Tag Archives: tutorial

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:


The duty of care myth

Balancing rights, risks and responsibilities

Common law and necessity

Being reasonable


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

Depression part 1

If anxiety is a call to action that is there to help us solve a problem (how to be safe) depression is the opposite. Depression is a form of physiological de-arousal. This is about giving up. Very broadly speaking depressed people are no longer interested in finding a solution. They have decided that there is nothing to be done and so they give up. Of course there are degrees of this ‘giving up’ and it’s not really as ‘cut and dry’ as all that but none the less depression does have an element of giving up about it. That’s not to suggest that it’s a voluntary ‘submission’ to depression but it is fair to say that depressed people are generally less determined to sort out their problems than anxious people are.

This may seem strange but it actually links very well to the stress and vulnerability model we mentioned in an earlier episode. As people’s stress levels increase they become anxious and try to solve their problems. However if they are unable to solve their problems and the stress increases they give up trying to sort things out and so their anxiety (a call to action) subsides. At this point they move up the scale of mental disorder into depression.

Biological (physical) signs of depression include sleep disturbance (too much or too little), appetite disturbance, apathy and lethargy, tearfulness, slowing down of physical movement and passivity (the opposite of assertiveness).

The service user who never seems to cause any problems or demand anything from the staff might not be content – they are just as likely to be depressed. Be aware of the risk of suicide. According to the Beck Suicide Scale (BSS) the best indicators of impending suicide apart from past behaviour are ‘helplessness’ and ‘hopelessness’. Both of these things are features of depression.

Depression in a nutshell meme

Clinical depression is different from sadness. We all have bad days and the occasional low mood is just part and parcel of normal mood variation. Clinical depression includes the biological symptoms mentioned earlier and is thought to result from a reduction in the levels of various brain chemicals such as serotonin. However, as we noted in a previous episode on physiology there is a ‘chicken and egg’ situation here. Low serotonin levels can cause depression but inactivity (a major symptom of depression) also reduces serotonin levels still further. It’s not always terribly important to worry whether the depression came first or the inactivity was the cause. As is often the case dealing with current problems may well be far more important than trying to understand the history of the disorder. Sometimes ‘here and now’ is all we need to work on – at least in the beginning.

For example ensure that people’s current behaviour doesn’t undermine recovery. Many people turn to alcohol when they’re down but that simply makes things worse. Alcohol depletes serotonin levels which not only deepens depression it also prevents anti-depressant medication from working properly.

However as the depression begins to lift that sort of historical information can be extremely useful – but only if we know how to use it and what to do with it. That’s where diagnosis falls down – it’s only really interested in current symptoms. Formulation is more comprehensive and takes account of the many factors that led people into depression as well as the aspects of their thoughts and behaviours that kept them there. If diagnosis helps us to know what the problem is, formulation helps us to ensure people overcome it and then have at least a fighting chance of avoiding relapse in the future.

All that fancy stuff aside (we’ll get to it later) the basic trick with depression is positive action. Get people active again and give them a reason to continue to take an interest. This is more than mere distraction – it involves purpose. Clearly purpose can be difficult to achieve with some people but it’s worth working at none the less. Purpose and security also make it much less likely that people will present with challenging behaviours too. They have no reason to so long as their needs are being met.

There is, of course, much more to depression than we’ve covered in this little introduction. In particular we need to consider the specific thoughts and behaviours that both create and maintain the disorder. We’ll get to those as the series progresses. For now it’s enough to describe in broad terms what depression is. How it is assessed and what we do about it will come later.

To arrange training for your staff please complete the contact form below…

Mental health recovery: A care workers’ guide to the stress and vulnerability model

If you enjoyed this tutorial please subscribe to my youtube channel. Lots more videos on mental health and social care to come. You can subscribe to the website and Facebook too. Just click on the left of the screen or scroll down if you’re viewing this via mobile.

This video tutorial outlines the stress and vulnerability model as a tool for mental health recovery. It’s intended for anyone with an interest in mental health and recovery as well as workers at all levels in mental health and social care.

We begin with an overview of the 3 main symptom groups of mental disorder before outlining the model itself and the progressive role of anxiety, depression and psychosis.

Next we consider categories of vulnerability and stressors before defining recovery and providing a brief overview of how it might be achieved.

Finally a collection of slides are included for download. Screenshot the images and save them in a word document to make handouts for reference.

To arrange training for your staff please complete the contact form below…