How to decolonise mental health services

David 'Rocky' Bennett

David ‘Rocky’ Bennett

Before David ‘Rocky’ Bennett’s death in a psychiatric unit 18 years ago, he sent a letter to the nurse director, pointing out there were no black staff members. He wrote:

“There are over half a dozen black boys in this clinic. I don’t know if you have realised that there are no Africans on your staff at the moment”.

Bennett died while being held down by four staff members at a psychiatric unit after a violent altercation with another patient and a nurse. Looking at the circumstances around his untimely death, it’s clear his blackness was threatening to staff members. He had been using the mental health for at least a decade, yet his needs as a black Rastafarian were not being met.

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Jeremy Corbyn creates new dedicated ‘Minister for Mental Health’ in his shadow cabinet


Jeremy CorbynJeremy Corbyn has appointed a shadow “Minister for Mental Health” to his shadow cabinet, Labour has announced.

Luciana Berger will directly work on mental health issues and consider how they can best be addressed by the NHS and prioritised by a Labour government.

The post, which is Cabinet-level, is a new creation of Mr Corbyn’s shadow administration and has no identical counterpart in the Conservative government.

“We have delivered a unifying, dynamic, inclusive new Shadow Cabinet which for the first time ever has a majority of women,” Mr Corbyn said in a statement. Continue reading

Protect your staff from stress


Files & employeesource: Not for Profit Bulletin
published: August 2015

Your people are your greatest asset, so it makes sense to try and keep them stress-free. Offering expensive perks like gym membership may help with reducing stress but are unaffordable in the third sector.

Instead you should look for ways to reduce stress by making small changes which build staff resilience, e.g. promoting positive thinking, steering people away from negative language, and getting them to focus on what they can control rather than what they can’t. Simple strategies can lead to a resilient mind-set as well as improved work-life balance.

Star Performer Training deliver a simple but effective Resilience Training programme which helps charities (such as the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract) identify strategies to reduce stress and build resilience, so that staff have the positive mind-set essential for high performance. Continue reading