NSUN bulletin 14th March 2016

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NSUN news

Making A Difference: An Alliance to be proud of

Over the last year, NSUN has supported the development of the Making A Difference Alliance; a resilient and influential allianceof 32 service users and carers feeding in to the commissioning work of eight Clinical Commissioning Groups across north west London. The 4Pi National Involvement Standards and Values-based Practice provide a spring board for service user and carer led Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD). The Alliance is unique and advises both strategically and locally through the Like Minded North West London Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Board. The key ongoing aims are to address unacceptable levels of variation in mental health support and to improve multi agency working. You can find out more on the NSUN website.

Five Year Forward View for mental health: what does it means for us?

The Mental Health Taskforce report was published Monday 15th February.   We have provided some reflection on what it means  here and are pleased to present further comment from Alisdair Cameron, NSUN trustee, Launchpad Team Leader and major contributor in the emerging Newcastle mental health collective. You can read this in our Members' Blog section here.

You can read more Member Blogs here.

The Giving Machine

NSUN is raising money via the Giving Machine.

  • You join for free and choose NSUN as a cause to support.
  • You generate commissions by shopping online (over 1,500 retailers including Amazon, Play.com, John Lewis, eBay, Sainsburys and Next).
  • The Giving Machine converts your commissions into donations .  You’re raising funds for free!

Click here for the NSUN page.

Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find involvement opportunities, jobs and events we shared in previous e-bulletins. This includes our guides to support involvement in reducing the use of restraint in mental health settings.


Help create wider Hearing Voices networks

Rachel Waddingham is  a voice-hearer/survivor working with Intervoice to help develop a Hearing Voices Network in the Western Balkans region (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia). This region is still recovering from the impact of war, and mental health service provision is still predominantly institution-based with little or no access to psychological or social therapies.

Whilst voice-hearing is a stigmatised experience in the UK - in this area it is even more so. Many people in this area experience long term hospitalisation, abusive physical treatments (including being tied to a bed and hosed down) and social isolation and shunning.
Rachel has  just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds for a training tour of the four countries in May 2016 (where she will be travelling with Dirk Corstens and Slobodanka Popovic). They are working to raise £1,500 and we really need your help.

Watch the video and fund out more about the campaign.

The tour (between 4th May and 19th May) will include free public talks and specialised training for voice-hearers, mental health staff and the voluntary sector.

  • Raise awareness of hearing voices and how people can reclaim their lives
  • Support the development of peer support groups for people who hear voices
  • Provide practical coping strategies and ways of working with voices

How can you help?

  • Contribute to the crowdfunding campaign (every little helps!)
  • Spread the word with family, friends and colleagues via email, word of mouth or social media (this campaign will only be successful if lots of people are willing to contribute … meaning we need to go beyond our immediate network. If you can encourage others to make small donations to support this initiative it’ll really help!)

Open Mic & Fundraising Night

Date: Sunday 20th March 2016
Time: 8.30 pm - midnight
Venue: The Butcher’s Arms (formerly The Misty Moon)            148 High Street, Barnet EN5 5XP 

Tel: 020 8441 9476


Any musicians and singers are welcome to take part – any style, any standard – in a musical evening of madness and songs, some of which will be all about mental health including Manic Depression by Jimmy Hendrix, The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum by Fun Boy Three and songs by Madness and Pink Floyd

All proceeds from collections during the evening to be shared by
Barnet Voice - Mind in Barnet - Barnet Bipolar Self-help Support Group


Alliance Service user and carer survey

An Alliance  of voluntary sector organisations, such as Viewpoint and Carers in Hertfordshire, is inviting mental health service users and carers to participate in an important survey which aims to assiess the quality of treatment provided by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT).  It will also assist in the planning of services for the future and provide direction as to any areas requiring improvement or development.   The survey is anonymous. A public report of the findings will be available in the Spring 2016. 

  • Please click here to fill out the service user survey:
  • If you are a carer please click here to fill out the survey.

The closing date for this is the 30 April 2016.


Job opportunity: Employment Support Worker

Healthy Minds Calderdale are currently recruiting for an Employment Support Worker.  Closing date is noon on Friday 18 March 2016.
Job description and person specification are available to download below.

Application process
There are two forms to complete, which must be submitted together:

  1. Monitoring form: this contains your personal details and is kept separate from your application until shortlisting is completed
  2. Application form: please follow directions on the form and address each item on the person specification in your application

You can read more about the role here


Job opportunity: Family Support Services Manager

Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. The charity provides free 24 hour confidential support, help, advice by phone, email, text and online, including the opportunity to reconnect. Missing People is seeking an experienced manager of support services to vulnerable people. This role will play a key role in managing the frontline team supporting missing people and their families, with a lead on family support. You’ll be passionate about providing emotional, practical and therapeutic support and building a community of people living alongside having a missing loved one.

