Right next to this, is a new private ward. Having sat with people in A&E, some waiting for hours in pain on hard plastic chairs, I took a wrong turn and found myself in what looked like a luxury hotel lobby, but it was the private hospital wing. This was newly built next-door to the struggling A&E!
Many public health services, particularly psychological provision, are being reduced to a shadow of what they were. Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) seemed to be protected due to knowledge that we need to invest in children. Therapy is effective and fast with young people - preventing a myriad of longer term issues.
Sadly those services are now now also being severely affected by the cuts. Beth Hoyes who has been working with a London CAMHS Schools service has written about her recent experiences, 'Finding Ground in Shifting Sands: The importance of self-care amidst dismantling of services and in relation to self, systems and client groups.'
This is relevant to the self care section on this site. It is now included in the research section where I have used writing to log processes behind various social art and therapy projects I have been part of, intending to share learning and methodology.
When writing from within large organisations there is often a lengthy editing process that you go through before being able to share an essay, perhaps seeking approval of three tiers of management prior to achieving permission to send a text to the publication editors. In many situations I have not attempted to write things up knowing that reflective pieces could risk turning into adverts by the time they are released. It is a pleasure to be able to offer SA&T as a platform for this writing, with editing only to help make it accessible, rather than to fit overarching criteria.
Regarding self care for practitioners in front line services, Doctors Of The World are now holding monthly workshops for their staff and those at allied organisations. I am helping develop these through SA&T, and with Jen Hall, as a three way partnership for the rest of the year.
You can find Beth’s essay here: socialarttherapy.com/camhs-2016