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Harrogate group highlights World Mental Health Day

[Tuesday 10 October 2006]

A YORKSHIRE DALES health group is today helping to raise the profile of World Mental Health Day (10 October) and providing an opportunity for people to make 'Advanced Wishes' about their future care.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, rich or poor, young or old, shattering the lives of those affected and the lives of the people close to them.

Having a mental health problem myself, I found that this document gives me a say in what happens to me when I am admitted

mental health patient

Statistics show that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Each year more than 250,000 people are admitted to psychiatric hospitals and over 4,000 people take their own lives.

People with a mental health problem are entitled to make a statement about the future care they want, should they become ill. These are known as 'Advanced Wishes' and could cover areas including your views about being considered for new forms of treatment, or your preferred domestic arrangements, such as who will look after your pets or bill payments. The decisions cannot be ignored by a doctor except in special circumstances.

The issue is being tackled locally by MAGIC (The Mental Awareness Group Input Committee), a user forum attached to the Briary Wing at Harrogate District Hospital, run by North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust.

The group meets in Harrogate to discuss and feedback on developments in mental health services, and has produced a poster to highlight Advanced Wishes.

The group is keen that mental health professionals and carers, as well as those who use mental health services know about Advanced Wishes and how useful they can be. As one member of the group says:

"Having a mental health problem myself, I found that this document gives me a say in what happens to me when I am admitted. It shows your wishes will be heard and listened to. Look out for the poster and information leaflets at mental health venues."

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