NSUN Bulletin 12th Sept 2016


NSUN news

Members Blogs

The dehumanisation of work and its impact on workers mental health - This is the first in a series of articles entitled Surviving Work in the UK, produced by Surviving Work in partnership with LSE Business Review and LSE British Politics and Policy.

Are you a Londoner who has been detained under section 136 or attended A&E in a mental health crisis?

Are you willing to share your experience, in the strictest confidence, for this study?

NSUN AGM and members' event and Shaping Our Lives report launch

Over 100 people attended this years event in June. We were also pleased to join forces with Shaping Our Lives for the launch of the report From Mental Illness to a Social Model of Madness and Distress.

Members generously took part in the Soap Boxes, sharing their experiences, initiatives and concerns. You can view some of the films here. This was followed by a rich debate in the afternoon. The full report can be downloaded here.


NSUN member Marc Ewen is raisng funds to establish a Mental Health Service Users Trainers collaborative.

Marc says  ' I am a firm and resolute believer that mental health affects us all and being aware of the signs and how to self-manage and support others, quite simply SAVES LIVES! I want to enable people who have experienced poor mental health to use their own insight and reflection to become Expert by experience mental health trainers.'

You can find out more on his Gofundme site.

NSUN's Emma Perry recently published in the Open University Psychological Society (OUPS) Summer newsletter.

The role of OUPS is to advance public education in psychology amongst members of the Open University and elsewhere who are taking, have taken, or are preparing to take courses in psychology or cognitive psychology subjects with the Open University or elsewhere. 

Emma highlights the Members' Manifesto (currently being reviewed) the Member Campaigns and the 4Pi National Involvement Standards.


Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find members projects, 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.


New research opportunity with the university of Manchester

Researchers at the University of Manchester are undertaking a research study exploring mental health service users and carers experiences of how well physical health concerns are incorporated into the mental health care planning process.

To be eligible, participants need to have had, or cared for someone who has had a UK mental health care plan. The research team is looking in particular at the quality of physical health information within the care plan as this was something that was raised as an issue for the service users and carers the team works with. It is a fairly short survey which can be completed postally or online at:


The project is reimbursing people with a gift voucher for taking part. If you would prefer a paper copy, please call Dr Helen Brooks on 07552007535.


Peerfest 2016 open for bookings

Peerfest is an annual celebration brought about through a national partnership of local and national organisations working in mental health peer support.
Peerfests have been celebrating the diversity of peer support in all its approaches, shapes and sizes since 2013.
Peerfest is an opportunity to network, share ideas, take part in workshops and debate current issues regarding peer support.

Peerfest 2016 will be at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London Thursday 13 October 2016

For updates on the programme and to book your place please visit the Peerfest website


Are you a Dad with post natal depression?

A trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Coventry and Warwick, who is also a new father, is seeking participants for a study in post natal depression affecting new dads.

The focus of the study is on the way that people describe themselves as fathers with depression and how this effects their relationships with other people in their life. The researcher is looking for first time fathers over the age of 18 who think they either currently have postnatal depression or have had it within the last five years. Participants will be asked to take part in a face-to-face interview, which will take place in their homes. The interview will include questions about postnatal depression, fathering and relationships with other people. It is estimated they will take approximately one hour and information will be treated confidentially in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).

If you are interested in receiving further information about this study please contact:
Bryan Moreton, Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme, Universities of Coventry and Warwick, Coventry University, James Starley Building, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB
Email: moretonb@uni.coventry.ac.uk
Please provide your name and telephone number so that the researcher can speak to you


Free places offered at mental health conference

3 free places offered to NSUN members and friends

The event: Psychosis & Schizophrenia in Adults conference on Friday 30 September 2016 in London

Quote ref: hcuk00nsun when booking online or emailing jayne@hc-uk.org.uk


Healthwatch Bradford are recruiting

Healthwatch Bradford are looking for two skilled, knowledgeable and talented people to join the team, a Development Worker and a Communications and Outreach Assistant.

You can download a recruitment pack and application form from the website or request documents by emailing sally@healthwatchbradford.co.uk

No CVs please. Closing Date: 16/09/16


Poetry Express Newsletter (PEN)

This month's Poetry Express Newsletter, shared by a member of NSUN, features creativity by Survivor Poets, articles on poetry and introduces an artist, Michelle Eva May.


Tweets from 2016 Lancaster Disability Studies stream at Lancaster Disability Studies Conference

Mad Studies stream convened by Peter Beresford (University of Exeter/Shaping Our Lives) and Brigit McWade (Lancaster University)

You can read more about the Mad Studies Stream in this online paper.

Artwork 'Pathologise This' by Dolly Sen.


Free online disability and Human Rights course

The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation is running a free online course on Disability as a Human Rights Issue – Global and National Perspectives.

