As well as celebrating World Mental Health Day, October has been recognised asNational Black History Month for 30 years in the UK. This week's bulletin features events and news from around the country.
At its inception, NSUN formed an alliance with the Catch-A-Fiya, the national BME user/survivor network, then hosted by the Afiya Trust. In collaboration with the Catch-A-Fiya network, NSUN commissioned a piece of work that critically looked at the involvement of user/survivors from racialised communities in shaping mental health policy and practice and in the survivor movement more broadly.
The report,Dancing to Our Own Tunes, and its recommendations led to the development of a charter and guidelines on BME user/survivor involvement and leadership (Kalathil 2011/13). The report and the charter and guidelines continue to influence NSUN’s work and policies, including the development of the 4Pi principles of user involvement.
Since 2010 when Catch-a-fiya closed down, there is no one place where information about organisations, projects and activities by users and survivors from racialised communities is available. Over the last year NSUN has been working with Lankelly Chase Foundation to explore how this can be addressed. We continue to draw on the findings from theEthnic Inequalities in Mental Healthreportand hope that with theKindred Minds mental health manifestoand proposals to 'Re-ignite the Space' for BME service users, we will start to see some of the rhetoric become reality.
Since the demise of the national network, Catch-A-Fiya, and the Delivering Race Equality programme, there is currently no recognisable national platform for BME user/survivors to come together. Our hope is that the mobilisation of the knowledge and expertise of BME user/survivors as part of our work will have a lasting legacy in re-creating the lost space for national organisation and collaborative working.
In light of our recent review of our membership groups it is vitally important that we have a clearer picture of the current work and activities undertaken by BME mental health service users and their groups/organisations in supporting people in the community, addressing multiple and intersecting disadvantage, and influencing policy and practice.
The report on thereview into the over-representationof black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system was published 8 September 2017. It stated that a growing proportion of those offending for the first time, reoffending, and serving custodial sentences are minority Ethnic children. Today 41% of under-18s in custody are from minority background. This month we have had the publication of the Race Disparity Audit, as expected revealing 'difficult truths'.
Sadly we continue to see too many reports presenting the same problems and too little action taken to address them. Let's hope it's not another 30 years before we see some positive change.
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Lord Ousely says how 'Black History Month is essential in promoting learning, providing information and contributing to community cohesion. For the past 30 years it has shone, and continues to shine, a beacon of light on the facts about Black history, heritage, legacy and the on-going struggles for equality and justice. More than that, it educates, informs and inspires us each day of the year to be proud of who we are and to understand our history, our origins, why we are here and our right to stay and exist as equals.' Read the his full article here.
Find out about events and exhibitions around the country here.
Maat Probe Group was founded by Robin Cox and Steven Sanderson in 2008. Since then they have undergone RESPECT Training, started campaigning and so much more. Their mission is to promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle by incorporating new methods of recovery for service users in the community. Promoting a balanced way of life and boosting mental health awareness.
Kindred Minds Southwark
Kindred Minds is a service user led BME peer support group network in Southwark, that brings together mental health service users from different Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities with a focus on mutuality, shared learning and friendship.
Improving African & Caribbean heritage women’s health & well-being
Thinking Space - This space is especially for women who have experienced any form of abuse.
Meeting the 2nd and 4th Thursday each month during term time, creating a safe space to talk about what’s on our minds and offer each other support. Regular attendees will also have the opportunity to be trained as volunteers.
You can drop-in anytime from 10.30am-12.00pm. Session ends at 12.30pm.
The Tempest (a Bilimankhwe International Theatre production) 7:30pm, Friday 27 October A powerful, passionate production featuring stunning contemporary African choreography and an original soundtrack which samples traditional Malawian music. Taking place at Lakeside Arts. Tickets for this event are £15.00.
The festival includes a performance of Something Darkwhich tells the story of Lemn Sissay’s upbringing in children’s homes and foster care, and the search for his family and true identity.
Date: 24 October
Venue: Theatre MAC, Birmingham
Black Mental Health (BMH) campaign
Black Mental Health states that 'Black people are subject to higher rates of sectioning, over-medication, misdiagnosis and forcible restraint despite similar rates of mental ill health as other ethnic groups.'
BMH is calling people to take action to make a difference to what happens to all the police records linked to innocent DNA and help to change the law. The letters that people have written to MPs are one of the main reasons that the new Government has committed to include the deletion of all innocent DNA samples and profiles in The Protection of Freedoms Bill.
Click on the link below to download the campaign letter and post or e-mail it to your MP. You can also ring your MP's constituency office and ask to make an appointment to see him or her to discuss your concerns on this issue.
Black Thrive is a partnership-based, cross-sector approach to deliver system change in Lambeth. Find out more on the Black Thrive website.
