Wednesday, 25 June 2008

"A rose by any other name..."

Name changes....
Do they matter? Are they significant? Why do they happen?

This announcement has me wondering:

Directorates Change Name
Three of our directorates have had a name change:

Working Age Mental Health (WAMH) is now People of a Working Age (PoWA)
Mental Health for Older People (MHOP) is now Older People's Mental Health (OPMH)
Children and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) is now Children and Young People's Directorate (CYPD)

Marcella posted a while ago about changes in her local Mental Health Trust's name. At school, the topic of names came up during a presentation on teaching students with Downs Syndrome (we have two joining us in September). The essence of the message from the INSED is that to refer to these students as "Downs Syndrome children" is not appropriate, as they are children first and have Downs. I think I agree with that (and find myself consciously considering before speaking now!)
I'm wondering, therefore, what the reasoning is behind the above renaming.
On the one hand I see the implicit statement that we are "People" - and that is welcome. On the other, I am slightly concerned by the lack of recognition of the reason for our involvement with the Trust - we are, after all, in contact with them because of mental health issues. That there is no mention of this in the new name feels rather incomplete.
I fail to see any reason for the renaming of MHOP/OPMH (unless there is some problem with the "word" formed by the older acronym.
Swapping "adolescent" for "young people" - well, maybe some have a problem with the meaning of "adolescent"? Again, though, there is no mention of mental health issues. And I hate the word "Directorate".

Most of all, though. I just find the whole area of name changes confusing. I mean, why change a name unless there is a very obvious and definitive reason to do so? It seems to be a fashionable thing to do, a "rebranding" type of thing. But in this case (and many others) I just don't get it.

Any comments?


Seratonin said...

Our community mental health team now has the words prefixed 'Age Inclusive'.Don't know why they felt the need to do this tbh.

marcella said...

Well it could be worse - your Trust could have spent thousands of £££s on image consultants and come up with a ridiculous new name like ours - but I agree, name changes for the sake of it are confusing and "directorate" is horrible. As for the children with Downs Syndrome - well as soon as you get to know them they'll be James and Harold or Maud and Eliza or whatever their names are.

Disillusioned said...

Seratonin, I don't know either.
Marcella - I agree. I'm sure money and thought went into this decision, though hopefully not as much as your trust spent.

marcella said...

Seratonin - your "Age Inclusive" Trust may be ahead of its time. The news is full of proposed new anti-ageist legislation and doctors being forced to treat people according to clinical need rather than age, so perhaps they're onto something, although round here (and this MAY be a case of the grass is always greener because I don't have direct experience) the services for the elderly seem to be better than those for working age adults.

Catherine said...

OPMH actually makes me think of the little helpers from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.