NSUN bulletin 1st Feb 2016

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NSUN news

NSUN contributes to social work for better mental health guidance

NSUN played an instrumental role in writing documentation which is part of the Department of Health's 'Social Work for Better Mental Health' programme and guidance. One of the documents released by the DoH include the 4Pi National Involvement Standards as framework for co-production in mental health social work. this page, which has links to all documents concerned, will tell you more.

Help us evaluate our work and shape next year's priorities

We are seeking the views of members and stakeholders in order to evaluate our work and plan the coming year's priorities.
Your input is really valuable as it will help us to find out what we are doing well and identify the areas that we can improve on as an organisation.
Personal comments will remain anonymous but will be combined with other responses to inform what we do now and in the future.
Your data will be stored until we have completed our annual evaluation work.

We would like to thank you in advance for giving up your time to complete this survey. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for responses is Friday 26th February 2016.

Member Blogs

This weeks blog is about the superhuman skills needed to negotiate the UK Welfare System.  Author Peter Beresford is professor of citizen participation at the University of Essex and emeritus professor of social policy at Brunel University. He is chair of Shaping Our Lives, the national disabled people's and service users' organisation and network.

The Giving Machine

NSUN is raising money via the Giving Machine.

  • You join for free and choose NSUN as a cause to support.
  • You generate commissions by shopping online (over 1,500 retailers including Amazon, Play.com, John Lewis, eBay, Sainsbury’s and Next).
  • The Giving Machine converts your commissions into donations .  You’re raising funds for free!

Click here for the NSUN page.

Previously shared information available online

Don't forget the Newcastle Mental Health day. Together with Launchpad, Time to Change, North East together (NEt) and many more. Saturday 6th February 10am-3pm around Grey’s Monument in Newcastle. If you're interested in volunteering on the day contact Angela Slater.

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.


Court of Appeals rules against DWP over bedroom tax

The Court of Appeals has ruled that the so-called bedroom tax discriminates against a domestic violence victim and the family of a disabled teenager.
The ruling followed legal challenges by a woman who has a panic room in her home, and the grandparents of a 15-year-old who requires overnight care. However, ministers do not give up and say they will appeal - read more here


Young carers celebrated

28 January was Young Carers Days. Inspiring stories were shared:

  • CBBC spoke to two sisters looking after a mum with mental ill health
  • 11 year old copes brilliantly, juggling homework, cooking and caring for her mum injured in a car crash
  • Youngsters ‘took over’ Carers Trust Cambridgeshire for the day

Training in Bristol: understanding personality disorder

Organised by Self Injury Support, this one day course, to take place on 17 February, gives a better understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) through hearing about the everyday experiences of people with a 'borderline personality' diagnosis. It enables you to identify practical areas of support in line with current best practice and experience-led research. You can read more about this session here


Money for small projects in Devon

Recovery Devon have a development fund which offers financial support to individuals or organisations for projects, events or research based around Recovery.

If you have an idea which can help your local club or community, an artistic project, or an activity which meets a genuine need, then Recovery Devon wants to hear from you. Your idea will need to have its roots in Recovery and the projects must take place between March and August 2016.

To learn more about this, please visit this page


University of Hertfordshire launches new scholarship to support service user involvement

The University of Hertfordshire has just launched a new scholarship for one of its successful online Master’s courses, in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion, a course produced by, and developed for mental health professionals and service users.

The University has decided to take its commitment to service user involvement further by supporting a free place on the MSc Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion (online), specifically for a person with lived experience that wishes to start studying in September 2016.

The University is currently looking for partners to support this approach by match funding course places (or part of a place) . Read more here


Peer support film launches in Nottingham as launched its new film.

Following the success of their tandem-inspired film last year, the team has co-produced another exciting instalment in collaboration with Self Help Services, based in the North West. Having developed a strong relationship with Self Help, founded on the principles of peer support, the team wanted to take the opportunity to share this with a wider audience, as a celebration of true co-production and the power of peer support.


Success in St Helen's

On 5 October 2015 a half day training event was held for 93 locally recruited community champions from the community and voluntary sector, health services, front line support services and members of the public. This event was supported by the North West Time To Change lead, the National Time to Change Team and St.Helens Public Health Team.

This led to the publication of a useful report for anyone, but particularly for influencing local authorities to get people talking to challenge the stigma and discrimination in mental health. The aim of this localised programme was to changepublic perception of mental health by encouraging community members to spread healthy mental healthmessages to friends, family, colleagues and service users.


ITV London are looking for people to share experiences of IAPT

ITV London have put together a package around the difficulty in accessing IAPT services in London, and are keen to from hear people’s personal experiences with a view to filming a segment for the programme. Is there anyone in London who is currently struggling to access IAPT or did struggle to access IAPT who would be willing to speak to them?

James Harris at the Mental Halth Foundation can tell you more about the project. James will also be able to explain what talking to the media can entail.


HYSTERICAL by Hoax and Luminary Theatre

HOAX (UK/AUS/CAN) and Luminary Theatre (UK) with UCL present Hysterica by Karis Halsall
Previewing at the VAULT festival

Date: 3-7 February
Venue: Waterloo Vaults, Crescent Theatre The Vaults, Leake St , LDN SE17NN
(Nightly 7:15pm/Full £12.50, concessions apply)

Playwright and performance poet Karis Halsall (MEGAPOLITAN, Little Stitches) joins forces with ‘All in’ director Stephen Sobal (Love Sick, Treading Water) to bring you the VAULT previews of HYSTERICAL. Set between a frantic advertising agency and an inpatient facility; June, a virgin clown and her associates attempt to rebrand water, wellness and 'madness' and Madonna. Co-produced by HOAX (AUS/CAN/UK) and Luminary Theatre (UK) in collaboration with UCL.

