A mental health survivor's journey
- From social isolation and hardship leading to Rampton Hospital, NSUN member Paul turns his life around and becomes an active peer supporter passionate about sharing knowledge and experience in mental health.
My response to a defender of psychiatry
- Philip Hickey, PhD, reacts to a blog by Jessica Gold, MD, a psychiatry resident at Stanford University; the post is titled Inpatient Psychiatry: Not all Needles, Drugs And Locks
Call for blogging contributors
Share experiences, suggestions and opinions with e-bulletin readers, website visitors and social media friends. To get an idea of the variety of topics and points of view, please visit our
blogs section. To send a blog, please
email the editor.
NSUN 10 years anniversary short film available online
You can watch the film on NSUN's YouTube channel here.
Mental health movement mourns Ruth Chandler
It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Ruth Chandler, a major figure in the mental health survivor movement. Ruth was Service User and Carer Involvement Coordinator in Research and Development at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She was in the process of writing book with colleague Vanessa Pinfold. Ruth was influential in service user led research, and an inspiration to many. The movement is in shock. Colleagues of Ruth's have contacted NSUN with tributes:
Vanessa Pinfold said: 'Ruth was an amazing
woman. I love the fact she was always challenging us and others but positively so that we could progress thinking and as she called it be a “critical friend” to researchers.
Like others she was working within to change things – within an NHS Trust and a university flying the flag of patient and public involvement in research. Never defined by one identity, she was such a talented person and brought her life experiences into her work with honesty, humour and kindness. And it wasn’t always easy – the systems doesn’t like to be challenged!
She left an impression on people; you didn’t leave a meeting where she was present without learning something from her. Several people have said that to me the past few days –she made such a big impression . She was so bright, so passionate, so committed and a friend to many of us in the sector. Her ideas will live on, and we will sorely miss her because you can’t replace what we valued so much – being Ruth. '
Kathryn Greenwood, who was collaborating with Ruth on various multiple research projects in psychosis and youth mental health , wrote: '
Ruth was an inspirational spokesperson for patient and public involvement in research, and a powerful advocate for the service user and carer voice in the nhs. She was an excellent mentor for new service users and carers taking their first steps in a ppi role, and built strong and lasting supportive relationships. She worked extremely hard to ensure meaningful consultancy collaboration and coproduction at the highest national level, working with ppi groups and recovery networks around the uk.
She was confident in speaking her mind in consultation with clinical and academic leaders, constantly raising the profile of involvement in research. This was well demonstrated in the recent Approaches to involvement in research/recovery research network event which she organised. She has collaborated and led on some fantastic research projects with nationally commended ppi strategies.
Even today I have received high praise of her ppi work. She had highly intellectual and creative mind, drawing on both her personal and user experiences and her academic research and philosophical training. She had much to be proud of in the research, inspiration and support she gave to others - and she was proud of what she had achieved. She was a great colleague to work with in terms of her commitment and passion. For this among many things, she did indeed have much to be proud of and she will be sorely missed!' '
Qualitative study of patients’ and carers’ experiences of creating and using online comment
- Have you ever read online comments / posts by people sharing views and experiences of healthcare?
- Have you posted or written online about your own experiences of healthcare?
- Are you among people who have never used the web for this purpose? Do you have specific reasons? Would you consider using the web to discuss
experiences of healthcare in the future?
- Are you 18 or over?
Researcher Susan Kirkpatrick ( working in the Health Experiences Research Group in Oxford ) is hoping to interview a diverse maximum variation national sample of around 40-50 patients and carers who have used various methods and platforms to comment on their experiences of NHS services, or who have read other people’s comments.
If you'd like to know more about Susan's study and how to take part, please visit this page, which contains her contact details and a form to register.
Co-production and involvement - everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask
The workshop will help you to answer some common questions – is it the same as public involvement, what methods do I use, what about payments and managing expectations? You will become familiar with current policy and approaches to co-production.
- Date: 13/12/2016, 09:30 - 14:30
- Location: Bristol Golf Club, St. Swithins Park, Blackhorse
Hill, Almondsbury, Bristol BS10 7TP
- Organised by: People in Health West of England
For more information about the workshop please visit this page
Black history as therapeutic practice
Presentation by Rashid Nix
- All welcome: service users, community members, practitioners
- When: Wednesday 14 December, 1pm - 3pm
- Where: Maudsley hospital, Restaurant, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ
- Free to attend
Kindred Minds BME support group - pop in sessions
Kindred Minds is a unique user-led BME project for communities experiencing or surviving mental health issues and living in and around Southwark and Lambeth. Activities are open access with no referal process or cost.
Beyond the therapy room
This conference will focus on ways in which health professionals and services can improve physical and emotional wellbeing and help to build a more psychologically caring society, in broader ways than traditional 1-1 psychological therapy.
Saturday 21 January, 9am - 5pm at the Gateway conference centre, 71 London Rd, Liverpool L3 8HY
Tickets on sale now, costing between £11.21 and 21.83 (as per Evntbrite page)
for more information please visit here
Psychiatry must stop ignoring trauma
video, acclaimed psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk explores his field's long, complex, and stubborn history with trauma. Dr. van der Kolk explains how psychiatry as a whole avoided progress, often misdiagnosing trauma as hysteria or, in the case of shell-shocked soldiers, malingering. The experiences of abused women and children were more or less ignored for a century. They're still being ignored in ways, he says. Psychiatry is still too focused on abstract diagnoses and not cognizant enough of the traumatic experiences that lead to them.
Have you had, or care for someone with, cancer and experience of mental ill health? Share your story!
Macmillan Cancer Support
is working to gather personal stories from people living with, or caring for someone with both mental health problems and cancer.
Cancer affects nearly 1 in 2 people during their lifetime, and mental health/emotional wellbeing problems affect 1 in 4 adults during any one year, so there will be lots of people out there with this dual lived experience.
Macmillan’s Mental Health and Cancer Taskforce
aims to better understand the needs and ideas for change of people affected by both cancer and mental health problems.
For more information and a contact email please take a look here
Disability green paper: data pack
This is the technical annex
to improving lives: the work, health and disability green paper.
Disability green paper consultation
is open on 'Improving Lives', the green paper which disability activists have described as 'unethical and cruel'.
New pay deal for paramedics
The Department of Health, NHS Employers and ambulance unions have agreed
paramedics will be re-banded nationally from band 5 to band 6.
Report on health of the 'baby boomer' generation
In her annual report on the state of the public’s health, ‘Baby Boomers: Fit for the Future’, Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, focuses
on the health of people aged between 50 and 70.
It is 10 years since the 'Doing it for ourselves’ service user conference in Birmingham. It was at this conference in 2006 that the vision of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) was taken forward, leading to funding in 2007 and becoming a fully independent organisation in May 2010.
We have survived! To enable us to continue to connect, communicate and influence, we need your help. Please spread the word to help raise funds to continue our work through our #NSUNthrive10 campaign. You can also raise money by shopping online with the Giving Machine