NSUN Bulletin 14th January

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Table of Contents

  • NSUN News - Peer Support

  • Article by Peter Beresford: Austerity is denying patients and care service users a voice

  • Selected blogs

  • Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted

  • Mental Health Act Review update

  • The NHS long term plan for mental health put to the test

  • Service user / carer opportunity (London)

  • #HardlyHardToReach at REAP conference - London

  • Online panel experts wanted

  • 'Crystal's Vardo' - the origins & history of Romani Gypsies

  • Petition: Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services

  • Discount offer on UC-UK mental health conferences

  • Transformation, Illness and Identity - Derby

  • Service users and clinicians co-produce resources in East Suffolk

  • Bid writing workshops

  • Mental Capacity Action Day 2019

  • Free mental health first aid training (Wandsworth / Richmond)

  • Get set for Emerging Proud Day international party

  • GOV.UK news

Welcome to the Monday 14 January 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin, our first of the year. As usual it contains lots of news, views and updates. 

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Do email us if you have any news or information that you would like included in a future bulletin. Previous bulletins can be viewed here.

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The Big Give

NSUN News - Peer Support 

 A short video and the Soap Boxes from our Members' Event in October 2018 is now available. You can also browse our Annual Report 2017-2018 here.

 You can view the Principles of Peer Support Charter here.


The value of peer support and user-led organisations and the role they play in prevention

 We are producing a briefing paper to create a better understanding of the current mental health prevention and the important role that user-led groups and mutual (peer) support plays. As we've previously highlighted user-led groups and initiatives are finding it hard to survive in an increasingly competitive tendering environment. We need to promote just how important the work of user/peer led groups are in helping people stay connected to their community, feel better and stay better.

 We are collecting case studies from individuals and groups and any evidence that demonstrates value.

 Please email info@nsun.org.uk for more information or with anything you would like to share.


 Peer Support: New Roles for Mental Health Task and Finish Groups

 The New Roles Task and Finish Groups have been established as subgroups of the New Roles in Mental Health Board to support delivery of Chapter 7 of Stepping Forward: New skills, roles and ways of working, the Mental health Workforce Plan for England. NSUN is a member of the Peer Support Worker Task & Finish group.

 There are eight New Roles for Mental Health Task and Finish Groups

  1. Chair of the Pharmacy Professions and Teams Task & Finish group – Trevor Beswick & Peter Pratt

  2. Chair of the Psychological Professions Task & Finish group – Kevin Mullins & Adrian Whittington

  3. Chair of the Social Work Task & Finish group - Mark Trewin

  4. Chair of the Nursing Associate Task & Finish Group – Avril Devaney

  5. Chair of the PAs Task & Finish Group – Wendy Burn & Julian Ryder (co-Chair)

  6. Chair the Peer Support Worker Task & Finish group– Sarah Hughes & Simon Hough (co-Chair)

  7. Chair of the Nursing Task & Finish Group – Paul Reeves

  8. Chair of the AHP Task & Finish Group – Thomas Kearney

Health Education England continues to work with system partners to invest and implement a range of initiatives to support workforce transformation and expansion in the Mental Health workforce. The New Roles Task and Finish Groups aim to advance and build on the commitments set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2017).


UPDATED 'Get to know NSUN in 3 minutes'

You can view the video here, updated with our new logo and website. Please do share!

Events - already advertised

If you haven't booked your place on already advertised events, we have collected some here.

Jobs and involvement opportunities - already shared

If there is still time to apply or get involved, you can find previously shared opportunities on this page.

Article by Peter Beresford: Austerity is denying patients and care service users a voice  

Peter Beresford highlights how decades of progress on public participation are being lost as grassroots organisations face financial problems and closures.

Early in 2017, NSUN reported that over 150 of our membership groups had closed. This number continued to rise over the last year.

Read the full article here.

Selected blogs 

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Speak up, lived experience need to be valued

 Dani Chadderton, Peer Recovery Worker in Sheffield, encourages peer workers to stand up for the voice of experience.

Read Dani's blog here

 Why I had a year out of school for my mental health

 When Luke got diagnosed with PTSD, going to school became a task that filled him with anxiety. In this blog, Luke shares how he found alternative ways to finish his education, whilst also looking after his mental health.

