Category Archives: seminars

Upcoming online seminars

Do you work in mental health or are you keen to know more for another reason? Are you frustrated at not being able to get on group training without travelling miles and paying through the nose? Look no further.

If you have an hour to spare and access to a pc or mobile ‘phone then you can join our 1 hour seminars with an experienced mental health nurse and trainer. For just £12.50 you can have a PDF booklet and access to an online presentation and question and answer session from the comfort of your own home.

Mental health and disorder made easy

Upcoming sessions include…

Thursday February 23rd 2023  The picture on the box

Thursday March 2nd 2023  Psychosis and schizophrenia

Thursday March 9th 2023 Self harm

All sessions begin at 7pm.

Fill in the contact form below to reserve your place on any or all of the sessions listed.

Webinar: Mental health recovery

What’s #recovery really about in #mentalhealth? For many it means so much more than a return to how we were. Join my one hour seminar to learn more.

https://tinyurl.com/recoversemi

Self harm interactive webinar

Wednesday March 24th 2021 7pm

Self-harm can be confusing and bewildering for both staff and service-users. Ideas about ‘manipulation’ or a ‘cry for help’ do little or nothing to help prevent future self-harm. This interactive webinar explores some alternative notions and examines ways that support workers can make a difference in a genuinely difficult situation.

Click here to book your place

There is a great deal that support workers and others can do to help people who harm themselves. The trick is to be able to see past the behaviour and to understand the person who cuts themselves, takes overdoses or otherwise injures themselves.

In the past this sort of behaviour has been written off as attention-seeking or as an attempt to manipulate workers and yet most self-harm happens in secret and never comes to the attention of the staff. It’s really not about us. Something else is going on and the tired old notion that it is merely ‘behavioural’ is both meaningless and irrelevant in a modern context of deliberate self-harm.

This interactive webinar covers:

Definitions of self-harm

A cry for help?

Is it all just attention-seeking?

Self-harm and suicide – are they linked?

Pain, the brain and self-soothing behaviours

The emotional purpose of self-harm

Helping people to ‘get past’ self-harm

Managing the risks

Dos and Don’ts

Click here to reserve your place on this interactive webinar

Please note – this is an educational seminar. It is not a group therapy session and we cannot make time for individual or group counselling or other intervention here,

Book short webinars and TamTalking sessions here

If you’re looking to book training for your staff you’ll need to complete the online contact form below.

However, if you’re interested in joining a short, ‘public access’ webinar as an individual or small group of friends, students etc or to set up a TamTalk please visit the TamTalking.co.uk store here

.Whatever you’re looking for, if it’s mental health or social care related get in touch, even if it’s not listed. You’d be surprised at the bespoke products I can put together.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Stuart Sorensen

Webinar/tutorial: Hanged if you do – Hanged if you don’t

A 90 minute online webinar, Wednesday 24th February 7pm – 8:30pm

Joining fee £10:00

One of the biggest headaches for health and social care workers is how to make sense of their duty of care. On the one hand we’re told that we must take steps to ensure safety and on the other hand we need to respect people’s rights to make their own decisions, even if they’re risky. This can be a delicate balance to strike.

How not to be hanged

Nobody needs to be hanged

It’s true that the law surrounding duty of care can be complicated but care workers aren’t expected to have the same knowledge as barristers. We’re expected to understand the basic principles of care law, to know what to do if we’re unsure and we have to act reasonably. We don’t even need to be right every time. We only need to be reasonable.

This 90 minute webinar/tutorial is designed for workers who are far too busy delivering care to spend their time reading through long reports of legal precedent. It covers the basic points we all need to be safe ‘at the coal face’ of care delivery in a practical, work-based way that is both engaging and understandable.

Delivered in plain English, the basic message of ‘Hanged if you do – Hanged if you don’t’ is

‘Don’t panic’.

By taking the mystery and complicated jargon out of the equation, Stuart Sorensen guides workers step by step from basic principles to a solid understanding of duty of care. Real life stories and clear examples are used throughout to make the webinar both absorbing and easy to apply in practice.

Click here to join us on Wednesday 24th February 2021 7pm – 8:30pm GMT

Joining fee £10:00

The webinar covers:

Professionalism

The duty of care myth

Balancing rights, risks and responsibilities

Common law and necessity

Being reasonable

Safeguarding

Mental capacity and the right to decide

Acting in best interests

How not to be Hanged

Click here to join us on Wednesday 24th February 2021 7pm – 8:30pm GMT

Joining fee £10:00

Webinar: Psychosis and psychotic conditions

Thursday 18/2/2021 7pm GMT

Invitations by Email once £10 payment received.

Mention the word psychosis to most people and they immediately think of headline grabbing tragedies and untreatable, unmanageable people they’d rather not have anything to do with. This is inevitable given the way that the subject is covered in the press but it’s not really very accurate.

People diagnosed with psychosis, like people diagnosed with other mental health problems are more likely to harm themselves than others.

This hour long, online tutorial lifts the lid on the myths about psychosis and psychotic conditions like schizophrenia. It introduces participants to the practical, common sense things that they can do to support their relatives, their service-users and themselves. By breaking symptoms and problems down into manageable ‘chunks’ and by relating them to participants’ own experiences we build a clear understanding of what psychosis and schizophrenia really means.

The tutorial is open to anyone with an interest in the topic be they relatives, carers or, most importantly people with psychosis themselves.

https://www.tamtalking.co.uk/p/webinar-psychosis-and-psychotic-conditions-thursday-18-2-2021-7pm-gmt/

What is mental capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make your own decisions. It’s assessed using a straightforward two-part test which is much easier to deal with than most people think:

Part 1: The diagnostic threshold consists of 2 questions.
Part 2: The functional test consists of 4 questions.

