By Lucy Schofield, Tranent Regeneration Scheme Officer
We have launched a map making competition for kids. The idea is that children make a map of their local area and focus on the past few months (eg. what things have changed, what new places have they explored). There will be some great prizes on offer and we will try and print and display as many as we can once the lockdown ends.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act has now come into force, amending the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act and other legislation. This intorduces enhanced powers for some agencies and further duties for the Care Inspectorate, all in relation to care services.
Mental Health Act Review – Mental Welfare Commission response
‘A great opportunity; a chance to re-frame Scotland’s legislation in such a way that the human rights of people with serious mental illness are clearly at the centre.’
The Mental Health Act in Scotland is currently under review, and the Commission has just published its response to the Independent Review of Scottish Mental Health Law consultation.
The Commission has a statutory duty to monitor the use of the Act, and a duty to provide advice on the use of the Act.
This response is informed by the Commission’s own experience of meeting those duties and responsibilities. It is also informed by people with mental illness and relatives/carers who have shared their experiences with the Commission.
Key points from the Commission’s response to the consultation include:
Scotland’s health and social care systems are substantially different from those that were in place in 2003 when the current Mental Health Act was passed by parliament. The new Act needs to take account of these changes.
People are more likely to be treated in the community, rather than in hospital, and the resources, support and care available in the community should be reviewed. We raise specific points in our response for those who are detained under the Act and also for those who are not detained but may need specific care such as children and young people, people with a diagnosis of personality disorder and perinatal mental health services.
The number of people being detained under the current Act rises every year. In order to make the right decisions for the future, the review needs to analyse, at an early stage, why this is happening.
The lengths of time people are detained, and the safeguards in place when they are detained, should be examined. We find that many detentions run for the maximum length of time allowed by the law, and those lengths of time have not changed for decades. We believe they could be shortened.
The review should take account of developments in international law to ensure we can learn from other nations and should incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
While reviewing the Act is vital, it will only be effective if mental health services are adequately resourced. We ask that resources are considered at all key stages of the review.
From a lived experience and relative/carer’s perspective, issues include:
The current Act is clear about professionals’ roles, and detained patients’ rights; it provides safeguards and guidelines. However it does not work for everyone who has mental health issues but who is not subject to the law; those people do not have the protections the Act offers.
Resources are scarce, the lack of community support often leaves families trying to support the individual with limited knowledge and resources of their own.
Children and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) are stretched to the limit. While much work is being done in education services related to mental health and well-being, the systems for supporting a young person with a serious mental illness are unwieldy and inefficient, if present at all.
GPs sometimes struggle to get help for individuals with mental health issues often because of the lack of resource available to community mental health teams. Better communication between primary and secondary care and more seamless access to assessment would greatly improve the management of these individuals in the community.
This legislation is complex, and our response addresses many more issues. We encourage audiences to read it in full and ask us for further clarity or information.
Dr Arun Chopra, medical director, Mental Welfare Commission, said:
“We had been calling for a substantive review of this legislation for some time, and we very much welcome the Review’s aim to improve the rights and protections of people who may be subject to the law when receiving care and treatment.
“Mental health legislation can restrict and deprive a person of their liberty and can impose treatment that they do not want or cannot consent to. Traditionally one purpose of legislation was to ensure that people who are unwell are treated to restore them to health and reduce any risks that their altered state of health might pose to their safety and that of others. A further purpose was to ensure that when someone is made subject to detention or treatment that they cannot or do not consent to, that there is a mechanism for this detention to be reviewed, and safeguards are in place to ensure that people are treated in accordance with their human rights. “Developments in International law would suggest that a Mental Health Act ought to go further and focus on the restoration of other rights that are impinged on by the presence of disability (such as serious mental illness).
“The Review of Scotland’s Mental Health Act gives us a great opportunity to fully consider those developments, alongside the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into force after our current Act.
“Scotland’s legislation can be re-framed in such a way that the human rights of people with serious mental illness are clearly are the centre.’
‘While reviewing the Act is vital, it will only be effective if it is adequately resourced. We ask that resources are considered at all key stages of the Review.”
The Commission will be seeking opportunities to discuss and share this response with others over the coming months.
Dr Chopra added: ‘The Commission would like the review to consider how a new Act might give emphasis so that any action taken under Act must be proportionate and that there is a duty of reciprocity to ensure that people who are subject to the Act or who have been, are able to receive the support and services they need for their recovery.’