 Are you a radical now? Reflecting on the Situation of Social Research(ers) in the Context of Service-User Activism in Mental Health

 Cristian R. Montenegro reflects on the relationship between activism and social research - the tensions, boundaries, expectations, context and conflict. Published in the Journal of social and Polictical Psychology (2018).

Read the full paper here.

Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted 

Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted - Mental Health Act Code of Practice 2015

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has responsibility for monitoring implementation of the Mental Health Act (MHA), is reviewing the 2015 Code of Practice for the Act. This follows the Mental Health Act Review.

 NSUN members are invited to supply evidence relevant to chapter three of the Code (pages 29-33); chapter three provides guidance about the use of a human rights and equality approach under the MHA.

Evidence is particularly wanted about issues for people made subject to the Act who face additional disadvantage(s), related, for instance, to:

  • Ethnicity

  • Age (as a young person, or older person)

  • Gender/gender identity

  • Sexual orientation

  • Physical disabilities

  • Learning difficulties/disabilities and/or autism

  • A visual impairment

  • Being a D/deaf person

  • Living with dementia.

CQC will take this evidence into account as it:

  • Analyses the current fit between (i) the human rights and equality approach set out in the Code of Practice and (ii) approaches being taken to people made subject to the MHA

  • Considers improvements that are needed.

We have been given assurances that:

  1. CQC will also put an emphasis on people facing more than one type of disadvantage under the MHA, whether such disadvantages have had a focus in the final MHA Review report or not. (As you will know, NSUN has raised concerns about the report’s shortfalls in addressing additional discrimination)

  2. Attention will be paid to any human rights and equality shortfalls within the Code itself if one considers it against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, not just against the European Convention of Human Rights (EHRC) and the Human Rights Act which stems from the EHRC.

How you can help

 If you’re able to help, please can you send:

  1. Personal accounts of human rights and equality breaches which you have faced under the MHA, related to your experience of more than one type of disadvantage. (I would, of course remove your name before sending this on to CQC)

  2. Literature/reports about human rights and equality breaches for people made subject to the MHA who face more than one form of disadvantage. (Please forward electronic copies of these, or the web links for them.)

Please send your evidence by Sunday 27 January, by email to: 

Dorothy Gould: NSUN’s policy lead for issues related to the Mental Health Act. gould.dorothy@gmail.com

Mental Health Act Review update 

 Contacts made with politicians and TUC members about human rights issues and the Mental Health Act Review

Many thanks to all those of you who have contacted your MP in support of NSUN’s campaign about the Mental Health Act Review. You can now read about the variety of opportunities we have had to input both to political leaders and to the TUC on NSUN’s behalf. 

Please read the full update here.

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: What next?

 You can also read charted breakdown we produced of:

  • Key recommendations from the report

  • What they will mean for people with lived experience if they are implemented

  • Whether they resolve the human rights concerns raised by NSUN and co-signatories to NSUN’s two letters.

You can download as a pdf here or visit the website

These have been re-formatted to make them really easy and clear to read. 

The NHS long term plan for mental health put to the test 

National Voices have devised 5 tests to put the NHS long term plan through.

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Don Redding, Director of Policy and Partnerships at National Voices, wrote an article for the HSJ (£) highlighting that whilst the Plan has some warm words for the voluntary and community sector, there is no clarity about how to direct commissioning pounds this way.

You can’t have community engagement in governance, codesign of new models, support to tackle health inequalities, delivery of self management support, and provision of social prescribing, all for free.

For all the good stuff in the Plan to succeed – for it to make a real difference to patients, carers and service users – the NHS must make genuine, equal, respectful and coproductive partnerships with other sectors, including the voluntary sector.

In his latest blog, Don puts the Plan through the five tests National voices has set for it to PROVE the NHS is moving in the right direction.

Service user / carer opportunity (London) 

An opportunity has arisen for one service user or carer to be part of an interview panel for recruitment of a Deputy Head of Therapies for the Acute & Urgent Care Service Line at South West London and St Georges mental health NHS trust

 The interviews will take place at Springfield on Friday, 18 January between 9.00am – 3.30pm on both days and the timetable will run as follows: 

9.00am:                       Pre-meet with panel

10.00am:                     Interviews start

3pm:                            Interviews finish

3pm – 3.30pm             Post meet


PLEASE NOTE: If you have applied for the post which is being interviewed, please do not put your name forward for this panel. 

 This is a paid opportunity at the usual trust rate of £10/hour. 

