Community Mental 'Elf
Chipmunkapublishing ltd, Jun 1, 2011 - 388 pages
This book is a very powerful addition to the current range of mental health texts, there really is nothing like it because this is Karen's experience and as such unique whilst at the same time gut wrenchingly familiar. It highlights the fundamental problem a service user faces when their opinion conflicts with the service providers...It highlights with painful accuracy the effects of compromised communication across services, poor care planning, inconsistent adherence to care plans, the fear associated with being given the wrong diagnosis, or being written off as a troublesome and complaining patient. It also shows the reader the power of decent and skilled practitioners and the massive difference they can make to a clients motivation to remain engaged with services that have challenged them. This is a story of struggle, of crisis and of compassion and as such a worthy experience to learn from. - By Naomi Sharples - Director of Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Nursing, University of Salford, Manchester Description Cycling her usual journey home from work, Karen was attacked by four lads. It shattered her life. Karen only disclosed the nature of the assault late 2007, having been sufficiently provoked by mental health services who had attributed her general failure to cope with life with a personality disorder diagnosis. This book charts Karen's journey within the mental health system when she decided to complain about the 'care' she received, the complaints process, the responses she received and the effect on her care - both positive and negative. Karen hopes that it will offer encouragement to those who may find themselves in a similar position in the knowledge that despite how bad things may seem, there is always someone willing to listen and to help you try to change things, and encourage healthcare providers to reflect upon what they bring to the process of recovery. The mental health Trust didn't want Karen to publish this book as it is. They wanted to impose what was acceptable to them, and in doing so created considerable distress and further isolated Karen from the support she needs. This made Karen more determined to publish her story, as it happened. The mental health system is only as good as the people willing to question it. About the Author One day, something happens and you know that life will never be the same again. It can happen to any one of us. When it happened to Karen, she chose to cope by attempting to carry on as normal. It didn't work very well and Karen became severely depressed and one of the many who rely on mental health services to help them. Karen is an experienced Occupational Therapist. She also has a post graduate diploma in cognitive behavioural therapy and is a member of the Association of Occupational Therapists in Mental Health; the Association of Occupational Therapists in HIV/Aids, Oncology and Palliative Care and the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies. As a healthcare professional, Karen has been shocked by the actions of some of the healthcare professionals involved in her care and the rigidity of the mental health system. What do you do, can you do when the people in a position to help make the journey to recovery even more difficult? Between then and now Karen has had mostly unsuccessful visits to hospital, attempted suicide, trialled a variety of drugs, received counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, been the subject of discrimination within the workplace and generally viewed as a difficult patient who complains a lot. Karen believes a willingness to listen and understand, flexibility in how mental health services respond to individual needs and compassion for another human being would go a long way to improving the patient's journey through services.
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