You team on the great services you provide. Cannot wait for August. Best Wishes.


Club closed after 16 years

June 20th was a sad day, for this was the day we had to close the club.

The club was started in February 1996 and was known as The West End Club and was run from the Stable block at Tolvean House. Tolvean was said to be in a state of dis-repair and was to expensive to do up. So Mental Health Services lost it, so it was a big suprise when it reopened as a Drug and Alcohol Centre.

So The West End Club was then moved into the resource centre at Trengweath, it was a good place and the club ran on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

The Acute Ward was still open and very often nurses from the ward would bring up patients who was having a bad day.

From there we were shipped out to the St. John's Ambulance Hall in Redruth and this is where the name was changed to The Redruth Friendship Club.

Unfortunately The St. John's Hall was in such a state of repair, that when it rained we had to wear our coats.... the rent was cheap though and it was alright for us because we are just mental health service users.

In the end, the Council condemed the hall and closed it down, so we moved once again, this time to the next cheapest hall in Redruth... The YMCA @ £1,600 a year and this was after we changed our opening times to just three hours, plus one hour for the setting up and putting away, so four hours in total..... this was a little different from the seven hours for each of the three days we use to open.

The attendences were still slowly growing, after a couple of drop off's, when we moved and the last year we had 484 visitors.

Many of the Service User's, including myself has been struggling since we realised we had to close. I informed the group in January that the grant had been reduced from £2,400 to the maximum of £1,000, whilst the rent was about to increase to £1,750 per annum.

The original funding came direct from the Primary Care Trust, but for years it has been handled by the Cornwall Rural Community Council via The Mental Health Project. When the budget was first set up over twelve years ago, the budget was £64,000 for the self help budget.... the budget now is £64,000.... The Mental Health Project has failed service users in not able to negotiate at the minimum an annual inflation increase.

It was Service Users who use to negotiate such budgets, but now we are sidelined and are suffering because of this. Where Service Users lead the involvement, they seem to let the service provider know why such spending can help to keep their budgets down.

The reason behind the starting of The West End Club / Redruth Friendship Club was because it helps to support those comming out of the Acute Ward for it was a very strong Peer to Peer suport group.

The closing of the club has already cost the public a lot of money. For after breaking the news to club members, two of them ended up on the ward, one of them is still there today 1st July, approximately 20 weeks later and if reports that it cost around £1,200 a week to keep someone on the ward... that is £24,000, even if the cost is just half of that, it is still around £12,000 compared to a sum of less than 25% of that. Of course that is looking at just one of our members, but two of them ended up on ward, nearly a third one was admitted. Over the future years I wonder just how much this short-sighted viewpoint will cost you the tax payer.

If anyone has a concern about Mental Health Services in Cornwall please contact me via Click to add text, images, and other content


They did listen..... well done all those who fought for their rights and well done the CFT all of the Board of Directors, the CEO and Chairperson... They really listern to everyone of our concerns..... The resolution passed was: 1. That ALL buildings be kept open (Yes! all ten mental health day centres in Cornwall) 2. That the availability of "drop in" or "social time" continues to be a feature of the buildings' provision together with more structured activities. 3. That clinics to be run from building that are suitable. 4. Health promotion groups maybe run from the buildings 5. The Trust investigates the opportunity for other appropriate groups to use the buildings when not used for day service activity. The relaxation of the FACS (Fair Access to Care Services) is also a welcome inclusion. The next step, between now and September is to see the staffing requirements.... I did ask for Service User Involvement from day one and this was also accepted. Now ALL Service Users and Carers must work together along with the CFT to make sure these services are run out in a cost effective way.

SUN is working for better mental services and cover for all who need it..... get involved just join up on site and let me know you would like to be an active member.

Service User Involvement

Do you receive / or have you received services from the Cornwall Foundation Trust (CFT) ? Have you had any intervention with the police because of your emotional or mental health condition?

Regular meetings are held in Cornwall with researchers from Plymouth university and the researchers would like to offer consultation on a one-to-one basis, via email or telephone, whichever they prefer.

The outcome will be hopefully a better service, so please become involved

So if you would like to become involved in some research being carried out via Plymouth University, then please contact me via the contact us page.

MP seeks views of centres' clients

By Cornish Guardian | Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 08:00

NORTH CORNWALL MP Dan Rogerson has heard first-hand clients' fears for the future of Bude Mental Health Resource Centre.

The MP visited the centre – run by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – at the invitation of clients, who have met him previously to voice their concerns over its fate.

The Bude centre has been operating for 20 years, offering care and support to people in the area who suffer from severe mental health problems.

However, for the past 18 months the operation of all the mental health resource centres in Cornwall has been under review by the trust.

The clients, supported by Judith Cook from mental health advocacy charity SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote), invited Mr Rogerson to visit the centre and see for himself the work done there and to enlist his support in their campaign to ensure that it survives.

Ms Cook said much of the work at Bude was led by the clients themselves, made possible by the presence of the trust's skilled paid staff. This constituted a very efficient, cost-effective way of providing support to a wide group of people, she said.

While admitting it is seeking to make the resource centres more efficient, the foundation trust has insisted it does not wish to close any, nor reduce anyone's level of support. In fact, it says, it wishes to increase the range of activities available.

It says the centres currently support fewer than 10 per cent of service users and could do more if run in conjunction with charities such as MIND, Pentreath and Rethink, which would also free up specialist staff to work with community mental health teams, reaching more clients.

The centres' users would also be given a greater say in their management, it says, or even have the opportunity to run them themselves, with the trust's help.

The trust is currently consulting interested parties, including clients.

Mr Rogerson said he would now be liaising with other resource centres in North Cornwall to seek their views and represent them to the trust and Cornwall Council, having already raised the Bude group's concerns with trust managers.

"I'd like to hear from other service users in North Cornwall about what they value in the resource centres to see if their experiences are the same," he said. "I think there's great value in lighter-touch programmes.

"They can prevent a person's health deteriorating with all the attendant disruption and more expensive treatment which may become needed."

Truro Forum 26th January 2012

For all of those who came..... thank you... what can I say? Our efforts and contacts were reward by your attendance.... but we had nothing to do with the arrangements.

