Are we allowed to be human?
A psychologist reflects on the possibility for professionals with their own experience of mental distress to 'make their voices heard in calling for this to become a general part of mental health service culture'
Austerity and Psychocompulsion: Talk at Mental Health and Welfare Reform Conference Liverpool 5 November 2016
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.
User led organisation seeks trustees
Mind Our Minds are a group of individuals fighting for better UK mental health services. Recently established, they're looking to grow their team.
If you'd like to join in as a Trustee, please take a look at the
group's blog, then answer the following questions:
- Why do you want to be a Mind Our Minds trustee?
- What experiences do you have that might be useful for Mind Our Minds?
- If any, what relationship do you have to NHS Mental Health Services?
- If you could make 3 key changes to NHS Mental Health services, what would they be?
- What further support would you need to take part? (This will not affect your application)
Please send your answers by 18 November to Mind our Minds - you can get in touch by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@MindOurMinds)
Liz Atkin - Visual Artist will present for the second ever International Conference on Body Dysmorphic Disorder in the UK on 26 November 2016. She will be speaking on her artwork and Compulsive Skin-Picking in BDD with Simon Darnley.
Tickets now available for purchase via Eventbrite here.
Liz is also a contributor to a new book ‘Reflections on Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Stories of Courage, Determination and Hope’
on the lived experiences of thirty-six people with BDD and their loved ones. The book will be available to buy at the conference.
You can also see Liz's Compulsive Charcoal (the free artwork communter) collection here.
'I started creating #CompulsiveCharcoal drawings on discarded newspapers after I ran out of a sketchbook on a journey from South to North London in Oct 2015. I now create and give away about 60 drawings on average each day. A year on, that’s close to 10,000 free drawings!... Each recipient of a drawing receives a postcard explaining the condition and why
I’m drawing, which encourages them to share the drawing on Instagram or Twitter with the #CompulsiveCharcoal.'
Concerns for our Human Rights
This week saw the publication of a highly critical report
which states austerity policies introduced into welfare and social care by the UK government amount to “systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities.
The report comes from the United Nations' Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which conducted an inquiry following a formal complaint by UK disability campaigners. Whilst Disability News Service hailed the report as 'a
vindication for activists', the UK government concernedly rejected it, saying that its findings paint an inaccurate picture of the lives of disabled people in the UK.
Another reason for concerns for our Human Rights is the fact that mental health laws are 'intrinsically discriminatory' as Dr Rachel Perkins said in a presentation to the Disability Rights UK annual conference. Evidence of the discriminatory nature of mental health legislation will be included in the shadow report being compiled
by Disability Rights UK.
NSUN has been working alongside the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to raise more awareness of the possibility to challenge services on the basis of Human Rights violations. The work, which included workshops, has led to the production of a toolkit, 'Mental Health, Mental Capacity and Human Rights'
Have you got experience of challenging organisations or authorities about your Human Rights? Did you use the toolkit?
Please let us know:
Racialisation and knowledge production: A critique of the report Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia
In this paper, researchers
Jayasree Kalathil and Alison Faulkner address an issue they found with the report 'Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia' by the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Division of Clinical Psychology: a 'conspicuous absence in the report of any meaningful engagement with the more than 60 years of scholarship about ‘race’, ethnicity and psychiatry/psychology, especially around the theorisation and experience of schizophrenia.'
To download this paper free of charge please click
UK Disability History Month - 22 November - 22 December
This year, UKDHM focuses on the language used to describe disabled people and the language disabled people use to express themselves. This includes literature, history, oral history and coverage in the newspapers and other print media. Through the lens of language we will seek to gain a greater understanding of oppression in the past and now.
Through human rights and the social model approach to disability, barriers can be removed.
Shaping Our Lives are celebrating disabled women, in an effort to ensure that Herstory is heard too. Whilst inviting us to visit a site dedicated to the most famous disabled people, Shaping Our Lives make special mention of two women:
Ever Lee Hairston has described herself as 'Black, Blind, Successful, and Blessed'...
Born in Arizona and raised as one of seven children on a cotton farm, Ever Lee Hairston grew up feeling like a 'second class citizen' who had an 'unexplained vision problem'.After completely losing her sight as an adult, Ever Lee Hariston became an activist promoting the rights of blind and visually impaired young people.
(born 1980), is a disabled Nepali writer who taught herself to read, and writes using her left foot. Her writings and poetry are widely acclaimed, and she has won several awards including the Madan Puraskar (the most popular award given to the writer for his or her contribution in Nepalese Literature). She is considered an inspirational literary figure in Nepal and beyond.
UK Disability History Month takes place in an adverse climate , as Professor Peter Beresford OBE reminds us
that 'evidence suggests that current social policy is failing miserably, and the only way it is likely to be challenged is by a politics of involvement and empowerment.'
