Moodscope's blog

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February


Mental health sufferers need your help! Tuesday February 23, 2016

At last, some excellent media attention and some action regarding the report published by the mental health charity Mind.

It states that one in four UK adults a year suffer from a mental health condition, and of those three quarters NEVER receive help.

Other shocking facts it highlights:

- One in ten British children have a diagnosable mental health condition.
- The leading cause of death for men aged 15-49 is suicide and a quarter of people who took their own life had been in contact with a health professional, usually their GP, in the last week before they died.
- Suicide is also the second leading cause of maternal death, after cardiovascular disease, but only 15 per cent of areas have the right perinatal mental health services. While 40 per cent have none at all.

ONE million more people a year with mental health problems will receive treatment in England by 2021, the NHS has pledged. Yes, it's great and it will help close the gap, but what if you're one of the people that needs help now?

You may not know this, but in 2011(!!) The Department of Health ran a campaign to crowdsource the most popular apps for health and Moodscope was voted #1 of just under 500 entries. Andrew Lansley MP attended a presentation, congratulated us and sang the praises of Moodscope. Excellent we thought, the Department of Health would promote it - A FREE service, people didn't have to WAIT for.

Well, we waited for them to get in touch... and we're still waiting! We have a proven free service available to all, and they did nothing. Zilch. Zip. Diddly-squat!

Well, I guess it's up to us - and I include all of you in this 'us'. You, me, anyone you or I know. Anyone that cares about the people who are suffering now, the people who have suffered and still bear the scars and the people who will suffer if we don't do something.

There's not loads we can do without being able to get hold of the 1.4 billion the UK government are going to put towards mental health by 2021, but what I know we can do is tell everyone about Moodscope.

Write to your MP, write to your therapist, write to your GP, write to your local newspaper, write to a national newspaper, call in to a radio station. Just tell the person sitting next to you! Send out emails to everyone you know, so that they know there is something that can help them or someone they know, NOW, and it's FREE of charge. Moodscope may not be the total solution, but it will give people something to focus on and help them take charge of their own mental health until they receive the help they so desperately need.

As we know, it's not only a UK problem. So, please, whatever country you are in, spread the word any which way you can.

If there are any PR people out there who would like to help in our quest, please can you email support@moodscope.com.

Many thanks.

The Moodscope Team

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

the room above the garage Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 5:28am

In the years since I've been a Moodscope member I have made my real progress with this illness. Not with pills, definitely with the knowledge I learned from counselling, but Moodscope has been what I needed...a daily companion, a daily check-in, a daily support. Once a week was never going to cut the mustard. The government should be begging you to become involved.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:29am

Thanks RATG, I'm so pleased it is helping you. I just don't understand it with the government. Maybe there's a 'not invented here' problem going on. Who knows... Caroline

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 7:59am

Hi Moodscope Team- this is a disgraceful situation.The problem maybe lies in the fact that Moodscope is not a diagnostic tool but an excellent monitoring tool. So our target should be health professionals, particularly GP's . I would suggest the Moodscope Team, on our behalf , write to the Royal College of Psychiatrists,The Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and bring to their attention this useful tool. I understand that the National Counsil of Clinical Excellence(NICE) has recommended Moodscope as a useful monitoring tool to go along CBT which it supports and promotes as a therapeutic modality much to the chagrin of the humanistic and psychodynamic models of therapy. Of course we should individually promote Moodscope to the people you mention and I do that at every opportunity. I know of at 5 people who joined Moodscope when I told them about it and what it could achieve.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:32am

Hi HO, thanks for recommending Moodscope. Good idea about writing to the Royal Colleges. I didn't know NICE had recommended it - thanks. Caroline

LillyPet Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 8:00am

Those statistics are shocking, so more needs to be done to get the message out there.

It was my gp who suggested I try Moodscope and I havent looked back since! I often think about how far Ive come since joining the Moodscope community.