Complete chaos... the room far too small, suitable for around fifty, whilst around eighty plus where there. Chairs in emergency gangways, could of been a total nightmare if any crisis happened.

A manager from the CFT addressed the Forum....

I have had a lot of service users who thought he was totally out of order... He sat down whilst he was trying to communicate with so many people.... but it didn't really matter for he didn't say anything new.

The day centres will close because the CFT are not going to pay for buildings and service users can met at other places and third parties are not going to be allowed to use these buildings.

But I don't tell the whole truth, for a new reason is now being used why the building cannot be used..... THEY ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR THEIR PURPOSE.... Well this is a total disgrace, you could say the hospitals aren't suitable for their purpose, with the number of deaths recorded.

Many professionals as well as service users and carers have all been on to me over the weekend and they are AT LAST ready to stand up and be counted. If only they listened over the past four or five years.

It's not just the Foundation Trust that is letting people down.... but the Mental Health Project.... This item should of been stomped on when it first reared its head, it does not cater for the people who need such care.

If that wasn't bad enough.... the MHP are also withdrawing or reducing funding from some service user led clubs. For example The Redruth Friendship Club, received £2235 last year, this year it will be £1,000........ the rent, which was negotiated by the hard work of Nicki Sweeny on behalf of the MHP is £1,600 a year, no other suitable place that was cheaper could be found.

The club had 484 visitors last year(2011), it was set up in Redruth because the West of Cornwall Acute Ward is situated in Redruth and there was no meeting place within Redruth. Also if someone was too ill to go to the Social Service Drop In Centre (now Cornwall Foundation Trust) club, they would be given The Redruth Friendship Club as an alternative.

The club opened it's doors on 26th February 1996, sixteen years ago and had seen many hundreds through it's doors.

The other side of this, it gave some service users the self confidence to run these days.

 Because of cutbacks over the years the hours are now just Wednesday 12:00 noon until 3:00pm... It used to be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Once again the short sightedness of the Primary Care Trust, Cornwall Foundation Trust and Mental Health Project.......

Give the budget over totally to the service users and allow us to run it totally separately.

 We use to, but when MHP came along, they stopped that and we had to be "Corporate Logoed" by the CRCC, my name and telephone number had to be removed, because it is now managed by the empire builders, who have stolen ALL the service user involvement projects.

If you live in Cornwall as a Service User or Carer, please join us in fighting to save at least some of the services..... If you live elsewhere..... then please support and give us some guidence.

Thanks (((((((((((((((((((Hugs for you all))))))))))))))))))

TODAY @ 2:00pm Mental Health Forum    


Mental Health Forum

Is open to ALL people who are interested in Mental Health Services within Cornwall.

(Service Users, Carers, Professionals, Students, YOU!)

Service Users can have transport arranged to take them there or have their transport costs refunded.

Call Jane on 01872-243532

Though transport will only be supplied or paid for if you are attending a meeting in your area.

West Forums = Land’s End eastwards to a line from Porthtowan / Truro / River Fal to Penryn and Falmouth

East Forums are for all those up to the Devon border.



Time: 2:00pm until 4:00pm




Union Place Truro.

Main Speaker

Mike Marshall (Programme Manager

& Emergency Planning Lead For Cornwall Foundation Partnership Trust NHS)


Find out what is going on and have your say…

In the News

You can find all the information about this site on the HOME page. 


Click to add text, images, and other content

Suicide Bereavement Support Group













KATH ON 07952410673 OR KATE ON 07779215336


Notes from West Cornwall's Mental Health Forum 7/7/11

West Forum Meeting 7/7/2011 Richmond House Penzance
Speakers Out of Hours Service

Liz Datson West Cornwall Manger

Phil Belcher East Cornwall Manager


Ray Hancock (West Cornwall Forums, Service user co-ordinator)

Ray introduced Liz & Phil & gave a history of the forums.

Liz gave the background to the Out Of Hours which started of as a support service but has grown into a much wider service with statutory obligations.

They have 24 part & full time staff.

From 5-8:30pm a Support Time Recovery worker responds. From 8.30 an Approved Mental Health Practice (AMHP) & Community Psychiatric Nurse’s (CPNs) work.

 Feedback from users present: Generally there were very negative experiences of the OOH response.

Examples as follows: Users ringing & not receiving a helpful, appropriate reply.

Care coordinators leaving & not being replaced. ( Day Services, Home Treatmeant Team )

 Care plans not being drawn up, some not being maintained, other service user not included in drawing up the plan.

 Users being told they could not receive treatment/support because of their diagnosis. This was especially high from the diagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A serious condition which produces the largest number of suicides.

 No change or progress had been made in 20 years regarding the out of hours / crisis support. Nightlink was set up as a talk network for service users and carers alike, so people didn’t feel isolated. This was NEVER meant to be a crisis helpline.

 At a time of crisis people were often left feeling more acutely unwell than prior to ringing. Telling people to have a cup of tea, go for a walk or have a bath, is not the best support for a person in crisis or trying to prevent a crisis. It is the same standard of understanding as telling someone to pull themselves together.

 It was believed that service users could contribute to staff training, that basic skills such as empathy were not being taught.

 Suggestions were more training in ASSIST. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is intended as 'suicide first-aid' training. ASIST aims to enable helpers (anyone in a position of trust) to become more willing, ready and able to recognise and intervene effectively to help persons at risk of suicide.

Awareness of other support links eg

Saneline, ( o845-767-8000) We are open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm

Nightlink, is available on Freephone 0808 8000306 from 5pm to midnight every night. ( Cornwall only)

Samaritans (08457 90 90 90 ) Local Truro 01872 277 277

Practical issues to be considered, such as how to access, the police , GPs.

A policy/information pack is available, though Liz and Phil hope SURG would help to re-design to make it service user friendly.

 Many were not aware that people with a psychiatric diagnosis are eligible to a physical check up once a year which could eliminate other illnesses affecting their mental state.

 Ray closed with thanks to all.

Next West Forum October 13th Falmouth

( venue likely to be Methodist Church on The Moor, watch for further announcements)

Update June 2011

No news for so long...... Been struggling...... But moving on again....

On 8th February, a meeting took place at Boundevean Day Centre in Camborne, titled "Whole Life Approach". It was the weirdest meeting ever.

