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December meetings 2014

Just a quick reminder that we don’t hold meetings in December for either the Carers group or the Forum.

We’d encourage everyone to go to the Stand up for Stigma events – especially the final performance of the year on Wednesday 10th December at Central Library in St Helens – 5pm to 7pm.

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Peter announced that Making Space had ended his contract as Forum Development Worker, because the PCT had decommissioned the post. He has been offered another post within the organisation and will no longer be supporting the Forum.

Members are disappointed that two posts for involvement have been decommissioned. The Forum development worker post (half time) and the self help group development officer (full time) were two posts which had been requested by people who use services. This need has not gone away. There are now no posts specifically around self help support in St Helens.

Making Space have also lost the moving on coordinator and two posts from developing options. Together has lost a senior support worker post and the carers support worker posts have reduced from 4 full time to 3 part time.

Together told the carers group that they would be encouraging carers to attend the support groups to access support. Organisations do see self help groups as useful and supportive. We question how they expect unsupported volunteers to ensure that the groups provide a suitable service for everyone.

The orginal commissionng of the forum development worker post came about because commissioners wanted us to grow the membership by visiting all services and groups in the community. They paid for a development worker to do this role. This role also linked in with the self help group development post. Without these posts, the forum cannot go out to visit other groups. We hope the PCT will support the peer support network as it hopes to deliver a user led network.

We ask members of self help groups across the Borough to attend the Forum to keep up to date with changes in St Helens.

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Peasley Cross

We have heard from families, and in the media, about  the deaths on Taylor ward on Friday. We offer our condolences to family and friends of those involved, and hope the media will respect the PCC code of conduct in reporting.

We trust 5 Boroughs will do everything they can to support all people on the wards and anyone who is concerned about these very sad events.

There are excellent support systems in St Helens including:

  • together
  • Mind
  • St Helens Carers Centre
  • Open Mind service provided by the PCT
  • many self help groups
  • mental health advocates at the Coalition of Disabled People
  • PALS officers at 5 Boroughs

If you are at all worried by these recent events, please do talk to someone.

 

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August meetings

A quick reminder that there are no meetings for the Forum or for the Carers reference group in August.

Oasis does still continue to meet every monday at the URC.

Contact other groups via CDP or Heath Park Lodge for details of their opening times.

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There will be a speaker from the new Personality Disorder service provided by 5 Boroughs.

This new service will be delivering training to all staff within 5 Boroughs so that they are all aware of Personality Disorders and ways to support people. They are looking for service users and carers to be trained to deliver the training.

Our meetings open at 1pm and last through until about 3pm. They are held at the United Reformed Church in King St, St Helens and are open to all.

For more details do contact Peter Cowley, the Forum Development Worker.

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Our next meeting is on Monday 18th January, 1-3pm, at the United Reformed Church.

This will be our AGM so if you want to stand for election for the management committee, do get in touch.

Our speaker at the meeting will be Fiona Bremner, who will tell us about the launch of the Single Point of Access to mental health services for Halton and St Helens. We have been involved in the planning of this new service and we hope it will make for easier and earlier access to a wide range of services. It was launched on 1st January and will be fully operational in April.

If you are interested in services to improve mental health for everyone in St Helens, you will be made welcome at our meetings.

If you are a member and would like to stand for election to our management committee, please do get in touch. We need all nominations in by 12.45 on 18th January.

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5 Boroughs’ have been piloting the use of Patient Opinion within mental health and now it’s gone national. Their report is here.

They were also included in a programme on Radio 4 about patient feedback (NHS Punters Speak Out) which you can listen to again (for the next week only) here – and part 2 will be broadcast next friday.

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