Is Community Care in Herts Serving the needs of the Mentally Ill and their Families?

- Tuesday, 29th October 2002

 

Conference and Debate

A conference "Mental Health and Care in the Community" takes place on Friday 15 November at Kimpton, Hertfordshire with two knowledgeable stimulating speakers: Marjorie Wallace, the nationally-known Chief Executive of the charity SANE, and Michelle Jeyaratnam, the Manager of Adult Care (Mental Health) for Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust.

One in six of the population has a mental health problem at some time and a quarter of patients who consult a GP each year present with symptoms of mental illness.

Chaired by Mrs Gail Lilley, wife of Hitchin & Harpenden M.P. Peter Lilley, the conference is organised by the Hitchin and Harpenden Conservative Women?s Council and aims to have a thoughtful forthright discussion on the real problems of the mentally ill, the care and support needed by their families and recent advances in medicine.

Marjorie Wallace, a former journalist well-known for her national campaign to help people suffering from schizophrenia, is an excellent and controversial speaker. SANE was set up in 1986 and its helpline, SANELINE, currently handles about 1000 calls per week from people with mental illness and their families and carers.

Michelle Jeyaratnam is an NHS professional with many years experience in the treatment of mental illness and wants to raise the profile of mental health. Her work includes crisis management and early intervention and she is a passionate believer in the importance of professional mental nursing.

Kamal Hamid who works with Ms Jeyaratnam will also speak; he is responsible for the elderly in West Herts, psychiatric and Alzheimer?s care. Lottie Clarke will represent Herts Carers.

There are community mental health centres or clinics in Hitchin, St Albans and Harpenden with facilities for alcoholism, drug-abuse, depression, Alzheimer?s and schizophrenia. Their patients can testify that they do amazing work.

CWC Conference on "Mental Health and Community Care" is at Kimpton Memorial Hall, Hall Lane, Kimpton, Herts, SG4 8SA at 11.00am on Friday 15 November 2002. Coffee will be served at 10.30am and lunch is available (if booked in advance)

Further information from: Mrs Geraldine Mitchell, Hitchin & Harpenden Conservative Association, 1 Place Farm, Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8SB,
Tel 01582 834344




Extract from SANE web-site:

Mental illness has been shrouded in secrecy for such a long time that sufferers, their families and friends are often left feeling helpless and isolated. Until recently, many have felt that they had nowhere to turn.
To address this, SANE was established in 1986 following the overwhelming public response to a series of articles featured in ?The Times? newspaper entitled ?The Forgotten Illness?. Written by Marjorie Wallace, now SANE?s Chief Executive, the articles underscored the neglect of people suffering from schizophrenia and the poverty of services and treatments. From its initial focus on schizophrenia, SANE developed and is now concerned with all mental illnesses.
SANE has three objectives:
? to raise awareness and combat ignorance about mental illness and to improve mental health services
? to provide care and support to anyone concerned about mental illness
? to initiate and fund research into the causes, treatments and potential cures for schizophrenia and depression through its work at the SANE Research Centre in Oxford
SANE?s national telephone helpline, SANELINE, was set up in 1992. SANELINE volunteers currently handle approximately 1000 calls per week from men, women and children suffering from mental illnesses as well as their carers and health professionals.
SANE?s vision is to use its proven helpline expertise to reach many more people affected by mental illness, their families and friends. Through the use of regular anonymised surveys of its users, SANE is in a prime position to understand both what is required and how to deliver it.


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