NSUN 23rd May 2016


NSUN news

Member Blogs

Doctor induced addictions - Bob Johnson went to listen to anti psychiatry activist and journalist Robert Whitaker, who was invited by the Chy Sawel organisation to make a presentation. The speech covered a recent history of doctor induced addictions. Bob Johnson shares his notes.

Talented NSUN member in radio show: Sarah Taylor is a song writer who has enjoyed success with her singing at last year's 'Coydon with Talent'. Sarah was invited earlier on this week to feature on Croydon radio's Positive Vibes. The show was recorded as a podcast, which we've chosen to share as a radio blog - you can find it here. You can hear Sarah during the second half.

Depression Island - writer and editor Clare Rose Foster has been searching for a metaphor which could provide as a helpful way to 'get a grip on [her] own experiences of mental health and communicate them to others' .

Significant moment for the Black survivor movement and NSUN

Dancing to our own tunes mentioned in the House of Lords: "To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the advice given in the Dancing To Our Own Tunes guidance by the National Survivor User Network, what assessment they have made of the involvement of black and minority ethnic service users in Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities". By Lord Boatang (see the full House of Lords Q&A here). The 'Dancing To Our Own Tunes: Reassessing black and minority ethnic mental health service user involvement' was written by Jayasree Kalathil and launched in March 2009. This was followed by a planning event in July 2009 to agree how to take forward the recommendations. Catch-a-Fiya and NSUN continued working together over 12 months and facilitated a steering group that developed a Business Plan and Charter. The report was reviewed October 2011 and relaunched at the NSUN Annual General Meeting 1st November 2011 and was reprinted March 2013. Download the full report here.

Queen's Speech 2016: what caught our attention

The Queen's Speech 2016 introduced 20 new bills. The focus was on reforming the prison system and on counter terrorism. Mental health was mentioned as part of prison / policing reforms announcements. Another point which caught our attention was the confirmation of the goverment's intentions to replace the Human Rights Act with a British bill of rights. Read more here

#NSUNthrive10 campaign

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. We want to continue to communicate weekly with over 5000 people. 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


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.


Important research projects and upcoming events

We already shared these with you in previous editions. You can still take part in the research projects and register for the events. Don't miss out! Click on the titles for more information.

Reasearch / involvement projects:



Mad Alliance filmed presenting at the Peer Supported Open Dialogue Conference

Members of the excellent and very active leadership group 'Mad Alliance' were filmed presenting at the Peer Supported Open Dialogue (POD) conference. The Alliance, who have adopted the term 'mad' as an acronym for 'making a difference' are going from strength to strength in North West London, where they also participated in the recent victory to keep the 'Bridge' mental health centre open.

You can find the video among the POD event's resources below:


Therapeutic Relationships: Challenges for Mental Health services and those who use them

Dates: Wednesday 7th - Thursday 8th September 2016
Location: Peter Chalk Centre, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Speakers include:
Gwen Adshead, Marcus Evans, Suman Fernando, Mark Hopfenbeck, Eleanor Longden, Rose McCabe, Silje Marie Strandberg & Lone Viste Fagerland

NICE guidelines recommend ‘best practice’ based on a ‘model’ of care. However there is considerable evidence that the therapeutic relationship is at least as important as the approach used.
In this conference experts by experience, family members, friends and professionals from varied backgrounds will come together to consider the importance of the therapeutic relationship throughout the lived experience of psychosis.

Early Bird deadline: 23rd May 2016 Book your place now

Among the topics to be covered:

  • Personal accounts of what can help/hinder the development of therapeutic relationships How organisations can help/hinder the development of therapeutic relationships
  • Specific difficulties in this area experienced by members of black and minority ethnic groups
  • Open Dialogue approaches; Compassion - for others, ourselves and our experiences
  • Attachment theory – how this may help us understand relationships

In addition to speaker led sessions there will be a full programme of workshops and paper/research presentations covering a wide range of topics relevant to the conference theme.

You can find more details here


Support and wellbeing facilitators (full time and part time)

The Multiple Sclerosis Society is recruiting two support and wellbeing facilitators. Both posts will be working from home and from the MS Society Office in London.

This is an exciting, challenging opportunity. Ideal for someone with experience of working in a counselling or supervisory capacity and a proven track-record of providing support via telephone and face to face. An understanding and experience of facilitating group support in a confidential setting is essential.

As Support & Wellbeing Facilitator, you will provide confidential support to Local Support Volunteers, Forum Moderators and MS Society Staff, via telephone conference sessions and face to face. You will facilitate group discussion of enquiries presented and the handling of these enquiries; encouraging peer interaction and support and providing best practice guidance. You will also assess the effectiveness of your sessions.