I went to a Billy Graham meeting back in the sixties and it started off like that. With Evangelist Billy Graham he spoke with deep passion about Christ.

Well the meeting started with a modern day evangilist Ron Colman, though he spoke about each service user being able to be their own healer. He was telling us that the way he recovered works for all.

Well I know after so many years of trying to find the magic wand, it doesn't work for everyone. Each one of us will have our own journey. You might find it in a short time or it could last many decades. Each person is an individual and our journey is personal to us.

I was disappointed by a Mental Health senior manager, took this meeting to tell not just service users, but the staff, that day centres would no longer be part of Cornwall Partnership Trust run services.

 If the service users wanted them, then they could run their own Social Enterprise or bring in the third sector. Buildings would remain, but maybe used in a different way.

This news had a big effect on all the service users and a number of staff from many different centres. The Chief Executive, Phil Confue, finished the meeting saying they had signed up to Ron Colman's Recovery plan.

Since then I have been fighting hard to get that decision to be reversed at every meeting possible. It brought me right down to my lowest point in many years, hence why I haven't been updating for so long.

Last week all was reversed, not sure if my input helped that reversal or the law ruling in Birmingham . But then as long as the right outcome happens, who cares.

 Without the day centres, I would not be alive today, so let us make sure they remain for all who need them.

What the Health and Social Care managers don't seem to understand, people will recover better if they are mixing with others who are in different positions, either with low needs or high needs.

It has been shown those with lower needs, thrieve when they are helping people with higher needs and those with higher needs grow with good Peer to Peer support.

Good care don't mean it has to cost more, just include Service Users in the development of services from the start of change.

Two Mental Forums have taken place, one at The Liskerett Centre in Liskeard, the other at Boundervean, Camborne. Both were well attended and produced good debate.

The next Forum well be in Penzance on Thursday 7th July between 1:00pm and 3:00pm, will let you know where as soon as that has been sorted.

Do you want to get involved with the Forums???? please contact me for more details.

News Feeds

THURSDAY 25TH NOVEMBER 2010.... What a day!

It went very well and the hall was full.... Thank you all who came along... That was just the beginning... The Forums will be held in all area's of Cornwall.

If you missed the presentation or you would like to study it, then please go to Just click on the first sentence.... it will take a little time to load.... You will need either Powerpoint 2009 or the latest Powerpoint free reader from to see it.

Off to Plymouth on Tuesday to be part of a presentation to Plymouth University academics... see the last slide on the powerpoint presentation.

Do you care about Mental Health in Cornwall?      

This is an invite to all who have an interest in Mental Health Services in Cornwall, no matter if you are a Service User, Carer, Therapist, Consellor or a Cornwall / Parish Councilor, Press or Media personal, ALL Health Workers, All Charities, in fact if you live or work in Cornwall, then you need to put this date into your diary.

THURSDAY 25th NOVEMBER 2010. 11.00AM TO 2.00PM

Big changes have been going on in Cornwall, without service user consultation. This is of course in contravention of Section 242 (1B) of the NHS Act 2006, which came into force on 3rd November 2008. This act brought all other previous acts under one heading.

One of the things wrong in Cornwall was the dismise of the Mental Health Service Users Forums. The successful Forums were taken away from The Service Users and became just another management tool. There was a large void that appeared and without any consultation the Forums turned into Cornwall mental health Project.

There has been many meeting since then, but our consultations with all sections of Health and Social Care had diminished. A few NHS managers still involved Service Users, but many have contravened the act whilst the Forums haven't been operating.

 Well that is now all in the past and on Thursday 25th November, it is hoped to lay down the first steps of re-establishing The Forums throughout ALL of Cornwall. So that every person who has a mental or emotional condition / illness will be able to meet with other sufferers, sharing stories, support, advocating, so helping each other to band together in making sure the services are there when they are needed.

From The Forums, representatives will be able to share your concerns with those who make the decisions, also we hope to resume with the input from professionals to keep us in the picture of their thoughts about services, before they impose things that often do not work for the client.

So you have the date and time, now where is it?

TRURO TOWN HALL............. Refreshments provided.

There will be a presentation, followed by a Question Time or a Round Table Debate and then a casual get together. So it will all be rather laid back, come along enjoy.

For Service Users living in Cornwall and you need transport, please call Jane on 01872-243532 please also call Jane for other information and if you need directions.

 If you are a Mental Health professional or a charity and you would like to have a display information, then once again then please contact Jane.

 I am in respite at Oakleigh (of course just one of the things The Forums achieved) this week...... but feel free to email me on any issue you would like to see at the Open Meeting on 25th November.

 Hope to see you there..... please tell everyone you know... we don't always know who is suffering.



Mental Health Forums are about to re-appear in Cornwall ... soon

Thursday 23rd September 2010, can be remembered as the shadow Service User Representative Group (SURG) in Cornwall, voted to rebuild a proper working Service User network in Cornwall. Re-instating The Mental Health Forums. There were three proposals on the table by Martin Raymount, Karen Campbell and Ray Hancock. All three proposals were well thought out and completly different. Martin would like a Council of Service Users being very structured. Karen was also looking at a central body going out to other Service Users, whilst Ray believe the power should be equally with every single service user, where there is no one power base, but a pure open network. Where ALL Service Users, no matter where they live or what condition they cope with should have a bearing on there availablity to have their say in services.

Click on the link below to view the accepted proposal. Now what we need is for ALL Service Users to become involved with the Forums. It is hoped that by this time next year all Forums will be up and running and ready to have their first AGM's where they will be able to vote for the people to represent them.

  SURG accepted RJH proposal 002 230910(2).pdf

 If you cannot open the presentation, it could be you do not have a copy of Acrobat Reader, this can be downloaded free of charge from Goto Downloads and download Acrobat Reader.

Suicide risk for seniors moving into residential homes            

May 18th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Health

 "While a move can represent a positive change, all moves involve some degree of loss," say Carol Podgorski from the University of Rochester in New York and colleagues in an article published this week in PLoS Medicine, and this can lead to heightened risk for suicidal behavior.