This really cheered me up this morning. I am a CCW in the Duty Social Work Team and concentrate on following up on people who have fallen at home. After using their Community Alarm or phoning the Ambulance service for help, I am then referred the client to complete a Falls Assessment.
After a lengthy discussion on the phone , I issued a three-wheeled walker to a gentleman last week who had been unable to get outside and was finding getting around his home very difficult only using his 2 sticks.
On telephoning this morning to follow up on the equipment being delivered, his wife informed me that I had no idea how much of a difference this had made to her husband, and he even managed to get outside to the end of the garden, where three neighbours began clapping at him as they had not seen him in a long time.
My client’s wife said this had really boosted his confidence and cheered him up so she wanted to say thank you.
I know this is a bit of a story, but you get the jist!
From Maureen Allan, STRiVE/East Lothian Volunteer Development
As we start to move from the immediate crisis of Covid 19 you may be thinking about how to start the process of delivering your service differently, how will it work for you and your staff. In the ‘Further Reading’ section below is a suggested framework that will assist you to examine the implications and future actions we need to take. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me directly or if you would like discuss this as a group/sector I will set up an online “chat” for next Thursday as a starting point, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org saying that you would like to be included.
From Veronica Campanile…Dear East Lothian and Midlothian VAWG local network
Once again the main focus is on VAWG within the context of Covid-19.
LOCAL & SCOTTISH SERVICES AND INFORMATION
Midlothian MYPAS: Young Men’s Therapeutic project is now able to take referrals for online support. We are offering online support via Zoom meeting, computer gaming or through telephone for young men in Midlothian age 12-21. These forms of engagement would involve taking the time to talk confidentially with a young men’s therapeutic worker. We are able to start working with these referrals immediately (currently no waiting list). MORE INFORMATION / REFERRAL FORM
Information for the public on OUR local VAWG services at https://emppc.org.uk/home/ – contact Veronica for How frontline services can support survivors (not on website)
Supplementary VAW Guidance, Scottish Government,CoSLA, Public Health Scotland, Improvement Service – The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures now in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, are no excuse for the perpetration of violence against women and girls (VAWG). However, they may create an environment whereby the risks to women, children and young people suffering or recovering from domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG are heightened in local communities across Scotland – the aim of the supplementary guidance is to ensure that a sustainable, joined-up approach to safeguarding the needs of women, children and young people experiencing VAWG during COVID-19 is embedded at a local strategic level. Specifically, it aims to:
– Ensure local decision-makers are aware of the suite of COVID-19 guidance that has been developed nationally that will be relevant to supporting women, children and young people affected by VAWG, and tackling perpetrators of that abuse;4
– Highlight risks to women, children and young people affected by VAWG in the: Short term (during periods of lockdown and other social restrictions); Medium term (as restrictions are lifted and we move towards recovery); and Long term (as partners transition to a ‘new normal’);
– Support local decision-makers to identify short-, medium- and long-terms actions to mitigate risks to women, children and young people as a result of COVID-19 and begin to support early planning for the post-pandemic period in order to ensure women, children and young people’s recovery needs are recognised and addressed at a strategic level.
Safety planning – whether you are planning on staying in your home, thinking of leaving, or looking for ways to get help
Accommodation options – if you are thinking about staying somewhere else
Reporting to the police – including how to do this, and what should happen if you do
Child contact – how the coronavirus rules might affect any arrangements that you have in place
Finding a Solicitor – if you have questions about how to find a solicitor
Stalking and harassment – things that you can think about if this is escalating during the lockdown
Mental health – where to find information and support with your mental health and wellbeing
CLiCK Helpline – CLiCK has launched a new helpline that women who sell/exchange sex or images online can use to get in touch with a CLiCK Women’s Worker.
The Helpline number is 0300 124 5564 and is available during the following times: Tuesday: 3pm-5pm / Wednesday: 11am-7pm / Thursday: 6pm-9pm / Saturday: 12pm-2pm. Please share this launch on social media: The Twitter announcement is available here and the attached graphic can be shared. Find CLiCK on: Twitter: @click_scotland / Facebook: @click.scot / Instagram: @click_scotland
Edinburgh University’s Generation Scotland team and network are urgently researching the effect the Covid-19 situation – and the government’s policies regarding it – are having on the lives of people in the U.K., and, importantly, who is being affected. It is a major survey of which interim results are already beginning to have an impact at national policy level in Scotland. The Health Equity Network have circulated this request as a further boost by helping to distribute the survey and encouraging completion of it across all diverse adult groups in the UK – this will be much appreciated and will hopefully also have a significant impact on informing improved policy making for the benefit of all groups. The survey can be found here. – https://edinburgh.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Fc6S8ttNkyDHNP
COVID-19 and domestic violence: Caring States?, ESID, 30 April 2020 – ESID’s expert Sohela Nasneen, on the politics of domestic violence sets out vital ways that states can address domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdown. This brief article looking mainly at domestic abuse in developing countries, however, the policy recommendations are useful here also.
