NSUN 29th March 2016

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NSUN news

#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.
Donate £10 for 10 years here

You can also raise money by shopping online with the  Giving Machine

NSUN is about people 'doing it for themselves' with the right help, at the right time, in the right place.

NSUN chair, Sarah Carr comments on the new funding  for mental health social worker fast-track scheme

The Department of Health is giving £10m to a fast-track scheme training graduates to become social workers in community mental health teams. The scheme run by charity Think Ahead aims to recruit 300 graduates by 2018 to work with nurses and psychiatrists. Read the full article here.


Member Blogs

Two blogs for Easter: Having been referred to a local Mother and Baby Unit after nearly losing her own baby eighteen years ago, and having also helped support immediate family members experiencing psychosis, Nicky Hayward has some understanding of the predicament of the two women who were the subjects of the BBC's 'My Baby, Psychosis and Me'

We also paid a visit to 'Mad In America' and stumbled upon an updated blog. Back in November 2015, John Read, Olga Runciman, and Jacqui Dillon went 'In search of an evidence-based role for psychiatry'. This Easter, the trio have updated and re-published their thoughts on the topic.

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.


A Day in the Life - final report

What happens when you ask people who live with mental health difficulties to write about their everyday life?

A Day in the Life was a one year crowdsourcing project conceived and carried out by Social Spider CIC that asked people living with mental health difficulties: What was your day like? What made your mental health better and what made it worse?

Over four calendar days between November 2014 and August 2015 the project asked people to write up to 700 words about what their day was like. These accounts were published on the internet unedited for anyone to read. With funding from Public Health England, Centre for Mental Health and Social Spider CIC carried out a limited content analysis of 782 of the uploaded days.

The three most commonly mentioned positive wellbeing indicators are friend support, home life and sense of purpose.

The three most common negative wellbeing indicators were experiences of mental health services, poor or unsatisfying sleep and the physical health of the individual writing.

You can read the full report and the executive summary here.


DPAC's Paula Peters applauded on London Underground

On her way back from protesting against the latest cuts at the Houses of Parliament, DPAC campaigner Paula Peters was approached by a woman on the tube. Unsure whether she'd be met with support or abuse, Paula was first hesitant to tell people in the carriage who she was. Her decision to stand up proud was met with applause. Read her story.

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 these steps


DWP recruits 180 presenting officers to cut ESA and PIP appeal success rates

The DWP has been given £22 million to recruit presenting officers in an effort to reduce the number of claimants winning their personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) “Economic and Fiscal Outlook” document lists the following amount:

“£22 million to DWP to recruit presenting officers across 2016-17 to 2017-18 to support the department in personal independent payments and employment and support allowance tribunals.”

Buzzfeed is reporting that the money will pay for 180 new presenting officers.

The number of PIP appeals is expected to skyrocket over the coming two years as the forced move from DLA to PIP takes place.

In addition, the proportion of successful PIP appeals has increased with every quarter since the benefit was introduced. PIP claimants won in 60% of cases from July to September 2015, up from 56% in the previous quarter.

Read the full news article here.


Raising money for Welfare Rights Training for ESA/ PIP

Recovery In The Bin  is a mental health social justice group. In response to the news about the government recruiting 180 new presenting officers (see article above), they are fundraising to help train 16 volunteers to support people with mental health difficulties before and up to ESA/ PIP tribunals.

They will also be 'training the volunteers to help fill out the often complex and confusing forms, so that less have to go to tribunal in the first place. The training will be on ESA and PIP, form filling, getting any available medical and informal evidence correctly pitched (what the person needs to ask for), possible calls, key pointers for accompanying, and up to tribunals.'

Find out more and help raise funding for the training here


Can you make Peerfest happen in 2016?

Peerfest is an annual national celebration of peer support, with over 200 people taking part. The organisers are now looking for groups/projects/organisations to apply to run this year’s exciting Peerfest.

Peerfest can be one or two events that will bring national peer support themes and activities where people can share, learn and make new connections. The tender will involve devising, delivering and planning the event or events, including evaluation and production of resources. There is an expression of interest application process prior to making the full tender application.

Collaborations with other organisations are suggested and supported, but the lead partner must be peer led.
Full details can be found here
Closing date to receive expressions of interest is: 18 April 2016


2016 Award showcases the work of talented marginalised writers

The Creative Future Literary Awards is a national literary competition and high profile awards ceremony which celebrates talented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance.

Prizes are awarded for both poetry and short fiction. There is no entry fee.
Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts. Prizes include £1000 of cash prizes and professional writing development support. 

PLEASE NOTE that all entries must respond to this year’s theme ‘A Sea Change’.

Closing date 13th June.

Find out more here.

Follow CFLitAwards on twitter.


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 and 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


NSUN members offered discounts on Healthcare UK (HCUK) events

Healthcare Conferences UK have contacted NSUN to offer a discount to our members and contacts who would be interested in several events and masterclasses due to take place in April, May and June.

20% discount offer is available by quoting ref: HCUK20NSUN when booking on one of the events on this page.


The future of Jobcentre Plus inquiry launched

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of Jobcentre Plus (JCP), the public employment service arm of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Committee invites written submissions addressing one or more of the following areas:

  1. The likely effects of the planned changes on claimants, including on the quality of services offered to them and the implications in relation to digital inclusion
  2. The potential implications for JCP, including in relation to:
  • Resourcing of JCP
  • Jobcentre "footfall" and the configuration of JCP offices
  • The development of suitable performance measures
  • JCP’s capability to provide new, tailored services for particular groups of people, including people with mental health problems
  • Opportunities afforded by coordination with other local services, including the NHS and schools
  • The extent to which reforms will require cultural change within JCP, and the DWP’s capability successfully to foster this change
  • The opportunities and challenges for JCP presented by greater devolution of employment services to regional and national governments

More information and a link to submit evidence available on this page

Deadline 22 April


PIP u-turn

George Osborne revealed in his Budget on Wednesday that funding for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for disabled people would be cut by £4.4billion. This has sparked outrage among disability groups, and some Tory MPs have spoken out against the plan. Osborne has since said he is happy to 'listen to suggestions' as well as Education Secretary Nicky Morgan claiming the cuts were 'a suggestion' on Question Time last week. Following Ian Duncan-Smith's resignation,  a new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Stephen Crabb was announced. The Prime Minister is expected to make a formal announcement later today.

Read the latest blog from Disability Rights Uk CEO Liz Sayce here.

Easter 2016: David Cameron's message

Read the full message here.