It runs from 12 September to 24 October and aims to provide  participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively approach disability from a human rights perspective. The course will take around five hours a week and includes online lectures, films and podcasts with weekly quizzes and discussions.

Full details are here: https://eiuc.org/education/global-campus-mooc.html


This week on the web

Saturday 10 September was World Suicide Prevention Day.  Earlier during the week, Disability News Service shared the alarming news that claimants die as DWP staff fail to follow suicide guidelines . Meanwhile, the Independent commented on academic findings which link suicides and mental health struggles to recessions and the way political regimes handle recessions.

On Wednesday, activists from groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), the Mental Health Resistance and Black Triangle organised a protest on Westminster Bridge to raise awareness of deaths (some by suicide) caused by cuts. Publishing online about this event, the Mirror reported that DPAC were ' claiming cuts to disability benefits since 2010 have become so severe the UK is now being investigated by the UN for violation the rights of disabled people'. Actually, the UN investigation did occur and resulted in the UK's austerity policies being declared in breach of Human Rights.


The Insight Network for Mental Health

The Insight Network for Mental Health is a consortium of support groups, networks and services that are available for service users and carers across Lancashire (Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre; Central Lancashire; East Lancashire; North Lancashire and West Lancashire).

Please visit the Insight Network's website for a full list of support groups.


Kindred Minds

Kindred Minds is a BME mental health service user led campaigning group. Kindred Minds is working on a manifesto and welcomes ideas on its Facebook page

If you're not on Facebook, you can get in touch with Raza on Wednesdays and Thursdays (11am - 6pm) by email or phone 07737 647 445.


Improving student well-being: behavioural risks, active lifestyles and addressing mental health

Morning, Monday 7 November, Central London

This seminar will explore the issues around the rising numbers of students suffering from mental health issues in higher education institutions - and wider aspects of student wellbeing including sexual health, nutrition, substance abuse and active lifestyles.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Tackling the key challenges facing university health services, and latest on the state of student health in the UK;
  • Addressing and identifying the causes in the rise in student mental health problems;
  • Improving the quality of and access to mental health services for students; and
  • Priorities for improving students’ all-round health and wellbeing including:
    • Nutrition: how can universities help improve students’ diets?
    • Active lifestyle: engaging students in regular physical activities;
    • Alcohol and drug-use: preventing substance abuse at university;
    • Sexual health: examining the latest behavioural trends and challenges for universities;
    • Supporting all-round wellbeing: steps universities can take to better identify and react to students in need of support.

For more information, please take a look at the Live Agenda  / booking is open here


Mental fitness and long term conditions

Organised by the Community Therapists Network, this half day workshop will focus on ‘Mental Fitness' - defined as "the modifiable capacity to utilise resources and skills to flexibly adapt to challenges or advantages, enabling thriving" .

22 September, morning, London

Members of NSUN are able to book at a discounted price  - form more information, please take a look here


Mysticism and Madness: negotiating the threshold

This course will cover the following topics: 

  •           What is ‘unshared’ or ‘transliminal’ experience’?
  •           How unshared realities can be transformative and healing
  •           Making sense of experiences such as synchronicities and spirit possession
  •           How to respect these realities/experiences and help people cope safely
  •           Towards a radical new paradigm on psychosis and spirituality

Experiences that get labelled as ‘psychosis’ are possible for all, but some people are more open to them than others. ‘Transliminal’, or across the threshold, is a useful term. ‘Unshared experience’ is another. Properly supported, this ‘journey across the threshold’ has the potential to be transformative and healing of past hurts. However, the way it is viewed and reacted to by society and services often helps to produce the opposite effect.

Trauma figures largely among the many different factors which can result in people being opened up to these experiences: but also, transitions in general. This workshop will draw on the life-experience of the participants with transitions and with the transliminal. 

Mind in Camden, Monday, 10 October 2016 from 10:00 to 16:30.
For more information about the trainers, costs and to book a place please visit this page


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. The overall aims are to

  • Improve and innovate services, through input of and creative collaboration between experts by experience, Macmillan staff and health professionals
  • Build evidence of the need for better integration of mental and physical health care
  • Raise awareness and influence nationally on these issues

Interested? MacMillan are looking for people who

  • have lived experience of mental health problems and cancer, either living with both themselves, or caring for/having cared for someone who has both themselves
  • are happy to share their story via telephone or email, with a view to improving things for others with mental health problems and cancer in the future
  • would be willing to share their story via interview or e-mail

For more information and a contact email please take a look here


New plans to expand the use of digital technology across the NHS

New plans to fast track digital excellence and improve the digital skills of the NHS workforce have been announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as part of plans to expand the use of digital technology across the NHS.


#NSUNthrive 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. 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