SALARY: £30,000 - £35,000
HOURS: 35 hours a week
CONTRACT: Permanent

Closing deadline: 21 March
For more information visit:


Be ready for RethinkYourMind 2016

Enter this year's visual arts and poetry competition
The next competition launches on World Mental Health Day in October 2016.

The project is free to enter & positive poetry, art & photography will be accepted from this date. You can get more information by getting in touch with RethinkYourMind, using their 'contact us' page


Winchester University to host user-led research meeting

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has an active Research and Development Department, which has a Patient and Public Involvement Initiative. 

On 23 March 2016, there will be a meeting from 2pm to 4pm  about User Led Research hosted by University of Winchester. 

If you are interested in User Led Research where the research is run by Service Users, Patients and the public please contact Carolyn Asher,  the PPI Coordinator for Southern Health PPI, know and she can provide you with more details about the meeting.  You can contact Carolyn on c.asher@nhs.net or on 02380 475258.

Reasonable travel expenses can be reimbursed on completion of a form with receipts after the meeting through direct payment to your bank account.


Macmillan 2nd mental health and cancer taskforce engagement event

Have you had cancer and found that the experience impacted on your emotional and mental health? Or perhaps you had pre-existing mental health problems and then developed cancer as well? Have you cared for someone who experienced both cancer and mental health problems?

Macmillan are holding a second engagement event for and with people affected by both cancer and mental health problems, on Saturday 2nd April, to get a deeper sense of the issues people feel are important. To find out more please click here.


Campaign: Force disability charities to sever links with MPs who voted for #ESACut

DPAC's campaign to force charities to sever all links with MPs who voted for the ESA Cut has already had a good response. They would like more help to gather information by following the steps below:

  1. Check to see if your MP voted for the ESA Cut. If you don’t already know the name of your MP – you can look that up here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
  2. Once you have the name of your MP – look up to see if they appear on this list, if they do, then they are one of the MPs who voted for the ESA Cut.
  3. Now we’d like you to do some detective work for us –
    1. Go to the MPs website – see if they claim to support any disability charities. Look at the “about me” page, and also look at the blog to see if they have been at any disability charity events
    2. You can also look up your MP on Wikipedia – see if their entry in there mentions any disability charity links.
    3. You can do a web search for disability charities in your local area – look at their website – look especially for names of Patrons or Trustees of the charity.
    4. Look at the Charity blog, see if you can see a photo your MP grinning inanely in front of the charity logo.
  4. If you find a connection between MP and Charity – tell us! You can either leave a comment at the bottom of this blog – or email mail@dpac.uk.net.
  5. We can then put it on the blog and ask people to contact the charity – asking them to sever all links with the MP, and to ensure that they can’t use disabled people as photo opportunities again. When putting it on the blog – we will credit your work in finding the information – unless you ask us not to.

Reverse the ESA disability benefit cut petition

The House of Lords has been unable to stop a planned £30-a-week cut to disability benefits forced through by Government MPs. This will have a severe impact on those in receipt of these benefits, leaving many in literal poverty. You can sign the petition here.


A festival of  arts and health

The 5th annual festival of arts and health will bring together artists, clinicians, commissioners and thinkers to explore the myriad ways the arts impact on wellbeing between 13 and 19 June 2016.

The festival is easy to be involved in – you can upload events here: it is a great way to let people know about your work, involve the wider community in what you are doing and generally to celebrate creativity and health.

The deadline for events to be included is 11 March
To find out more please email the organisers |  follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook


CQC strategy consultation

You can still respond to the Care Quality Commission’s consultation on its plans for the next five years as it develops its approach to regulation.

The consultation is open until 14 March. CQC will formally respond to the feedback provided when it publishes its strategy in May.

  • A link to the consultation document Shaping the future can be found here.
  • You can respond to the consultation through this web form or by email strategyconsultation@cqc.org.uk.
  • You can also tweet your thoughts at #cqcstrategy.

Unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions reduced in new trial

A trial involving over 1,500 GP practices found that writing to GPs about their antibiotics prescribing resulted in 73,000 fewer prescriptions (a 3.3% reduction) over 6 months. This equates to direct savings of over £92,000 in prescription costs.

Department of Health releases mental health strategic statement

As part of the 'Social work for better mental health' initiative, the Department of Health has released a strategic statement outlining how to improve, develop and sustain social work across the mental health sector. Self-assessment and guidance resources are available alongside the statement document.