Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Rethink News – Our response to the BBC investigation into the Priory Group

Today (Wednesday April 26th) we respond to a BBC investigation which features claims from former senior managers at the Priory Group who shared concerns about the safety of patients and staff. This story follows the tragic loss of Beth Matthews and two other women, Deseree Fitzpatrick and Lauren Bridges, who died while inpatients at the Priory Group’s Cheadle Royal Hospital in Stockport.

Brian Dow, Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness and Chief Executive of Mental Health UK:

“We keep Beth Matthews’ loved ones in our thoughts today, alongside other families who have been let down by services that failed to keep their loved ones safe and provide the appropriate, dedicated support they needed.

“The BBC investigation into the delivery of services by the Priory Group raises important questions not just for the Priory Group but the wider environment in which services are delivered. The availability of a trained, committed workforce is the foundation on which appropriate and safe care that aids recovery is built. Everyone will appreciate that recruiting and retaining this skilled workforce comes at a cost and too often the consequence of this is a lack of focus on quality. If we want our sons, daughters, loved ones and friends to have the care they need and deserve we have to demand better. There can be no avoiding the reality that this requires the Government to adequately fund mental health services – both those in clinical settings and those in the community.

“In tandem, we need to reform the Mental Health Act to give people in crisis more say in their care and to address many of the systemic issues placing patient safety at risk, alongside a robust inspection system that hears the voices of people using services and holds all providers to the same high standards.

“The ongoing rapid review into mental health care is of critical importance. A statutory public inquiry could also act to address many of the systemic issues placing patient safety at risk, but every day waiting for the findings and recommendations of such an inquiry leaves people in inpatient mental health units at risk. We need more urgent action to push standards up.”

‘Extremely disappointing’ government social care plan neglects people experiencing mental illness

The government released its eagerly-awaited plan for social care yesterday, following many reports on how the under-resourced sector is struggling to deliver the support that people need. 

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: 

“The social care plan announced yesterday represents a significant watering down of previous commitments, removing funding while increasing demand on staff at a time when the mental health social care sector most needs a lifeline. Arriving on the same day that the Hewitt Report called for government to produce a strategy for the social care workforce, this plan represents a backward step. The government’s failure to bolster mental health social care will result in more people living with mental illness becoming desperately unwell and requiring hospital treatment, putting more pressure on the NHS, while also failing to offer a hand of support to unpaid carers. 

“Not only does the plan deliver just half of the funding recently promised and so desperately needed by the mental health social care sector, but it also largely ignores the needs of people severely affected by mental illness, even though £1 in every £12 spent by local authorities on social care goes towards vital mental health support. 

“Social care staff do a skilled and demanding job supporting people with very complex needs, but amid a cost-of-living crisis, we often hear that people are leaving the sector in droves because they can be paid more to work in a local supermarket. The details announced today provide nowhere near enough funding to recruit and retain the staff needed. What’s more, the plan suggests that mental health social care staff could take on more complex responsibilities currently delivered by clinicians, such as managing crisis plans, with scant detail on whether they will receive sufficient training or be given the necessary time and resources to provide people with the appropriate support they need. 

“Alongside the paid mental health social care workforce, there’s another group who play a vital role: unpaid carers supporting their loved ones. The government’s People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform white paper, released at the end of last year, was very clear that unpaid carers need better support with increased access to advice, information, respite and help with their own mental and physical health. Today’s plan rows back on this, kicking the issue into the long grass by promising only to do more research on the needs of carers.  

“It is extremely disappointing and frustrating that mental health social care continues to be neglected in this way, and this failure to adequately address rising demand for support follows the recent decision to shelve the 10-Year Cross Government Plan for Mental Health and Wellbeing which would have addressed the drivers of mental illness. The government urgently needs to realise the scale of the mental health emergency that we face.” 