There is short term CBT type help available on the NHS, but my experience has been that long term therapy seems too much to ask for, despite the improved general awareness of mental health issues.

Making this blog into an online government petition may be a good way of getting our voices heard and raising the profile of Moodscope.

Morning all, it's looking like a bright and dare I say sunny day in London! Sending sunshine and smiles to everyone :) LP xx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:34am

Another good idea LillyPet. The stats are awful aren't they. Caroline

Norman Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:34am

Well I was introduced to Moodscope by a date! Not sure what that says...

I have told my consultant about Moodscope. Mental Health Services here have a field team who ring up or arrange to meet to provide aftercare. I have pointed out that monitoring Moodscope scores through the "buddy" system could target resources much more effectively than a list of phone callbacks. I just don't think the budgetting system here is flexible enough.

Putting my business head on is it possible to package Moodscope in such a way that makes it attractive to commissioning officers for Mental Health Services? At the moment it is there anyway: no need to pay but it'll be missed if it goes. Step two is to employ (grant-funded) a Business Development Manager to sell the package. A three-year salary package to develop self-sufficiency is a common arrangement in social enterprise circles.

Feel free to ignore the above if you've already explored these options!

There's a scary bright light in the sky over Dublin: have the aliens arrived? What is this "sun" of which you speak?

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:42am

Thanks Norman. The use of Moodscope as a monitoring system for aftercare is an ideal use of the system. Good idea about packaging Moodscope, but it's not so much how we package it, it's how to get in front of the commissioning officers. There are so many and it's impossible to get in touch with anyone who can make a decision! If we had a large sales team it might be possible. Caroline

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:40am

Norman...be glad of scary bright light...only worry if there's a huge darkness descending...it will mean I'm bending over, gardening in Cambridgeshire and there is an unplanned eclipse! Congrats I hope, on sixty something days of 'dry'.. :)

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 9:53pm

Hey, I did notice it go a little dark around 3 this afternoon! Caroline

The Gardener Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:55am

My eldest son put me on to Moodscope, and boy, am I grateful. I tell my friends (one or two are in situations which could benefit) - but they are a bit scathing - as I was at first, afraid of being manipulated. When, in despair, I looked at Switzerland and suicide huge quantities of 'offers' appeared on the screen. Without being cynical, I think one of the big barriers is the vested interests of those in the 'profession'. One of my sons has had a lot of help from the state, but also spent a lot of money on therapy. You all know my story, I'm not depressed, but dealing daily with a horrendous situation. I've said before that I feel guilty for 'using' moodscope. But I'm convinced you 'keep me going' by having an outlet and the lovely unstinted replies and comfort - I am bouyed up (together with my loads of friends through e-mails) to plug away - you may be strangers, but the support is real. Can't think of anybody I could 'lobby' at the moment, but will keep it in mind.

Mary Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:24am

TG -you may think you are using Moodscope, but what you give to us is enormous. I look forward to your daily posts not so much because I enjoy hearing about the dreadful conditions under which you suffrage, but because the daily communion with your beautiful soul brings light. You are a friend to many of us and we love hearing about France and your community there and your rich and fascinating past. We are truly sorry for you and Mr TG being in such a dreadful situation, but your daily posts are a delight.

Mary Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:25am

Suffer. Not suffer age. Sorry - this was sent from my tablet which does predictive text and auto correct.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 2:30pm

The support the members of Moodscope give is just as important as taking the test. You are most welcome here any time. I also enjoy your comments. Caroline

Mary Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:30am

Hi Caroline. I would love to have some Moodscope business cards to hand out. Also although my GP knows about Moodscope I will contact her to see if we can't get it on the recommended list of "treatments" for the whole of Huntingdon. I am on the Patient Liaison Group for my practice so that gives me a bit more of an "in".

