Category Mental Health Practice

Live Music Sweeps the Board

  A few years ago, I worked free-lance in central London as a sort of facilitator on behalf of the local mental health services. I had been trained as a social worker and for decades previously had worked as a manager of community centres for people with long term mental health diagnoses. But nowadays, I was more often on a bike,… continue reading

Dignity and Light

Dignity and Light posterTwo new poem collections are about to be uploaded on the website of the project I run, called “Poems for…“. One of them is on Learning Disability and is called “Poems for… Bridges to Learning Disability”  The other is on mental ill-health and is called “Poems for…Self at Sea“. The poems in both collections bring… continue reading

Poems for United Response

United Response is a registered charity which supports people who have disabilities. It aims to help them fulfill themselves and be less isolated in our community. It seeks to ensure they receive their basic human rights. In mentioning this particular organisation here, I am not seeking to advertise it at the possible expense of others in the same field, all… continue reading

The sky is cloudy, the coast is nothing clear. Is there anything we should be doing ?

I was contacted recently by a friend and colleague now retired. She was an NHS mental health worker, who gave her all for years flat out, feelingly and wisely. Now she paces and grieves. Here is a slightly abridged version of what she wrote : “I have met with several ex-colleagues recently. On Saturday I bumped into [one] who said… continue reading

Mental Health Witness – how to consult with people who have turned to you for help

Here is a version of a message just written to a mental health manager who recently sent me a draft-“user involvement strategy” being put together for the service where she works. I am soon to retire from a part-time post as free-lance consultant to a group of mental health service users. My task has been to facilitate the process by… continue reading

Mental Health Witness – malpractice in mental health consultation

Health and Social Services in the UK often run open meetings for people who use mental health services. Such meetings are seen as opportunities to give people information on new policy developments, as well as letting them “have their say.” By definition, an open meeting means anyone might come, in whatever state they are in. An invitation to an open… continue reading

Mental Health Witness – Marketing “Recovery”

In the mental health services, the “Recovery Model” has achieved good sales in recent years. Good pitch, good branding. Upwardly-mobile managers and organisations able to lay claim to being passionate about “recovery” win brownie-points and funding. We function in that sort of climate these days, in the care services. But this seems more than just a “brand.” I meet people… continue reading

Mental Health Witness – Who’s a Skiver, then ?

George Osborne’s division of the nation into Us “Strivers”  and Them “Skivers” (but weren’t  we once “all in this together” ?) has reminded me of some nineteenth century history I learned at school. It provides some context for Osborne’s venomous jingle two centuries later, and a way of measuring its quality and pedigree. I still find the nineteenth century fascinating,… continue reading

Mental Health Witness – are UK services getting worse ?

I was at an event at the Poetry Society in London the other night, celebrating the 21st anniversary of a small charity concerned with mental health and creativity. The charity’s Chair stood up and suggested that mental health services are actually worse now than they were when the charity was founded, all those years ago. That was a big and… continue reading

A Statement of Principle in time for Christmas

I suspect that many of us see “principle” as something we can just hive off and leave in airy-fairy land while we hurry out to do our Christmas shopping.  So I’ll say straightaway that, on the contrary,  true and meaningful principle may in the end be the only fact that counts, far more significant and substantive than most of the… continue reading

Copyright © Rogan Wolf – Poet and Social Worker
In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

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