NSUN Bulletin 25th Jan 2016

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NSUN news

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 week we have two guest blogs: one is a joint effort from two authors, Dr Stephen Weatherhead and Nicky Hayward, who tell us that parity of esteem is not all about the money. The other blog is from a member of NSUN who prefers to remain anonymous as they reveal some hard truths about the Experts by Experience programme's new contracts.

Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find involvement opportunities, jobs and events we shared in previous e-bulletins.


Restraint guides launched

Our new guides - Restraint in mental health services: What the guidance says and Restraint in mental health services: Influencing change in your area -  have been written with the Mind. These summarise how organisations should be working to reduce restraint and how you can get involved in influencing care in your area.

Restraint in mental health services: What the guidance says summarises restraint in a mental health setting, including how and when it should be used. It contains key points from the current guidance on restraint, good practice initiatives and stories of how campaigners around the country are making a difference.

Restraint in mental health services: Influencing change in your area is about how to get involved with your local services, campaign for change and, where necessary, how to complain. The voice of service users and carers in a mental health setting can transform lives and improve services. Our guide will support you on this journey and is full of practical information and tips about how you can influence change.

You can also read Gary Malloy's (artist who's image is used above) blog here.


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


North East Mental Health Day

Date: Saturday 6 February 2016
Venue: Grey's Monument, Central Newcastle

Promotion of local and regional services, advice, entertainment and engagement . This event is being held the closest Saturday to Time to Change’s “Time to Talk” day. To find out more, know who to contact ahead of the day and download a list of points to note, please visit  here.


North East Together hold next meeting in Durham

The next North East together Member's Meeting is due to take place on Wednesday 27 January from 1pm to 3.30pm at St Cuthbert's Hospice, Park House Road, Merryoaks, Durham, DH1 3QF.

There will be a free buffet lunch and refreshments and reasonable travel expenses will be provided for unpaid service users and carers.

If you wish to give your apologies or have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Mish Loraine by phone 07902 403630 or email


Help create 'I Statements' for London's mental health crisis care

To further develop the work in the mental health crisis care programme Mind and Healthy London Partnership, an NHS organisation, need to understand the wants/needs of service users in London.

An online questionnaire has been developed, asking people questions about their experience in London and what they think is most important in the way care is delivered. This will help understand what people expect from the system. The information will be collected to develop ‘I statements’ which will be presented at the crisis care summit in February.

Take the survey here


Is mindfulness making us ill?

It’s the relaxation technique of choice, popular with employers and even the NHS. But some have found mindfulness and meditation in general can have unexpected effects. 

Internet forums abound with people seeking advice after experiencing panic attacks, hearing voices or finding that meditation has deepened their depression after some initial respite.

In their recent book, The Buddha Pill, psychologists Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm voice concern about the lack of research into the adverse effects of meditation and the “dark side” of mindfulness.

So, is mindfulness making us ill? read more here


Contribute your views on suggested improvements to physical healthcare

The  London Strategic Clinical Networks group, 'Stolen Years’ will be making recommendations to improve physical healthcare provision for people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses and to reverse the tendency for people with such diagnoses to die much earlier than other members of the public.

The leads for the group have just produced some draft guidelines for commissioners about the approach which they need to take. So far, though, there has been almost no input about the guidelines from people with lived experience.

The deadline for comment is Friday 29th January
Find out more here.


New documentary to chart the journey of the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre

As part of LGBT History Month, 'Under Your Nose' a documentary charting the journey of the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (BLGC) that started in Tottenham in 1985.

The work carried out, often at huge personal cost, by these activists has been largely ignored until now.
Facing Thatcherism, Section 28 and AIDS, the BLGC workers marched, produced newsletters and fought for changes which influence the LGBT movement today. 

Veronica McKenzie of Reel Brit Productions will present a rough cut of this important film, followed by  Questions & Answers with: 
Anne Hayfield
Savi Hensman 
Dorothea Smartt
Dennis Carney 
Kris Black 

The film will be shown on 7 February at 3pm at The Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, Tel: 020 7001 9844
The venue has good access for disabled people.
You can watch clips of the movie here - Locate the yellow "UYN" button which will bring up a you tube clip.
This event is FREE but booking is essential so please use this form. This is also the place to tell the organisers if you are disabled and need assistance.


Mental Health Resistance Network organise special NHS event

As part of a rolling programme of events every last Friday of the month at The Field,  a homely independent community space between Peckham and New Cross, the Mental Health Resistance Network present the screening of the film "SELL OFF" and a talk by campaigning doctor BOB GILL followed by discussion. Refreshments and convivial company provided!

