Mental health service maps

September 21st, 2018 by

“Research by Safer Cornwall in 2016 showed a need for a clear guide about referring individuals to mental health services.  These maps were developed in order to assist Safer Cornwall services when making referrals or signposting individuals to mental health services in Cornwall.

These maps show:

  • Primary and secondary mental healthcare services including which conditions they treat and how to contact them
  • Details of other community mental health services including services for veterans
  • Details of specialist community safety services for drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse and sexual violence
  • A mini guide of what a good quality referral to mental health services should include.

The maps have been tested by service representatives and are now available to be shared within and across services in Cornwall.  These maps will be updated periodically as service delivery changes but please contact us if you notice any content which needs changing.”

To view the Service Maps click below

Library – Strategies and Evidence
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Alprazolam (Xanax) – What are the Facts?

July 30th, 2018 by

Public Health England briefing

Over the past year, there has been increasing media coverage about alprazolam (typically referred to by the brand name Xanax), highlighting what is being seen as a rise in the number of young people using it. Most of the media reports have described individual cases or reports from treatment services, and there has been little discussion of the research evidence or the actual data.

As with all media coverage which highlights potential changes in drug trends, there is a risk that the evidence isn’t clearly presented or even available, and that raising the profile of a particular drug can inadvertently increase interest from some drug users.

What is alprazolam?

Alprazolam is a medicine in the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Benzodiazepines are most commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, and they are also prescribed to control seizures caused by epilepsy.

The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine in the UK is diazepam, known by the tradename Valium. In comparison, alprazolam is a faster acting drug and is about 10 times stronger, meaning that it can rapidly cause feelings of sedation.

Like other benzodiazepines, alprazolam can cause problems when taken without medical supervision. In the short term, its misuse can cause over-sedation, collapsing and overdose. Longer-term use can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal upon reducing or stopping use.

Furthermore, taking any benzodiazepine with alcohol and/or other drugs increases the risk of harm. This is particularly the case when benzodiazepines are mixed with other sedative drugs.

Alprazolam is not available from the NHS, but can be obtained on a private prescription in the UK. Illicit alprazolam, normally in the form of counterfeit Xanax tablets, can be bought from street level drug markets and is also available to purchase from illegal websites and social media apps.

What is being said about alprazolam (Xanax)?

There have been a growing number of personal stories reported in the media, often about young people who have developed problems with alprazolam (Xanax), as well as anecdotal reports that they are self-medicating for anxiety issues.

There have also been discussions around alprazolam in political circles. In January this year, the MP Bambos Charalambous led the first debate in the House of Commons to discuss its misuse.

Sometimes, the use of alprazolam (Xanax) is portrayed in the media as a major epidemic among young people. There is currently no evidence of this, but, as we explain further down, there is some evidence that prevalence is increasing. It is important to understand that patterns of drug use change over time. Some drugs rapidly emerge but then their use quickly declines, other drugs persist and cause significant and sustained harm. It is currently too early to know which category alprazolam will fall into.

What do we know about alprazolam use?

As the media coverage of alprazolam continues, PHE has been asked to comment, particularly on trends. There is some evidence to suggest that use is a growing problem, particularly among young people and young adults. However, the data we have does not give a clear picture of the prevalence of alprazolam use, as some of these data cover all benzodiazepines and not alprazolam specifically, making it more difficult to detect changes in use.

Preliminary hospital admission data in England for 2017 indicates that there has been an increase in the number of people aged under 20 admitted to hospital with benzodiazepine poisoning. Over the same period, enquiries to the National Poisons Information Service about the treatment of alprazolam poisoning have increased substantially. PHE has examined UK police seizures data for drugs that were submitted for forensic analysis, which showed that the number of alprazolam seizures was far greater in 2017 than in previous years, increasing from fewer than ten seizures in 2016 to over 800 in 2017.

Many of the Xanax tablets available on illicit markets are not of pharmaceutical grade, but are in fact counterfeit. This is a major concern because these counterfeit products may contain very variable amounts of alprazolam, making it hard for drug users to decide how much to take. Counterfeit Xanax has also been shown to sometimes contain other drugs and/or potentially dangerous adulterants.

Information we have received from TICTAC, a drug analysis laboratory, has confirmed that samples produced to look like real Xanax tablets actually contained other drugs such as etizolam, which is another benzodiazepine linked to a large number of deaths in Scotland. TICTAC also found that ‘fake’ tablets that did contain alprazolam varied greatly in strength, with some tablets having more than 10 times the normal dose of an authentic Xanax tablet.

