NSUN response to Mental Health Act survey report
The Mental Health Alliance
published a report of the findings
from the Mental Health Act. As a member of the Mental Health Alliance, NSUN welcomed the possibility of research that was designed to gather views on the principles of the Mental Health Act from those who use mental health services, are a family member, or carer or a mental health professional.
This is particularly important following Theresa May’s announcement of her intention to reform the Mental Health Act. Whilst NSUN supported the need for a Mental Health Act survey we are unable to endorse the Mental Health Alliance report for a range of reasons. Read more
Save the date - NSUN AGM to take place this September
This year, the AGM will take place in Sheffield on 27 September.
Put this date in your calendars! We're looking forwards to seeing you there.
NSUN website to undergo transformation
Our website is about to be re-designed. We'd like to have your thoughts on which contents you'd like us to preserve.
Can you contact us
with your favourite website 'must have's' , quoting 'new website' as your email subject? Thank you very much in advance, your help is appreciated.
Freedom to choose? A discussion - This blog comes from Recovery in the Bin, whose moderatos have summarised the outcomes of an exchange between members on the Facebook page. The blog post
is divided into three parts for clarity 1) Choices and decisions, 2) Assisted suicide and 3) Recovery and Unrecovery
Schizophrenia deconstructed - Sara Yelich-Koth remembers
the difficult reactions she got when she took to the streets with a t shirt stating she's beaten schizophrenia
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.
The Queen's Speech 2017
My Government will reform mental health legislation and ensure that mental health is prioritised in the National Health Service in England.'
Last week the Queen’s Speech set out the government’s agenda for the coming session. This included the statement above which appears to commit to working
‘towards a new Mental Health Act’, with a review of the current legislation and the implementation of the Act on the ground, rather than the rumoured Mental Health Treatment Bill.
We see this as an opportunity to strongly advocate for a rights-based Mental Health Act and investment above and beyond NHS provided services. The voluntary sector and local authorities need to be sufficiently resourced to support people and respond to a whole range of issues that negatively impact on the wellbeing of communities.
Help produce guidance for talking therapy professionals - we need your input
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.
NSUN Member's Campaign
Manchester Users Network (MUN) have been collecting evidence on the affect the 'Shifting Care' (or better know as 'Stepping Down') policy is having on people across Manchester. This is when people are 'stepped down' from secondary care back to primary care without clear criteria or consultation. MUN are asking local MPS to raise the issues in parliament and commissioners to review this policy based on the evidence they have
gathered so far. People are being left without essential support and are at increased risk of re-admission to in-patient settings. MUN is campaigning for an appeals process to be instated to allow people to challenge potentially harmful decisions.
NSUN has written a letter of support that you can read here.
Please let us know if it is helpful or if you would like a similar letter to use in your area.
If you have similar experiences to share please get in touch with us.
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.
Technical difficulties - ebulletin
Many NSUN members have told us that they are not getting their ebulletin anymore. The bulletin is produced on a platform which manages the recipient list. Recently we've observed that some of your email addresses show as 'bounced'.
This would be caused by your mailboxes having been at some point too full, thus rejecting mail. Over 200 'bounced' email addresses were found this morning. We restored them as active. On Monday over 200 of you will receive a bulletin they have not been getting for a while.
If this goes against your
wishes, we apologise. Thank you for your understanding
Please get in touch to tell us whether the changes we made help you or whether you'd rather not receive the bulletin
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.
Harrow based 'The Bridge' gets contract renewed
The contract to run the Bridge recovery centre has been awarded to Rethink Charity for three years. The steering group have been working on a specification which aims at making the Bridge self funding after the 3 year contract ends. The spec was co-designed last year along with Harrow Council. Members of the steering group were able to scrutinise every word and sentence and really pushed for the language to be accessible.
Many steering group members have spent over 20 years voicing their needs to local trusts at regular meetings.
Meena, a MAD alliance member and major contributor to the steering group says: ' It was a pretty big achievement for all the service users in the steering group who run their own support groups at the bridge (music,coffee groups, choir and social activities)
'As a business woman I have experience in the rental market and co own a community hall. Therefore will be monitoring rental agreements, ensuring long term income...This is an exciting time for Mental Health and we hope to change the face of recovery and wellbeing. We still have very long way to go , but it's a journey'
If you can come to the Bridge
- Cafe is now open MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9:30AM TILL 2.30PM
- Meena's coffee morning /drop in
is on TUESDAY 11.00am till 12.00pm
For an address and a map...please take a look at this page.
This week is National co-production week
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) are running the National Co-Production Week between 3 and 7 July.
will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services.
Come see us at the National Co-production Festival
NSUN will be at the Second Annual Co-production Festival on 5 July in London
featuring the well-known comedian Francesca Martinez. The festival is for members of SCIE's Co-production Network but there are a very limited number of places for guests (contact SCIE if you are interested)
For more about co-production week, please visit the dedicated page
Vote a mental health project for an award
Mental health issues among gay men and women are higher than in the heterosexual population. Research shows they are more likely to suffer from depression and statistically more likely to attempt suicide.
Shame Chorus places issues like these out in the open through a collaboration between world‐renowned psychoanalyst Susie Orbach and the London Gay Men's Chorus.
Orbach interviewed some members about their experiences of 'shame and being shamed' in their childhood and these accounts were turned into musical
compositions by national and international composers from different musical genres including Billy Bragg, Verity Susan, Jack White and David McAlmont amongst others. The mainly anonymous interviews were given to composers to turn into original songs which were then sung by members of the London Gay Men's Chorus.
To read more about the project, and vote for it, please visit this page
Trauma Informed Approaches
You are warmly invited to this public talk and discussion by the internationally renowned Beth Filson, National Center for Trauma-Informed Care & Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint, University of Iowa
Download the flyer here.