29 January 6pm - 10pm at  The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross, London SE14
More information on the event's Facebook page here


Disability Rights UK petition to re-assess planned cuts to employment Support Allowance

The Welfare Reform Bill proposes to cut Employment Support Allowance by £30 a week for those in the “Work related activity group”. This a massive 30% cut in a benefit claimed by hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people, including those with mental illness, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Disability Rights UK have created a campaign and launched a petition to support Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson’s motion to re-assess the plans to reduce Employment Support Allowance and help ensure the Welfare & Reform Bill doesn’t punish sick and disabled people.Hurge the House of Lords to reject this proposal and send this bill back to the House of Commons.


Free lecture: changing minds and mental health

What happens when people change their minds? In this lecture, I will offer a historical perspective on changing minds, starting with a discussion of the role of medicine in changing minds. I will discuss the move from changing behaviour to changing thinking, and changing stories; and how modern mental health services use such ideas.

This lecture by forensic psychiatrist, Professor Gwen Adshead (pictured), is free and open to all. The talk will take place at 6pm on Weds 10 February at the Museum of London150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

All details are available here on the Gresham College website. You can also take a look at this Facebook page.


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.


2nd conference on Peer Support Open Dialogue (POD)

An event organised by the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and the Academy of Peer-supported Open Dialogue (APOD).

Since the last conference nearly 60 clinicians from around the country have completed the first training in Peer-supported Open Dialogue in the UK and dozens of families in 4 NHS Trusts have now received care in this way. Peer-supported Open Dialogue is on its way to become a reality in the NHS, with a further 80 peers and clinicians to be trained in 2016, and a large scale research study also being planned.

This year, the event will focus on:

  • The first UK staff trained in Peer-supported Open Dialogue
  • Peers working in Peer-supported Open Dialogue teams across the UK
  • The first service users and families receiving Peer-supported Open Dialogue in the UK
  • The first national multi-centre trial in Peer- supported Open Dialogue being planned in the UK
  • The UK’s first NHS service based on some key Open Dialogue principles, open to referrals from across the country

This takes place on Monday 25 April, 10am - 6pm, at Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL For more information and booking please visit here

Don't forget that Open Dialogue UK's national conference, taking place earlier on 2 February, comes with a special highlight on the importance of peer support initiatives.


London Mental Health Crisis Care Summit

Join co-chairs Sophie Corlett (Director of External Relations, Mind), Jane Milligan (co-chair, London Mental Health Transformation Board and Chief Officer, Tower Hamlets CCG) and national keynote speaker Dr Geraldine Strathdee (National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England) to bring together delegates from London’s crisis care concordat groups and the newly established Urgent & Emergency Care (UEC) networks to share learning and best practice in the crisis care system.

The summit also aims to ensure that local transformational initiatives led by London’s concordat groups and UEC networks are properly informed and supported by national and pan-London transformational programmes.

The event will be held on the 25 February 2016 at The Kia Oval, Kennington, SE11 5SS from 9:00am – 16:00pm. Register for free here


Workshops: developing quality measures for people with psychosis

Would you like to help develop quality measures for services for people with psychosis? Have your say!

  • How do we know that a psychosis service is high quality?
  • What should we be looking for?

The McPin Foundation is working with NHS England and they would like to invite people with lived experience of psychosis or carers of someone who has experienced psychosis to help answer these questions. They will be holding two workshops (25 people each) to discuss these issues and help identify suitable quality measures for psychosis services: 
Monday 25 January in Leeds
Friday 29 January in London

Download the flyer by clicking here. You can also access further information by visiting the website.

Reasonable travel expenses will be covered, lunch will be provided and anyone attending will receive a £20 a shopping voucher as a thank you for their time
If you are interested please email or call  020 7922 7877.


Call for nominations for the Queen's New Years Honours

The DoH have published guidance for submitting nominations for the Queen's New Years Honours Award. The deadline is 24 February.

Who can be nominated? Someone who works in the Health and Care Sector.

What is the award about? Like New Year Honours list, the Queen’s Birthday Honours list acknowledge people who have made a difference in their field of work or community – people who have gone that extra mile. The DoH advertise for nominations for the New Year Honours list around February every year, and for the Queen’s Birthday Honours list we advertise around July.

Update on the junior doctors contacts negociations

The BMA has announced its intention to suspend the strike previously announced for next week as talks continue. 

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.

CQC consultation

Seeking views on plans to give Care Quality Commission (CQC) powers to set fees for the cost of all aspects of its comprehensive inspections.
Consultation closes  1 February 2016
Respond online here.

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.