Whether by choice or necessity, more older adults are now living in residential homes. And while the residences themselves are designed to be appealing, the underlying reasons that precipitate moving into a residential home, as well as the ensuing adjustment process, often result in stress that can sometimes lead to suicidal behavior. Dr. Podgorski and colleagues lay out risk factors for suicidal behavior in older adults living in residential communities including social factors (widowing, divorce, substance abuse, loss, and family discord) and medical factors such as increased physical and psychotic illnesses.

The authors suggest ways that public health systems and residential communities can counter suicidal behavior in older adults living within communal accommodation: "The public health approach to suicide is consistent with theories of aging in that it calls for actions that aim to mitigate the multiple, cumulative losses for which older adults are at increased risk." The authors conclude that "there is no single blueprint for a suicide prevention plan. It is incumbent upon each facility to assess its own characteristics and resident populations and to use that information to set priorities and establish relevant goals."

More information: Podgorski CA, Langford L, Pearson JL, Conwell Y (2010) Suicide Prevention for Older Adults in Residential Communities: Implications for Policy and Practice. PLoS Med 7(5): e1000254. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000254

Provided by Public Library of Science

"Suicide risk for seniors moving into residential homes." May 18th, 2010.

Newborn infants learn while asleep; study may lead to later disability tests.

May 17th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Psychology & Psychiatry

Sleeping newborns are better learners than thought, says a University of Florida researcher about a study that is the first of its type. The study could lead to identifying those at risk for developmental disorders such as autism and dyslexia.

"We found a basic form of learning in sleeping newborns, a type of learning that may not be seen in sleeping adults," said Dana Byrd, a research affiliate in psychology at UF who collaborated with a team of scientists.

The findings give valuable information about how it is that newborns are able to learn so quickly from the world, when they sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day, Byrd said. "Sleeping newborns are better learners, better 'data sponges' than we knew," she said.

In order to understand how newborns learn while in their most frequent state, Byrd and her colleagues tested the learning abilities of sleeping newborns by repeating tones that were followed by a gentle puff of air to the eyelids. After about 20 minutes, 24 of the 26 babies squeezed their eyelids together when the tone was sounded without the puff of air.

"This methodology opens up research areas into potentially detecting high risk populations, those who show abnormalities in the neural systems underlying this form of learning," she said. "These would include siblings of individuals with autism and siblings of those with dyslexia."

The research team's paper, published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the results of their experiment with the 1- or 2-day-old infants, comparing them with a control group using EEG and video recordings. The brain waves of the 24 infants were found to change, providing a neural measurement of memory updating.

"While past studies find this type of learning can occur in infants who are awake, this is the first study to document it in their most frequent state, while they are asleep," Byrd said. "Since newborns sleep so much of the time, it is important that they not only take in information but use the information in such a way to respond appropriately."

Not only did the newborns show they can learn to give this reflex in response to the simple tone, but they gave the response at the right time, she said.

Learned eyelid movement reflects the normal functioning of the circuitry in the cerebellum, a neural structure at the base of the brain. This study's method potentially offers a unique non-invasive tool for early identification of infants with atypical cerebellar structure, who are potentially at risk for a range of developmental disorders, including autism and dyslexia, she said.

The capacity of infants to learn during sleep contrasts with some researchers' stance that learning new material does not take place in sleeping adults, Byrd said.

The immature nature of sleep patterns in infants could help explain why, she said.

"Newborn infants' sleep patterns are quite different than those of older children or adults in that they show more active sleep where heart and breathing rates are very changeable," she said. "It may be this sleep state is more amenable to experiencing the world in a way that facilitates learning."

Another factor is that infants' brains have greater neural plasticity, which is the ability for the neural connections to be changed, Byrd said. "Newborns may be very adaptive to learning in general simply because their brains have increased plasticity, increased propensity to be changed by experience," she said.

Provided by University of Florida

"Newborn infants learn while asleep; study may lead to later disability tests." May 17th, 2010.

The dark side of loneliness: It can hurt body, mind

April 11, 2010 By Liz Szabo

Jody Schoger felt utterly alone, "curled up like a turtle" in her hospital bed, where she was fighting a life-threatening infection after breast cancer surgery.

"I remember never even opening the blinds, just hibernating," says Schoger, of The Woodlands, Texas. "I even started sleeping with the blankets pulled over my head. I was at the edge of the world."

Like many people with serious illness, Schoger found herself cut off from family, friends and the "real" world outside the hospital, which began to feel like another planet. Although many people would have been happy to help, Schoger says she never thought to call them. And while the hospital was filled with doctors, nurses and other patients, Schoger -- facing her own mortality -- felt very much alone.

As her story suggests, the pain of loneliness is caused less by being alone than by feeling alone, says John Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago's Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

Researchers are studying the causes and health effects of loneliness -- both on the body and mind -- in the hope of helping individuals and communities
remain healthy and connected. Lonely people tend to have higher blood pressure and weaker immune systems, he says. Loneliness may even affect our genes. In lonely people, genes that promote inflammation are more active, while genes that reduce inflammation are less active, he says.

Considering how humans evolved, it makes sense that feeling alone gives people stress, Cacioppo says.

Humans evolved to depend on one another. Those who fail to connect with others are more likely to die without passing on their genes, Cacioppo says. In many ways, he says, the drive to avoid being alone is as strong as the need to alleviate hunger, thirst and pain.

The desire for companionship -- and the fear of being ostracized -- even motivates people to behave better, Cacioppo says.

"Loneliness is a biological process that contributes to being better social members of our species," he says. "Think about what happens when you give a toddler a timeout. You basically make them feel lonely. Then they come back and are more likely to share, to be generous, to take the perspective of the other."

Scientists don't really know the effects, however, of longer periods of enforced isolation, such as solitary confinement, says Cacioppo, who is interviewed in a new National Geographic Channel "Explorer" episode that premieres Sunday.

Former inmate Josue Gonzales says it was hard to readjust to being in crowds after his October release from the Colorado State Penitentiary. Gonzales served nearly a decade in prison, with about half of that in solitary, after stealing a car and breaking into a house.

"At first, when I got out, I didn't even want to go to the restaurant that my family wanted to take me to," says Gonzales, 29, who also appears in the "Explorer" episode. "There were so many people in there. Then I got in there and sat down, and I got nervous and started shaking."

But psychologist Peter Suedfeld, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, notes that interviews with veterans of solitary confinement can be misleading. That's partly because people sent to solitary confinement are likely to be very different from other people.

