Letters: 16 July 2014

Get involved now by sending your contributions by email to talkback@csp.org.uk or write to Letters, Frontline, 14 Bedford Row London WC1R 4ED. Letters should be no more than 250 words and Frontline reserves the right to edit your letters. Please ensure you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Rugby and wellbeing

I recently read with much interest Karen Lascelles’ In perspective column (4 June) discussing her involvement in training to raise awareness of suicide.

I’m a co-founder of State of Mind, a Rugby League and mental health and wellness initiative, which aims to raise awareness of mental fitness, tackle stigma and signpost where support is available.

We established State of Mind following the death of Terry Newton, a popular former Great Britain player, who took his own life following a ban for misusing drugs.

So far, we have provided awareness and resilience training for more than 4,000 players, as well as training for more than 1,000 students.

We recognise the unique role physiotherapists have in developing a therapeutic alliance with injured players. In particular, assessment and identification of stress and depression problems in the players they are treating.

Injuries and uncertainty about the future can often be a worrying period in their playing career, which can undermine their confidence and wellbeing.

A physiotherapist is well placed to support someone who is struggling.

Sport can be a conduit for the management and prevention of mental health problems in sportsmen and women as well as being a treatment intervention for a person experiencing problems. It is also a great medium for ‘reaching’ people who may not normally engage in the traditional health care services and for tackling stigma and prejudice.

If any readers wish to know more about the State of Mind campaign or discuss sport and mental health,email me at: malcolmrae@blueyonder.co.uk  Malcolm Rae, co-founder, State of Mind

Discharge concern

I was extremely disappointed to see a photograph (page 9, 18 June) showing two physios crowded around the dreaded computer, ‘planning a patient discharge’.

This is absolutely indicative of much of what has gone wrong with NHS patient care.

We, of all the professions, are ‘hands on’ practitioners and not ‘office practitioners’, so why not show a photo of these physios planning the discharge with the poor patient and his or her family?Emma Isworth, senior physiotherapist

Frontline replies: We are always keen to extend the range of stock images at our disposal to illustrate news items.  We would like to hear from services that might be able to host a photographic ‘shoot’, ideally with physio staff, patients and families.  If your service could help, email: frontline@csp.org.uk

Sight tests can help

We noticed your news item on the need for people at risk of falling to have their vision checked (page 15, 2 July).   SeeAbility recognises the link between poor vision and falls.

People rely on their eyesight to move around safely and confidently. Sight problems, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, can make this more difficult.

This may apply to people who wear glasses as well as people who have eye conditions such as cataracts.

This is particularly relevant for older people, including people with learning disabilities who are 10 times more likely to have sight problems than others. 

Regular sight tests every two years or more often if required are the best way to detect any potential sight problems.

Optometrists are well-placed to give advice about falls prevention, including advice on good lighting, reducing trip hazards and helping someone to identify the right glasses for the right task.

Strengthening links between falls teams and optometrists will help to ensure that the number of falls caused by poor vision is reduced. Visit: SeeAbility 
Stephen Kill , eye care and vision regional manager, south of England , SeeAbility

You’ve added...

A news item on the CSP website calling for an end to workplace discrimination (which is also featured in the news section of this edition of Frontline) prompted two comments from members.

Rachael Machin, equality and diversity rep, CSP Council, said:

Well done Alex for an amazing speech and thanks also to Mike Pearson who spoke so well in the debate about HIV awareness and stigma. A fantastic conference where the CSP were strongly represented by its members.   Congratulations to the LGBT Network!

Anonymous added:

This is an awkward and tough area to deal with.   I’ve seen new people at work hold back talking about themselves for a while. After several weeks of settling in the staff around them then started showing who they are a bit more. It then sometimes becomes apparent that people are bigoted or biased.

A few of the new staff members in private have then stated how relived they were they did not give out any signs/talk about their partner and that by waiting at least they know more about how some of the team are.

From my own point of view, being that I’m quite a private person I tend to not want to talk about much of my home life. Even though it might match what the majority of work colleagues class as similar to their own.

It’s always amazed me how people try to quiz people, they don’t understand some people are introvert, shy or just private.

Some colleagues have a tendency to be very nosey and also make assumptions. This polite ‘French inquisition’ behaviour is uncomfortable for anyone – I can’t imagine how unsettling it could be for someone of the LTGB group to deal with, if any of you do have this occurring that is.

If any of you have experienced this and have found a way of dealing with such work place quizzing please give me some pointers. 

Sometimes in groups of people even when there is no bigotry there may be characters that one might not want to share personal or any social information with.

Various and Frontline Staff

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