On 3rd July, a new exhibition opens at the Bethlem Gallery, showcasing young people’s artwork on the theme of identity. Young artists from Bethlem Adolescent Unit, Bromley Pupil Referral Service (Kingswood) and Hayes School visited the Museum to view a variety of portraits from the collection, before using a variety of creative media to generate their own artwork. The exhibition runs until 26 July, and will be open on the day of the Bethlem Sunfayre.
The annual site open day takes place this year on Saturday 6 July, with activities and events running from 12 – 5pm. There will be live music, stalls, complementary therapies, free children’s entertainment, refreshments, exhibitions, talks, tours and art workshops. This year, the Archives and Museum will have a marquee, allowing us to offer additional exhibitions, talks on the History of Bethlem and to showcase the plans for the new Museum of the Mind. Museum staff will be on hand at all times to answer your questions and listen to your feedback. We look forward to seeing you there!
Face Value opens 3 July, 3 – 6pm
Exhibition continues: 4 – 26 July, Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 6pm
#RT via Bridget via http://bethlemheritage.wordpress.com
The specialist Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital has been recognised as providing an example of “best practice” in caring for women suffering with severe mental illness during pregnancy or post-birth.
An NSPCC report released last week suggests the wellbeing of more than one in 10 newborn babies in England could be improved if all new mothers with mental illness had equal access to good services.
The report states there is evidence to show that the work carried out at the Channi Kumar Mother and Baby Unit, part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, leads to significant improvements in mental state in approximately three quarters of women, in the sensitivity of mothers with schizophrenia and postpartum psychosis when interacting with their babies and major improvements in the interaction of the babies of mothers with schizophrenia, psychosis and depression.
The 13-bed unit was set up for women who develop or have a relapse of serious mental illness during pregnancy or following the birth of their baby. The unit offers a wide range of treatment, therapy and care which is not offered on the same scale in any other unit in the UK.
One unique factor is the work of a developmental psychologist who works closely with the mothers and infants.
Dr Susan Pawlby works clinically as a developmental psychologist at the unit and academically at the King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.
She said: “I think our unit stands out because we have a developmental psychologist to work with nursery nurses and nurses on the ward and most other units do not have that.
“It means we can give mothers and infants more support in forming and maintaining this early and most fundamental relationship. We have developed video feedback interventions so that mothers can see how their babies respond to them. Together we watch video clips of play sessions, talk about the communication between the mother and her baby in order to help mothers develop their relationship with their baby.
“We systematically evaluate this intervention and see how effective it is. Our work is to encourage mothers to respond to their babies’ cues, so that mothers become more sensitive and babies more co-operative in their interaction with one another. I am delighted our work has been recognised by the NSPCC.”
Alongside this support, the Mother and Baby Unit also treats mothers with medication where needed. The unit also offers various forms of therapy (psychological, art psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and cognitive analytical therapy), life skills, health skills, leisure activities, baby massage and dance therapy.
Following the release of the report the NSPCC is calling on health ministers to lead a drive to address major gaps in access to mental health services for pregnant and new mums.
Mental health problems including depression, anxiety, postpartum psychosis, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders , schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorderand personality disorder can begin or escalate when a woman is pregnant or in her infant’s first year. They can have a damaging effect on family life, and in the worst cases, impact on babies’ health and welfare.
Evidence shows that the vast majority of these illnesses are preventable and treatable, and with the right support, the negative effects on families can be avoided.
Sally Hogg, author of the NSPCC report, said: “The Mother and Baby Unit at Royal Bethlem Hospital provides excellent support for mothers suffering from perinatal mental illnesses and their babies. They do fantastic work to help mums to care for and bond with their babies, which helps ensure these children have the best possible start in life.
“It is crucial that more units like this are made available across the country for all families who need them, as without access to specialist units such as this some mothers don’t get the right help and can be separated from their babies, which is traumatic for the whole family.”
For more information on the NSPCC report:
Read Susan’s story here
#RT via Bridget via http://www.slam.nhs.uk
Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World – a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today, from schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders and self-harming to dealing with family members affected by mental illness.
#RT via Bridget
Carers & Family Members : Making involvement more effective Description Aim: To raise awareness of the issues that affect family members to better the experience for all – staff, carers and service users
After completing this course you should:
* Understand the importance of identifying a carer or family member at the earliest opportunity
* Know how to apply the principles of carer involvement using the Triangle Of Care model
* Increase your knowledge of legislation influencing carers rights * Have completed a Carers Needs Assessment
* Have role-played talking to a distressed carer using empathy
* Know how you will ensure that the essential role and expertise of carers is recognised and respected when you return to work Pre-training Requirement: It is strongly recommended that before attending this course you first complete the Family & Carers eLearning package.
