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Strategy & delivery of mental health services: in who's interest?

Here is a BBCi report on mental health services in Scotland, more to the point the rnid is calling for better services.

Now I don't dispute for one minute that access to mental health services needs to be improved. However, I've got one question: what's this news report in aid of? They want better mental health services in our interests, or are they trying to bag some more funding / expansion / organisation PR, i.e. their interests?

Somehow I suspect the latter. I've heard from various sources that the rnid was involved with some mental health steering group in Scotland, pretended to do the lets all work together thing, get the information and now it appears to be going off on its own to bag such services for itself. Not the first time its done this. If it was doing the lets all work together thing, how come there's no mention of anyone else? Actually, why not drop the organisation name, and focus on DEAF people themselves?

Now another question: would you go to a deaf organisation for delivery of mental health services? Say you became ill and needed treatment. Would you be happy to go to super sized deaf organisation to get better?

Sometimes deaf organisations need to understand they are the cause of mental health problems, or at least a significant catalyst towards this. Would you go to the rnid for treatment?

Ask the readers: what do you think of this move, is the organisation working in our interests or theirs? Would you go to a deaf organisation for mental health services? Whatever your answer is, what's your reasoning?

Deaf people's and deaf organisations interests, can they ever be the same?

Do you think public services are equipped to figure the issues when it comes to mental health delivery? Do we ever get asked what we want?

Comments (16)

Like I have said before - NHS is farming out its responsibilties to an organisation under the spectre of conflict of interests. RNId doesn't represent Deaf people - it lost the heart/mind/soul of the Deaf community long time ago. RNId is a charity period - not a health service. NHS is a public funded health service and it should be their duty make these provisions, consulting with charities/thinktank/organisations. It is scary for RNId to have access to confidential medical records. If RNId do take on this, are they accountable to NHS alone? What chances of RNId listening if serious questions are raised during the operation of this mental health service? There should be a multi-agency approach when setting up this provision.

RNId are getting away with this cos of their relentless PR machine. Them saying it often enough, people will believe the hype.

Okay, so rnid might have records to:

- Phone calls (Typetalk)
- Equipment used through e.g. social services purchasing or AtW
- Sort of meetings you attend or even GP appointments, through
- AtW assessment, since they do it
- Your audiogram, if they are going to dispense hearing aids
- Now your mental health, and other health records!
- Employment records - if you've used their employment services and / or been employed by the organisation
- Your NI number, since for some obscure reason they ask for it.

What else is missed off there?

Hello big brother.

The government has its head buried in the sand, because it thinks charities = our interests, or at least the entire third sector presents itself this way.

How can we stop it, or should we just give up already? All this is making me feel quite powerless.

Tony B / anyone else: say you had reason to use mental health services. This was contracted out to rnid by the NHS, so if you didn't have £££ to go private, you had to use. Would you be happy to go to the rnid for mental health service delivery?

How about changing the title of this article to: why won't the rnid listen to deaf people?!

Yes it is scary to think the RNId is taking over and controlling so many of the services available.

I would not WANT to have to go to the RNId but would rather have the choice of being able to go to an independent provider of mental health services for D/deaf people which are given better funding to provide a highly professional and confidential quality of service.

I would hate to think I have no choice but use the RNId, if I had mental health problems, would want not go to the RNId for help, but rather be able to receive support elsewhere.

It think it is dangerous for the RNId to try and take over provision of this service, it is meddling into affairs they have no capacity of dealing with, but sadly, this is happening....

I wouldn't trust the RNId as far as I can throw them as far as far as the provision of mental health services is concerned.

D/deaf people are reluctant to have this kind of interference into their lives etc...... for reasons of confidentiality and others, many people would refuse to seek help, if and when they need it, then where would that leave them, especially if the govt insists on re-directing them to the RNId's own services?

I thought the RNId's job was to campaign for better services, on behalf of D/deaf people not take over them....and we are all sick of being re-directed to the RNId, as if it IS the sole provider of services!!!

The only answer is to campaign and fight against it.

I have had this discussion before, regarding counselling (sorry if this is slightly off the topic but still relevant I think and it is to make a point). If we had to access a mainstream counsellor - since signed counsellors are thin on the grounds - we would prefer to use an interpreter that is not local. The reason being is cos it would be freaky to bump into same terp in local pub/supermarket/etc, knowing that person have all the intimate details about you. I feel the same thing will apply if there is a local BSL counsellor too. Too close to home for comforts and there are no guarantee whether you can trust them to be professional/remain impartial/keep confidentiality or not as there are no enforcable code of ethics/conduct in place (remember that spat with VeeSee TV). I can see lot of gaps in this set-up.

As for a local RNID MH service, it is likely to employ local people and we would see the same scenario in the point I've raised just now. Deafies guard their privacy more so than hearing people. Not only that, Deaf community have no affinity with RNID as a charity representing them or they have entrenched principle against using RNID and their provisions - possibily jeopardising their own health. If I wanted to be treated, I would much prefer to be empowered in using NHS service, like everybody else, rather than the feeling of dread of being forced to use another, yet again, RNID services. That is my perspective.

