Save the date - NSUN Members' event and AGM
Wednesday 27th September 2017
10.30am – 4.30pm
An event where you can:
Connect with others from around the country – and stay connected
Share what’s happening with local user led groups
Agree what issues and messages need amplifying at a national level
This year we’re in Sheffield at the SHOWROOM WORKSTATION
15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX
For more information call 020 7820 8982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're looking forwards to seeing you there.
Watch some of our previous member 'Soap Boxes'
On (not) being believed
- Louisa Harvey remembers harrowing moments of mental distress and suicadality. Possibly triggering for some readers, this is a very beautifully written blog.
Perceiving a will for change - From a series of life events including the discovery of the 'Only Us' campaign, Nicky Hayward learned that, 'paradoxically, our weakness can be our greatest strength, and that together we are stronger'
Peer modelling as a tool for disabled people
- 'Peer modelling' comes out of creating environments that are conducive to people taking self-initiative and supporting each other
Support NSUN as you shop online
We are a registered cause on the Giving Machine site. This means people can choose to raise money for us when they shop online. Simply click on the
NSUN page then click the Join and Support this cause button. Donating this way does not increase the cost of your shopping.
Call for blogging contributors
Share experiences, suggestions and opinions with e-bulletin readers, website visitors and social media friends. To get an idea of the variety of topics and points of view, please visit our
blogs section. To send a blog, please email the editor.
Get introduced to NSUN in 3 Minutes
The three minutes video is here.
NSUN Members' Manifesto 2017
Find out what is most important to the NSUN membership. A summary page that is easy to display is now available for download. Take a look at the link at the bottom of this page.
NSUN is bringing the voice of experience to an all party parliamentary group (APPG) which aims at producing guidance for therapists whose clients are struggling with prescribed drug dependence.
The group will create and deploy guidance materials for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists to support them working with issues of prescribed drug dependence.
If you have experience of prescribed drug dependence and would like to share your story with the APPG to influence its work, please email us.
Important: non NSUN materials in the e-bulletin
Below NSUN news, features concern events, job opportunities, research, groups, etc, which are not ran by us, unless clearly stated. Details are sent to us by contacts who wish to spread word about their activities.
Whenever possible we try to share materials which reflect the diversity (geographical and other) of an entire national network. We welcome suggestions and features by you, please email the editor
and the general info mailbox.
Please remember that sharing is not endorsing.
Rethink Your Mind's Yellow Book is out!
Rethink Your Mind
is the annual competition around the theme 'When I feel Better When I Am...' The project was developed by mental health peers for mental health peers. People from all over the country are invited to submit poetry or / and visual artwork, which is then selected for the Yellow book and also for music singles.
You can take a look at the online version of the book
The Audio Yellow Book has now been recorded to include Mindfulness Practices, a reading of the wellbeing section, winning spoken word poems & songs from Mark Morriss of the Bluetones, BBC Folk award winner Lucy Ward, Refuge & Tara Pasveer of Peterborough regional college. The team now prepares to record the project song at Abbey Road Studios in October with a choir of 150. The Audio Yellow Book then launches at the Grove Theatre on 24 October 2017.
A copy of the national yellow book can be ordered for free with just a postage and packing charge
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
The LPT Yellow Book 2017/18 prize presentation took place at New Walk Museum. Congratulations & thanks to all involved in a great evening. Brendan McGrath from LPT put together this film featuring some of the 30 winners speaking about their art forms.
10,000 copies of The LPT Yellow Book 2017/18 are currently being distributed for FREE throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Find out more about the project and the music here. A gallery of winning work from the LPT project will be displayed at New Walk Gallery and Museum during the month of November 2017. To enquire about copies of The LPT Yellow Books please email
News from the North East
A new prospectus from Re-Co-Co
can be viewed here. It includes an annual report.
Vibrant Newcastle community arts and health group hub under threat!
Unfortunately Re-Co-Co, along with a host of other community organisations (including the user led group Launchpad) have been served
notice at Broadacre House where they have been based in Newcastle.
The local council have been asked to step in to look at alternatives.
The Dragons are coming to Stockton! Have you got what it takes to “Race the Dragon”?
The Stockton Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday 2nd September
2017 at the River Tees Water sports Centre.
