NSUN 6th June 2016


NSUN news

Everyone at NSUN is looking forwards to seeing those who can make it at our annual gathering in Birmingham on 8 June.

Member Blogs

Why anti authoritarians are diagnosed as mentally ill - Bruce Levine finds hat ' most psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. ' - shared by Mad in America in 2012.

The government wants you to think you're mentally ill. You're not - Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked, reflects on the nature of the interest which those he calls 'officialdom' appear to have in our mental health. This is a controversial blog.

Healthy Lives London project questionnaires

Even if you cannot attend the Healthy Lives workshops about improving physical health for people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, you can still feed into the project by sharing your views via questionnaires:

  • Please complete this if questionnaire you are someone living in London who has been diagnosed with a serious (enduring) mental illness.
  • Please complete this questionnaire if you are are a family member or unpaid carer living in London.

#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.


Music Therapist needed for NSUN member project

We are seeking a London-based Music Therapist to lead, help set up and establish a Music Therapy Programme for all our (many) members. The project lead is NSUN member tim Aigoro.

This is a voluntary but professional vacancy that could lead to a permanent position.

This vacancy should suit a recently unemployed Music Therapy university graduate with considerable or vast work placement experience or one who has been unemployed for ages but has proven and practical experience of working successfully as a Music Therapist, not just theoretical knowledge acquired from studying Music Therapy at university.

NSUN (National Survivor User Network), also known as the network for mental health, has a strong membership base of over 4000 that's still growing steadily so, this exciting role could be challenging and demanding.

If this sounds like the right opportunity for you and want more information about it, then please get in touch: Tim Aigoro segunaigoro@gmail.com


Meet Mad Old Vic

Mad Old Vic is the first of a series of “Zine’s” from the Mental Health Resistance Network that will be produced in both paper and online formats. 

Mad Old Vic's 'Idiotorial' says ' On the face of it, the UK Psychiatric Survivor movement is small, fractured and struggling. But this nasty government has awoken us from our slumber and we are rapidly skill-sharing, providing support that is available nowhere else and together our voices are becoming stronger as we articulate our collective love and rage. '

To read more, you can pay a visit to Mad Old Vic online here


Event: psychologists and the benefits system

Psychologists need to support people through the benefits system, whilst also working to affect necessary changes in the system. This event will explore some of the debates, challenges and skills necessary to take on these responsibilities.

The day will include presentations from public health, sociology, people with lived experience, clinical psychologists, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and other professionals. There will also be workshops focussed on skill development, with particular attention on report writing, navigating the benefits system and DWP safeguarding procedures.

This will be a challenging, supportive, thought-provoking day. 

Friday, October 7, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM at St Thomas Centre - Ardwick Green North, Manchester, M12 6FZ

For more information and to book your place, please visit here


Help needed concerning police complaint recently lodged against MPs

We recently shared this story concerning a police complaint being lodged against Chris Grayling and Iain duncan Smith MPs for neglet of public duty because they failed to react on information concerning the deaths of disability claimants.

If you know any families concerned, can you contact either Back Triangle ( blacktrianglecampaign.org / @blacktriangle1) or Oliver on Twitter (@tynewrc)


Charity Commission investigates mental health arts charity

The Charity Commission has launched an investigation into concerns about the running of user-led mental health arts charity Cooltan Arts after the organisation sacked its CEO, Michelle Baharier, after she spent 25 years building its reputation.

Michelle Baharier (pictured) called on the Charity Commission to take urgent action to save CoolTan Arts, after she was sacked by what she says was a “kangaroo court”.


Men who have experienced mental health stigma

Men who have experienced mental health stigma: can you share your stories with Claudette Dorey who is writing about this? Claudette would need you to get in touch before 8 June: claudettelawrence123@btinternet.com


Share your turnaround story

Journalists are looking for what they call ‘turnaround’ stories – stories where someone was at a very low point in their life but then turned it all around thanks to…. maybe your charity, or one you attend as a participant?  One journalist is particularly interested if it’s a surprising story, involving someone from an untroubled background rather than someone who was already struggling. Or maybe there is a female family member (eg. the mum of a troubled teen) who might be able to talk.

But don’t worry about limiting yourself to those cases. The main point is how a charity helped turn around a person’s life.

It would be great if you could send an email, with Turnaround story in the subject line to this address: constructivevoices@ncvo.org.uk. Please include contact details for the charity or organisation concerned. 