@ Anon - if charities should serve a campaigning function only, where should they get their funding from? Reason I am asking this, is there enough funding available out there for *campaigning*, and just that? In fact, the way the current law stands ... the campaigning functions of charities is restricted.

Do deaf organisations always have to have an ulterior motive at the end, in order to balance their books (or in the case of the rnid, make an obscene turnover)? i.e. want a contract for the delivery of services?

@ Tony B, where would you go for counselling then? Struggle to lipread a random hearie?

I don't understand why Sign Charity was not used. Surely, they are more geared towards to this provision as it is their specialism.

@Alison - I simply wouldn't bother as that would be stressful enough as it is.

@ Tony B, I agree re Sign, and its detached enough from the delivery of other services to specialise. However, I will add this: I always get uncomfortable with the working together thing sometimes, e.g. BSMHD is administered by UKCoD. Not suggesting that confidentiality is broken, however sometimes there's not enough detachment for our own comfort's sake.

What I understand may have happened here ... there was a group working thing, where all organisations involved. Then suddenly rnid goes off and does its own thing / tries to take over, even though no-one has exactly given it permission to do so. Its happened plenty of times before. :-|

@ Tony B - last comment, but that's not the point is it? I get you though.

Well, I would try and ensure the people I am using are not known to me in a different capacity or indirectly connected through people that I know. I would use BDA counselling service in the off chance that I am allocated someone I've never met before. There is a desperate need for more qualified Deaf counsellors or maybe hearing counsellors with good receptive/signing skills. Empathy can only happen if the counsellor know exactly where I am coming from. To my knowledge, I don't know anyone with Cognitive Behavourial Therapy skills. Perhaps this information is not widely available.

Forgetting the RNID bit (!), the issue of support in deaf mental health is a very real problem, really anything that enhances that has to be welcome. Areas like Wales had no support system of any note, certainly none of use IN Wales, people with problems of mental health had to (STILL do), commute to England via Bath. Manchester or London. I met a leading deaf psychitraic consultant some years ago in Bristol helping a woman I knew, and his sign was crap...

There was a very real outrage here recently when a deaf woman had a breakdown, her husband deserted here, she had no family to help, BUT, had a lot of deaf friends who went and talked to her, helped her keep contact with things, when it got really bad, SS took over moved her, gave her help at a new home, but she was hearing...

Eventually it got really bad and she needed clinical care, that was when she was entirely divorced from her deaf friends by the SS sending her to Manchester she was taken there screaming. Since then she has had little or no contact whatever with her deaf friends who had visited her near every day. They couldn't commute to Manchester. Her friends wrote her cards, even did a video of the club to send to her, the SS prevented them doing any more via privacy laws wouldn't tell anyone where she was.

It all hinged on the very simple fact Wales had no clinical psychiatrists or psychiatric team or residence locally to assist, there was the irony her neighbour had treatment every week, the difference ? her neighbour could hear..... the CPT (Community Psychiatric Team), was bllx, simply opted out as soon as they knew she was deaf, then SS had no option but to send her to the only place they could, ENGLAND.

There needs to be a real lobby to insist local nursing and support services will accept deaf people, it's bullshit to say the law enables that... we know it does not. Will this deaf woman EVER return to Wales ? her friends say it looks like never now.... would she have improved with support of her friends ? we will never know... They cannot even lobby on her behalf because the law prevents her being named, and her family has gone her husband doesn't want to know, she is still legally married further complicating things. The NHS is not honouring the DDA is it ?

Woooah! I don't like that. It is like reading about an incidence that happened 50 years ago but it is not. That is terrible experience to go through. How long ago did this happen?

Less than 3 months ago... There was talk about a campaign but the clamp down on naming the woman and the privacy laws make it very difficult. As she is still technically married her husband has the last word, and he wants it all buried.... he left her when she was in hospital, recovering from an illness, 10 weeks before their 25th wedding anniversary...

4 more purpose built mental health units?!? Won't that encourage more incidence of Deaf people being carted off to destination unknown while Social Services are looking to save money and complelely derelict their Care in Community remit?!? What next? The return of electro-shock therapy? I am aiming to be the shock jock here (no bad pun intended) but where is this all leading to? My fear is that this blueprint will take away the Social Service obligation/moral civic duty in making their local services accessible. God helps me if I ever go off the rails and be consigned screaming into isolation/oblivion.

It's why we need to go at the RNID. it supports the government line of centralization of services, and carting deaf people away from their families and support, why can't they build these services NEAR the people who need them ? and why aren't statutory Mental Health services situated locally NOT made available to deaf who live there ? What the Hell is the DDA for ? If Local MH service people aren't trained, then, TRAIN them. the opt out whereby they only have to provide a service, but it doesn't matter where, has to be addressed as a failure clause in the DDA, expose it, for the miserable access it is, and one that contributes to deaf people with MH issues getting WORSE.

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