The only definitive experiment, Cacioppo says, would be to randomly assign half of prisoners selected for solitary confinement to return to the general prison while allowing the rest to proceed to solitary as planned. That would allow researchers to compare how the two groups change over time, if at all, and to determine whether those changes were the result of solitary confinement or something else.

Gonzales, who now lives in Pueblo, Colo., recently got married and is looking for work. He says he's trying to rebuild his social connections.

And Schoger -- who has been cancer-free for 12 years -- says she sometimes finds support in unexpected ways.

"If any survivor posts something onto Twitter or Facebook that they're 'having a hard day,' I can bet you 10 to 1 that he or she is surrounded by good wishes by day's end," she says.

"Yet the survivor, the one who is ill, has to be willing to take that step. Once he or she does, the burden of illness and its perceived isolation fades away."

(c) 2010, USA Today.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

April 9th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Health

 Nicotine withdrawal can cause dangerous agitation in intensive care patients. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care found that, compared to non-smokers, agitated smokers were more likely to accidentally remove tubes and catheters, require supplemental sedative, analgesic or anti-psychotic medications, or need physical restraints.

Damien du Cheyron, from Caen University Hospital, France, worked

with a team of researchers to study the effects of nicotine withdrawal in 44 smokers and 100 non-smokers in the hospital's intensive care unit, finding that agitation was twice as common in smokers than controls. He said, "Agitation was significantly more common in smokers than in non-smokers. These results suggest the need to be aware of nicotine withdrawal syndrome in critically ill patients, and support the need for improved strategies to prevent agitation or treat it earlier".

None of the smokers in the study were allowed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) during the study period. According to du Cheyron, "NRT remains a controversial topic in intensive care and has been associated with mortality. Due to the serious consequences of withdrawal-induced agitation, including sedation and physical restraint, we suggest that the use of nicotine replacement therapy should be tested by a well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trial in the ICU setting".

More information: The effect of carbon dioxide on near-death experiences in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study, Zalika Klemenc-Ketis, Janko Kersnik and Stefek Grmec, Critical Care (in press)

Provided by BioMed Central

"Harm caused by nicotine withdrawal during intensive care." April 9th, 2010.

Eating eggs for breakfast helps reduce calorie consumption throughout the day by 18 percent                                     

April 6th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Health

A new study demonstrates that eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day. The study, published in the February issue of Nutrition Research, found that men who consumed an egg-based breakfast ate significantly fewer calories when offered an unlimited lunch buffet compared to when they ate a carbohydrate-rich bagel breakfast of equal calories.(1) This study supports previous research which revealed that eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped overweight dieters lose 65 percent more weight and feel more energetic than dieters who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories and volume.(2)

"There is a growing body of evidence that supports the importance of high-quality protein in the diet for overall health and in particular the importance of protein at the breakfast meal," said Maria Luz Fernandez, Ph.D., study author and professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut. "We examined two typical American breakfasts, and the participants' self-reported appetite ratings reveal that a protein-rich breakfast helps keep hunger at bay."

A Closer Look at the Study

Twenty-one men participated in this study and each ate two different test breakfasts. On one test day the participants ate an egg-based, protein-rich breakfast including three scrambled eggs and one-and-a-half pieces of white toast. On another test day they ate a bagel-based, carbohydrate-rich breakfast including one plain bagel, one half tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese and six ounces of low-fat yogurt. The two breakfasts contained identical calories, but when the men ate the egg-based breakfast the researchers observed that:

  • the men ate roughly 112 fewer calories at a buffet lunch three hours following the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast
  • they consumed approximately 400 fewer calories in the 24-hour period following the egg breakfast
  • blood tests showed that ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger when elevated, was significantly higher after the bagel breakfast

Protein Makes Breakfast Incredible

"Starting the day with a high-quality protein breakfast like eggs is a great tool to promote long-lasting fullness and reduced calorie consumption," said Helenbeth Reynolds, M.P.H., R.D., registered dietitian and nutrition consultant. "For only 70 calories, eggs are a compact, nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein, and nearly half of an egg's protein, along with many other nutrients, is found in the yolk, so I always encourage eating the whole egg."

Quick and Easy Egg Breakfasts

Reynolds suggests these tips to make a protein-rich breakfast incredibly quick and easy:

  • For a speedy and satisfying balanced meal, beat an egg in a small bowl or coffee mug, place on high heat in the microwave for 60 seconds and add it to a toasted whole-grain English muffin. Top with low-fat cheese and a slice of tomato.
  • Keep hard-cooked eggs ready and waiting in your refrigerator to grab as part of breakfast on the run.
  • Bake a batch of egg and vegetable Muffin Frittatas ahead of time, and quickly re-warm in the microwave for a delicious and filling, protein-packed breakfast.

More information: 1) Ratliff, J., Leite, J.O., de Ogburn, R., Puglisi, M.J., VanHeest, J., Fernandez, M.L. (2010) Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutrition Research, 30, 96-103.

2)Vander Wal, J.S., Gupta, A., Khosla, P., Dhurandhar. (2008). Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 1545-1551.

Provided by Egg Nutrition Center

"Eating eggs for breakfast helps reduce calorie consumption throughout the day by 18 percent." April 6th, 2010.

 The fight goes on via FACEBOOK.... do please join....         

Bulletin from the cause: Save Murdoch & Trevithick Centre Redruth 4 Learning Disabilities

Posted By: Ray Hancock

To: Members in Save Murdoch & Trevithick Centre Redruth 4 Learning Disabilities

Murdoch and Trevithick Centre (plus other Day Care Centres)

Thank you to all 646 members of this cause. Can I ask all of you to contact ALL your friends and ask them to join this group. I believe ALL day centres will come under attack once the new government is in place during May.

Already I have seen an email that is looking at cut backs by Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust. This was a cut to something which is against NICE (National Institute Clinical Execellence) guidelines. Now if they are drawing up cutting such services, then we can be assured day centres are on their hit list.

It is strange, but I have been told talks are taken place and though I asked (I am an elected Service User Rep) to be part of those talks via the 2006 NHS act part 242, which states service users will be engaged in any change of service,

Please copy and paste this into your "What are you doing box " and share with all your friends, we need many thousands of members to have a real impact.

