Since the early hours of Friday morning last week, when we heard that 52% of voters voted to leave the European Union, we have seen and experienced a range of emotions, a deluge of information (some of which would have been more valuable before the voting) and reactionary and in some cases backtracking political activity across the board. The first effect on mental health has been
felt already - the fear and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of how it will affect statutory services and support in the community. In addition to this the swell of 'extreme' pronouncements and verbal attacks that are filled with hate and directed at the most vulnerable and disadvantaged make us feel even more threatened and unsafe. Sadly this undermines and unfairly associates those who voted Leave for reasons that weren't based on the scaremongering campaign tactics around immigration.
Earlier this month Luciana Berger, the shadow minister for mental health, told the Guardian “the NHS is too important, and mental health services are too vital, to throw into the chaos of Brexit”. Leaving the EU, she said,
“would pose a serious risk to the wellbeing of the NHS itself, but also to those who rely on it”. It is still too early and too confusing to have any clear idea what impact this will have on the NHS or mental health services, but in an environment of austerity and increasing cuts anything that has further negative or destabilising effect is deeply concerning.
Mark Brown from Social Spider has pulled togather some of the 'questions and worries' and explored what answers are out there and what are still to come in his article
Mental Health and Brexit: there is no new normal.
We also need to keep a close watch on how this will affect our human rights protections and policy. Stephen Bowen of the British Institute of Human Rights
says "As we seek to navigate this new path, it is our human rights compass that guides us. There is no more important time for us to stand proud of our shared values, to champion dignity and respect, fairness, diversity and justice."
At a time when we need strong and confident leadership the two main political parties are in turmoil. But we need to see leadership across the board including within our own groups who have been slowly and systematically undermined, underfunded and misunderstood. As Jeremy Taylor said in his response to the result
"We will continue to champion the development of more preventative, coordinated, people-centred approaches to health and care. Our sector will continue to stand up for and work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society."
We ARE stronger together, so we need to make sense of it all and look at how we heal the divisions and collectively ride out this storm - one that has been as changeable and unpredictable as the weather over the last week so we need to be prepared for every eventuality!
Soapboxes were filmed and some can now be viewed online. Click on each name to be taken back to the day of their soapbox
Healthy Lives London project questionnaires
Even if you cannot attend the Healthy Lives workshops about improving physical health for people living in London diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, you can still feed into the project
by sharing your views via questionnaires by 29th June.
- Please complete this if questionnaire you are someone living in London who has been diagnosed with a serious (enduring) mental illness.
- Please complete this questionnaire if you are are a family member or unpaid carer living in London.
N.B. If you already completed the survey and did so before 4th June, could we kindly ask you complete it again. Due to a technical problem responses were not being fully captured.
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