Lambeth and Thrive LDNare holding acommunity conversation aimed at encouraging people to work together to improve health and happiness in the borough. The workshop will include looking at the aims of Thrive LDN and then discussing how to work together to make them happen in Lambeth. This will be an opportunity to learn more and get involved in how these develop.
Disability and migration - living on the periphery of society
This event will bring together activists, academics and members of the public to consider how disability and migration activism and scholarship intersect to inform policy making in a time of austerity.
Black Mental Health Conference and Black History Exhibition
Date: Thursday 26 October
Time: 2pm - 8pm
Venue: New Testament Assembly, 7 Beechcroft Road, Tooting, SW17 7BU
Hosted by South West London and St Georges NHS Mental Health Trust, Chief Executive, David Bradley, will give an update on the progress that is being made to reduce BME mental health inequalities, following last years event.
Dr Frank Keating, Royal Holloway, University of London, will present a key note address and discussion on what are the social factors that determine good and bad mental health, and what needs to change to build and sustain mentally well communities.
John Beckles, Transformation and Commissioning Manager for Children and Young People, South West London STP, will discuss the importance of Early Action. Recent reports have shown the increase in rates of depression amongst young people, with many also living in traumatic conditions with violence and the fear of violence a constant presence.
The Black History Exhibition, which will be on show again, with additional sections on the Anti-Colonial Movement and a focus on the cultural shifts experienced by Black communities in the UK. They will also build on the tradition of acknowledging and honouring members of our community who continue to make a contribution to our work, and to the betterment of our communities.
You can read more about the agenda, the priorities for discussion based on last year's event and how to book here.
Black History Month: At the crossroads?
Join Peter D’Sena, a Learning and Teaching Specialist at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London for a talk about the role and relevance of Black History Month,
This talk will explore how some recent work in migration studies, ethnomusicology and Blues music may take teaching, learning and, more generally, knowing about black history forward.
Date: Wednesday 25 October
Time: 4.30pm - 5.15pm
Venue: University of Hertfordshire, Room N002, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, AL10 9EU Maps and Directions
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF
Participants will express views (for and against) on the statement '‘This house believes that fundamental reform of the Mental Health Act is required to reduce discrimination and unnecessary detention’'
You can attend for free. Registration is open here.
What helped and what hindered: A qualitative study into people’s experiences of interventions on their journey of ceasing non-suicidal self- Injury (NSSI).
The focus of this research is to gain in depth understanding of experiences of what has assisted and hindered people to stop non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). This research is important as it has the potential to provide critical information regarding the type of treatment, intervention, and support which helped you in stopping non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI); with the aim of informing and supporting others. If you are 18 yrs old or above, and this is something that you would like to volunteer and contribute towards please contact Lorna Robinson (counselling psychology postgraduate student in the Department of Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England,Bristol. If you are interested, please email: Lorna2.Robinson@live.uwe.ac.uk
In the UK, 87% of people are White, and 13% belong to a Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic group. Use this service to find information about the different experiences of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. It gathers data collected by government in one place, making it available to the public, specialists and charities.
Race, Mental Health and Criminal Justice: Moving Forward
Nacro, Clinks, Race Equality Foundation, and Association of Mental Health Providers have published a briefing Race, Mental Health and Criminal Justice: Moving Forwardthat explores how pathways for people from BAME communities can be more effectively integrated to provide the most appropriate and timely support for those with mental health needs who are in contact with, or end up in, the criminal justice system. It considers what strategies should be in place to:
address key challenges highlighted by BAME communities who have experience of both the justice and mental health systems
address disproportionality and ensure that people’s needs are effectively and appropriately addressed
Government outlines plan to become the UK's most inclusive employer by 2020
The Government has today announced the plan for how it will become the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020. The Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy outlines a range of ambitious proposals to achieve this aim, including:
to build a dedicated ethnic minority programme to improve the representation of ethnic minority staff at the most senior levels across the Civil Service;
to create a Diverse Leadership Task Force that will report to the Cabinet Secretary;
to publish a data dashboard tracking progress on diversity and inclusion targets by April 2018;
to establish a new framework for measuring inclusion;
to embed diversity and inclusion in Single Departmental Plans.
Mental Health Act review
The Prime Minister has announced plans for an independent review of the Mental Health Act, chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely. Details about the review, including the terms of reference, can be found here.
Disclaimer: Not all material included in this newsletter are generated by NSUN. Where possible we try to share materials which reflect the diversity (geographical and other) of an entire national network. We welcome suggestions from you, so please email the editor email@example.com.
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Sources: Black History Month,Hackney CVS, Gary O'Brien, The Independent, The Guardian, BBC News, Black Thrive, Gov.uk
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