We have MP's, Prospective Parliamentary Candidates, Cornwall councillors, Town and Parish Councillors along with all you good caring people on this list....... Now let do something and not wait until the centre closes.


Julia Goldsworthy PPC.... Camborne & Redruth

Kim Willoughby Cornwall Councillor, Carn Brea South

Mike Hall...... Redruth Town Councillor

Bill Turner....... Redruth Town Councillor

Tracey Butler....Four Lanes Ward Councillor, Carn Brea Parish Ray Hancock.... Four Lanes Ward Councillor, Carn Brea Parish

Please make contact with any of us, if you would like to be more active in the campaign, then please make contact with any of the above. If you would like your contacts sent to all members, then please let Ray know at [email protected]

Thank you

Call to Action

Spread the word. Every invitation counts:

Myths and facts of self-harm.                 

Myths and facts of self-harm.

February 16, 2010 — shadowlight and co

Self-harm is usually a failed suicide attempt.

This myth persists despite a wealth of studies showing that, although people who self-injure may be at a higher risk of suicide than others, they distinguish betwen acts of self-harm and attempted suicide. Many, if not most, self-injuring people who make a suicide attempt use means that are completely different to their preferred methods of self-inflicted violence.

People who self-injure are crazy and should be locked up.

Tracy Alderman, Ph.D., author of The Scarred Soul, addressed this:

“Fear can lead to dangerous overreactions. In dealing with clients who hurt themselves, you will probably feel fear. . . . Hospitalizing clients for self-inflicted violence is one such form of overreaction. Many therapists, because they do not possess an adequate understanding of SIV, will use extreme measures to assure (they think) their clients’ best interests. However, few people who self-injure need to be hospitalized or institutionalized. The vast majority of self-inflicted wounds are neither life threatening nor require medical treatment. Hospitalizing a client involuntarily for these issues can be damaging in several ways. Because SIV is closely related to feelings of lack of control and overwhelming emotional states, placing someone in a setting that by its nature evokes these feelings is very likely to make matters worse, and may lead to an incident of SIV. In addition, involuntary hospitalization often affects the therapeutic relationship in negative ways, eroding trust, communication, rapport, and honesty. Caution should be used when assessing a client’s level of threat to self or others. In most cases, SIV is not life threatening. . . . Because SIV is so misunderstood, clinicians often overreact and provide treatment that is contraindicated.

People who self-harm are just trying to get attention.

A wise friend once emailed me a list of attention-seeking behaviors: wearing nice clothing, smiling at people, saying “hi”, going to the check-out counter at a store, and so on. We all seek attention all the time; wanting attention is not bad or sick. If someone is in so much distress and feel so ignored that the only way they can think of to express their pain is by hurting his/her body, something is definitely wrong in their life and this isn’t the time to be making moral judgments about their behavior.

That said, most poeple who self-injure go to great lengths to hide their wounds and scars. Many consider their self-harm to be a deeply shameful secret and dread the consequences of discovery.

Self-inflicted violence is just an attempt to manipulate others.

Some people use self-inflicted injuries as an attempt to cause others to behave in certain ways, it’s true. Most don’t, though. If you feel as though someone is trying to manipulate you with SI, it may be more important to focus on what it is they want and how you can communicate about it while maintaining appropriate boundaries. Look for the deeper issues and work on those.

Only people with Borderline Personality Disorder self-harm.

Self-harm is a criterion for diagnosing BPD, but there are 8 other equally-important criteria. Not everyone with BPD self-harms, and not all people who self-harm have BPD (regardless of practitioners who automatically diagnose anyone who self-injures with BPD).

If the wounds aren’t “bad enough,” self-harm isn’t serious.

The severity of the self-inflicted wounds has very little to do with the level of emotional distress present. Different people have different methods of SI and different pain tolerances. The only way to figure out how much distress someone is in is to ask. Never assume; check it out with the person.

What is your view? Should web-sites carry

details about self-harm or not?

Posted on March 12, 2010 by Dawn Willis

Websites told to remove material promoting self-harm

Doctors call for policing of internet as numbers admitted to hospital due to self-harm rise

Doctors today called on websites to remove any material which romanticises or promotes self-harm by young people, as figures emerged suggesting a significant rise in the numbers admitted to hospital.

Around one in ten 11-25 year-olds – mainly but not only girls – will deliberately harm themselves at some point. According to the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University, admissions of under-25s who have damaged themselves deliberately with a sharp object have risen by 50% in five years, from 1,758 in 2004/5 to 2,727 in 2008/9.

“We are sure this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Professor Keith Hawton of the centre told the BBC. “Pressures have increased and there’s much more expected of young people.”

One in five young people questioned by the centre said they had first heard about self-harm from reading about it or watching a video online.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says it is seriously concerned that some websites romanticise self-harm and may encourage young people to try it. It is calling for new curbs by website operators and moderators on self-harming content.

Dr Margaret Murphy, chair of the college’s faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry, said the internet anxieties follow concern about the
growing mental health problems of young people.

“Unicef’s report at the end of 2007 suggested young people in the UK were faring worse in terms of mental well-being than in other parts of Europe,” she told the Guardian.

Most self-harm involved cutting oneself, but from time to time young people burn themselves or bang their heads, she said. “The reasons behind it are very complex but many young people who self-harm describe it as being a way of dealing with intolerable feelings and releasing or coping with them. They may feel self-loathing, self-hatred, shame, anger, frustration or sadness.” The triggers for these feelings include bullying, family conflicts, a sense of isolation and not fitting in, she said.

Videos featuring young people talking abot their experiences of self-harm proliferate on the internet, she said. “Some of them are probably quite helpful – they help people feel they are not alone.”

But others have graphics, images and music and present self-harm in what could be an attractive light. “I saw one of an American man who looked to be about 24 who decided to film himself in A&E where he had gone in and cut himself and he was sending it to his friends,” she said.

Sometimes the comments people post on films are not helpful. “The anonymity means people will be harsher than they would in personal contact,” she said. This had also been a problem with websites where young people had discussed suicide, she added.