 Please register your interest by emailing involvement@swlstg.nhs.uk by Wednesday 16 January 12pm.

 Successful applicants will be informed by email on Thursday 17 January with the venue.

#HardlyHardToReach at REAP conference - London 

 Date: Wednesday 30 January 

Following REAP's annual refugee rights networking event HEAR, ROTA, TCC, CAIA, CSO and others will feedback and build on recent campaigning in West London to improve commissioning and services for BAMER people with mental health support needs.

 Join us to learn about the #HardlyHardToReach campaign, and help plan future goals, activities and actions.

 For more information please email mhairi@reap.org.uk

Online panel experts wanted 

Researchers from Nottingham University Business School in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre are looking to form an online panel of experts to gather opinions and vote on items concerning discharge from an acute mental health unit. 

 They are interested in finding out which items people think are important to ensure discharge is safe.

 The group will include service-users, carers, researchers, end-users of research (NHS managers, commissioners, charities, etc.) and mental health professionals (of all cadres).

 If you consider yourself to be from any of these groups and would be willing to complete a series of short, online questionnaires (3-4) over the next two to three months, read more below for details of how to participate.

Panel members that complete all of the questionnaires will receive a £20 amazon voucher for their time and an option to be named in academic publications. 

The questionnaires can be completed on a mobile device and will each take 5 to 20 minutes. The total duration should be no more than one hour.

 If you would like to complete the first questionnaire please click here

 For more information please contact Dr Natasha Tyler: natasha.tyler@nottingham.ac.uk

'Crystal's Vardo' - the origins & history of Romani Gypsies 

 'Crystal's Vardo' is showing in a special performance at the Ovalhouse in Kennington on 24th January! This is a great way to find out more about the origins and history of Romani Gypsies.

The play is a lively and entertaining story of a young girl's journey through Romani history in a quest to piece together the shards of her ancestry. Interwoven with humour, music and storytelling, this is a story that will both shock and delight.

Crystal's Vardo aims to raise awareness of Gypsy and Traveller issues and in turn help tackle the problems of racist bullying in schools and elsewhere. 

There will be a glass of wine and snacks included in the ticket cost.

Book tickets here.

Petition: Increase funding to Children's Mental Health services 

 NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHs) are so poorly funded that young people are often left to suicide before they get the help they need. CAMHs are having to turn away children with complex psychological conditions. No child should be told they are not ill enough to get help.

To support this petition, please click here

Discount offer on UC-UK mental health conferences 

HC-UK's mental health conferences and masterclasses focus on a number of topics helping those working in mental health or with mental health service users have an increased understanding of the service user experience and look at issues such as capacity and consent, co-morbidity and psychological therapies.

HC-UK offer NSUN members 20% discount by quoting ref: HCUK20NSUN when booking.(*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.  Full T&Cs available upon request.)

 For a list of upcoming conferences please click here

Transformation, Illness and Identity - Derby 

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This event will present a selection of academic papers in the day session, following by an evening of poetry/prose recitals in the evening (the evening event will be co-curated with Derby based poet and writer Pippa Nayer). Academic paper submissions for talks of around 30 minutes, should be in a 300-500 word abstract, with accompanying bio.

Those wishing to submit poetry or prose should send a brief synopsis of their work, with one piece and an accompanying bio. Please send all submissions to Hannah via compassion_well@hotmail.co.uk before the 4 February 2019.

 Date: 6 July 2019

Venue: Holiday Inn Riverlights, Derby

Time: Day Session (9-5) TBC, Derby - Evening Session (7.30-10.00)

 CALL FOR PAPERS (Day Session) POETRY/PROSE (Evening Session)

 Topics might include:
Soul journeying, shamanism and the self
Archetypal explorations of self
Connection with the natural world
Recovery and transformation
Spiritual emergency; unexpected spiritual experiences
Religious conversion or loss of faith following an illness
Suffering and transformation
Transformation of the self through treatment for mental illness
Spirituality in psychotherapeutic engagement and approach
Pastoral healthcare
Voice hearing
Ritual and illness 

 Please send all submissions to Hannah via compassion_well@hotmail.co.uk before the 4th February 2019 compassionatewellbeingconferences.weebly.com

Service users and clinicians co-produce resources in East Suffolk 

 Service users and clinicians in east Suffolk have joined forces to create a suite of new resources to further improve the care available to people reaching crisis point.