World Menopause Day 2022: Mandy Chainey and Julie Marks from Together in conversation

World Menopause Day takes place on 18 October each year to raise awareness, break the stigma and highlight the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. For the day this year two of our members of staff who are part of our Peri Menopause and Menopause Inclusion Group shared a conversation on their lived experience of the menopause. Mandy Chainey is People Inclusion Manager at Together and appears on the right in the videos while Julie Marks is Office Manager at our Norfolk Integrated Housing and Community Support Service and appears on the left in the videos.

In this first film, Mandy and Julie discuss the symptoms they experienced with the menopause and share lived experience in the hope of increasing awareness and knowledge:

In the second video Mandy and Julie consider the impact the menopause has on mental health and how that interacts with working for a mental health charity. They consider the scope for talking about that at work and being open with colleagues about it:

In the final film Mandy and Julie explain how they are both part of Together’s Peri Menopause and Menopause Inclusion Group and describe how that has been helpful to them providing peer support and developing clear policies:

Thank you to Mandy and Julie for taking part in these films and for haring their lived experiences.

Thank you to Anabel, Carmel, Shelby and Montana for taking the time to respond take part in this piece.

World Mental Health Day 2022 – Together’s Theme

World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October and the theme for 2022, as set by the World Health Organisation, is ‘Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority’. We see this theme as focussing on increasing access to knowledge and support relating to mental health wherever possible globally and thought about how we could contribute.

We value lived experience as an organisation and our core principle being service user leadership. So, we thought we could help by inviting our staff, volunteers and people who use our services to share their knowledge and insight through tips that have worked for them in supporting their mental wellbeing. We hope this is a way we can help others by sharing the understanding people have gained from their own experiences and our overall question was:

We’ll share these through the day on Monday and hope they will be useful for others to read. As always each person’s experience is unique and so what works for one person to benefit their mental wellbeing may not be right for everyone but we hope by sharing lived experiences that will give people more options.

You can see all of the mental wellbeing tips shared by people from across Together below:

Bipolar News – Bipolar UK launches new Mood Tracker app

Created by a member of the Bipolar UK community, the charity has launched an expert-approved Mood Tracker app to record daily mood, medications, emotions and sleep.


App developer Andrew Thomas says:

When I was 50, I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2. The psychiatrist referred me to the Mood Scale on the Bipolar UK website and gave me some sheets to fill in to record my mood. I was annotating all over them and had the idea to create an app. I contacted Bipolar UK with a prototype and we worked on it together for over two years. I’m really proud of how it’s turned out. I hope it will help other people with bipolar in the same way that it’s helped me.

Download the Bipolar UK Mood Tracker app on a phone or tablet via the Apple Store or GooglePlay. It takes 10 minutes to set up and two minutes a day to fill in.

For more details and expert quotes, please contact Sarah Owen on 07759 232028 or at
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Bipolar UK is the national charity in the UK dedicated to supporting individuals with bipolar, their families, friends and loved ones.

Bipolar UK News – BIPOLAR UK has announced that Gordon McInally, Rotary International President Nominee, has accepted our invitation to become an Ambassador for the charity

Gordon, a graduate of dental surgery at the University of Dundee, owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh and has held various academic positions. An Elder in the Church of Scotland, he has also served as a Presbytery elder, chair of his Parish Congregational Board, and commissioner to the church’s general assembly.

A Rotary member since 1984, Gordon has been Vice President and President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. He has also served Rotary International as a Director and as member and chair of several committees. He will serve Rotary International as President in 2023-24 and lead its 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries and geographic areas.

Gordon feels a deep resonance with the charity through someone close to him and has already supported Bipolar UK by hosting a webinar around suicide prevention and producing a video explaining why the condition means so much to him.

Bipolar UK is looking forward to working with Gordon over the coming years to help improve understanding of bipolar and increase vital support for those affected by the condition.

For more information about bipolar, expert quotes and case studies, please contact Sarah Owen on 07759 232028 or at

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