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20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers – Guest Blog Post

20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers

By Nursewithglasses

  1. Thou shalt respect your client and not judge
  2. Thou shalt increase the well-being, opportunities and happiness of your client
  3. Thou shalt be in time for appointments and ‘phone calls. It will show your client that he matters
  4. Thou shalt have a well-chosen and well-timed sense of humour
  5. Thou shalt reconsider your ‘professional distance’ if it makes your client feel he stands alone; show that you are a person too
  6. Thou shalt not let your bad mood or personal issues influence your professional attitude
  7. Thou shalt have an open conversation if your client is suicidal and give good support and protection if necessary
  8. Thou shalt not hide behind a newspaper on the ward or make any other unapproachable impression otherwise
  9. Thou shalt not hide and chat in the nurses’ offices but be with your clients as much as possible to create a safe and friendly environment
  10. Thou shalt consider family and good friends of your clients as team players (unless it’s impossible) and support them well in the interests of your client
  11. Thou shalt inspire and support your colleagues to make mental healthcare as good and friendly as possible and ask and give feedback on a regular basis to become a ‘winning team’
  12. Thou shalt inform your clients well about side effects of medication, observe well and help to find solutions if needed
  13. Thou shalt not avoid the subject ‘sexual side effects of medication’
  14. Thou shalt help your client to get good dental and physical care and support them on doctor and dentist visits if needed
  15. Thou shalt help and support your client to exercise on a regular basis to increase their health
  16. Thou shalt support your client to overcome financial or housing problems and fight bureaucracy
  17. Thou shalt listen well to the client’s aspirations for their life and give support to achieve them
  18. Thou shalt stand up for the rights of your client
  19. Thou shalt fight the stigma of mental illness on every opportunity
  20. Thou shalt help your client to keep up hope

Reprinted with permission

Bio: NursewithGlasses is from the Nederlands and she is a Community Mental Health Nurse on a mission to improve the world of psychiatry with the 20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers. You can find her blog here: http://20commandments.blogspot.com/ and she tweets on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/nurse_w_glasses

Are you caring for a loved one and need support? – Guest Blog Post

By Heather Chagnon, Adult Family Care Manager, Greater Waltham Arc

A lot of Caregivers are unaware of what benefits are out there to assist them. Often times they don’t know where to look or where to start. One program that is available to Caregivers that can provide financial benefits to them is the Adult Family Care Program.

This is a benefit funded by MassHealth and provides a monthly tax-free stipend to Caregivers who are caring for an individual with a disability and/or the elderly. This program promotes individualized care and allows the Member to be cared for by the person of his/her choice. The Caregivers will receive monthly support from the AFC Team, which includes a Care Manager and a Registered Nurse. The paid Caregiver will receive Alternative Placement days, Medical and Non-Medical leave days. This allows the Caregiver to get the much needed break that he or she may need and they will not be forfeiting their monthly stipend. The stipend is dependent on the amount of daily care the Member requires, this information will be determined by the AFC Team after meeting with the Member and Caregiver.

There are many clients with a wide array of conditions that qualify them for the program. A couple of examples of who can benefit from the program include:

  1. A  24 year old female who suffers from depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD and obesity, she is currently living with her friend, who will be her paid Caregiver. She requires hands on assistance with bathing, dressing and toileting. This will qualify her as a level 2 and her Caregiver is eligible to receive $18,000 per year for the care he provides.
  2. A 44 year old female who has been diagnosed with depression and OCD is currently living with her mother (who is not her legal Guardian) and the mother is the paid Caregiver. Even though this Member does not require hands on assistance with any Activities of Daily Living, she does require prompting, supervision and cueing with bathing and dressing. This particular Member will not initiate showering on her own and requires her Caregiver to prompt her to shower daily. The Member also does not wear appropriate clothes for the season therefore her Caregiver has to constantly remind her to dress for the weather. This Member is eligible to be a Level 1 and the Caregiver receives $9,000 per year.

The qualifications of the program include:

To be the Member, you must:

  • Must be 16 or older
  • The program must be approved by the Primary Care Physician
  • The Member and Caregiver must live together
  • The Member must be on MassHealth Standard

To be a paid Caregiver, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be able to provide daily care
  • NOT be legally responsible for the Member (i.e. spouse, parent of a minor or legal Guardian)
  • Be willing to complete 8 hours of training annually (this will be provided by the AFC Team)

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact:

Heather Chagnon

Adult Family Care Manager, Greater Waltham Arc

781-899-1344 x 4145 or hchagnon@gwarc.org