The Improvement Service, COSLA and NHS Health Scotland held this national conference with support from the Public Health Reform team and the National Violence Against Women Network to highlight why violence against women (VAW) is a public health issue. It brought together a wide range of delegates from across the VAW and public health sectors to explore opportunities to adopt a public health approach to tackling VAW and gender inequality in Scotland and the leadership needed at a local and national level to support this shift. We had excellent speakers from both the VAW and public health sectors who set the context for the day. The workshops focused on developing a theory of change for each Public Health priority to embed VAWG going forward.
Safe and Together –
New page for Resources for Family and Friends. It includes our ground-breaking Family and Friends Ally Guide, which was created out of the direct experiences of survivors of domestic violence, coercive control and child abuse. It outlines what survivors wish their friends and family had known or done to assist them to safety and healing. It’s also useful for practitioners who are working with families. This page has links to resources, including social media image posts you can download and use on your own platform.
Virtual Practice Support Group Tipsdeveloped from conversations with over 100 practitioners from across the globe. These innovative tips have been compiled from the experience of front line multi-agency practitioners in response to the challenges of supporting families during the pandemic.
Partnered with a Survivor Podcast with Luke and Ryan Hart whose mother and sister were killed by their father following many years of coercive control. Luke and Ryan explore the specific parallels between their story and the current context of the pandemic and share some of the ways they resisted their father’s control and maintained their sanity through small rituals of connection.
Paul Huish, ELC Club and Community Sports Development Officer, writes…
Sport, Culture and Leisure Activities – Phase 1
I am sure you have all heard the good news that the Scottish Government confirmed yesterday we are moving into phase 1 and that some outdoor activities including Bowls, Golf and Tennis can resume (with restrictions in place) from today (29th May 2020).
This is a really positive step and hopefully it won’t be long until we see more sport and physical activities starting back up. Below are links to Bowls, Golf and Tennis guidance that might be of interest and something that may help you in your preparation for getting your club ready to get going again.
This is a great initiative developed by one of East Lothian’s Outdoor Learning volunteers.
The link below is an orienteering / post-box challenge for East Lothian towns. It can be accessed by ANYONE for FREE (following Current Social Distancing Guidelines) – all you need is a smartphone. No need to run, any form of active travel can be used during your daily exercise and it doesn’t need to be done in order, or all post-boxes visited.
Please share amongst your members and encourage them to get out there and give it a go!
Disability Sport – #GiveItaGo CHALLENGE
Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) has launched a new programme! – Their #GiveItAGo initiative is an opportunity for individuals and families to recreate some of their Inclusive Activity Cards at home over the next 8 weeks & submit videos to be featured on their weekly montage. There’s a £10 voucher up for grabs for the most creative team so putting a spin on it with a theme, costumes, equipment etc. could put you in with a shout for a prize!
The Spaces for People programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Sustrans Scotland and aims to enable measures focused on protecting public health, supporting social distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak.
I would be grateful if you could share the link below as widely as you can to ensure that we gather suggestions from as many people as possible in the very short time-frame that we have.
We have produced our weekly newsletter to let you see what other people are getting up to, if you would like to contribute to this please send your stories and pictures to email@example.com and we will endeavour to include them in the next newsletter run.
Just a brief note to say there will be no newsletter on the weeks of the 18th & 25th of June 2020, so get your pictures and stories in before so we can get them in. The next newsletter out will be on the 28th June the news editor is having a well-earned break. During this time your contact numbers for anything you need support with will be Colin Jeffrey Mob 07967-588702 & John Murphy Mob 07791-136497
If you would like to get in touch with one of your friends but don’t have their contact details we can act as a go between if this would be helpful. We have successfully linked up several of our service users already.
It is important in these times that we try to keep in touch so if you need to chat or just want to hear another voice please phone me on Mob 07725-218157, I will always get back to you so if I’m busy leave a message.