10 of our favourite mental health stories from 2013

A selection of highlights from Community Care's mental health coverage over the last 12 months

1. Patients at risk as ‘unsafe’ mental health services reach crisis point

After tip-offs from frontline staff, we investigated the true scale of the mental health beds crisis. The results prompted ministers to concede the problems accessing crisis care are “unacceptable”.

2. ‘The beds crisis makes me ashamed to work in mental health’: a social worker speaks out

This incredibly powerful piece by a social worker really drives home what life is like on the frontline of a mental health system that is at breaking point.

3. ‘Our job isn’t to judge, it’s rehabilitation’: social work with violent and sexual offenders

This interview shines a light on how forensic social workers work with people who have committed violent and sexual offences while mentally unwell.

4. ‘The rapport with my social worker was a vital part of my care’

Mark Ellerby’s piece on how his social worker built up his trust after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia is a moving and important reminder of the difference rapport can make.

5. My mental health support dog has given me back my independence

An amazing insight into the difference specialist mental health support dog Darwin has made to his owner’s recovery.

6. Social work diary: ‘I sign the petition with pride and hope it forces The Sun to apologise’

This piece by a children’s social worker highlights one of the profession’s true strengths – challenging stigma and discrimination of vulnerable people.

7. ‘I don’t know if I’ll get home in time to put my kids to bed’

An hour-by-hour account of what life is really like for the group of social workers tasked with deciding whether acutely unwell people need to be detained under the Mental Health Act for their own safety. It gives a rare glimpse into a complex side of mental health care.

8. ‘I never told my careers advisor I wanted to be a mental health support worker when I grew up’

This fantastic piece by mental health worker Mark Taylor is funny and poignant in equal measure.

9. ‘An excellent advertisment for community social work’

The Masked AMHP’s review of how a Channel 4 series covered the work of a community mental health team.

10. ‘Both sides of the desk: Being a social worker with mental health difficulties’

A poignant and important post by social worker Emma on her own experiences.

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