The unpredictability of dose can be very dangerous to drug users who will not be able to judge how much alprazolam (or other substituted drugs) the tablets contains until after they have consumed it and are experiencing harmful effects.

What is being done and what should be done?

What PHE is doing

At PHE, we’ve been looking at all national data and other intelligence to try to get a better understanding of alprazolam use in England. We are also talking to experts and others to build a clearer picture.

Our locally based PHE Centre teams are working closely with local authorities, providing them with data, guidance and other bespoke support to help them assess local treatment need, and commission services to meet that need. This may include specific support for those misusing alprazolam depending on the size of the problem in their area.

We are piloting Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR), an online reporting system for harm caused by illicit drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances (NPS). This system also captures the harms caused by misused medications, such as alprazolam.

When new drugs or patterns of use emerge, the particular health consequences associated with them may not always be fully understood at first. For example, the bladder problems caused by ketamine were not originally recognised until different treatment services began to join the dots and find the link between the two. RIDR seeks to speed up the identification of harms, so that health and treatment services can rapidly deliver the most appropriate interventions. PHE encourages frontline staff to use RIDR to report clinical harms they are seeing in their local areas. This helps build a better understanding of the emerging problems and their geographical distribution.

PHE holds a quarterly clinical network meeting with experts on new drugs and emerging drug trends, which provides the opportunity to discuss data from RIDR, the latest NPS-related research, and other sources. After each meeting, we update the RIDR dashboard to log current issues and concerns. Alprazolam has featured on the dashboard since September 2017.

What are we doing in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly?

Our treatment services have responded to this emerging pattern of use by learning more, training their staff, producing information for young people, raising awareness of the problem locally, and offering advice, support and treatment to young people having problems.

Drug Watch, an information network, put together a briefing on alprazolam for professionals and the public (see below) which we are disseminating.

We seek to ensure that staff working in services in contact with vulnerable groups are well-informed; and support the development of appropriate responses.

It is especially important that any local communications to professionals and young people are proportionate so that they raise awareness and knowledge without driving up interest and drug-seeking.

Download PDF FileAlprazolam Infosheet DrugWatch

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Cornwall Pride

July 28th, 2018 by

Our Pride 2018

This year once again Cornwall Pride will be returning to Newquay. After the pridetastic event last year, how could it not return! On Saturday 25 August why not come and join Cornwall’s celebration of diversity, you are all are welcome to attend along with colleagues, friends and family.

Themes for this year

In line with a Safer Cornwall priority to increase the reporting of hate crime, the service is joining with Devon and Cornwall Police to say “let’s shOUT” about hate crime.

As always we will be promoting recruitment and our apprentices will be there to promote the roles within the service and give their first hand experiences of what it is like to be a firefighter in Cornwall.

Flying the flag

 

This year the Council and the Service will be flying the Pride rainbow flag for the week running up to Pride and the day at New County Hall and Service HQ Tolvaddon.

There will be other rainbow additions to this year’s Pride including rainbow epaulettes. Now supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council, members of the service will be wearing their rainbow epaulettes with Pride on 25 August and the week running up to the day.

Getting involved

If you would like to come along and join the parade please be at the Beach Car Park Newquay no later than 11.30, the flag waving and parade beings at midday.

If you would like to be more involved on the day or have an idea to make our Pride attendance even better then please contact Kathryn Billing Strategic Lead for sex, sexual orientation and gender self-identity.

Kathryn Billing, Area Manager Service Delivery, Service Headquarters

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Campaign aims to reduce suicides on Cornwall’s coastline

July 5th, 2018 by

Cornwall Samaritans and Cornwall Coastsafe group have teamed up to support suicidal people as part of the #Coastsafe campaign.

Representatives from a wide range of agencies including police, fire and community safety, coastguard, the RNLI and Environment Agency and the Samaritans met earlier this year at a #Coastsafe forum to discuss ideas on how to reduce fatalities around water including interventions for those suffering and thinking of self-harm.

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A large proportion of the numbers of people losing their lives around our coasts are those who suicide.  #Coastsafe is about getting partners to work together to the same aim of reducing harm on our coastlines and suicide statistics are of increasing concern.

A/PS Andy Mulhern stated; “Collaboration is key to reducing fatalities around the waters of the UK, not just with emergency services but with charities, communities, individuals and society as a whole.”