In a statement, the college called upon “all website owners and moderators to ensure that material, images and commentary which appear to promote or romanticise self harm are removed. We also call on them to ensure that any online content relating to self-harm is accompanied by information about relevant organisations which can offer advice and support. The Samaritans has issued guidelines for journalists on the responsible reporting and portrayal of suicide and self-harm, and we urge new media to adopt these guidelines as well.”

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

 Six out of ten people have suffered mental

 health problems

By Tim Moynihan, PA

Monday, 8 March 2010

Six out of 10 people (62%) in Britain have had at least one time in their life where they found it difficult to cope mentally, according to a survey published today.

Mental health charity Together said the figures showed there should be an end to a "them and us" attitude to the topic.

The research, commissioned to launch the charity's annual Mental Wellbeing Week, found that 70% of people had suffered stress, 59% anxiety and 55% depression.

These were the three most common difficulties encountered by the public.

Three in 10 (32%) said they had been worried they were "cracking up" at one point or another.

Liz Felton, ex-psychiatric nurse and the charity's chief executive, said: "This research shows that mental health and wellbeing is an issue relevant to most people, not just those with diagnosed issues.

"We hope the results go some way to try and reduce the 'them and us' mentality about the topic that can lead to stigma, and perhaps prevents some people from seeking help, or talking about what they're going through when they need to."

The research also revealed that of the people who admitted to experiencing difficulties, 69% had taken at least one step that saw them try to isolate themselves from the outside world or mask how they were feeling, rather than facing up to what was happening.

Matthew Hyndman, who has had difficulties himself, and been supported by the charity, said: "I was bullied at university and it put me into a downward spiral to the point where most of my days were spent in the house staring at the television.

"I now realise this is the worst thing you can do, because the more isolated you become, the harder and more unimaginable it seems that you will ever have the courage to enter 'normal' life again. It was like a vicious circle, but one I broke in the end."

Commenting on the findings, Care Services Minister Phil Hope said: "Other debilitating conditions like cancer or heart disease prompt sympathy and understanding. But mental health is all too often treated as taboo.

"As this survey makes clear, many of us will be affected by mental health problems at some point and that is why we are bringing forward a radical new approach which includes the national roll out of our successful talking therapies programme, NICE guidelines, new action on suicide prevention and a plan to tackle the stigma shrouding mental illness.

"The recently launched NHS Stressline also offers practical and emotional support for people suffering from anxiety, depression and stress."

People seeking advice about wellbeing were urged to visit

:: The survey of 2,000 adults was carried out online by YouGov plc between February 15 and 17.

Source: The Independent

It's official S.U.N. Cornwall & associated sites take top Four Google Search Results.                                                    

Dear all,

How about that then..... top four in Google search, which returned 498,000 results.... searching on "cornwall service users" :-) (searching on "service users cornwall" returns 499,000 results, but places suncornwall at number 1 & 2, Cornwall page on Mental Health Forums at 3 and the Emotional Info site at number 10.

The strange thing regarding Emotional.Info site.... I still haven't started to input any data. Not sure why it is showing so high.

All sites are receiving high traffic flows. Comments being received have all been very positive, just one negative regarding Service User Network, don't believe this is a service user initiative.

Over the years I have tried different formats with different sites, but sun-cornwall is far the most popular.

The reason why I am emailing you and a number of other service users, careers and professionals is to see if there is anything else you would like to see on this/these sites.

Do remember this is a service user website and not a professionals website, so terminology differs.

I also ask all service users to come onboard, we can use this site to attract new as well as old service users to re-engage with The Mental Health Forums and once again become the best Service User Involvement team.

I am doing service user involvement with Plymouth university via Pool College, this is very much a two way process. Anyone else who would like to get involved then please email me, also if you know anyone with Learning Disabilities, we are a little short from their input.

I do hope the joint working and sharing of information between service users, careers, councilors, unions and professionals will strengthen over this year. Cornwall can show the way..... so let us do it.


Ray Hancock

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It's official....HUGS are good for your mental health...          

For a number of years, many service users have stated that a good HUG and some nurturing is far better than all the tablets.

Now a Canadian study backs what we already know.

It's been a fact with many private psychotherapist, the best and quickest way to reach a persons core problems is via touch.

Yet the NHS will teach Nurses and other workers that touch breaks professional codes of conduct ........ But we are humans and at a very early period of our lives many, if not the majority, were emotionally neglected and touch starved. Newborn babies can live longer without food, than they can without touch. ( Russian research ).

Save the Country loads of money and save a lot of us a load of pain, work with clients individually, listen to each person's need and develop the right approach for each person, it might be medication, counselling, therapy, re-parenting, attachment therapy, regression, talking or maybe a mixture of some or all.

Christmas spirit flagging? Go out and get a hug.

A new Canadian study has found that people who get hugs regularly are more likely to report better mental health. A warm embrace, in fact, had a more significant connection to an uplifting frame of mind than attending church regularly.

Erin Anderssen

From Friday's Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 7:14PM EST Last updated on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 2:25AM EST

“For people who either benefit from affection or lack it, there are substantial differences,” says Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Montreal-based Association of Canadians Studies, who analyzed the data from the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey. “I recommend getting a hug.”

Over all, Canadians appear to be a happy lot – with more than 60 per cent of the population reporting their mental health as excellent or very good. But in the national survey, Canadians who said they got hugs “all the time” were twice as likely as those who didn't to say their mental health was excellent. This makes sense, Mr. Jedwab says, because affection has a clear link to being part of a healthy, loving community. People with good mental health were also far more likely to say they had someone to turn to when they had problems.

At the same time, he says, it didn't matter whether people went to church every week or not at all – how they described their mental health didn't change.

The proportion of Canadians saying their mental health was excellent – or who said they felt “very satisfied” – and attend weekly worship was similar to the ones who never go. The pattern was the same among Canadians who saw themselves as very spiritual, and even held up among people who identified themselves as connected to a religion.

But don't rule out the health benefits of being spiritual, researchers say – especially in times of stress. In the past few years, a growing collection of studies have explored rates of mental illness among the religious, many of them finding that the incidence of depression and anxiety is lower among this segment of the population. A new, two-year Australian study that tracked people hospitalized with depression found that those who expressed core
religious beliefs recovered faster – and that faith had a greater influence than either medication or community support.

