Sneak preview

Part 1 of The Mental Health Workers’ Audio Guide will be available for sale from The Care Guy shop soon. In anticipation of this (and to whet peoples’ appetites) I’m publishing the accompanying free PDF a little early:

The Guide part 1 accompanying tables and references.

The free PDF  contains all the charts and diagrams referred to in part 1 as well as the contents list for the entire series.



Models of mental health and disorder

The world of mental health care can be confusing – especially for those new to the topic. Often the different theories and professional approaches seem to contradict each other. It’s almost as though different workers speak different languages,

That’s not quite true but they do often come from different theoretical perspectives. That’s why, for example, a social worker and a psychiatrist will give you two completely different explanations for the same person’s problems. They’ve been taught radically different ‘models’ that they use to understand mental health and disorder, its causes and its treatments.

This little table isn’t intended to cover all the different models in depth. Instead think of it as a very basic list of models that can guide you in understanding why people focus upon different things. There’s more to it, of course but it’s a start for newcomers trying to get to grips with the contradictions they come across in practice.

The Care Guy Models of mental health and disorder

You snooze, you lose!

Thanks for all the interest in the free training. I’m afraid it’s already been snapped up by a group in the West Midlands. The moment has gone, I’m afraid.


But keep watching. You really never know what might be around the corner.

Free training

Tuesday 9th September 2014 update: Thanks for all the interest but this offer is now closed. A care team in the W. Midlands has kindly offered to let us film there.

Do you work in the UK Midlands? Would you like a free half day training session on self-harm and social care?


If so please let me know by Emailing (or ask your manager to if it’s not your decision).

You’d need to agree to some or all of the session being filmed for a new TV documentary on mental health care. The training would also need to be delivered before December 2014.

For more information about my training click on the pic above or have a look around and drop me an Email. I look forward to hearing from you.

I just love this stuff

Today I was in Halifax in beautiful W. Yorkshire. It was great.
I arrived last night and met up with a former colleague for a catch up over a curry (& beer of course).


Then today was spent with around 20 of Calderdale’s finest mental health & social care workers talking about psychosis and interventions for people who hear voices. It’s amazing what a really enthusiastic group can get through in a single day. We covered basic principles of psychosis, a little philosophy of mental health care, models of understanding and normalisation in the morning. This afternoon was devoted to meaningful activity and validation, socratic dialogue, delusions and perceptions and principles of risk. These people really got their money’s worth today!

The group was great fun to work with and they really seemed to enjoy the day. Hopefully they’ve got some useful new skills to take away too.
Even better, I think a few of them will be contributing to Care To Share Magazine before too long as well.

All in all it’s been a really successful day. And now it really must be ‘beer O’Clock’!

What a cracking day!

Care to share magazine issue 7

Just a reminder. Care to share magazine issue 7 is out today as a series of blog posts or downloadable PDF.

Get your free copy here.


Nursing is a family

Today I had a really brilliant experience. I’m currently working as a locum community psychiatric nurse as part of the NHS team close to my home. It’s a trust I worked for before. In fact I spent several years as a permanent staff member on the wards and in the community early in my career. That’s the background to this story.

Back in 1999 I was working as an E grade staff nurse (remember those?) on a psychiatric acute ward. At that time we had a fresh-faced 18 year old student who clearly had potential. In fact she was one of those students whom you just ‘know’ will go far. She had ‘talent’.


But she had an issue to resolve. I won’t go into details except to say that I worried that (through no fault of her own) she may become disillusioned and abandon her training. I did what I could to help but I couldn’t be sure that it was enough – though I certainly did my best. You see nursing is a family and like all families we really should look after our young.


Eventually she moved on from the ward as all students must. Nurse training involves many clinical placements. She went to another ward and I never saw here again. Until….

Today, 15 years later, I had occasion to request help from another nursing team. I needed a specialist. Guess who that specialist was….

The slightly hesitant 18 year old student is now a confident, competent and compassionate professional. Far from losing heart and leaving this wonderful profession she has blossomed into the fine mental health nurse we all knew she could become. I know this because I got to see her work first hand.

And best of all – she had a student of her own in tow.

The nursing family works best when we look after our young.


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