NSUN Bulletin 18th July 2016


NSUN news

Members Blogs

I don't just hear voices...I hear me

Mystery Shopper on Section 2 of Mental Health Act - PatientfromHell shares her experience of a recent stay on a mental healthward. The aim of PatientFromHell’s blog is to provide an insight into her difficulties which will hopefully enable staff working within the NHS and other organisations to understand more about Autism and Mental Health and to share her experiences with those facing similar challenges. You can read more of PatientFromhell's blogs here.

Labour leader scraps mental health post

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has axed the post of Shadow Minister for Mental Health in a cabinet reshuffle which follows mass resignations in the wake of the EU referendum. The move has disappointed party activists and raised concerns the mental health sector. Luciana Berger, who had held the post since its creation, was among those who stepped down claiming the referendum had led to changes in the political landscape which meant Labour needed new leadership.  Read the full story

Letter to Theresa May

NSUN has written to the new Prime Minister asking for investment in user-led, community and self-organised support. We have also drawn attention to the National Involvement Standards produced by people with lived experience of distress and carer. You can read the letter here.

NSUN member wins Health Education England award

A member of NSUN who plays an influential role as part of the Making A difference (MAD) Alliance based in north West London, is part of the groups that recently won Health Education England Awards. You can read more here.

#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


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.


Do you have experience of being restrained?

NSUN, together with colleagues from PROMISE and the Service User Research Enterprise at Kings College London (SURE) are seeking your direct experience and views on the practice of restraint in order to influence mental health services both in in the UK and internationally.

For more information please click here

Closing date for replies: 24 July


Investigation launched after heavily pregnant woman is 'wrestled to ground' on NW London mental health ward

As investigation has been launched into a case of restraint on a North West London mental health ward: an eight months pregnant woman was knocked face down by a male psychiatric nurse who worked for the Central and North West London NHS Trust.

Witness Alison Cameron tweeted: 'I have just witnessed the most horrific display of violence by staff. Pregnant patient wrestled to ground. Horrible horrible horrible.scary. '

Alison Cameron, who has been a patient advocate for years, says the use of force was unnecessary and reported her concerns to the Care Quality Commission.


Talking about night terrors

NSUN member Judith Haire would like to hear about people who, like her, experience night terrors. This is not formal research but a wish to start a conversation. Here is an extract from Judith's post on her website:

'The first time I experienced a night terror I could hear screaming.   It took me some time to realise the screams were coming from me.   I leapt out of bed and was sobbing uncontrollably.  In other night terrors I was shouting “get off me get off me” “he’s going to get me” There was a rising panic.  Sufferers report a feeling of extreme fright, of falling, of choking, of dying, of being unable to breathe. Heart rate increases.   I am told what I am shouting out: I am unaware.

Night terrors are much more serious than dreams; sufferers can kick, strike out violently, even injure themselves during the sleep cycle.  Sufferers can leave their homes without waking up but will have no recollection the next morning.'

You are invited to share your experiences by commenting below Judith's full post here

You can comment confidentially using a pen name.


Thousands over the cuckoo's nest

NSUN member Hannah McDonald invites you to contribute to her anti stigma project 'Thausands over the cuckoo's nest'.  Hannah says:

"For the past eight years I have suffered from a very severe and enduring Mental Illness. I have felt ashamed of it but not anymore and I would like to raise awareness of Mental Health. We all have Mental Health and it's something I feel needs to be talked about.
My crazy idea is for people to make birds no bigger than 15cm/15cm and they can be any bird using any medium. For example, using paper by making origami birds, fabric, wool, wood, etc. I want people to have the freedom to make their birds how they want because we are all beautiful, unique individuals.
Depending on whether his idea takes off I will try to get a gallery to display the birds in long lines to raise awareness and to try to remove stigma. Please take a photo of your bird and post it on the Facebook page and send it to:

Hannah MacDonald, West London Collaborative, 2 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9DX"


Around the web - welfare changes, austerity, mental health

This week, people protested against PIP on 13 July. We've had a look around the web for posts which focus on the welfare system crisis, austerity and the consequences of the current political climate and system changes on people's mental health


Independent group share thoughts on their recent welfare training

Independent group Recovery In The Bin (RITB) which started on Facebook, have successfully crowdfunded unique welfare training, which was delivered over two days in June.