“It's not just the social component, says Marilyn Baetz, an associate psychiatry professor at the University of Saskatchewan, who studies the role of religion in mental-health treatment. “People can use religion as a coping mechanism.”

But the story is complicated, Dr. Baetz says. People lean less often on religion when times are good, a fact a survey may obscure. And a strong faith can also work against treatment, she says, if, for instance, the person decides “[leave] the situation in God's hands.”

Either way, Mr. Jedwab says, religious leaders may be wise to take note of his findings: “To be on the safe side, clergy may wish to conclude their services by inviting [their] congregations to give someone a hug.”

Please support investment for research         

Lessons learned after death of woman on suicide watch

Thursday, October 22, 2009, The West Briton

THE death of a Falmouth woman while she was on suicide watch in hospital has led to improved procedures being implemented.|

Trenna Shaw overdosed on prescription drugs and suffocated herself while a patient at Longreach House, in Redruth, in February 2007, an inquest heard. The 25-year-old had tried to commit suicide on up to 20 previous occasions while at the unit. As a result, she had been put on suicide watch, though at the time of her death it appears all those involved in her care thought someone else was checking on her.

The inquest in Truro was told an investigation revealed there were no proper records and "inconsistent evidence" about who had been keeping an eye on the vulnerable woman.

Two days before the tragedy, Mrs Shaw had been committed after her husband Craig was no longer able to deal with her constant attempts to kill herself.

Mrs Shaw was initially placed on "line of sight" monitoring, with nurses duty-bound to keep her within their view, but on the day of her death that had been downgraded to checks every five minutes. Two-and-a-half hours later, Mrs Shaw was found dead in the communal toilets. She had taken an overdose and suffocated herself.

No-one was able to tell the court how Mrs Shaw had obtained the drugs and there was no documentation to show she had been checked on within the last two hours of her life.

Since Mrs Shaw's death, the hospital has introduced a series of changes which include daily medication checks, the removal of bin liners from some areas and training in "clinical risks".


Coroner Emma Carlyon recorded a narrative verdict, saying lessons had been learned and that no further action would be taken.

Mrs Shaw's father, Ray Hancock, said afterwards his family was satisfied with the verdict.

"There were many failings which ended with giving the time for Trenna to carry out her wish to end the long enduring pain she experienced," he said.

"The family would like to thank the NHS for the many years they did help Trenna to live her life.

"The family would also like to thank all who have sent their best wishes to us – we appreciate your support.

"We will never be able to get back to normal, but we will do our best to move forward."

Mrs Shaw had been brought up in Penryn where she had attended all three schools.

She married Craig in August 2005 and the couple settled in Grenville Road, Falmouth.

By supporting Research Mental Health you have helped us to show the collective demand for this initiative, taking us one step further in our mission to secure more investment in mental health research, so thank you very much. Only with more investment will we be able to make the breakthroughs necessary to really understand and treat mental illness.

We will call upon the Government to continue to invest in mental health research and will work to ensure that the National Health Service, research funders, pharmaceutical companies and the general public see it as a priority too. We have some way to go to reach our goal of securing £200 million a year within the next five years, but with widespread support we can make progress.

If you haven't already, please pass this email onto your family, friends and colleagues so they can show their support too.

     Trenna's Inquest report          

Acute Wards for help or life's end?          

Hundreds die in 'hidden world' of mental hospitals

Campaigners warn that too many women are sectioned on locked wards

Amelia Hill, social affairs correspondent

The Observer, Sunday 12 July 2009

Hundreds of people are dying every year while sectioned under the Mental Health Act, the Observer can reveal.

New figures released by the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody show that in the past 10 years 3,540 of those detained in NHS facilities, including high-security psychiatric hospitals, have died.

The figures have been condemned as "horrific" by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which will launch a campaign tomorrow called Lost Daughters, calling for fewer women and girls to be held in custody. As part of its campaign, the charity will place a memorial advert in the Observer every time there is a death.

"These numbers are horrific," said Frances Crook, director of the Howard League. "These are closed institutions. These deaths are happening away from the public eye. We need to scrutinise exactly what's going on in this shadowy, hidden world."

The figures reveal that more than 800 of the 1,979 male deaths and almost 300 of the 1,561 deaths among women over the 10-year period were from unnatural causes, including suicides and accidents.

These patients were largely middle-aged, with about half dying outside the hospital, either during home leave or during periods when they were absent without permission.

Anna Savage, from Thundersley, Essex, took the South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to court last year, arguing that it had taken insufficient care to protect her mother, who committed suicide after walking out of hospital. Hospitals must now take reasonable measures to avoid harm to patients who have been sectioned.

Paul Corry of Rethink, a mental health charity, said that the figures revealed a "hidden scandal". He added that many of the deaths attributed to natural causes could be prevented.

"We assume that because these people are being kept in so-called 'hospitals', whether they are secure or psychiatric, they are receiving a satisfactory level of physical care," he said. "This is often far from the case.

"Psychiatric hospitals have far fewer facilities than normal hospitals, so patients don't get the day-to-day help they need. In addition, transferring patients with serious health issues to normal hospitals can be very difficult, because doctors often don't want to have these people on their wards."

Helen Shaw, co-director of Inquest, which offers advice to bereaved families about deaths in custody, said the current investigation system into these deaths is "not fit for purpose".

"These deaths do not receive sufficient public scrutiny and contentious deaths are escaping any public scrutiny," she said. "As a vulnerable group, mentally ill detained patients are deserving of protection, and failure to implement preventative measures against their heightened risk of suicide and self-harm could lead to a breach of the European convention on human rights."

Source: The Guardian

Proposed closure of Murdock and Trevithick Day Centre Redruth

Do you want to become a Member Of Parliament (MP) ?

Nick Clegg on Time to Get Equal Week (June 8-14)


Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats today pledged to encourage more disabled people to stand for Parliament and to highlight the current under-representation of disabled people in British politics.

Time to Change Media Update: The Sun at it AGAIN

07 May 2009 at 15:04

No wonder so many people with mental Health and Learning Difficulties are attacked each year. This is no less than an incitement to violence against some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I suggest you also write to yor local MP. I am also going to get a group of people together to stand outside supermarkets and other busy newsellers. Asking people to boycott the Sun, until they treat people with some respect.


SUN Rising in Camborne