As a result Samaritans contact boards have been placed at up to 30 appropriate coastal locations to raise awareness of the charity and to hopefully provide support for people to contact in their time of need.

Samaritans can be contacted by telephone FREE 24/7 on 116 123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org

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St Austell Dementia Garden

July 3rd, 2018 by

Since the stations construction in the early 2000’s there has been a section of land adjacent to the building which was unused and underappreciated.  Green watch decided that we must be able to come up with something better for all that would improve things for everyone and make our time at work a better environment that was also healthier and safer for users. We got together as a team and designed a multi-use area that could work on many levels.

A self-help project was set up and we looked into the costings, materials and labour required and during the summer of 2017 the watch made a start by hand digging several tonnes of turf and clearing the area ready for the next phase of construction. The foundations were dug, concrete mixed, and walls built by the crew of general builders before we broke out our ‘Chippy’ skills and constructed a timber decking area which also incorporated a nice ‘multi-gym’ arrangement for those who love an outside workout. Approaching completion the green fingered among us became landscape gardeners and when time permitted the finishing touches were applied with the construction of the multi-use timber seating area, wall panelling, chippings and some tubs and planters.

The garden was officially opened by Station Manager Dave Pilling in May 2018 during the stations Dementia awareness coffee morning. Station personnel and members of our community now use this area to chill out, eat their lunch, briefing, debriefing and lecturing for operational training and now we look forward to Phoenix Services using this area for their Service Delivery.

The watch would like to thank ACFO Hewitt for his help and guidance on this project and would like to dedicate their blood, sweat and tears to our Dementia friends around the county with a warm welcome to any local Dementia groups for coffee mornings or get together now the work has come to an end. I’m so pleased to say that already there are regular visits from local dementia groups planned so they can enjoy the fruits of our labours.

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Cornwall Blue Light Day set to welcome more than 750 people with a learning disability and/or autism

July 2nd, 2018 by
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INTEGRATED DOMESTIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE SERVICE

July 1st, 2018 by

INTEGRATED DOMESTIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE SERVICE: CORNWALL AND THE ISLES OF SCILLY

Service details and referral guidelines

  

The new, comprehensive, county-wide, Adult, Children and Young People’s Integrated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence community service, delivered jointly by First Light and Barnardo’s , commences  1st July 2018.

All services are free of charge.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre and Independent Sexual Violence Advisory services remain the same.

The new Service provides a wide range of education, early intervention and prevention services and expert support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and their families.  The service includes:

Crisis response

The service offers a single point of contact for domestic abuse in the county and an Independent Domestic Violence Advisory provision.  This includes risk assessment, safety planning, individual advocacy, advice and guidance.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkits for Adults, Children and Young People

The Recovery Toolkits provide a specialist recovery-oriented and programmatic intervention for adult and child survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  This includes community support groups.

Domestic Abuse Prevention Programme

Domestic abuse prevention programmes will be offered for men and women who display abusive behaviour in their relationships, to increase safety to their non-abusive partners and children.

Therapeutic Services

Therapeutic support is available for adults, children and young people who have either recently experience Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence, or recently concluded their engagement with an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.  Group-based therapy and Pre-trial counselling will also be available.

How to refer

Telephone: 0300 777 4 777

For professional requiring advice and information prior to making a referral using the online referral form: 01872 241 711

Online referral via the First Light website https://www.firstlight.org.uk/make-a-referral/

Healthy Relationships Schools Programme

Healthy Relationships training is delivered to primary and secondary schools in partnership with Brook supporting education leaders to create whole school approaches and to champion Healthy Relationships as core to their PHSE curriculum.

The programmes are tailored to be age appropriate and aim to equip students with the skills to develop healthy and respectful relationships. Critically, the programme seeks to develop young people as ambassadors for promoting healthy relationships in their school environments as they are best placed to influence long term change.  This service will commence in October 2018.

Enquiries and bookings for Healthy Relationships:

 Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Workforce Development Training

Domestic abuse and sexual violence training packages to suit a wide range of professional needs.  Further information and bookings can be accessed via the following links: 

 A new link to Eventbrite and a full refreshed programme of domestic abuse and sexual violence training will be distributed in the Autumn.

 

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Community Safety – 1365 Staff Trained

May 14th, 2018 by

Over the last 12 months staff from Community Safety & Fire and services, including Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Housing, ASB and Drug & Alcohol treatment staff have completed training to help them with their role with vulnerable people and community safety issues.

The following courses have delivered.