Target Audience All staff working with family members and carers Dates Available 16-Jul-2013 @ Croydon Training Centre, Bethlem Hospital
To book email: email@example.com
Application form: INTERNAL_TRAINING
For the next stage in the development of the college, we are running a pilot scheme, at the new Ortus Learning Centre, of eleven courses – all of them created and delivered by peers and professionals working together.
For dates and details of the courses on offer, please see the attached timetable.
If you are a service user, supporter or a member of staff and would like to register for a course, email me with the details of which course(s) you’d like to attend. Places are limited, so please don’t be offended if we can’t accommodate your request this time around. There’ll be plenty more opportunities to register as a student when the college launches.
And a big thank you to everyone for all your support and interest!
Social Inclusion and Recovery Volunteer
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Maudsley Charity
Corporate OT | 1st Floor Admin | MaudsleyHospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ
Telephone: 020 3228 2175
SUITE is continuing with their successful Empowering Family and Carers Events for this year. All events have a different theme with presentations based on this theme.
These events are an opportunity for family members and carers to find out about how SLaM operates, what they can expect for themselves and their loved ones and how they can access these services. There are ‘surgeries’ for carers to meet professionals, get information about benefits, support services, medication, care and treatment and raise any concerns or complaints they have regarding the people they care for.
The next event will be on Tuesday 30th July at Mind in Croydon from 3.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and the theme will be Medication. Please see poster attached for more information.
Please help us to advertise this event by passing this on to Carers & Family members and also Service Users so they can pass it to their carers. Please note this event is for Carers and Family members only but we are always looking for staff to be involved in delivering the event.
For more information, to book a place or to find out how you can be involved in helping to deliver the event please contact
Angela.Mitchell@slam.nhs.uk Tel: 020 3228 3722
Please note that I only work part-time.
South London & Maudsley Foundation NHS Trust
Bishopsgate Centre | The Royal Bethlem Hospital | Monks Orchard Road | Beckenham | Kent | BR3 3BX
led by BMHUK, sponsored by SLaM
DATE Monday 8 July 2013
TIME 5 pm – 7 pm (doors open 4.30 pm)
VENUE Civic Suite, Lewisham, Catford Road, London SE6 4RU
The 3rd in a series of community engagement seminars run by human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMHUK) with the support of South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).*
Themes to be discussed include:
- Policing, Mental Health & Black Britain
Transparency and accountability: Changes and improvements in accessing healthcare
- Post Sean Rigg
Improving community relations and restoring trust in the services
- Places of Safety – alternatives to Police custody
Health based and community based places of safety what is needed to make this a reality
- Family Involvement & Confidentiality
How the Trust work closely families and carers to improve services
We want this event to include a range of voices – service users, carers, local stakeholders, voluntary/partner organisations to contribute discussion in addition to panel contributions. Themes that emerge will be used to inform those that follow.
Attendance is open to people from Lewisham and across London.
Directions visit: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/Pages/default.aspx
Registration: please register in advance to help with planning
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / tel: 020 7152 4090
PDF here: Mental Health and Policing_Invitation3
Briefing here: Mental Health and Policing_Invitation Briefing doc3
The risk posed by some popular antidepressants in early pregnancy is not worth taking for women with mild to moderate depression, an expert has warned.
Professor Stephen Pilling says evidence suggests SSRIs can double the risk of a child being born with a heart defect.
The drugs have been used by up to one in six women of child-bearing age.
A manufacturer contacted by the BBC denies any link to major foetal malformations.
Panorama has spoken to eight mothers who had babies born with serious heart defects after taking a commonly used SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant while pregnant. Currently, prescription guidelines for doctors only warn specifically against taking the SSRI, paroxetine, in early pregnancy.
But Prof Pilling, expert adviser to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), says that advice is about to be updated.
“The available evidence suggests that there is a risk associated with the SSRIs. We make a quite a lot of effort really to discourage women from smoking or drinking even small amounts of alcohol in pregnancy, and yet we’re perhaps not yet saying the same about antidepressant medication, which is going to be carrying similar – if not greater – risks,” he said.
When Anna Wilson, from Ayrshire, had her 20-week scan, doctors realised her son had a serious heart problem and would need immediate heart surgery when he was born.
“He’s got a lot of suffering ahead of him before anything else,” his mother said. “We know that’s a certainty and that’s pretty awful.”
Four years before she became pregnant, Mrs Wilson was prescribed the drug Citalopram by her GP because she was suffering from anxiety.
Her doctor told her it was fine to continue using the drug when trying for a baby. But after David was born she asked what might have caused his heart condition.
“We did meet with a cardiologist at one of the scan appointments, and he explained that as far as he knew there were no environmental factors and it wasn’t because of anything we as parents had done. It was just one of those things – couldn’t be prevented,” she said.
Prof Pilling says the guidance will now be re-written to take in to account evidence that the SSRI antidepressants, as a group, are linked to heart defects.
