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MInd : Men & Mental Health week 2009 - Write to your MP to support Early Day Motion No. 1455

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Joined: 09/03/2008

 <Mind : Men & Mental Health week 2009< - Write to your MP to support Early Day Motion No. 145<5.

You can write to your MP to ask them to support this Early Day Motion (EDM) using<




EDM 1455

   That this House supports the Mind Week campaign to raise awareness of men's mental health in England and Wales; notes that 75 per cent. of all suicides are by men and that one in seven men who experience prolonged unemployment will develop a mental health problem; is concerned that the recession will have a disproportionately negative effect on the mental health of men in England and Wales; and further supports Mind's call for greater awareness of men's mental health problems.
anonymous (not verified)
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The National Mental Health and Learning Disability Ethnicity Census


Count Me In is a unique census – the only one in the UK that includes all in-patients in mental health services. It is also the only time that all in-patients in learning disability health services are recorded. Because every in-patient is included, it allows comparisons to the population to be made and so provides unique information.

Why we carry out the census

Count Me In started in 2005 and will continue each year until 2010. By analysing results year-on-year we are able to:

  • highlight inequalities in access and outcomes that may affect in-patients from Black and minority ethnic communities, or their carers.
  • study how people’s hospital stays are managed. For example whether those from Black and minority ethnic communities are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act, or be subject to seclusion or restraint.
  • provide evidence for national debates about mental health and learning disability service provision to different communities
  • provide information that supports positive action and change at local level

All providers, all in-patients

The census is extremely well supported by health professionals. In 2008, 100% of the 312 eligible hospitals and providers returned high quality data giving details of 35,127 patients and their care.

Delivering Race Equality (Department of Health 2005)

The census provides ‘better information’ to be ‘more intelligently used’ – a building block of Delivering Race Equality, the government’s 5-year plan to tackle discrimination in mental health services and within services as a whole. For more information see<<

anonymous (not verified)
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New consortium wins £18 million bid to fight growing problem of mental health discrimination

"We're 20 years behind race discrimination… We have to take this on."
Person with mental health problems, March 2007.

'Moving People' promises to change the culture of mental health forever in a ground-breaking bid to battle the growing problem of mental health stigma and discrimination, aiming to reach some 30 million people across England. Today, the Big Lottery Fund has announced an award of £16 million from its Well-being programme, matched by a further £2 million from Comic Relief (1), giving an historic opportunity to Moving People, a mental health charity partnership led by Mental Health Media, Mind, Rethink and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

People with mental health problems are one of the most excluded groups in society:

* 84 per cent experiencing problems in getting jobs, mortgages, healthcare, friendships, relationships (Mind survey, 2004).
* 55 per cent of young people (NUS and Rethink, 2001) wouldn't want anyone else to know they had mental health problems.
* 49 per cent of people with mental health problems have been harassed or attacked (2).
* 33 per cent of this group report having been dismissed or forced to resign from jobs (3).

Yet 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem. New research (4) shows that attitudes in England towards mental health have worsened further, contrasting with Scotland, where a strong anti-stigma campaign has changed attitudes:

* 17 per cent increase in belief that the mentally ill are prone to violence in England, up to 34 per cent, compared to drop of more than 50 per cent from 32 per cent to 15 per cent in Scotland.
* Only 65 per cent of people now believe that people with mental health problems should have the same right to a job as anyone else.
* Only 42 per cent of Londoners disagree that 'One of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower'.
* 32 per cent of Londoners think 'There is something about people with mental illness that makes it easy to tell them from normal people'.

The £18 million 4-year programme, mental health's biggest ever voluntary-sector led initiative, is evidence-based from best international practice (5), placing the expertise of people with mental health problems at the centre of all activity. It includes:

* A nation-wide anti-stigma campaign, including TV advertising, backed by detailed information resources including a dedicated website
* 28 England-wide local community physical activity projects, backing the national campaign by bringing together people with and without mental health experience, from boxing and football to country walks
* 'Get Moving' - mass participation events focusing on mental and physical well-being, building up to the 2012 Olympics
* 'Open-Up' - locally delivered programme to empower people with mental health problems to challenge the daily discrimination that they face
* Training and education programme targeting around 10,000 leaders and professionals who have the power to influence key sectors (for example, medical students/trainee teachers) to help them change current discriminatory behaviour
* Legal challenges, helping change discriminatory legislation and policy

Mental Health Media Chief Executive Maggie Gibbons said: "People with mental health problems today can expect to face huge prejudice and misunderstanding. That is not acceptable. This programme will put people with direct experience right at the heart of bringing about lasting change."

Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: "Attitudes to mental health have been stuck in the Victorian asylum. This fantastic opportunity is our chance to start to change society's views, giving people with mental health problems equal rights and breaking down barriers through a host of targeted activities. The Well-being programme and Comic Relief's support will enable people with mental health problems to tackle one of the biggest issues they face today."

Rethink Chief Executive Paul Jenkins said: "The world of mental health has been silent for too long in the face of blatant stigma and discrimination. We will be using the latest social marketing techniques to ensure that over the next four years everyone is aware of the issues and is encouraged to become part of the solution."

Professor Graham Thornicroft Head of the Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, said: "This is by far the most ambitious programme ever undertaken in England to include people with mental illness right in the mainstream of society. We are delighted to have this opportunity to move rapidly towards the eradication of stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness - a fundamental social change that is long overdue."

28 local physical activity projects - a flavour

"Joining Boxercise has improved my life and given me confidence to believe in myself - I'm feeling better than I have done for years."
Tony, service user.

The projects involve local Mind associations (LMAs) and Rethink partners. Examples:

* Croydon LMA - 'Boxercise' course of tuition from three-times world champion Duke McKenzie
* Green Schools (Rethink, Derbyshire) - young people from 3 secondary schools will work on conservation projects alongside people with mental health problems
* Brent Healthy Minds in Healthy Bodies (Brent LMA) - activities such as football involving QPR, yoga, walking and gardening
* Eden LMA - activities including climbing, sailing, environmental and conservation work in Lake District

An extensive 6-month consultation period begins in Autumn 2007, including a roadshow to gather opinions across the country.


For further information

Contact Mind press office: T: 0208 522 1743; Out of hours: 07850 788514; ISDN line available for interviews. For general information, please email:<


Notes to editors

Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.


1) The Big Lottery Fund award is part of today's Wellbeing programme announcement of over £126 million to help communities build healthier lifestyles. It aims to promote physical activity, healthy eating and improve mental health across England.

2) Mind, Not Just Sticks and Stones, 1996.

3) Read and Baker, 1996.

4) Attitudes to Mental Illness in England 2007, CSIP/SHiFT, July 2007.

5) Moving People is built on a powerful evidence base developed in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland of what works.

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anonymous (not verified)
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The Department of Health is putting together a new 10-year strategy for mental health in England and is calling on carers to have their say by taking part in a public consultation.

The strategy, 'New Horizons: Towards a shared vision for mental health', is expected by the end of 2009 and will be vitally important for carers, setting the direction for mental health services for the next 10 years.

The new strategy has two aims: improving mental health services and outcomes for people who use those services and improving and promoting better mental health amongst the whole population.

Drew Lindon, mental health lead for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: “We welcome New Horizons as a vision for better mental health awareness and services in England. Particularly, we are pleased to see messages about the need to listen and support carers of people with mental health conditions.

"However, to promote lasting change for service users, carers and the wider population, the Government will need to make clear exactly how this vision is to be resourced and implemented in the final strategy.”

The consultation is an opportunity for carers to make their voices heard and to influence policy on mental health in England.

Complete the questionnaire here.

Alternatively, you can collect a copy of the consultation document from your local Carers Centre.

For more information, visit our New Horizons information page.

The consultation period ends on 15th October 2009.

Published: 5 August 2009,4924,NW.html


anonymous (not verified)
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Welcome to the Early Day Motions Database Web Site. This site contains an up-to-date database of Early Day Motions which can be accessed using the menu along the top of the screen, or the following buttons:

Select the  button to view the current list of EDMs,

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Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.

An MP can add their signature to an EDM to show their support. They can also submit amendments to an existing EDM. Although majority of EDMs are never debated, the group of EDMs known as 'prayers' may be debated. Prayers are motions to overturn Statutory Instruments (laws made by Ministers under powers deriving from Acts of Parliament). Further information on EDM procedure can be found in the Commons Information Office Factsheet Early Day Motions<.

Up-to-date and searchable information on EDMs is available from the Early Day Motions database. The database is updated nightly with new EDMs and signatures added to existing EDMs. To look at EDMs from any session going back to 1989/90, select the session you want from the pull down menu in the top right hand corner of the screen. For EDMs and signatures prior to 1989/90, please contact the House of Commons Information Office< (020 7219 4272).<


anonymous (not verified)
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We must protect employees and job hunters with mental health problems from employers who are prejudiced about their ability to work, says Mohini Bharania

Whether you work in the city, are on the minimum wage, or are the Prime Minister, when it comes to mental health<, it is difficult to rebut prejudice about your ability to do the job. The presumption being that you cannot.

