Tackling Mental Health: Birmingham conference made its mark

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Tippa Naphtali of Catalyst 4 Change

Tippa Naphtali of Catalyst 4 Change – Image Credit Veron Graham

source: The Voice Online
published: 14 December 2017

A rallying cry for black communities to play a greater part in their own wellbeing and push for improvement was made at a mental health conference in Birmingham on 25 November 2017.

Self-reliance and self-determination were themes that echoed throughout Stepping Out for Our Community, in which the harsh realities of fifty-plus years of failed policies and overlooked recommendations were brought into sharp focus by eminent speakers with tragic personal accounts alongside professional experience of mental illness.

Joanna Bennett, a professor of mental health with a 30- year history of campaigning for change in the UK and the Caribbean, talked to delegates at The H Suite conference in the Edgbaston area of the city through reports, enquiries and legislation dating back to the 1960s, en route to a damning conclusion: Continue reading

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Families of men with mental health issues who died in police custody welcome new report

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Thomas Orchard

Thomas Orchard

source: ITV News
published: 30 October 2017

The families of two men with mental health issues who died in police custody has welcomed a report into how vulnerable people should be treated by emergency services. 32-year-old Thomas Orchard died in police custody in Exeter in 2012 and 25-year-old James Herbert died at Yeovil Police Station seven years ago.

The report into deaths in custody was ordered by Theresa May when she was the Home Secretary. It has stressed mentally ill people should never be held in cells.

Thomas Orchard suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and his family say being held in Exeter’s Heavitree Road Police Station made his condition worse. Before reaching the station Mr Orchard was handcuffed and bundled into a van. Moments before falling unconscious, a restraint was wrapped around his head. Continue reading

NHS trust ‘truly sorry’ about death of teenager Connor Sparrowhawk

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Connor Sparrowhawk

Connor Sparrowhawk

source: The Guardian
published: 18 September 2017

An NHS trust has said it is “truly sorry” about the death of a teenager with epilepsy who drowned in a bath while in its care, after it admitted failings.

Southern Health Trust pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety law in the case of Connor Sparrowhawk, who had a seizure and drowned in a bath in an NHS care unit in Oxford in 2013.

The 18-year-old’s death led to an independent inquiry discovering that the trust had failed to properly investigate the unexpected deaths of 1,454 patients with learning difficulties or mental health problems over a period of four years.

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