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Quality care and treatment in crisis: elements of 24/7 effective support

Fiona Venner, Director, Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service discusses Quality care and treatment in crisis and elements of 24/7 effective support at today’s Improving Mental Health Crisis Care conference. In her presentation Fiona Venner discussed:  

  • what people need when in crisis: five elements of effective support 
  • why we don’t have beds at our crisis centre
  • positive risk taking
  • our experiences and developments in monitoring and improving outcomes in a user led service
  • a user led approach: our experience
     

Fiona Venner’s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

Fiona Venner Abstract:

Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service is a voluntary sector mental health charity. The organisation provides out of hours services to people in acute mental health crisis, as an alternative to statutory services. The organisation is governed, managed and staffed by people with direct experience of mental health problems.

Fiona Venner presented LSLCS as an alternative to the mainstream, medical model, diagnostic approach to mental distress and drew on evidence from the Mind independent inquiry into crisis and acute care, listening to experience, 2011. Which powerfully articulated the need for dramatically improved mental health crisis care and the need for humanity in service provision. LSLCS was described as “one of the most valued services we heard about” and presented as a model of high quality crisis care.

Fiona's presentation described the organisation’s services, practice, philosophy and its application of the Person Centred Approach.

Fiona outlined how Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service demonstrates efficacy in:

  • Reducing risk/ preventing worse happening: “I haven’t taken an overdose since January. Last year I had 18 overdoses – 18 hospital admissions. Since using Dial house I haven’t taken one. I haven’t been in hospital once.”
  • Supporting people to resolve or better manage crisis: “The help I have had to deal with my immediate crisis I try to use with regards to things long term. I have attended the coping with crisis group which helped me identify coping strategies and I now try to put them in place.”
     

Fiona demonstrated how the following outcomes are achieved through the five elements of effective support. These support the findings of the Mind report that people in crisis need to be treated with respect, compassion and humanity:

  1. Listening - “You listen, you don’t judge, you don’t tell me what to do.”
  2. Treating people with warmth, kindness and respect - “I’d like to thank all the staff for being supportive towards me, I find it a bit strange, cos I am not used to it”
  3. People don’t feel judged or assessed - “Dial House is mint! It’s proper ace, it’s decent, proper nice. Staff are really good, they listen and people are well nice to be around. It’s cool to be around people who know what you have been through and who understand you – people who don’t judge you.”
  4. Being in a different, calm and safe environment - “Its like a sanctuary here, I calmed down as soon as I walked in, feel safe and more like me again”
  5. Peer support. - “It gives me a break. By being around people in the same situation as you; you are not having to feel ashamed.”
     

The service receives NHS funding as it is recognised as an alternative to people using the healthcare system and reduces hospital admissions. 

Fiona Venner Biography:

Fiona Venner is the Director of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, an organisation she has led since 2005.  Fiona has worked in mental health since the early 1990s, always in the voluntary sector and predominantly in acute settings. This has included working with homeless people with mental health problems in London and managing the Suicide and Self Harm Team at 42nd Street, a Manchester based charity supporting young people. Fiona was the Deputy Chief Executive of Leeds Mind prior to her current job and has worked as a volunteer therapist within various Leeds counselling services. Fiona is also a marathon runner and a Labour Councillor on Leeds City Council, representing Kirkstall ward in West Leeds where she lives with her partner and cats.

Future events of Interest:

Positive and Proactive Care Meeting the New National Guidance on Reducing Seclusion
Tuesday 20 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Smoking Cessation in Mental Health
Tuesday 20 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Identifying and Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence & Improving the effectiveness of MARACs
Monday 16 November 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Ensuring Compliance in Practice
Tuesday 17 November 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Information Sharing in Mental Health
Friday 27 November 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Download: Fiona Venner"s full presentation

15 October 2015

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