Time to Change revealed that a shocking 92% of the British public believes that admitting to having a mental illness would damage someone's career; and that 56% of those questioned would not employ an individual, even if they were the best candidate, if they had a history of mental illness.

Employees suffering from a mental health condition are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and have the right not to be treated less favourably because of their disability. The DDA can be applied if a person is able to show that they have a mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. A person who has had a disability in the past will also be protected in employment.

For a condition to be "long-term" the effect must last 12 months but mental health conditions, such as depression, can be intermittent and therefore can leave the employee vulnerable, often with no protection under the DDA. Intermittent conditions will only be covered if they are likely to recur and proving this can be difficult.

Given the stigma attached to mental health conditions it is no surprise that an individual may feel discouraged from disclosing it to an employer. Many people feel they have to lie on an application form just to get an interview but in doing so risk losing their job or even facing criminal charges. And unless an employer is on notice, or could reasonably have been aware of the disability, they will not be under any legal duty to consider or make reasonable adjustments at the interview stage or in the workplace.

Discrimination legislation in this country has been piecemeal. Although the Equality Bill aims to address this, there are gaps in the Bill when it comes to mental health and employment, particularly at the outset of seeking employment. Putting an end to pre-employment questionnaires requiring disclosure of mental health conditions prior to the offer of employment being made would be a step in the right direction; and any questions thereafter should be limited to conditions which directly affect a candidate's ability to do that particular role.

The definition of disability also needs to be amended to give more protection to people suffering from fluctuating mental health conditions, such as depression; with express provision being made to address an employer's perception of a person's disability. The concept is difficult as these are "hidden disabilities." However, we need to ensure that a disabled person means not only someone who has or is likely to have a disability but also someone who is perceived or is treated as having a disability at a given time. Because of the nature of some mental health conditions, the current definition is not adequate.

It is difficult to achieve a wholesale shift in attitudes. But some small changes could make a difference.

• Mohini Bharania is a solicitor in the Employment Department at Russell Jones & Walker<


anonymous (not verified)
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Cocaine could be sold in pharmacies and cannabis in coffee shops under suggestions for decriminalising drugs set out by think tank Transform.

The body, which campaigns for the legalisation of drugs, says its ideas would reduce crime and improve health.

Its "blueprint" for how to regulate currently prohibited drugs is set out in a new book.

But the Home Office said it had "no intention of either decriminalising or legalising currently controlled drugs".

We can control products, prices, vendors, outlets, availability and using environments through a range of regulatory models <
Steve Rolles, Transform<

She added: "Drugs are controlled for good reason — they are harmful to health. Their control protects individuals and the public from the harms caused by their misuse."

The book was launched at receptions in the House of Commons and in Glasgow.

Transform's Head of Research and book author Steve Rolles said: "Drugs are here to stay, so we have a choice - either criminals control them, or governments do."

He added: "By the cautious implementation of a legally regulated regime, we can control products, prices, vendors, outlets, availability and using environments through a range of regulatory models, depending on the nature of the drug, and evidence of what works."

'Licensed pharmacy models'

Describing the prohibition of drugs as a "counter-productive failure", the book says a "major barrier to reform" has been uncertainty over how legalisation could function.

The report suggests models of regulation for different types of drugs.

It proposes that the sale and consumption of cannabis and opium, for example, could take place at membership-based "coffee shop style" licensed premises.

For cocaine powder, ecstasy and amphetamines it recommends "licensed pharmacy models" together with licensed or named purchasers.

The group of "psychedelics", including hallucinogens such as LSD, could be subject to supervised use in "drug clubs" or groups in licensed venues, the book suggests.

The book says prescription and supervised use would be needed for the riskiest drugs and preparations, including injectable drugs, which are most associated with problematic or chronic dependent use.

Craig McClure, a former executive director of the International Aids Society and author of the book's foreword, said that criminalising drugs had led to a dramatic increase in drug-related harms.

He said: "A range of Latin American governments have already moved, or are moving, towards decriminalisation of drug possession and are shifting to a public health model to prevent and treat misuse of drugs.

"They are no longer able to tolerate the damage done to their societies by the war on drugs."

But a Home Office spokeswoman said it was difficult to make direct comparisons with the drug use and drug policies of different countries or cultures.

She said: "The government must decide what policy will work for Britain in its present economic, social and cultural climate."<