 The ‘Listen’ project has seen people with first-hand experience of services work alongside clinical staff to develop posters and badges which act as a reminder for anyone working with someone in a high state of distress. They carry the acronym:

  • Listen and look

  • Involve and inform

  • Share understanding

  • Time and availability

  • Empathise, encourage and evaluate

  • Next steps in treatment

Read more here

Bid writing workshops 

NFP offer bid writing worshops, basics and advanced, held at several locations across the country, between January and March.

 Who can attend?

Staff members, volunteers, trustees or board members of charities, schools, not for profit or public sector organisations who intend to submit grant funding applications to charitable grant making trusts and foundations. People who provide advice to these organisations are also welcome.

 A full list of workshops is available here.

Mental Capacity Action Day 2019 

This year’s Mental Capacity Action Day will take place on Friday 15 March 2019 at the Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0RN.

If you'd like to attend, please get in touch with Maya Sooben, Mental Capacity Policy Department, Ministry of Justice. 

Tel - 0203 334 3127, Email - NMCF1@justice.gov.uk

Free mental health first aid training (Wandsworth / Richmond) 

 Upcoming Free Mental Health First Aid Training- Limited spaces are available.

 Lifetimes have been commissioned by Wandsworth and Richmond Borough Council to run further MHFA two-day training courses for early 2019.

 There are a few spaces available for individuals who either work, live, study or volunteer in Wandsworth or Richmond.

 The spaces are limited and book up very quickly so please book your place as soon as you are able, by clicking on the dates below. 

23rd & 30th January 10.00am- 17.00pm

24th & 31st January 10.00am- 17.00pm

6th & 7th February 10.00am- 17.00pm


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an Internationally Accredited educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health problem.

In the same way as we learn physical first aid, mental health first aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

Get set for Emerging Proud Day international party  

 Emerging Proud is a campaign that reframes mental distress as a tranformation progress.

 #Emerging Proud day on 12 May 2019 is set to be extra special; not only will the team be launching the Kinda Proud  book, spearheaded by the inspirational Dr Nicole Gruel, but hosting an online event and encouraging worldwide conversations around the topic of NOTEs (Non- ordinary transcendent experiences)… except we know they are actually quite ‘normal’!

 Will you join in and help to bring voices to the collective? 

Click here for more information.

GOV.UK news 

 Partners of new mums with mental illness set to get targeted support on the NHS

New and expectant fathers will be offered mental health checks and treatment under radical action to support families, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens announced on 02 December 2018. Read more here.

 LGBT national advisor role

The Government LGBT Action Plan, sets out how it will advance the rights of LGBT people and improve the way that public services work for them.

The Plan committed Government to improving the health and social care of LGBT people, and their experience of healthcare. To deliver this, they are now recruiting a National Adviser post.

The Adviser will work across the NHS to ensure that the needs of LGBT people are considered throughout the health system; and work to improve healthcare professionals’ awareness of LGBT issues so they can provide better patient care.

The National Adviser will work as part of a dynamic team in NHS England to deliver this work. The post is now advertised here.

Deadline for applications is 3 February 2019

 Women's Mental Health Taskforce report

The Women's Mental Health Taskforce – co-chaired by Jackie Doyle-Price, Minister for Mental Health, Inequalities and Suicide Prevention, and Katharine Sacks-Jones, Chief Executive of Agenda, – has set out its key principles for gender and trauma-informed care in its final report, published December 2017. 

The work of the Taskforce was informed by the voices and experiences of women and the report encourages commissioners, providers and practitioners to promote best practice in their organisations while taking into account women’s individual, gender-specific needs. The Association of Mental Health Providers led the work on VCSE sector engagement for the Taskforce to inform the findings of the report and ensured that the essential role of the sector is included in the Principles and commitments going forward. 

 Earlier this year, The Association worked with DHSC to commission Health and Wellbeing Alliance partners, Clinks, National LGB&T Partnership, NSUN, and Race Equality Foundation, to engage with women with lived experience of mental health services through focus groups. 

 NHS Standard Contract 2019/20: Consultation

 NHS England is now consulting on the NHS Standard Contract for 2019/20.

The draft Contract and consultation documents are available on the NHS Standard Contract web page

 Respond to consultation by 1 February 2019 to england.contractsengagement@nhs.net

For any further info, contact NHS Standard Contract Team england.contractsengagement@nhs.net