Companies, social groups, charities and friends and families are invited to enter their own dragon boat team to raise funds for charity. No previous experience of dragon boat racing is necessary as all training will be provided on the day and teams are able to nominate either The Prince's Trust, the Purple Warriors or a registered charity of their own choice. So bring your team for a “Fantastic” day out and let’s Race the Dragon... Find out more here.
UN Special Rapporteur calls for end of medical model dominance
Dr Dainius Puras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health
has criticised the predominance of biomedical model and called for 'a global shift in mental health', targeting social determinants and abandoning the medical model that seeks to cure individuals by identifying 'disorders'.
Going further, Dr Puras denounced the biased use of evidence in medical research and cited Soteria Houses as proponents of a better approach.
Read the UN press release: UN press release here.
Read the full report by Dr Puras here.
Report - Back to Bedlam
Decades of slow progress, often led by families and disabled people, has been reversed as local government and the NHS increasingly rely on institutional services, often provided by large, private-sector corporations, with no commitment to human rights. The declining standard of public policy has been accelerated by austerity which has justified cuts in support and basic income which are in breach of international standards.
Published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, this important report by Robin Jackson makes a number of recommendations.
You can download the PDF on this page
Opportunities for Service Users and/or Carers to input into the National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression (NCAAD)
Applications sought from service users who have recent experience of receiving inpatient and/or secondary community care for a primary diagnosis of an anxiety or depressive disorder, or have recent experience of caring for someone who has. Input would include using this experience to advice the audit on standards of care, reports and publications including supporting the McPin Foundation to share the findings from the audit.
- Deadline: 7 August 2017
- Interviews: 14 August 2017
- For further information visit the website.
Trainee Researcher: Closing date 6th August
Find out more
McPin is recruiting to a Trainee Researcher role. They are seeking someone with ambition and willingness to develop in this post, working in collaboration with team members, external partners, and particularly with people who use expertise from experience of mental health problems. This post will deliver peer research methods, and thus the post holder must also have experience of mental health problems as well as an ambition to develop further as a researcher. As well as the potential to develop excellent research skills they will be able to (with support) translate and communicate research findings to ensure that they have an impact on policy or
practice and ultimately people’s lives.
This is an opportunity for someone who is looking to gain experience in conducting research, and who is passionate about mental health research and the difference it can make to improving people’s lives.
Senior Researcher: Closing date 14th August
Find out more here.mcpin.org
McPin is recruiting to a Senior Researcher role. They are seeking someone who can lead and deliver research and evaluation projects, working in collaboration with team members, external partners, and particularly with people who use expertise from personal experience of mental health problems. The candidate will have excellent research skills they will be able to translate and communicate research findings to ensure that they have an impact on policy or practice, and ultimately people’s lives.
Managed by the Head of Research and Evaluation, they will be expected to provide support to
freelance research staff. Everyone in the team is expected to contribute their skills and expertise to the organisations wider learning and development.
The role will suit someone with strong research project management and people skills, and who is passionate about mental health research and the difference it can make to improving people’s lives. We encourage applications from people with personal experience of mental health problems.
Find out more about McPin on the website.
New report demonstrates link between arts and wellbeing
All-party inquiry demonstrates benefits to health and wellbeing of the arts, leading to fall in hospital admissions. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) was formed in 2014 to improve awareness of the benefits that the arts can bring to health and wellbeing. During 2015–17, the APPGAHW conducted an Inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care, with a view to making recommendations to improve policy and practice. Read more
The 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offenses Act: half a century of progress for LGBTQ+ rights?
Many LGBTQ+ communities celebrate the 1967 Sexual Offences Act: the first time since the 16th century in England and Wales that sex between men was partially decriminalised. The word “partially” is crucial: British homosexuals and bisexuals had to wait years for many other basic rights and protections, and some are still pending. Despite the very restrictive circumstances of the law, it represented a landmark milestone in a
long - and ongoing - fight for LGBT+ equality in the UK
Did 1967 mark the start of an era of progress for LGBTQ+ rights in general? Activist Peter Tatchell does not think so. In this video, he states the act 'was followed by increased anti-gay repression'. Peter makes his point in this video.
