Monday, 27 February 2017

What do people ask the Powys Mental Health Information Service?

Recently I was tasked with looking at our stats to identify some of the most common enquiries we receive at our Mental Health Information Service. I thought it would be interesting to share my findings with a wider audience. I’ll also provide some typical responses to the queries and who knows, there may actually be an answer to a question that a reader has wanted to ask for ages!

Enquiries come in to our service via telephone, email or in person – and from absolutely anybody with an interest in mental health in Powys. We also receive a lot of enquiries from people outside Powys surprisingly, but these usually relate to services available within Powys, and are made because Powys residents are currently living away from home, for whatever reason, but still have links with providers of the health services in Powys or family and friends here.

Sometimes we are asked a question which totally throws us – and then in our team we have to don our private eye deerstalker caps and do a little bit of investigative work. But those unusual and often intriguing topics are really probably the subject of another post!

So, without further ado, here are some of our most common enquiries:

I’m concerned about the mental health of a close family member. What should I do?

Whether a mother, sister, son or nephew – or any other relative for that matter – spotting that a close family member is struggling can be upsetting and hard. What can you do to help? The person concerned may not be ready to accept help. They may have received support in the past, recovered and now relapsed. They may already have put mechanisms in place to help themselves, or they may be really struggling and crying out for help in all kinds of ways.

One thing is sure. Families are all different and relationships within any of them can be complex. No two enquiries about families will ever be the same, but there are many common themes:
Where can I find counselling in Powys?

That there are long waiting lists for talking therapies in all parts of Wales is generally well known, but people still need to talk and will go to great lengths to investigate all the options. One of our guest authors wrote Finally receiving treatment – a personal view which documents one journey. We were being asked so often about alternative options that we decided to set up a webpage dedicated just to this – How to find talking therapy or counselling in Powys. Here you can find links to the charities locally offering counselling, plus an extensive list of counselling directories – everything from the Buddhists’ Therapy Database to the Hynotherapy Directory.

I think I need a mental health advocate – what do they do and how do I find one?

If an individual in contact with mental health services feels they’re receiving the wrong treatment, or wants someone to support them at a meeting or tribunal, for example, then they may be eligible for free support from an independent mental health advocate.

Advocacy is all about taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights and obtain the services that they need. Mental health advocacy in Powys is available to:
  • Those residents who are currently inpatients on a mental health hospital ward. That could be within Powys (Felindre Ward at Bronllys Hospital) or in another county (for example, North Powys residents may be at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury in England). This service is provided by Conwy & Denbighshire Mental Health Advocacy Service. Don’t be put off by their service name – CADMHAS do cover Powys!
  • People in contact with what are known as “secondary” mental health services, so they live in their community but receive support from, for example, a community psychiatric nurse or psychiatrist. There are advocates in the North and South of the county provided by the Powys Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service who can support them.
I’m moving to Powys soon and need mental health support (or my family member does)

Moving is one of the most stressful things we do, so combine that with pre-existing mental distress and understandably people are keen to find out what they can do to make the move easier.
Can you tell me the contact details for the Powys Community Mental Health Team

And to round off this post, one of our all-time top asks! How do you find your local CMHT? Especially when there are five different teams covering this enormous county which is Powys, not just one?

If you didn’t already know, the five teams are based in Welshpool, Newtown, Llandrindod Wells, Brecon and Ystradgynlais.

And the best way to find each CMHT’s contact details is by checking out our webpage Getting help and support in Powys.

And that's the end of this round up of some of our top questions! If you have a question for our Information Service which isn't answered in this blog post, then please get in touch by ringing 01686 628300 or 01597 822191 or email: 

PS: We have our deerstalker caps at the ready!

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