Direct Payments and Mental Health

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Fiz

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Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 01 May 2014 07:58AM
Donkies years ago I applied via CTT for direct payments and the department manager came out and asked me a few questions. Her questions were did I need help washing and dressing and preparing food? Answer, no. I wasn't at all well at the time, barely leaving the house and having panic attacks in the shop and fleeing and going nowhere else really at all. My request for direct payments was turned down as my need was assessed as 'low'. I didn't have a care co-ordinator at the time or an advocate and wasn't able to verbalise what I wanted or felt I needed, as is so often the case for people with MH difficulties, especially I find, when I am most unwell.

Anyway recently I have tried to push myself into going out and doing things, have identified local social groups and activities and know that loneliness is a big part of my depression and my social difficulties are huge. But even though I have booked to go on dozens of events I end up panicking and cancelling and not going. I was wondering whether it is a case that people with MH difficulties cannot be assessed as needing direct payments if they don't have personal care needs and only want support to go out and about to join in socially? Ideally I would like someone to go with me places so I felt I had someone to talk to, never felt a lemon sat alone, could verbalise how I am feeling and felt able to leave at any time with someone all of which would help me (hopefully) tackle my anxiety and access life outside of my house.

My care co-ordinator knows of my difficulties and of my lack of money to do things but has never mentioned direct payments as an option and I am wondering whether that is because she knows it would never be approved or I am not eligible. And also I feel bad even asking her if I might be eligible, feels like I am asking for money iykwim and I am already embarrassed to be on benefits. I honestly think it would help my recovery if I had the support it might bring me.

Anyway, what is people's knowledge on the possibility of direct payments for people with mental health difficulties for social support only, rather than personal care. I have thought of trying to tackle my food issues at some stage and try eating out but I am not ready for that and am still struggling to eat especially out. But that as a possibility in the future as I have a diagnosed ED, might help my case.

Becca7

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 01 May 2014 09:06PM
First I'm not sure what CTT is.

Second I'm going to assume it is someone from social services who came to assess you needs.

When I looked into DP with my needs I was told that social needs are never considered to be critical, I was assessed on mh and ph grounds. I was advised I could apply for DP, but was told I must contribute all of my DLA care plus parts of my ESA before they would consider adding to it. I Suspect the reason your care co-ordinatior hasnt mentioned it is because such help, unfortunately, wouldn't be funded wholly by DP and you would have to contribute.

Do you have a MIND centre by you, or any organisations that offer befriending to disabled people? That may be a way to begin for you.

Bearing in mind I do not live in your area it is entirely possible that your social services may kfund this.

Maybe someone else will come along with more knowledge about these things than me.

Fiz

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 02 May 2014 12:54PM
CTT is the Community Treatment Team, which used to be called CMHT or the Community Mental Health Team.

Thanks for your reply Becca, I appreciate it. More or less confirms that I wouldn't be eligible. I would be too embarrassed to ask for it anyway. Just so fed up with not getting anywhere due to anxiety  :-(

Becca7

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 02 May 2014 03:07PM
Thanks for explaining, and sorry I couldn't give you better news. It's frustrating to find something that would help you only to find it isn't possible.

I hope you find some way to get the help you need.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 02 May 2014 05:31PM
Fiz,
These are the criteria used by my Council to assess eligibility:

http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/living/social_care_and_health/adults_looking_for_support/getting_social_care_support/how_we_decide_who_gets_support.aspx

It doesn't make any differentiation between physical or mental health and I am sure from what you have said that you would reach the Substantial level for Social Interaction.

How about dropping your Social Services a line/email asking if you would be eligible on MH grounds?  Have you asked your Social Worker?  I know it's embarrassing to ask for help, it took me years before I finally reached breaking point, but if you don't ask then you will never know.  I'm reassessed each year to see if my needs have changed.  If you feel more confident and independent after a period of time, then you could always stop the DP's.  Give it a try.  You won't be any the worse off for asking.

 

seegee

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 02 May 2014 06:38PM
Social services here will give DPs for people assessed as having "substantial" or "critical" needs, whether those needs are from physical illness, mental illness, other disability or learning difficulties. 
They aren't currently asking for any of my DLA - as they don't give DPs for "housework", I think they expect people to use DLA to pay someone for cleaning, ironing, etc..

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 15 May 2014 11:38AM
Quote
Do you have a MIND centre by you, or any organisations that offer befriending to disabled people? That may be a way to begin for you.

I wonder if local Social Services would be able to advise on the local voluntary sector options.

It would be worth Googling your area and eating disorders eg 'Derbyshire and eating disorders and befriending' gave me this link http://www.firststepsderby.co.uk/

devine63

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 16 May 2014 12:03AM
It's also worth asking local MH organisations if they know of any befrienders or charities or other organisations which might have volunteers who could act as befrienders.   Local libraries and local papers may have notices from organisations which do this.   Finally contact local charities - WRVS, Lions Club, Round Table and ask if they have any volunteers who might be willing to be befrienders and accompany you to the sorts of things you want to do.

It is also worth asking about an assessment of your NH needs, since your situation has probably changed since last time.
regards, Deb

Fiz

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 16 May 2014 02:58AM
I've asked locally, all the organisations, such as Mind, don't have befrienders in my area. Some areas do and some don't and it seems mine doesn't.

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 16 May 2014 06:47AM
Quote
I've asked locally, all the organisations, such as Mind, don't have befrienders in my area. Some areas do and some don't and it seems mine doesn't.

 >hugs< at least you asked.

Becca7

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 16 May 2014 09:53AM
My mind doesn't offer befriending either to be honest, but it isn't very good, as it charges almost double for any sessions to people on DLA, I'd hoped yours would. I'm sorry if I misled you.

You could try asking social services if they know of any befriending, in my area there is a charity that offers it but it is only for specific mental illnesses unfortunately. Oh and they may suggest Samaritans to you, they do a great job but it isn't befriending in terms of what I mean, it's a misunderstanding of the term for some social services.

AccessOfficer

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 21 May 2014 08:34AM
Hi Gang,
Please would someone enlighten me as to the meaning of the letters iykwim. I guess I must be a little on the slow side compared to others.
Thanks
AO (Retired)

auntieCtheM

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 21 May 2014 05:59PM
if you know what I mean 

AccessOfficer

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Re: Direct Payments and Mental Health

  • on: 21 May 2014 07:20PM
Thanks Aunty, appreciated.
Best wishes
AO (Retired)