Far be it from me –

Guest Blog by Amanda Godley SpeakUp CIC

What’s happening to mental health services?

Over the past two years here in Kent we have seen a reorganization of services by KCC who are no longer responsible for the commissioning and monitoring of the Social Care Services for people with Mental Health problems. These services are now being, in part, delivered and, in part, commissioned by Shaw Trust and Porchlight in Kent. As a result of this new structure the services that are available have been reduced to minimalist services that are time limited and are focused on people returning to work or taking part in the main stream community once they are ‘recovered’. Now those of us with a mental health condition know how hard it is to take part in the main stream community and/or go back to work. Having unmanageable expectations can lead, at best, to much anxiety and increased isolation, as well as, disappointment and, at worst, to a complete relapse where there is no guarantee of help from secondary services. The NHS is also feeling the pinch and is unable to help all those in need of Mental Health Support in crisis and indeed are looking to the voluntary/third sector to enhance their services and work alongside them to aid people’s recovery. The continued pulling out of the rug from under our feet is leading to many, many more people falling through the net and becoming disconnected and isolated from the rest of the community with suicides and homelessness surely on the increase. Society and structures within it are fragmented and broken taking it’s toll on people and no less the community of people with severe mental health difficulties for whom there seems very little to hang on to or help them. With a society that only cares for no 1 and looking after itself there is no room for the frail and vulnerable as everyone is busy looking after their own self-interest. If you are alone and isolated it really is tough luck right now! However, I digress, the point is that with the new structure of services in Kent people are missing out on the help they really need to live a life that in some part gives meaning and quality to their journey. Not everyone is able to cope with the 21C and its ideals.

Currently SpeakUpCIC are able to provide some respite from the pressures of the world and help to support members to break down isolation and build a social network. This work runs alongside the valuable user forum work we do giving people a voice and feeding back to commissioners and managers in order to help make services better at what they do to help people. However, we have noticed over the last two years a gradual squeezing out of users’ forums and the work we do, it seems that the powers that be no longer want to hear about the shortcoming of the services, so they can in some part correct them. It seems that the service users voice is no longer valued and/or wanted. As part of this the future of the Mental Health Service Users’ Forums around Kent are being sold off to the highest bidder in the same way that Social Care for Mental Health Services have been. Being empowered and speaking up against injustice or simply the shortcomings of services, that could with some investment deliver so much more of value to the service user, is on the brink of being a thing of the past. The independent voice of service users is now little short of becoming a thing of the past and will be left to those who can feather their own nests. So God help you if you are frail and weak in this society!

By Amanda Godley


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Olanzapine – Still treading water


Olanzapine: Still Treading Water

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Study finds mental health patients no better off behind locked doors



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You Can Have Any Kind Of Treatment You want Providing It’s Our Kind – by Alec Grant PHD


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The word “psychosis” is still met with fear and judgement


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Talking about Night Terrors

Growing up in a dysfunctional family and experiencing multiple traumas in my adult life led to me becoming psychotic  in my late thirties.  I was hospitalised for 6 months and endured 6 treatments of Electro Convulsive Therapy.   My recovery was slow and difficult and it took me seven years to wean myself off a cocktail of  anti psychotic and anti depressant medication.   Twenty three years later I still struggle with Post Traumatic Stress  – flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of distress and latterly I  have been experiencing night terrors.   Childhood night terrors are called Type A and they tend to disappear of their own accord, whereas Adult night terrors are called Type B and are enduring.   They are not genetic.   They are linked to childhood trauma which is relevant to my case.  Trauma to the psyche causes brain chemical changes.  Night terrors are linked with increased susceptibility to respiratory problems.

The first time I experienced a night terror I could hear screaming.   It took me some time to realise the screams were coming from me.   I leapt out of bed and was sobbing uncontrollably.  In other night terrors I was shouting “get off me get off me” “he’s going to get me” There was a rising panic.  Sufferers report a feeling of extreme fright, of falling, of choking, of dying, of being unable to breathe. Heart rate increases.   I am told what I am shouting out: I am unaware.

Night terrors are much more serious than dreams; sufferers can kick, strike out violently, even injure themselves during the sleep cycle.  Sufferers can leave their homes without waking up but will have no recollection the next morning.

I feel shaky after having a night terror though usually I go back to sleep.   I feel affected by it the next day and then feel  frightened and very reluctant to go to sleep in case it happens again.  I have sought counselling but I found the counsellor lacking in knowledge on the subject and I had no confidence in her.   Night terrors are not like a nightmare where  you are aware you are running away from something, or you can feel yourself being shot at, or you can see flames or your attacker  Night terrors make you scream or cry or shake but you do not consciously know why.  They are extremely distressing.

I am interested in hearing from other sufferers and to know if anyone has successfully stopped the terrors or who has any advice for sufferers.   I am researching night terrors and have much to learn.   So please do comment on this post    Thank you.












As a mental health nurse, people don’t realise I’m more soldier than nurse. Anonymous.


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Many children in care denied mental health treatment, says report


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We need to find a way to talk about psychosis the way we talk about depression


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Mental Health Services turn away 23% of under 18s referred to them


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