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Mental health awareness week – an article by Paul Isaacs 

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Mechanisms Of Mental Health

Mental health is something that can and does change over time, the world moves on regardless and so do you.

Sometimes this is not the internal feeling however this can be influenced by many different, nuanced, person centred and often inter linking factors.

  • Core beliefs (warped worldviews vs. connected authentic outlooks)
  • Self-Reflection (the ability to manage your own selfhood)
  • Information Processing (the way in which the brain filters information)
  • Nervous System Responses (many mental health conditions mean the nervous system is overused)
  • Emotional Regulation (the ability to recognise, filter and mange yours and others emotional frequencies)
  • Environment (caregiving, educational & community)
  • Attachment, Friendship & Relationship Dynamics (poor boundaries, emotional incest, projection & manipulative behaviours)

Everything Is Linked 

These factors (in various guises, degrees, and presentations) will have an impact on someone’s idea of “self”, personal expectations vs. connected one’s, perception of danger and threat, how one internalises their own emotions and healthy spaces for expressing and objective reasoning, boundaries, and healthy modelling of friendships and relationships.

Paul Isaacs 2023

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Mental health awareness week – an article by Paul Isaacs 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.17.3″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Mechanisms Of Mental Health

Mental health is something that can and does change over time, the world moves on regardless and so do you.

Sometimes this is not the internal feeling however this can be influenced by many different, nuanced, person centred and often inter linking factors.

  • Core beliefs (warped worldviews vs. connected authentic outlooks) 
  • Self-Reflection (the ability to manage your own selfhood) 
  • Information Processing (the way in which the brain filters information)
  • Nervous System Responses (many mental health conditions mean the nervous system is overused) 
  • Emotional Regulation (the ability to recognise, filter and mange yours and others emotional frequencies)
  • Environment (caregiving, educational & community)
  • Attachment, Friendship & Relationship Dynamics (poor boundaries, emotional incest, projection & manipulative behaviours)

Everything Is Linked 

These factors (in various guises, degrees, and presentations) will have an impact on someone’s idea of “self”, personal expectations vs. connected one’s, perception of danger and threat, how one internalises their own emotions and healthy spaces for expressing and objective reasoning, boundaries, and healthy modelling of friendships and relationships.

Paul Isaacs 2022 

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A young boy with autism, and his family, were denied a parking bay outside their house by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, despite him receiving the highest rate of Disability Living Allowance for his mobility, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

After the Ombudsman found the council applied too rigid an approach when considering the family’s application, the council has agreed to create the bay for the family, review its parking bay policy for how it should take hidden disabilities into account and contact those refused a parking bay over the past year and tell them about the changes to its policy.

The boy, who is of primary school age, has a number of physical conditions and severe behavioural problems which mean that, although he is physically capable of walking, he sometimes refuses to walk and uses a wheelchair to get around.

When assessed for a blue badge parking permit, an assessor felt the boy’s needs were among the highest she had seen. Although he did not meet the physical criteria, the council awarded the family a blue badge on appeal.

The family told the council they needed a parking bay outside their house because of his medical conditions. He was unaware of dangers and would run out into the road. His behaviour meant he would have meltdowns and refuse to walk if he could not see the front door of his house when in the car or have a straight route to the car from his house. They also needed to be able to transport his special needs pushchair.

Despite this, the council did not properly consider the boy’s significant additional needs when it decided the family did not meet its criteria for a parking bay.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for not giving the family clear reasons when it initially denied the family a Blue Badge, or why it changed its decision. Had the council done so, the family could have used that information to support their parking bay application.

The Ombudsman also found the council did not consider properly whether to treat the family’s application as one of the exceptions allowed under its parking bay policy or whether it was right to apply the policy rigidly given the family’s circumstances.

 

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Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:

“While the council needs to set criteria for considering whether someone is eligible for a parking bay, they should not be applied so rigidly as to deny a space to families such as this who have a very obvious and significant need.

“London Borough of Tower Hamlets has now agreed to create a parking bay for this family, but also amend its policy and write to other people who have been refused a parking bay to tell them of the changes.

“I hope this, and the other actions I have recommended, will ensure people’s applications will be considered more holistically in future.”

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The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to remedy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the council has agreed to install a parking bay outside the family’s home, and pay them £1,000 to reflect the significant distress caused by the delay in making this happen.

The Ombudsman has the power to make recommendations to improve processes for the wider public. In this case, the council has agreed to ensure officers are aware of the implications of an award of higher rate mobility Disability Living Allowance and that decisions relating to parking bay applications take into account both the exceptions in its policy and the council’s general discretion.

It will also ensure decision letters on both Blue Badge and parking bay applications contain sufficient information to enable the applicant to clearly understand the reasons for that decision.

The council will also review its parking bay policy, having regard to how it should take into account hidden disabilities. It will then write to those applicants who have been refused a parking bay over the past year and tell them about the changes to its policy.

Click here to read the full article

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Given what parents and others have had to deal with during the pandemic, many people may have missed the Judgement in AD & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Hackney [2020] EWCA Civ 518

This was an appeal of a decision of a judicial review in respect of a policy of the LB Hackney to provide support for children who have special educational needs. Specifically, the challenge was to a policy to reduce one element of SEND funding by 5%.

The Appellants were children who have SEN and disabilities and attend mainstream schools in Hackney and therefore had the required standing to bring proceedings.

It all seemed to hinge around section 27 The Children and Families Act 2020 – specifically the statutory requirement to consult in relation to education and care provision and should this requirement be limited to only the strategic or “big stuff”.

The Court of appeal said it should be limited. Lord Justice Bean summarised the position as follows:

‘I do not consider that this modest reduction in one element of SEND funding was sufficient to trigger a strategic review under s 27(1)-(2) with the consequent requirement of widespread consultation under s 27(3)… I would leave for another day the issue of what level of major budget cuts or transformation of a local authority’s SEND provision would trigger a wider duty to consult either under s 27 or at common law.’

So, what does this mean? Simply that local authorities are not required to consult on all relevant budget cuts.

Whilst legal challenges like the one above were no doubt well intentioned, we do come back to the point that any allegations of SEND funding failures must be evidence based. 

This, yet again, stresses the importance of ensuring that the contents of section F of an EHC plan be specified, quantified and detailed and parents and young persons should be motivated to ensure this is achieved.

When this is attained, a penetrating light is shone upon any Authority who fails to deliver.  

The judgement in the above case can be found Click here for details

 

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