Resources for Disability History Month can be found on this page
Engagement officer opportunity in Teesside
Voices for Choices
are looking for an engagement officer - fixed term contract (12 months)
- Salary: £22,036 – £24,240 pa pro rata
- Working Hours: 22.5 hpw worked flexibly including occasional evening and weekend working
This is an exciting opportunity for a passionate, enthusiastic and self-motivated individual to contribute towards a developing partnership that promotes mental health service user and carer involvement across the south tees locality.
A job description and application form can be found on this
If you wish to discuss the role further please contact Catherine Haigh at email@example.com
Closing date for applications is Midday on Friday 25 November 2016.
Interviews are planned for Wednesday 30 November 2016.
Great Minds Think Different - launch party
are celebrating dyslexia and neurodiversity with a launch party for their new campaign “great minds think different”.
Many of young (18-35) dyslexic and autistic beneficiaries are showcasing their work (music, business, food and much more) and the exceptional things dyslexic and neurodiverse people can achieve.
The launch is on 24 November right next to Southwark Station. Great coverage is expected with the BBC and others already interested.
Tickets are free:
Improving lives: supporting adults with learning disabilities
Tuesday 31 January 2017, 8.30am - 4.30pm, Manchester Conference Centre
This event will highlight the issues facing those living with learning disability, with the aim to provide positive insight to challenge and overcome some of the barriers to an improved quality of life.
In the UK there are 1.5million people with a learning disability. In England, 905,000 adults, aged 18+, fall into this category.
In 2011 Panorama exposed the appalling abuse that occurred at Winterbourne View. The Improving Lives: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities conference seeks to provide a platform for all those affected by a learning disability to gain a greater understanding of how things have progressed since then.
For more information, a list of speakers, a programme, sponsorsip opportunities and booking please visit this page
Children and young people's mental health - time to deliver
report launch event
Education Policy Institute's Independent Commission on Children and Young People’s Mental Health will on Tuesday 15 November publish a new report, "Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Time to Deliver". There will be a launch event for the occasion.
Tuesday 15 November, 11:30 - 14:30 in central London
The report represents the culmination of the Commission’s work over the last year, and will be launched at a conference on the same day, featuring as keynote speaker Secretary of State for
Health The Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.
For more information and to book your place please visit the event's page here.
Trauma and psychosis: perspectives on psychodynamics
Bursary places are available for this event, due to take place on Saturday 26 November, 9am - 4.45pm at Amnesty International, 17 - 25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A.
Contributors include: Brian Martindale, Dirk Corstens, Carine Minne, Ann Scott, Jo Stubley, Rai Waddingham, Jo Twist, Dolly Sen & John Read
The programme will cover contemporary psychodynamic approaches to trauma, psychosis and voice hearing. There will also be an open space in which
conference participants will be able to select topics and groups for discussion.
For more information and how to book, please download the event's flyer
Co-production - an introduction
In his blog
on LinkedIn, Pete Fleischmann addresses a remark that he hears often: 'co-production, why don’t we just get on with it... It’s not Rocket science.’ Pete concludes that co-production can actuially be complex but introductory courses can help answer questions and debunk a few myths.
SCIE offers training sessions in
London (30 November) and Birmingham (17 January)
This course will help you to:
- understand what co-production is
- understand the difference between co-production and engagement, participation and involvement
- identify the principles of co-production
- identify some of the barriers to meaningful co-production
- improve your knowledge and confidence about how to put co-production into
For more information about the courses, please take a look here
Investigations of deaths and serious incidents in mental health services
10 February, De Vere West One, London
This conference will focus on improving the quality of investigations of deaths and serious incidents in mental health services, learning from Mazars Report into Southern Health and implementing the recommendations of the CQC review into how NHS trusts investigate and learn from death which is due to be published in December 2016.
The conference will also look at implementing the five recommendations
for improvement in the investigation of serious incidents as identified by the Care Quality Commission in July 2016. Through national updates, practical case studies and extended masterclasses, the conference will provide a step by step guide to high quality investigation and learning from deaths of people who received care from their mental health.
For more information and to book a place please visit
This is a Healthcare UK Conference. The organisers have a regular 20% discount for NSUN members and friends. Please quote ref: HCUK20NSUN when booking.(*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Full T&Cs available upon request.)
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
Green paper is 'unethical' and 'cruel' say disabled people
Disabled people and other campaigners have reacted with shock, anger and concern to 'Improving Lives', the government proposals to consider forcing all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity.
As UK readers described the green paper as the product of a 'government that constantly initiates dogma driven policy, rather then evidence driven policy', voices from abroad were equally damming. Professor Susan L Parish, professor of disability policy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, in the United States, tweeted: “This failed miserably in the USA, so they’ll try it in the UK.” For more reactions to the green paper, please read this
House of Commons Library - Suicide, a summary of statistics
A summary of statistics on suicide rates in the UK includes charts and data on England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, trends by gender, trends by age, and trends by English region. You can view the summary and download the full report
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