An analysis of the messages peddled by the media led an academic to conclude that homophobia is sadly still prevalent. Read the article
As the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offenses Act leads us to consider- or reconsider - the recent history of LGBTQ+ rights, let's not forget that a burgeoning gay rights movement in Europe in the early decades of the 20th century was crushed by rising authoritarianism.
With new forms of authoritarianism entrenched and seeking to expand in Europe and beyond, it’s worth thinking about the fate of Europe’s LGBTQ community in the 1930s and 1940s - read this
Women’s voices on reproductive health experiences
Public Health England (PHE) is inviting all women in England over the age of 16 to complete a short survey about reproductive health. It will take about 10 minutes to finish and the information provided is completely anonymous and confidential.
PHE will use this information to develop a plan to improve reproductive healthcare.
The survey is here.
Two Experts by experience consultants / advisors needed in Sheffield
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
- Location: Sheffield
- Job type: part time (15 hrs pw) fixed term (to 31 March 2018)
- Salary: £22,128-£28,746 pa/pro rata dependent experience
- Closing Date: Wednesday 9th August 2017
- Interview Date: Friday 8th September 2017
The Trust is seeking people with lived experience, either as a user, or as a relative/carer of a service user, of local psychological services (i.e. within SHSC Psychological Services, STH psychological services, or Sheffield
Children’s Hospital psychological services) to work in these newly developed posts.
The post-holders will work alongside staff of SHSC Psychological Services, and staff and trainees of the University of Sheffield Doctorate of Clinical Psychology training course, with the goal of contributing to service improvements in both settings through further development & embedding of co-production processes.
For more information about the jobs, contact details and how to apply, please visit this page.
A new person centered approaches framework for health and social care workforce
The new Framework from Skills for Health, HEE and Skills for Care, has been developed to promote person-centred approaches for the health and social care workforce. The new framework encourages shared decision making, outlining all reasonable options and ensuring that all information is personalised, accessible and useful
You can find out more and download the framework
In the news
This week, there has been talk on Twitter about plans being made to launch 'Mad in the UK', a sister website to 'Mad in America'. The venture was described as peer led. Let's watch this space.
Mental Elf: read the latest postings on Mental Elf
here, including Mark Brown's latest piece on the digital future and mental health.
Six new cases
in which disabled people have been the victims of brutal and degrading assaults have cast fresh doubt on the criminal justice system’s ability to recognise, punish and prevent disability hate crime.
Paul Burstow – social policy expert and former minister of state for social care - has been appointed as chair of the national improvement agency and independent charity, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), read more here.
A government adviser
has criticised the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and parts of the disability movement for failing to do enough to highlight “disabled achievers”.
Welfare system 'made even worse' - since 2010, the UK government was supposed to help people into work and simplify the system but they've made it even worse says Daily Record.
State of care of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017
The state of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017 presents findings from our programme of comprehensive inspections of specialist mental health services. Read th full report here.
National LGBT survey
The Government Equalities Office has launched a survey to understand the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people living in the UK. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 October 2017. Find out more here.
Life Chance Fund
The Life Chances Fund is open for Expressions of interest (EOIs) from those seeking to develop Social Impact Bonds. We are particularly interested in proposals which seek to improve outcomes for people with long-term health conditions, and/or mental health conditions, for example through social prescribing models. Expressions of Interest must be submitted by noon 15th September 2017. You can read the guidance and find out how to apply here.
New evidence on social prescribing
A review of the evidence assessing impact of social prescribing to healthcare demand and cost implications. This piece of work was aimed to critically appraise the data that we could find on demand reduction or economic analysis to really determine where the social prescribing field is at. Please do distribute this widely to your contacts, you can also find the link on our website under resources for the Social Prescribing Network. Read more here.
Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services
Ensuring everyone can access services on an equal footing is a key priority for the NHS. One of the seven core requirements for implementing improved access, as set out in the NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2017-19, is to address issues of inequalities in patients’ experience of accessing general practice, identified by local evidence, and put actions in place to resolve this. To support commissioners and providers of general practice services to address this, NHS England has produced a practical resource –
Improving Access for All: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services - which aims to promote understanding of groups in the community who are experiencing barriers in accessing services and help to address those barriers as improvements in access to general practice services are implemented.