You will need to possess excellent communication skills and be aware of the importance of maintaining boundaries when providing support. You will also need to problem solve, juggle a busy and varied workload and will be required to contribute to the development of the Helpline Services portfolio.  

INTERVIEW DATES: 16 and 17 June
TO APPLY: Download an application pack and job description for either role by clicking on the links below:

Full time post, 35 hrs pw, £30,829 - £35,060 plus excellent benefits, closing date for applications 1 June

Part time post, 17.5 hrs pw, £30,829 - £35,060 (pro rata for 17.5 hours) , plus excellent benefits, closing date for applications 1 June


London mental health roadmap workshop

Would you like to help develop a mental health ‘road map’ for London, shaping a collaborative vision for mental health in the capital?
Are you free on the afternoon of 3rd June 2016?
Do you live in London and currently experience mental health difficulties?

Have your say! Join this workshop to share your views on what needs to be done to improve London’s mental health through prevention, early detection and promotion of good mental health. Your views will inform future discussions at the London Health Board which is chaired by the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

More on what the workshop is about, who can attend and what happens after the workshop: please click here

Date: Friday 3 June, 12 noon to 4pm
Venue: City Hall, near London Bridge
Reasonable travel expenses reimbursed and £20 voucher paid
To book your place today: call Annabelle on 0207 922 7877 or email


Sporting Recovery: a CIC initiative

Sporting Recovery believe all people should have the support, encouragement and opportunities to manage their mental health. Their programmes integrate sports, nutritional advice and education into an accessible form for participants.

Sporting Recovery offer team sports and exercise for people with complex needs at whatever point in their recovery journey, in-patient or in the community. They provide practical support and information about the nutritional needs required to sustain a healthy lifestyle for sporting activities. They also offer opportunities to develop coaching certificates in the various sporting and exercise disciplines alongside healthy cooking classes.

Address: Damilola Taylor Centre, 1 East Surrey Grove, London SE15 6DR

Phone number: 07791486008

Email address: help@sportingrecovery.org.uk

Website: http://sportingrecovery.org.uk


National co-production week - 4 to 8 July

SCIE's National Co-production Week is the first event of its kind. It will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services. Co-production is about working in equal partnership with people using services, carers, families and citizens. Co-production offers the chance to transform social care and health provision to a model that that offers people real choice and control.

Co production training

SCIE can support you to create a good shared understanding of co-production among leaders, managers, staff, people who use services and carers. Introducing co-production, whilst budget cuts are ongoing, can be especially challenging. But SCIE work with local authorities and other organisations to help them embrace co-production as a way of developing sustainable, value-for-money services. SCIE can tailor co-production training and / or consultancy support around your requirements. Please contact pete.fleischmann@scie.org.uk for an initial discussion.

Co-production training from SCIE

Co production resources


Funding opportunity for SCIE network members

Network members who are part of a user-led/disabled people’s organisation may be interested in a major new funding programme which is part of the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning project based at Disability Rights UK (a network member).

Organisations run by disabled people/service users can apply for up take part £150,000 to do research projects that show what support disabled people need to play a full part in society. Full details are online here:

SCIE would be very interested in partnering any network members who are interested in bidding for this funding. SCIE can offer support with things like evaluation, project management and dissemination

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this
Michael Turner | Co-production Support Manager | Social Care Institute for Excellence | T: 020 7766 7397 | W: www.scie.org.uk | Kinnaird House, 1 Pall Mall East, London, SW1Y 5BP
Michael works at SCIE Monday to Thursday



The benefits of personalised mental health support in accommodation settings

Together for Mental Wellbeing and the Mental Health Foundation have published a new report exploring the benefits of personalised mental health support in an accommodation setting.

Carried out over three-years, the evaluation aimed to explore the impact of Together’s model of personalised accommodation based support, known as Progression Together. It found that the model improves people’s wellbeing, encourages them to lead healthier lifestyles and supports them to live independently. 

To find out more about the evaluation and to view the results in full, please click here.

Related blogs by people working at Together:


Physical healthcare for people with mental health problems

This evidence-based information will help mental health nurses to improve the physical health and wellbeing of people living with mental health problems.

This document focuses on how to deal with some of the main risk factors for physical health problems, and helps to make sure that people living with mental health problems have the same access to health checks and healthcare as the rest of the population.

Review of partnerships and investment in the voluntary sector

This report sets out recommendations for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the health and care sector. This is a joint review by the Department of Health, Public Health England, and NHS England.

There is more information on the VCSE Review website.

Statment to Parliament: Junior Doctors contract agreement

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt updates Parliament on the agreement between the government, NHS Employers and the BMA.

Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith face criminal case from leading Human Rights lawyer

Further to a disability campaigning group lodging a police complaint for neglect of public duty against them, Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith face a court battle. Read more here