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:32am

Brilliogs idea, Mary. And Caroline...what about the posters? I wonder have you got anywhere with them....for surgeries, schools post offices...and anywhere there is a queue!! Bear x

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 2:31pm

Good idea about the business cards Mary. I'll get some done. Also, if you can get us on the recommended list, that would be great. Many thanks. Caroline

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:37am

A few Saturday's ago, a woman called Bryony Gordon wrote a piece in her Daily Telegraph column about how depressed she was and a weeke or so later, she once again wrote about it and thanked the many readers for responding to her. I wrote to her telling her abut Moodscope. She did reply, but so far, possibly because she already has 'planned' pieces to be printed, nothing has appeared, but I'm not giving up!! I have sent her an email today including the blog for today and hope she will look into Moodscope or I have asked her to get someone else to look at Moodscope.
It would be great if they could print something so that more and more peeps could be helped by the daily blog and the wonderful, thoughtful responses from this community of hopeful friends.
Big sunny Bear hugs to all! x x x

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 2:32pm

Fantastic, thanks Bear. Caroline

Terence Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:43am

I have always taken the opportunity to mention Moodscope to anyone I feel might be interested. As far as healthcare professionals, I only remember one who had heard of it. A couple of them seemed suitably impressed. I took a print of my ‘complete history’ graph to my GP who has seen me through my ups and downs during the time that I have used Moodscope. The graph echoed any activity on my medical records, exactly, now that IS impressive. He particularly noticed the 'flatlines'. Sunny here too x

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 2:35pm

Brilliant to hear that you are using your graph with your GP - it's so helpful and the fact that it echoed the activity on your medical records is proof to your GP that it works and actually so important that you have this record of what works and what doesn't. Excellent. Thanks. Caroline

Maria Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 6:07pm

I am so thankful that my doctor mentioned Moodscope to me. I let her know how useful it is and have also printed out graphs for her to view. I have mentioned Moodscope to support groups that I belong to and encourage others to tell their doctors about it. I am currently helping my City to prepare for community discussions on Mental Health. I will ask if I can advertise Moodscope at these events. Do you have any fliers that I can download and print out?

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 9:55pm

Fantastic Maria, thank you so much. We can get you whatever you need to support you at the event. I know you've been in touch by email and I'll sort something out for you. Caroline

Maria Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 6:15pm

I also just upgraded to Moodscope Plus. Moodscope Lite is invaluable and I want to help keep it free.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 9:56pm

And another big thank you Maria. Caroline

jen Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 6:18pm

I too use my graph in consultations with my therapist and GP. My GP fears that I will think myself into a dip by using Moodscope - ie too self obsessed. I of course disagree. I am looking forward to my next consultation to show how it has helped me to spot a potential swing and stop it in it's tracks.

The Health Service looks for proven efficacy. Without contravening confidentiality, would it be possible to pull out statistical evidence of average improved control of symptoms over time to provide quantitative evidence of efficacy of MOODSCOPE. Qualitative evidence of 'soft facts' via the subjective reporting of improvement can also be added. Lots of therapist are taking degrees each year and needing to find a topic to research. Perhaps you could gain consent to offer up your databases to a Student for this purpose to gain free help with this.

There are also lots of annual exhibitions and seminars attended by therapists and service users, where booking a stall to exhibit the website would help raise your profile. Not sure how much they charge.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:15pm

Hi Jen, how strange that your GP is thinking that way - are you not allowed to think about it when on your own?! A couple of research papers have been conducted and another is currently ongoing by The Health Foundation. We have been to a couple of seminars and need to go to more but it's resource that's stopping us unfortunately. Thanks for your great ideas Jen. Caroline

Paul Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 7:50pm

Hi all I am wondering would it be worth someone contacting Jeremy vine on radio 2, he covers some great topics on his show and often covers topics such as depression. I feel it would be worth a try and would reach a huge audience.

Paul

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 9:30pm

Hi Paul, I have contacted them as well as the daily telegraph...I think they must get so many calls that they can't 'deal' with everything. I keep plugging away!!

