Derbyshire Mind gains new Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM)


AQMDerbyshire Mind has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.



To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers have to undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review. This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support. As well it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act. The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.

Wendy Beer, Chief Executive from Derbyshire Mind said “This is a significant achievement for Derbyshire Mind and reflects the high standard of our Advocacy Services, which we are proud to deliver across Derbyshire. Established since 1967 Derbyshire Mind has a positive reputation and recognition both regionally and nationally, as a quality provider. We have over 25 years’ experience of managing and delivering person centred advocacy services, working in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure that our service remains effective, efficient, transparent and upholds advocacy principles.“

Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said:
“The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives. It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”



Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as
straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met. It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further information can be accessed and applications can be made via


Mental Health Transport Summit


Thursday 25th February 2016 at 20 Cavendish Square, London

The Department for Transport, in partnership with Anxiety UK and Mental Health Action Group (affiliated to Derbyshire Mind), will be hosting a Mental Health & Transport Summit on the 25th February 2016. The aim of the summit will be to highlight transport accessibility issues for people with mental health conditions in the UK and is directed primarily at representatives of companies working within the transport sector.


Speakers and Contributors

Andrew Jones MP, Department for Transport

Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People

Philip Rutnam, Department for Transport

Alastair Campbell, Time to Change Ambassador

Laura Whitehurst, Anxiety UK

Experts by Experience, Mental Health Action Group

Joanna Dean, Mind

Sue Baker, Time to Change

Ben Gatty, Transport for London

Ann Frye, Independent Consultant & International Speaker


You can see the press release for this event here and you can take a look at the  agenda here.


Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s February 2016.  The UK is still in austerity measures.  So why would any business invest in mental health training when budgets are being cut and paying customers are shopping around for better deals?  Well, the benefits reported of supporting mental health in the workplace include increased productivity and motivation, reduced absenteeism, lower staff turnover and increased staff loyalty.

The 2014 report of Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies recommended that organisations prioritise mental health when it comes to investing in their employees.  The reason for that is that mental ill health affects one in six in the workplace, costing an estimated £26 billion a year.  One approach to address this national problem could be mental health first aid.  Employers who want to improve the mental health of their workforce can find help through the Line Managers Guide to a Mentally Healthy workplace, just one of many such ‘how to’ guides available.  However, mental health first aid training gives participants the skills to support others as well as increased awareness and confidence in giving information about what supports mental health.

First aid for physical health has been around for a century.  Mental health first aid (MHFA) was introduced to the UK from Australia in 2007.  Most organisations over a certain size have appointed first aiders who retrain every three years to provide support in the workplace around illness and accidents until the professionals arrive.  The concept of MHFA is similar.  You learn how to cope with emergency situations and where to get professional help from.  There’s even an acronym ALGEE to remind you what to do, like DR ABC in First Aid.  The Standard – two day course is divided into four sections.  The first section gives general information about mental health problems, incidence and prevalence and introduces the concept of stigma and discrimination which is not something a person with physical health problems usually has to deal with.   We all have mental health but often we  don’t even think about it until we have a problem and then we encounter deep rooted beliefs about mental illness that mostly we don’t realise we have.

Stigma around mental health is still a big problem.  It stops us getting help when we need it, those phrases ‘pull yourself together’ and ‘you are making a fuss about nothing’ getting in the way of us recognising we have an illness and getting treatment for it.  The myths around mental health, the fear of being locked in a padded cell dressed in a strait jacket stop us ringing a friend to share our concerns or calling the GP.  People go on without help for months, sometimes years.  Mental health problems do not get better on their own.  The longer they go on, the more difficult it can be to treat them.  Sometimes we find ways to cope like drinking alcohol, which cause their own problems or make the original problem worse.  We may become isolated or rely on rituals to get us through the day.  Anxiety untreated can lead to depression and even suicide.  The biggest cause of death in men under 35 is suicide.

