Time to Talk

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on One Page Profiles for managing mental health for Helen Sanderson: http://onepageprofiles.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/can-one-page-profiles-work-in-mental-health/ Today, which was ‘Time to Talk’ day for mental health, the blog got some people thinking about how One Page Profiles can help with communicating some of the things that conventional service administration can’t. In a way a One Page Profile helps you talk, even if you can’t talk. It can let people know who you are, what your personal preferences and good qualities are and what can help you stay well or recover. All these things can get lost in clinical or service bureaucracy.

Mental health can be as much about what remains unsaid as what is said. Some of the unsaid things can be communicated in a One Page Profile. How could a practitioner, working to a set of clinical criteria know that yes, Diazepam or Olanzepine might help calm me, but so can watching a film in a safe environment? Or an aimless walk by the sea or in the countryside? Or just being quietly with people I love and trust? As it is now the psychiatric system does not give me time to talk, but if simple things like One Page Profiles are used to support deeper communication, then perhaps we can ensure that what’s heard isn’t just what the clinician thinks is important. 

Making evidence easier

I'm a firm believer in evidence-based practice but I recognise achieving this can be difficult. Firstly there's the question of what is evidence? Well, for social care it can come from the research, but also comes from the lived experience of people who use care and support services, carers and practitioners. Then how do you get to the evidence? One of the difficult things for many people involved with mental health and social care is accessing research on what works, what doesn't and what's promising. This is as important for people using services as it is for practitioners. So, because of my commitment to evidence-based practice in mental health and social care, I've taken on the guise of an elf. Don't laugh! I'm one of the growing number of expert elves blogging to make mental health research and guidance simple and easy to access at The Mental Elf (get it?!). We take it in turns to critically appraise and summarise up to date research so it's accessible and digestible. You can keep an eye on my offerings here.