  • Alcohol Awareness and IBA: Identification and Brief Advice

Just over 400 front line staff have been trained overall for 2017/18.  This training has now been updated to incorporate more Motivational Interviewing principles.

  • 14 x Basic Drug Awareness courses

A total of 253 people have attended and completed the BDA course for 2017/18

  • 1 x Basic Drug & Alcohol Awareness – Isles of Scilly

This one-off course was arranged and delivered for the Isles of Scilly service staff (Health Centre, NHS Trust, Children’s Services Team, Police, St Mary’s Hospital and Age UK).  A total of 8 people attended and completed the course.

  • 1 x 2-day Blue Light Train the Trainer training

The Blue Light Project is Alcohol Concern’s national initiative to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for people who are dependent drinkers, who resist change and are a burden on public services.  National guidance has been developed and this course aims to help roll out that learning across Cornwall.

A total of 11 people attended and completed the Blue Light TTT out of a potential of 12.  This course will enable participants to run courses for others on working with change resistant drinkers.   Participants are expected to have the ability and willingness to deliver future training in Cornwall.  Plans are in place to deliver this training across the 10 identified Safer Towns for 2018-19.

  • 2 x 2-day Dual Diagnosis courses

This course was run specifically for mental health services and drug & alcohol service staff in Quarter 4 2017/18.  A total of 18 people attended and completed the 2 day Dual Diagnosis course

  • 16 x 2-day Mental Health First Aid courses

This nationally accredited course which can only take up to 16 people. A total of 214 people have attended and completed MHFA training for 2017/18.

  • 9 x General Motivational Interviewing courses

A total of 172 people have attended and completed the MI course for 2017/18.

  • 2 x 2-day Specialist Motivational Interviewing

This course was run specifically for drug and alcohol service staff.  A total of 36 people attended and completed the 2 day Specialist Motivational Interviewing course.  Both courses had full attendance

  • 2 x Update on Providing Substance Misuse Pharmacy Services

This is an annual update training event the DAAT deliver to all pharmacies.  Two events were arranged – 1 in Lanhydrock (held in Q2) and 1 in Redruth (held in Q3).  A total of 72 pharmacists/pharmacy staff attended and completed the training.

  • 14 x Young People’s Substance Awareness & Screening training

A total of 181 people attended and completed the YP Screening training for 2017/18.  This includes 2 sessions held specifically for GTY and YOS staff and 1 session for the service staff on the Isles of Scilly.

 

Feedback

“Good at raising confidence with usable tools and case examples.”

“Helpful to get confidence working out alcohol unit levels and using AUDIT.”

“Applicable in helping clients to cut back their alcohol use.”

“Kim has great knowledge of the subject.  Delivered with passion”

“Well balanced approach to drug attitudes and approaches in todays society”

“Very informative and enjoyable day, thank you.  Delivered by a very knowledgeable and calm trainer”

“I felt that all the common misconceptions about drug users were covered in this session”

“Really fascinating and thought provoking…will improve my practice”

“Extra knowledge about the effects of drugs and relationship with Mental Health disorders.”

“New ideas and angles to begin to provide a service in complex areas”

“Really enjoyed the Personality Disorder work…really fascinating”

“Refreshing look at Dual Diagnosis”

“The best training I have had in a long time.  From basic to in depth material with links to bio-psycho-social interactions and real life stories”

“ The trainers knowledge and relaxed delivery made the training very accessible”

“Great course.  Now feel better equipped and knowledgeable about mental health”

“Trainer very engaging with everyone at the training.  Took time to listen and give advice.”

“Became more aware and understanding in my approach to service users”

“Hard work but instructive, entertaining and two days well spent”

A high percentage of the feedback received through the evaluation forms and through other sources is very positive.  This ranges from comments made about the trainers to the level of learning people have gained through attending these courses.  We have learnt through the feedback and the success of this training programme the gap within these services around substance awareness and engaging service users.  We hope to expand the training programme to cover other areas, such as, Blue Light training and Routine Inquiry into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) training in 2018/19.

 

Any more information please contact DAATevents@cornwall.gov.uk

 

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May)

May 11th, 2018 by

#AddressYourStress

This year for Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), Mental Health England are focusing on stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. We will look at how we can tackle stress and help improve our mental health.

Everyone feels stress from time to time, so it’s important to find ways to #AddressYourStress.

This Mental Health Awareness Week @MHFAEngland is asking us to #AddressYourStress and has developed a free toolkit to help, Get yours here

 

 

Stress affects both our physical and mental health.

 

 

 

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: