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NEW ACTION TO HELP PATIENTS FEEL INCLUDED.

Byline: By ANNE-MARIE BRADLEY Health Reporter

HUDDERSFIELD'S mental health trust has launched a new document to help patients fit in with their local community.

South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, which runs St Luke's Hospital at Crosland Moor, has highlighted the importance of social inclusion in a report following a special conference held last November.

The event - called Am I Included? - brought people together who had been involved in reviewing the trust's day services.

Patients who use mental health services, their carers, commissioners, voluntary organisations, NHS and council staff were among people invited to take part.

Services linked to mainstream activities in education, leisure and work were shown to help recovery and provide a good basis for social inclusion.

Phil Walters, the trust's head of public involvement, said: "It was great to get people together at the conference, particularly to hear the views of people who use mental health services and their carers.

"I hope the publication of this conference report will help keep the momentum going, especially among our colleagueswho commission mental health services.

"As we move closer towards becoming a foundation trust, a different type of NHS trust based on membership, further opportunities are available to us.

"Nearly 8,000 local people have joined us as members and having this large membership means more community ownership and a move towards mental health becoming everyone's business.

"I hope more local people will join us as members to champion mental wellbeing and challenge stigma which will, in turn, promote social inclusion for people with mental health problems."

Chief executive Steven Michael said: "Social inclusion is one of the most important aspects of a modern mental health service and one of our biggest challenges.

"Over the past 40 years we have moved away from the old asylum model, which was a deliberate act of social exclusion, towards a much more integrated community care."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2008
Words:313
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