Date: Tuesday 11th July 2017
Venue: 32-36 Loman St, SE1 0EH
About the event: McPin are delighted to welcome the internationally renowned Beth Filson to speak on the topic of Trauma Informed Approaches in mental health. Trauma Informed Approaches shift underlying assumptions about what brings people into services, and what they need as a result. Many of the behaviours considered to be symptoms of illness are now understood in the context of survival. Services and supports spring from a new question, “What happened to you?” and not, “What is wrong with you?” This paradigm shift is providing new insights into what service systems, organizations, and care relationships can do to aid the healing process. TIA is nothing less than revolutionary.
and discussion will explore the progress being made in the U.S. and the UK to integrate Trauma Informed Approaches in mental health services. We will explore the role of peer supporters in a Trauma-Informed service system, along with how individual clinicians might apply the principles of TIA in their day-to-day work.
About Beth Filson: Beth is a phenomenal writer, educator, and self-taught artist. She has been involved with the development of internationally renowned curriculum in Intentional Peer Support, and peer support alternatives to the psychiatric system. Her experience with multiple hospitalizations early on informs her work integrating trauma understanding, and trauma-informed approaches in relationships and practices. Originally from Georgia, she now lives in Western Massachusetts.
If you would like to come please RSVP by emailing Megan Dalton at email@example.com or phone 0207 922 7874. Unfortunately, McPin are unable to cover any travel expenses for this event.
UN confirms that UK policies do violate Human Rights Treaty
The United Nations (UN) committee that found the UK government guilty of violating the UN disability convention has revealed
for the first time that its breaches of the UNCRPD human rights treaty were both “grave” and “systematic”.
The UN would never have got involved without Linda Burnip (pictured) and her organisation DPAC raising the alarm and campaigning tirelessly.
This week, NSUN will be attending a related meeting with disability organisations. We will keep you informed.
Petition: disabled people demand safety guards on trains
Paula Peters of the Mental Health Resistnce Network has launched this petition which needs your support.
The petiton states ' We should not be required to notify anyone in advance of our intention to travel. And that can only be ensured by the presence of a Safety Critical Guard on every train. '
You can sign the petition
9th World Hearing Voices Congress - registration now open
Can you travel to Boston to attend on 16-18 August? You can send a request for a discount or scholarship.
Please visit this page, which contains a list of keynote speakers and links for enquiries and registration
The Joint Committee on Human Rights Mental Health and Deaths in Prison: Interim Report
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is made up of representatives from the House of Lords and House of Commons and considers matters relating to human rights. Their inquiry into mental health and deaths in prison was cut short because an election was called. They have, however, published an interim report about the work that they’ve done so far.
The report can be found
The Law Commission report on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty
The Law Commission recommends replacing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards with the Liberty Protection Safeguards. You can read the report
The suggested LPS process appears to be a streamlined version of DoLS. The responsible body (local authority, Clinical Commissioning Group or hospital) will seek to authorise deprivations of liberty by assessing whether the person lacks capacity to consent, is of “unsound mind” and whether the arrangements are necessary and proportionate. They must also appoint an advocate and consult with certain persons. If the responsible body is satisfied that the criteria are met the matter is referred to an internal review, or, if one of two criteria are met, an Approved Mental Capacity Professional (a new role). Those criteria are: (a) if the person is
objecting to the arrangements; or (b) if the arrangements are primarily due to a need to protect others.
Readers may be interested in a recent article for the Legal Action Group on the need for reform of the Mental Health Act
In the news
Fears over Grenfell Tower's victims' mental health
- A community leader has told Sky News some victims of the Grenfell fire are "locking themselves in hotel rooms", amid concerns over the level of mental health support being offered.
Central and North West London NHS Trust offer support to people affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy: ' Those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington, either directly or indirectly, and in need of mental health support or psychological therapy can call our Single Point of Access, where people can get access to mental health support services as well as information and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days per year. '
Bed closures force Oxfordshire mental health patients to travel as far as Scotland for treatment - As many as 478 residents with mental health problems have been sent out of the county in the past three years
Teachers from one Croydon's Oasis Academy Shirley Park among the first to receive special training to deal with pupils' mental health
- Staff have begun to receive the training as part of the Prime Minister's drive to tackle the "burning injustices" in society
In East Anglia, an NHS Trust suffered almost 18,000 days of staff absence within the last 12 months due to stress, anxiety and depression, a report has revealed - the Trut has redeveloped its relevant policies and appointed more than 90 Wellbeing Champions
Government fails to track mental health in UK prisons
amid soaring suicide and self-harm rates, report finds - The Government does not know how many people in prisons have a mental health illness, a report has warned, prompting calls for “urgent” action amid soaring suicide rates and self-harm incidents among inmates.
Secondary school staff get mental health 'first aid' training
The Department of Health has announced
'£200,000 funding to help teachers understand and identify mental health issues in children'
Jeremy Hunt publishes message to NHS staff
The Secretary of State for Health says his mission is to support NHS staff in delivering the safest and highest quality care in the world. The full message is here
A new type of mental health?
is a multi-media platform that says it 'completely re-brands mental health... in a way that’s never been done before'.
Headcase was launched three months ago and has a 'magazine lifestyle approach'.
Take a look and let us know what you think? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Headcase.
Research on mental health and citizenship
Abbie Barnes is a geography student at the university of Cambridge who is conducting dissertation research on mental health and citizenship. The title of the research is
‘Included by excluded: Exploring how far mental ill health acts as a barrier to citizenship in Britain today’.
She is looking to interview people working within the mental health sector: whether that is with charities, the NHS or private mental health care, schools, media, campaigning or governance. She is also looking at analysing mental health blogs, so would be interested to hear from anyone writing a blog about mental health.
Please see her website for more details.