“engaging and different - an innovative new voice in the writing scene” THEATRE FULL STOP
“Fascinating…entertaining…deeply thought provoking” LONDON THEATRE 1



Mental Health on the web

This week, the web focused on the UK's mental health crisis:

A revolution is needed to tackle the coiuntry's mental health crisis, says Guardian columnist.

Also concerned about the deepening crisis, Mental Health Today warned that further cuts to housing benefits could leave vulnerable people with no means to pay their rent.

The Daily Mirror also reported on the country's mental health crisis, with an article on Britain's top psychiatrists warning about Tory benefit cuts are making mental health conditions worse.

The University of Buckingham's vice-chancellor considered tackling the crisis by sharing  tips for students and university staff.

Meanwhile, a blogger was stating You can't fix me please don't try


Conference: Safeguarding adults in residential settings

Date: 15 March 2016
Venue: ORT House Conference Centre, London
A national conference on overcoming current challenges for professionals. Book before 15 February 2016 to take advantage of early bird rates and save £50 on a booking cot of £145.

The Francis Report, the Keogh Report, the Jasmine Report, the Berwick Review, the Bubb Report – and most recently the Homes not hospitals programme have promised to improve the care for vulnerable adults in residential settings.

But are policy changes sufficient to halt the abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in residential settings amidst a backdrop of austerity and increasing scrutiny? And more importantly, are we really learning the lessons from history and previous tragedies? This national event will look at overcoming current challenges for professionals who work to support vulnerable adults in residential settings.

To read more about the event and book your place, please visit this page.


Free health training sessions offered in London

Do you want to improve your health? Maybe you would like to be more active, eat more healthily, quit smoking or drink less, but you’re not sure where to start? We can help you make a real difference to your health and wellbeing.

Funded across Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, London Health Trainers offer a free and confidential Health Trainer service made up of local people who have been specifically trained to provide NHS Health

Checks and tailored one-to-one support to help you identify the changes that could improve your health and wellbeing.

Book your free appointment online here or call 020 7099 3333


Help develop a prototype for managing personal health budgets online - limited numbers of places left

The Healthy London Partnership's Personalisation & Participation programme is looking to recruit around  members of the public to contribute to the design of a prototype personal health budget application. A session will be held from 11am to 4pm on Friday 26 February at NCVO, Society Building, 8 All Saints Street. London. N1 9R. Please note that we have been informed that there are only 6 places left on this as of 31 january 2016.
This briefing paper provides further information.
The programme is particularly interested in recruiting individuals, family members and carers who are interested in accessing or are already recipients of personal health budgets provided by their local CCG, personal social care budgets provided by their local authority or a joint health and social care package.   
Individuals and support organisations can register their place by emailing Leo Cotzias


Manchester Users Network to hold public meeting

The Manchester Users Network is to hold a Public Meeting.

Date: Thursday 25 February
Time: 1.30pm - 3.30pm  
Venue: Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD (The John Tocher Room)

The Public Meeting will chaired by Sarah Yiannoullou from NSUN and Luciana Berger (Shadow, Mental Health Minister) and Ivan Lewis MP (considering to challenge for Mayor of Greater Manchester) will be attending between 2-3pm.

Mental health services in Manchester are at breaking point, this is similar with other areas of Greater Manchester and across England. 

For more information please call 0161 492 0790, Mob 07719102380 or email


Changing Minds: Mental health and the arts festival

Saturday 6 February 2016 - Sunday 7 February 2016
Southbank Centre, London

Be soothed or provoked by the Arts Pharmacy, discover punk-poetry musical My Beautiful Black Dog and fall under the spell of Can I Start Again Please?

Listen to music by Robert Schumann, who had a lifelong mental illness, and learn memory techniques before hearing Aurora Orchestra perform Mozart's Symphony No.4 entirely from memory.

Come and rest your mind on the Clore Ballroom, take part in yoga, singing or read a book from our festival library. Or contribute to the Day in the Life project, funded by Public Health England and created by Social Spider.


Department of Health share equality data

The DoH have published several documents which cover a breakdown of the department’s workforce on all equality strands. This includes data on:

  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • disability
  • age group
  • working patterns
  • sexual orientation
  • religion or belief

DoH expenditure over £25 000 figures published

Details of Department of Health expenditure over £25,000 (invoices, grant payments, expenses and other such payments, excluding pay bill expenditure)

Consultation: health risks linked to the consumption of alcohol

Seeks views on the UK Chief Medical Officers’ proposed new guidelines to limit the health risks associated with the consumption of alcohol. This consultation closes on 1 April.

Department of Health responds to consultation on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty standards

The Department of Health has published its response to the Law Commission’s consultation on how the law should regulate deprivations of liberty (DoLS) for people who lack capacity to consent to their care and treatment arrangements. The consultation proposes that DoLS should be replaced by a new system called ‘protective care’ and that there should be a new code of practice. The Law Commission will publish its final recommendations by the end of 2016.