That’s it – the assessor needs to know the answer to 6 straightforward questions and they can tell whether or not the other person has the mental capacity to make ‘this particular decision at this particular time’.

If you want to know what these questions are (and how straightforward it all is) you’ll need to watch the video. And don’t forget to subscribe and share while you’re at it 😉

MCA: Who decides?

When assessing an individual’s mental capacity it is important that we confine ourselves to assessing that person’s ability to make this particular decision (or type of decision) at this time. This is what the Act means when it refers to ‘time and decision specific’ assessment.

At first glance this seems obvious and clearly reasonable. However on closer inspection it brings up a number of issues relating to ‘established practice’ that need to change. It also provides many workers from support workers to nurses, social workers and many others with a very real source of anxiety. Here’s why.

In the past capacity decisions tended to be made by certain professionals such as psychogeriatricians or psychologists. One typical approach would be to ask a doctor to come and assess a service-user’s capacity, not in relation to a specific issue but ‘globally’. This would be done using one of several techniques, the most common in UK being the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE).

The MMSE is a reasonable tool to assess cognitive deficit and is helpful in diagnosing certain conditions such as dementia but it is not an assessment of capacity. Diagnosis is not the same as capacity. The fact that a person has a particular diagnosis does not tell us anything about their capacity to make particular decisions. The MMSE is not decision specific unless the care and treatment being offered relates to the service-user’s ability to count backwards from 100 in 7s or to name the current Prime Minister.

The MMSE does not inquire into preferences of diet, whether or not a person understand how to cross a road safely or what time they would like to go to bed. These are the sorts of questions that must actually be assessed on a day to day basis when we are making decisions about a person’s capacity.

The other major problem with ‘global’ assessments of capacity (apart from the fact that they do not asses capacity in the first place) is that they are not time specific. A psychogeriatrician’s assessment at the start of the month will have little bearing upon the service-user’s day to day decision-making capacity at the end of the month. So unless we can persuade the Dr to visit each service-user every mealtime to assess their capacity to choose between carrots and peas we have to use a different system.

Fortunately the Mental Capacity Act provides us with just such a system and, although unfamiliar to many it is very straightforward and in fact reflects what we’ve all been doing since early childhood anyway. You see assessing capacity is not difficult in itself so long as you understand it – and also understand what we are NOT expected to assess just as clearly as what we are expected to assess.

The Mental Capacity Act is clear….

“The decision maker is the person delivering the care or treatment”
This means that the support worker who decides that Albert needs a bath is responsible for assessing whether or not Albert has the capacity to consent to that bath. If he or she decides that Albert does not have the capacity to consent to that bath then the support worker is also responsible for deciding whether or not the bath would be in Albert’s best interests.

This may seem unfamiliar when it’s written down like that but actually that is precisely what has happened day in and day out in practice for decades in health and social care settings. Nobody calls the GP every time they think a resident in a care home might need their hair washed – they just decide. What the Mental Capacity Act does for us is it provides us with a way to show that our decisions make sense and gives us the legal backing to be free from prosecution for assault so long as we can justify our actions.

Part 5 of the Mental Capacity Act is subtitled ‘Protection from liability’ and deals with just this issue, ensuring that care workers can do what is necessary so long as they can show that the individual lacked capacity and that their actions were both proportionate and in their best interests. This is very empowering for care workers because it allows them the respect they deserve in making day to day decisions and provides them with legal protection at the same time.

Social and mental health care training

I’ve been getting a lot of new inquiries lately, which is wonderful. It seems that training budgets are becoming available to the small specialist trainers again without organisations having to rely upon the off-the-shelf generalists on their ‘pre-approved supplier lists’. There are many courses that only a specialist clinician can provide. Click below to download the Mind The Care brochure…

170429 Mind The Care brochure.

That’s great news for the little man like me. It means I can get to more organisations and train more staff from the perspective of the expert practitioner. Learning from someone who actually does the job is always better than listening to a training executive with a script.

So I thought I’d put a little post up for those organisations who haven’t experienced my training yet (and it is an experience), outlining my most popular courses and seminar topics and inviting them to get make contact. Just click here and I’ll be in touch to design the exact training or speaking programme you need to help you look after and get the best out of your care team.

Click here 170429 Mind The Care brochure to download Mind the care’s most recent brochure.

courses-meme

Mental health care needn’t be complicated

Training room.jpgI used to think that mental health care would be really complicated. So I looked for complicated theories to underpin everything I did. For many years I studied and tried hard to negotiate my way through the complex world of mental disorder. And because I looked for complicated answers, complicated answers were all I found. That was a great mistake.

The more I studied, the more I realised that good quality mental health care doesn’t need to be complicated. It may not always be easy to deliver but that doesn’t mean it should be hard to understand. Often the simplest solutons are the most effective.

Eventually I realised that there are some straightforward, basic principles that we need to follow. Everything else flows from there. These are the simple ideas that make the difference between good care and bad, between illness and recovery.

If only someone had distilled those principles for me when I first began. My early career would have been so much easier and more effective. But nobody did that in those days. That’s a great shame.

So I’ve done it myself. I’ve boiled down the basic ideas into usable, teachable concepts that every care worker can quickly understand and apply. These are the fundamental principles that underpin every Mind The Care Training course and seminar. Subscribe to this page and come back often to find out more.