Section 2 of the MHFA course covers depression and suicide and includes how to recognise the signs of depression, what the treatment is and what small changes may help a person living with depression.  Then we move on to suicide, what to look out for and how to have a helpful conversation about suicide.  Section 3 covers stress and anxiety; Section 4 Psychosis.  Each section covers facts and figures, explodes some of the myths, features video stories from people with lived experience of mental ill health, NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines and suggestions for support and treatment in the local community.  MHFA training arms mental health first aiders to recognise signs of mental distress and enables them to support someone to get professional help as well as looking at lifestyle changes which support good mental health.

Employees who don’t receive appropriate, empathic support often leave, particularly after a period of illness.  The issue feels too big to challenge, particularly when they have experienced an episode of mental ill health, so people just find another job.  Mental Health First Aid training could help to give them the support they need to stay.

Caron Kirkham, Training and Community Development Manager, Derbyshire Mind  Tel 01332 345966 ext 2

MHFA Lite (3 hours) introductory course costs £75 per person

MHFA standard (2 day) or Standard Armed Forces course costs £198 per person Discounts available for multiple bookings or in-house training.

References Article about stress in the workplace Do you need a mental health first aider in the office?


Further reading

Mind – taking care of Business


Time to Change

MHFA England



TUC – Good Practice in Workplace mental health

ENWHP – The European Network for Workplace Health Promotion – A guide to employers

Department of Health – Advice for employers on workplace adjustments for mental health conditions.

ACAS – Promoting positive mental health at work

MHFA Armed Forces Community course


An estimated 10% of the community have previously or are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  The most common mental health problems for ex-Service personnel are alcohol problems, depression and anxiety disorders.  • In terms of the prevalence of mental disorders, ex-Service personnel are similar to their still serving counterparts and broadly similar to the general population.  This course would be appropriate for anyone who works specifically with the Armed Forces or someone who works with the public in a support role.

Our MHFA Armed Forces Community course is split up into 4 manageable chunks. These are:

  1. What is mental health, and why MHFA for Armed Forces community?
  2. Suicide and depression
  3. Psychosis
  4. Anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder

What will I learn?

In each section you will learn how to:

  • Spot the early signs of a mental health problem
  • Feel confident helping someone experiencing a mental health problem
  • Provide help on a first aid basis
  • Help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others
  • Help stop a mental illness from getting worse
  • Help someone recover faster
  • Guide someone towards the right support
  • Reduce the stigma of mental health problems

These topics have been specifically tailored to the armed forces community and their culture.

How will I learn?

The MHFA for the Armed Forces Community course will take place over 2 full days. The sessions will be a mix of presentation, group discussions and group work activities. Our instructors provide a very safe learning environment and are trained to support you throughout the whole course. If you don’t feel comfortable joining in certain bits, then don’t, we won’t make you do something you aren’t comfortable with.

Due to some of the sensitive subjects of our courses, including suicide, we limit numbers to 16 people. We want everyone to feel safe and our instructors can help if people find some bits particularly difficult.

You’ll receive a MHFA Armed Forces Community manual that you can take away with you at the end of the course and also an attendance certificate from MHFA England to say you are now Armed Forces Community Mental Health First Aider.

Date of the next two-day course

25 and 26 April 2016 at the Lion Hotel in Belper, Derbyshire.  Cost £198 per person.

Derbyshire Mind are pleased to introduce our guest trainer for this course. Rick Harrington.  Rick says “Having served in the British Army for 12 years, I worked within the telecommunications industry for several years before starting my own business which was sold in 2015.

In 2010 I set up a charity to help veterans, Forces in the Community. In 2013 the charity opened a centre in Nottingham and have now worked with over 400 veterans and their families from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We experience a wide of issues on a regular basis including unemployment, homelessness, social isolation, mental and physical health issues, offenders and substance abusers. Poor mental health coupled with inadequate support led me to attending the MHFA course. Since becoming an instructor I have delivered many courses and regularly travel to Germany to train serving soldiers and their families.

Forces in the Community | 2 Cross Street | Beeston | Nottingham | NG9 2NX    01159 220 320     Providing support to local Veterans and their families.

Employment | Mental Health | Housing | Welfare | Social Isolation

Registered charity – 1144814


To book or for more information, please contact Caron Kirkham, Derbyshire Mind, Derby West Business Centre, Ashbourne Road, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4NB  Tel 01332 345966 extension 2  Or book online at