Adult ADHD support group regular meetings in Newcastle and Middlesborough

If you live in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Teeside, or Durham (or from anywhere really!), you are very welcome to come along to any of the regular monthly meetings in Newcastle (every third Monday) and Middlesbrough (every third Wednesday).

For more information please take a look at this webpage

Next Middlesbrough meeting - Wednesday 22 June 18:00 – 20:30
The University of Teeside, Middlesbrough Tower TS1 3BA


Service User Researcher

  • Employer: Population Health Research Institute, St George's University London
  • Salary: £25,023 to £30,738 Plus London Allowance of £2,943
  • Part time (17.5 hours) fixed term for 9 months
  • Closing Date: Tuesday 21 June 2016
  • Interview Date: Thursday 30 June 2016
  • Reference: 518-16

Part time (17.5 hours) fixed term for 9 months

The Population Health Research Institute are seeking to employ a service user researcher who is interested in drawing on their own lived experience of mental health problems for the purposes of their work in this service user-led evaluation of a local primary care mental health service. The post-holder will be a key member of the evaluation team from the Population Health Research Institute at SGUL, reporting to another service user researcher who will project manage the evaluation, and working alongside a group of local service user co-researchers.

More information and how to apply: please visit here


Conference: How changes in clinical practice can deliver better value - Learning from best practice approaches in the NHS

22 Jun 2016, 8.30am-4.30pm at The King's Fund, London W1G OAN

Lord Carter’s Review, NHS five year forward view and our Better value in the NHS report all identify significant opportunities for the NHS to get better value from its budget.

At this event delegates will hear how leading organisations and teams are already making change happen, and gain a vital insight into some of the methods being used to improve services at the front line of the NHS.

Learn from innovative examples where there have been demonstrable improvements in the quality of care delivered, as well as reductions in cost, as a result of changes made by clinical teams.

Book your place here


Get yourself active partnership: website now live

Get Yourself Active is a partnership led by Disability Rights UK, funded by Sport England and delivered by Leicester Centre for Integrated Living, Cheshire Centre for Independent Living and Equal Lives in Norfolk. The partnership aims to work with the health, social care and sports sectors to develop better opportunities for disabled people to get active. Get yourself active believe that it is your right as a disabled person to be active in a way that is right for you and using your personal budget if you wish.

You can visit get yourself active here


Veteran Mental health research programme launches

Amongst the founding priorities of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT )are ‘to promote better mental health and well-being’ and ‘to build organizations’ capacity to deliver evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation’. Since then, the Trust has worked hard to develop an understanding of the mental health environment, and to identify where it can best deploy its finite resources to maximum effect. As a result, FiMT established a Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP) in partnership with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research


Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in Walthamstow

From April 2016, it has been a contractual requirement for all English practices to form a patient participation group (PPG) during the year ahead and to make reasonable efforts for this to be representative of the practice population. Click here for more info.

Jeremy Cohen is looking to recruit from local patient support organisations to see if they have members who would be interested in joining the PPG  for their GP practice.

You can contact Jeremy by email


World Hearing Voices Congress: call for workshops

8th World Hearing Voices Congress 19-22 October 2016 - Paris, France

Venue: Maison des associations de solidaritè, 10-18 rue des Terres au Curè 75013 Paris

The congress wil be held in English

For more information please visit the website


Important research projects and upcoming events - including free places offered by Healthcare UK

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:

Events - some with discounts for NSUN members:


Homeless Link are gathering information and campaigning on the proposed change to cap social housing rents to Local Housing Allowance levels. You'll find resources and links on this page to help you raise concerns and collect evidence about the impact these changes will have . They have also produced a background briefing paper.

The Mental Health Taskforce's report included a recommendation on the Housing benefit cap: "The DWP should, based on the outcome of the 'Supported Housing' review in relation to the proposed Housing benefit cap to LHA levels, use the evidence to ensure the right levels of protection are in place for people with mental health problems who require specialist supported housing."


Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place at the start of June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It’s run by NCVO in partnership with Volunteer Development ScotlandVolunteer Now(Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Guest blogs will be featured here and on the NCVO blog


Action to tackle over prescribing of anti psychotic drugs

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has joined forces with NHS England and other professional bodies to pledge action to tackle the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to people with learning disabilities.

Women with postnatal depression need more help, urges MP Gavin Robinson's wife

Lindsay Robinson, wife of East Belfast MP, has sent an open letter to the Health Minister calling for better mental health services for pregnant women and new mothers.

Jeremy Hunt refuses to visit troubled West Cumberland Hospital

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has rejected calls to visit west Cumbria’s troubled hospital and meet those fighting to save its services.