He says the risk of any baby being born with a heart defect is around two in 100; but the evidence suggests if the mother took an SSRI in early pregnancy that risk increases to around four in 100.
“You’ve got double the risk. And for women who are mild to moderately depressed, I don’t think that those risks, in most cases, are really worth taking” he said.
“It’s not just when a woman who’s pregnant is sitting in front of you. I think it needs to be thought about with a woman who could get pregnant. And, that’s the large majority of women aged between 15 and 45.”
Mrs Wilson will never know for sure what caused David’s heart defect, but said if she had known there was even a very small risk associated with the drug she would have stopped taking it.
“If David’s condition was preventable, and it wasn’t prevented, that’s really, really awful.
“If somebody had given me the choice in pregnancy and said ‘there’s a risk of this’, I would have stopped taking those tablets in a flash.”
Lundbeck, the manufacturer of Citalopram, says a recent review of scientific literature concluded that the drug “does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of major foetal malformations”.
“The decision not to prescribe anti-depressants to a woman who is depressed… may generate greater risks to the woman and her foetus than the risks of exposure to the medication.”
#RT via Andrea via http://www.bbc.co.uk
From the 1850s, the new technique of photography was quickly adopted by psychiatrists for a variety of purposes. These included use for patient identification, to explore the role of physiognomy (facial shape and expression) in understanding diagnoses of mental illness, and to investigate the role of heredity in its onset. At Bethlem, we have a series of society-style portraits taken by Henry Hering in the mid nineteenth-century, as well as other, later, types of images: institutional ‘mug-shots’ pasted into casebooks, group photographs in the grounds or pictures taken for scientific research.
All of these photographs show images of real people, who spent periods of their lives undergoing mental health treatment. It is not always possible for us to determine whether pictures were taken with consent (although there are certainly recorded instances of people in the 1800s opting out of being photographed). Given these considerations, we would like to ask for your thoughts on the way in which these images should or should not be displayed in the new Museum of the Mind.
The link below will take you to a short survey, in which you will be asked to look at three different nineteenth-century photographs of patients at Bethlem and record your thoughts and feelings about them.
Your suggestions will help to shape the displays in the museum.
Click here to take survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7MHCMFL
Please see attached flyer giving details of the Mental Health Stakeholder event on 18th July.
To book your place, please email/call the organisers and they will add you to the circulation list to receive more information.
Also, please feel free to pass this invitation onto anyone in Southwark who has an interest in Mental Health Services.
#RT via Martin
Iain Duncan Smith’s drive to cut the number of people living on disability benefits has suffered a blow after judges ruled that back-to-work assessments discriminate against people with mental health conditions.
Three judges sitting at the Upper Tribunal in London ruled that the current system, which places the onus on the claimants to produce evidence of their condition, is unreasonable to people with mental health conditions such as autism.
The ruling that the current assessment system breaches equalities laws could call into question the decisions against hundreds of thousands of would-be Employment Support Allowance (ESA) claimants over the last five years.
The system of Work Capability Assessments, carried out by the private contractor Atos, has been mired in controversy amid claims it is “inhumane”.
Charities claim it has unfairly denied thousands of sick and disabled people their benefits but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it had made major improvements to ensure the assessments are fair.
Around 670,000 people are currently receiving the benefit – almost 40 per cent of them because of mental or behavioural conditions.
Another 800,000 have been assessed and turned down after being ruled fit for work. Yet almost 115,000 people have successfully appealed already.
Two people with mental health problems brought judicial review proceedings, arguing that it is unfair to require them to obtain evidence of their condition, such as a letter from a doctor or social worker.
They were supported by three charities: Mind, the National Autistic Society and Rethink Mental Illness.
The judges agreed that it should be up to the DWP to obtain this and that it should make “reasonable adjustments” to the system.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “The judgment is a victory, not only for the two individuals involved in this case, but for thousands of people who have experienced additional distress and anxiety because they have struggled through an assessment process which does not adequately consider the needs of people with mental health problems.
“Mind has campaigned to improve the assessment process for many years and we will monitor the situation closely to ensure people with mental health problems receive the benefits they are entitled to.”
Paul Jenkins, of Rethink Mental Illness added: “This ruling proves once and for all that this cruel and unfair process is unlawful.
“The judges have independently confirmed what our members have been saying for years – the system is discriminating against some of the most ill and vulnerable people in our society, the very people it is meant to support.”
But a spokesman for the DWP said it would appeal the decision arguing that it had already tripled the number of people with mental or behavioural problems receiving special help with their applications.
He said: “We believe we have made – and continue to make – significant improvements to the WCA process for people with mental health conditions.
“The percentage of people with mental health conditions who go into the support group for ESA has more than tripled since 2010.”
#RT via Matthew via http://www.telegraph.co.uk