Podcast Episode 029: Toby Williamson Interview Part 2

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In conversation with Toby Williamson regarding his role in the Mental Health Foundation focused on Later Life. Services for older people are traditionally looked on negatively, particularly dementia.

In this episode Toby reflects on the positives of how we are living longer, and the majority of people, even those ‘living with dementia’, are experiencing a good quality of life. Mental health problems are not a necessary companion of growing older, and even the comparative cognitive decline can be adapted to. We can develop more of our own protective factors by planning more for an active retirement.

Two-thirds of people living with dementia do so in their own homes, and the Dementia Friendly Communities and Age Friendly Cities initiatives are two of the many positive developments contributing to the better wellbeing of older people. The challenge for service providers is to attract more excellent practitioners to see the exciting challenges and opportunities offered by working in these services. The lack of cure or effective medical treatments opens the door to a range of other exciting therapeutic opportunities for supporting people and their informal carers. Finally, we should also do more to tap into the ‘care capital’ potential of baby boomers retiring with experience and a commitment to contribute back to society.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/029-toby-williamson-interview/id867043694?i=320199331&mt=2

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Podcast Episode 028: Toby Williamson Interview Part 1

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Toby Williamson works for the UK Mental Health Foundation in the role of Head of Development & Later Life, and is extensively published particularly around the subjects of Values and Mental Capacity. Here he talks about what we mean by ‘values’ in mental health practice, borrowing a phrase from Professor Bill Fulford who describes them as ‘action guiding words’.

He explores the importance of values diversity, reflected particularly in the expectations of how we set up multidisciplinary teams. Toby draws on examples from his previous role managing Impact, an assertive outreach team developed in the voluntary sector services run by Mind in Hammersmith & Fulham (west London).

Toby and Steve also reflect on the conflict between person-centred values upheld by the majority of public service practitioners, and the commercial values slowly creeping into UK public services in recent years.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/028-toby-williamson-interview/id867043694?i=319964730&mt=2

Podcast Episode 027: Identifying values

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2What are values?

This episode highlights the importance of reflecting on these largely unseen influences on everything we think, we do, we decide, they inform our core beliefs, they are the sum of who we are. Nothing more than that! So, if they have such a significant influence we would be well advised to be more aware of what they are.

They come dressed up in almost endless lists of good words, but this episode argues for spending more time examining the impact they have on the ways we behave and act in particular situations. Steve Morgan poses a series of questions to help us explore our underlying values, offering examples from his own experiences by way of illustration.

Core personal and corporate values are contrasted, and examples are identified of where conflicting values can contribute to better decisions, or even disasters. As a strengths approach, the examination of values is one way of demonstrating how we are putting genuine person-centred practice into action.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/027-identifying-values/id867043694?i=319716735&mt=2

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things.” [Deborah Day].

Podcast Episode 026: Boys will banter

cropped-steve-on-maid-of-the-mist.jpgKirt Hunte talks about his passions for Liverpool Football Club, playing Sunday league football, and cricket.

A jokey conversation with Steve Morgan (pictured above prepared for anything that is thrown at him!), but with the important final message that we should enjoy what we love, love what we enjoy, and instill passion into that which excites us. Not forgetting to drink good red wine in celebration!

For the full content of this episode click on the links for iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/026-boys-will-banter/id867043694?i=319430305&mt=2

Podcast Episode 025: Kirt Hunte Interview

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Kirt Hunte discusses his early introduction to the nursing profession growing up in Trinidad, before making the move to Guy’s Hospital in London. He reflects on a few important influences in those formative professional years before he developed his specialist interest in acute mental health care and the provision of crisis response and resolution teams.

He initiated the South Camden Crisis Team in 2001 and managed it through to 2011, and is in a good position to reflect on the qualities of a good team as well as its individual practitioners. Kirt identifies the support and development of new workers as one of many rewards of team management, as well as his rare combination of bringing gestalt psychotherapeutic skills and experience into the arena of short-term crisis working.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/025-kirt-hunte-interview/id867043694?i=319164730&mt=2

Podcast Episode 024: Not for profit

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How often do we stop and reflect on our values and principles? Not often enough, despite the fact they influence who we are, what we think, what we decide, and how we present to the world around us.

It can often take a sudden message or event that sharply challenges our values that triggers that very reflection on our personal standpoint. One such message recently encountered in the UK Observer Sunday newspaper was an article examining the gulf between the wealth and focus of private equity firms increasingly owning and running social care services for our most vulnerable people in society. The senior personnel and owners/shareholders are on astronomic salaries and dividends, and by contrast, many of the workers are forced to provide the work for less than a minimum wage.

If we examine the NHS Constitution we can be forgiven if we ask the question ‘what price are we now placing on compassion and care?’ Meanwhile, the politicians of all persuasions seem equally complicit in the neglect of fundamental values-based practice, more concerned not to offend the powerful in their pursuit of value-for-money (aka greed and inequality). Our most vulnerable and needy in society should never become pawns in the game of profit, but the slow creeping takeover by private equity of the ownership of social care is making care and compassion commodities to be exploited.

To hear the full episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/024-not-for-profit/id867043694?i=318887373&mt=2

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” [Dwight D Eisenhower].

Podcast Episode 023: Wanda Rusiecki Interview Part 2

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In this second part of the interview Wanda Rusiecki talks about the work she does as a case manager with specific service users, ‘getting on the healthy side’ and supporting people to exercise more control over their own lives. She recognises the real reasons behind the cynacism and mistrust that some people come with, and how the focus on the conversation and humble listening helps to create a different experience of services for many people.

The issue of ‘time’ is discussed; it is the service user’s time, so we need to ask how they want to make best use of it, rather than succumbing only to systems needs that serve more bureaucratic requirements. Helping people to search for satisfaction also brings greater satisfaction in the work for practitioners.

Wanda also reflects on working alongside the criminal justice system through court order treatment, the importance of integrating mental and physical health care to be truly holistic, and the role for peer services employing service users to tap into their experience and talents.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/023-wanda-rusiecki-interview/id867043694?i=318839498&mt=2

https://soundcloud.com/stevemorgan57/023-wanda-rusiecki-interview

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