In The Spotlight: Trish Allen

An Insight

One of the interesting aspects to my role is attending conferences – with a view to gaining knowledge of current best practice in Mental Health and identifying potential new work streams for our family of clinicians.

Current trends

Fortunately, more people are now being treated within the community, preventing admission to hospital for lengthy periods. There are now less than 18 000 beds for those with acute mental health problems in England, compared with 133 000 in 1966 and 39 000 in 1995. This includes those with serious and enduring mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders who may have the added challenges connected with drug and alcohol use and may also have received the diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’.

This is a trend set to continue as the NHS long term plan increasingly looks towards forging strong partnerships with the third sector (charities, voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises and cooperatives) and employing a multi-agency approach to find innovative and integrated ways to offer better and earlier access to mental health care and support to better meet people’ needs and where possible prevent a crisis being reached.

How is a mental health crisis defined?

A mental health crisis is defined outside of the manageable range for the individual, carer or agency to cope. It is also highly individualised, based on the experience and perception of the individual or their careers. Therefore, particularly for those suffering from long term conditions, prone to psychosis and being treated in the community there is now a move towards the best practice of creating co-produced Crisis Plans.

Crisis Plans

Written by the person in times of mental wellness with support teams, family and close friends Crisis Plans are widely accepted as an invaluable tool to provide personalised support to those in crisis with the potential of avoiding hospital admissions. The plan is designed to address symptoms and behaviours and help prepare for a crisis whether in the community or as an in-patient.

FOLLOW THIS LINK to view an example of “My Safety Plan” shared by Dave Jones – Consultant Nurse, Rampton, High Secure Hospital when I met him at a recent conference. Follow this FOLLOW THIS LINK for a copy of the DASA (Dynamic Appraisal of Situational Aggression) score used by mental health professionals to implement early interventions that may reduce risk of violence and aggression for both service user and clinicians.

If you would like to find out more or continue the conversation, please get in touch!