The group are now sharing three related posts on their website, one to explain why they ran the training, and two about the experience itself and information which was shared during the training.

RITB's articles start here.


Band takes music to Leicestershire wards

The Moving In Wards project takes music around wards in Leicestershire. Performing band Refuge is now halfway through their work on the Older Peoples Mental Health Wards MHSOP at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. The feedback so far has been very positive and band members send thanks to all the staff at the Evington Centre and Bennion Centre for their kindness and support.

More news from Refuge

Refuge are delighted to be supporting The Bluetones at the O2 in Leicester on Thursday 21 July if you wish to join them tickets are available from this website

The new album has now been recorded. The double album featuring 1 disc of ‘Mindful Meds’ (mindfulness body scan practices set to music from refuge), and 1 disc of new refuge songs focusing on wellbeing and contemplation will be released on 10 September.

Refuge are very grateful to have been on the Phil Williams show recently on BBC Radio 5 live to speak about their work. The link to listen is available here


Together's Service User Involvement Directorate is recruiting

Are you passionate about making a real difference to mental health services? Together may have just the job for you …

Together is a national charity working alongside people with mental health issues on their journey towards independent and fulfilling lives. Together involves service users in everything and at all levels in the organisation. Together is recruiting two new members of staff to join the Service User Involvement Directorate to build on excellent work in service user involvement, peer support and self management over the next 12 months.

1 - Service User Involvement Worker – 15 - 22.5 hours per week (dependent on successful applicant), based in Together's London office, £20, 452 plus geographical allowance- pro rata

You will work with staff and service users to implement best practice within service user involvement. Successful applicants must have personal experience of using mental health services and be able to provide advice, guidance and support to both staff and service users within a range of our projects and departments. You will travel to some of Together's services and work alongside a broad and diverse range of people.

2 - Peer Support and Self Management Involvement Worker – 15 - 22.5 hours per week (dependent on successful applicant), based in Together's London office, £20, 452 plus geographical allowance -pro rata

You will work closely with the Peer Support Practice Manager to support the implementation of peer support and self management across Together services. Successful applicants must have personal experience of using mental health services and a good understanding of peer support and self management within mental health.

For more information and how to apply, please read this page


Road-test resources on Human Rights and Mental Health

The BIHR project Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy is working with six groups (including NSUN) to ensure people with mental health and capacity issues have increased control and autonomy over treatment decisions, and make sure they are treated with dignity and respect.

As part of the project, resources on human rights, mental health and mental capacity have been drafted. You can read pilot versions of the resources:

If you would like a hard copy of the resources, you can pick one up at one of BIHR's learning events for third sector workers, or email Jasmine Powell

The resources are still being tested and your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Please fill in the surveys once you have finished reading or email Helen Wildbore  with your thoughts.


Preventable Harm: can risk assessment in mental health be evidence-based

An inaugural Question Time style discussion hosted by UCL Division of Psychiatry,  the Mental Elf and Lancet Psychiatry

When Wednesday, 20 July 2016 from 18:00 to 20:00 (BST)
Where Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building (drinks reception from 6pm in Roberts Building Foyer) - Torrington Place , London, WC1E 7JE

Registration  - it's free! here


Involvement opportunities

Important upcoming events

We already shared these with you in previous editions. You can still register to attend these events. Don't miss out! Click on the titles or related links for more information.


Increased mental health services for those arrested

An extra £12 million will be spent over the next 2 years to expand services that make mental health assessments available to those arrested.

Better care package for severely injured veterans

A new system to give seriously injured veterans better lifelong assistance has been announced by Defence Minister