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:20pm

Paul, great idea and Bear, thank you! He does a good show and I'm sure it would be great to get on there - we need an interesting 'story' to get them interested I think. When we were on Libby Purves show the website crashed so I know how good radio can be. Thanks. Caroline

Paul Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 11:04pm

That's great let's hope they listen. Jeremy Vine always seem to have an interest in people that need help. Regards Paul

Poppy Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 8:41pm

I live in the US, and I have spread the word here to mental health professionals and sufferers.

I agree GPs need to know and understand more! Last October, I made a last-ditch effort to alleviate my emotional pain with a trip to my GP. After the appointment, I was so despondent that I left his office intending to kill myself that very day. Fortunately, fate intervened, but I haven't been able to figure out how to tell him what a rotten job he did toward helping me.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:33pm

Poppy, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. Moodscope was actually developed by Jon Cousins, who had exactly the same experience - he went for help and left the consultation wanting to kill himself. He went home and developed Moodscope to help himself monitor what was happening. Thank you for spreading the word and so pleased that fate intervened. Caroline

Debs Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 8:54pm

Hey Caroline, I tell everyone I meet about Moodscope and I'm always shocked by how little people know of it. I love Mary's ideas about business cards - those Moo cards are lovely and are pretty cheap to produce. They may even do a freebie if you contact them. I've got loads of ideas but I won't take up loads of space on here - my background is in PR so I'll drop you an email and maybe can arrange a chat sometime. I really think the world needs to sit up and take notice of mental health so the more of a storm we can create the better ;-) xx

Leah Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 12:20am

Debs, I think the world is taking notice of mental health much more than say 40 years ago.Now there so many facebook pages, so many websites, so many organisations , so many self help books raising the awareness of mental health issues. Maybe it can be confusing and overwhelming for one small organisation to be noticed. What do you think?

Debs Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 1:02pm

Yeah, I agree Leah, there is a lot of noise and - presumably because depression is such a confusing 'thing' (without even an official definition of being an illness, condition or whatever) and manifests itself so differently in each person - there is a lot of confusion as to how to treat it. Its taken me five years of deep depression (and probably 35 years prior to that of low grade depression) to work out how to look after myself. Very often its a mix of many different things and even then is there ever a 'cure'? Who knows. I get confused myself just thinking about it!! I had a long chat with my Dr yesterday (thankfully she's one of the good ones!) and we agreed that although there is much more awareness, treatment is still very poor. I've just started with a great CBT therapist but I had to push and push to get this to happen. At my lowest points I couldn't push, I just had to live hour by hour - and isn't that the irony? What we need to most with depression we just can't. Ahhh - I could go on but I won't.. safe to say I'm on the bandwagon and I don't think I'll be getting off any time soon ;-) xxx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Tue, Feb 23rd 2016 @ 10:33pm

Thank you Debs. You are so right. Caroline

Leah Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 12:11am

Caroline,
It is sad that the wonderful work of moodscope does not get the government funding and community awareness it deserves.
I do my best in Australia, to let people know about the great work you do. Business cards sound good, I could give them out in my shop. Thanks to all the staff at moodscope.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 1:26pm

That would be wonderful Leah. I'll definitely get some printed. Thanks Caroline

Tony Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 7:15am

Caroline, It sounds like you and the team are ready to take on a bit of a challenge to lift the profile of Moodscope and try to get it the widest audience possible. I think more use of social media is one way to go to begin with. Do all the Daily Reminder emails go out via twitter? If they do, do they get addressed to all the CEOs and Heads of Media of the full spread of health services and agencies? They would soon retweet to their organizations. Could you contact BBC news to get on breakfast TV or on the radio to promote the app if you haven't in a while? The way you've put it in the blog post sounded great. I'm sure you're already doing most of what I've suggested, if so that's great, keep banging the drum!

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Wed, Feb 24th 2016 @ 1:28pm

Thanks Tony. We do use social media, but not as well as we should I fear - always lack of resource! We need to devise a story to get the media interest up which we'll work on. We'll keep on banging!! Thank. Caroline

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