NSUN bulletin 9th May 2016


NSUN news

Victory for mental health service user campaign

Effective tireless campaigning by determined service users had Harrow Council caving in and coming back on its decision to cut funding for the Bridge mental health centre. Read more here

Member Blogs

Why PCC candidates can’t afford to neglect mental health in their strategiesLinda Bryant, Director of Criminal Justice Services at Together for Mental Wellbeing, examines how newly elected PCCs can tackle head on the issues of victimisation, offending, mental health and the lack of appropriate local care for people in distress

Peer Supported Open dialogue and West Midlands Listening Event: a comparative review - Emma Perry attended the Peer Supported Open Dialogue Conference as well as a listening event in the West Midlands. Both occasions provoked reflections on whether things are shifting (or not) in the mental health world. 

Annual Gathering 2016 - Birmingham 8 June

We are inviting all members to join the team for our annual gathering to take place in Birmingham on 8 June 2016. The theme this year is 'Thrive, Building for a better  future'. The event will also see the launch of the Shaping Our Lives report ‘From mental illness to a social model of madness and distress’. Booking essential. Please visit this page

Co-produced Innovation in Mental Health: call for social innovation examples and event 15 June

Social Care Strategic Network (SCSN) and the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) are looking for practical examples of where people using services have been involved in the co-production of innovative social approaches to mental health from across the country.

SCSN and NSUN Co-Produced Conference 'Co-produced Innovation in Mental Health' will be taking place 
Date: Wednesday 15 June 
Time: 9.30 to 4.30
Venue: Indian YMCA,  41 Fitzroy Square, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 6AQ

To book and find out more click here. Download the flyer here.

#NSUNthrive10 campaign

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. We want to continue to communicate weekly with over 5000 people. 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


Previously shared information available online

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.


Talk for Health receive funding to continue mental health programes in Islington

Talk for Health are delighted to have received further funding from Islington CCG to continue their work supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Islington residents.

Talk for Health have worked hard in Islington building a supportive and caring community all talking for a fit mind and will continue until at least March 2017.

Read more here


Walking Out of Darkness 2016

Join Jonny Benjamin walking to increase Mental Health Awareness, Suicide Prevention and End the Stigma

SATURDAY 14th MAY 2016
10am Battersea Park - LONDON

Over 6,200 people completed suicide in 2014 (approximately 17 per day in the UK) according to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Over 70% of those who completed suicide were not known to mental health services or NHS.

'Walking out of Darkness' with Norman Lamb MP, Jonny Benjamin and people from across the country offers you, an opportunity to end the stigma surrounding mental health and help to reduce the number of suicides across the UK.

Register here. Follow on Twitter.


Shared learning workshops in Greater Manchester

Wellbeing Our Way is a National Voices programme which brings together charities, community organisations and people with lived experience to enable people to manage their health in ways which matter to them. Wellbeing Our Way's POW WOWs are workshops which serve exactly that purpose - they are a great opportunity for shared learning among staff working with people with long term health needs, as well as people commissioning and developing services.

There are two POW WOWs coming up in Greater Manchester in June:

  • Supporting Self-Management: 16 June, 10am - 4pm, Friends House.Find out more.
  • Peer Support: 28 June, 10am - 4pm, St Thomas Centre. Find out more.

We would love to see any of you who are working in Manchester there - you can contact Natalie for more information.


'Up close and personal': how mental health services can work together to provide personalised support

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) is holding a national event in partnership with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NTDi) and Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC) on 19th May 2016 at Birmingham City Football Club to address the barriers to personalised services that still exist for people with mental ill-health.

Come and be part of the debate - and the solution.

You will:

  • Hear from national leads across the NHS and social care sector
  • Influence that national agenda
  • Find out from the team of stakeholders in Dorset (people with lived experience, CCG, local authority and NHS Trust) about how they are working together to deliver personalised support
  • Find out what's working well and not so well from colleagues across the country
  • Attend workshops tailored around the issues you raise
  • Help shape an ongoing peer learning programme for TLAP and partners.

The discussions will be used to inform and shape practical future sector-led support arrangements that TLAP hopes to deliver in the future.

Registration closes on 10 May.

For more details and to book online, please visit this page


Mind Apples 'Train The Trainer' sessions

Mindapples have developed a programme of training materials that improve people’s psychological literacy, wellbeing and resilience – and we want to share them with the world.

The team are now offering a 2-day training event to teach people how to deliver Mind Apples' wellbeing and resilience training themselves. The basic course covers all material on wellbeing, mood regulation, motivation and stress management, and comes with detailed trainer’s guides for each module and guidance on running successful Mindapples training sessions.

These trainings are run at regular intervals throughout the year, and can also be held at your organisation’s offices if you have six or more people to be trained together. Discounts are available for non-profit organisations.

For more details please visit this page


Recovery In The Bin reach fundraising goal for welfare rights training

Recovery In The Bin  (RITB) is a mental health social justice group. In response to the news about the government recruiting 180 new presenting officers, they have been fundraising to train 16 volunteers to support people with mental health difficulties before and up to ESA/ PIP tribunals.

Last week, Recovery In The Bin announced that they'd reached their fundraising target. Training is due to take place in June. As far as we know all 16 places are booked. Here is a reminder of the training's details we shared in previous ebulletins:

Welfare Rights training - ESA and PIP (form filling/collecting evidence/over view of tribunal process) 

Trainer: Tom Messere, author of the Big Benefits Book
Dates: 1st / 2nd June 2016
Venue: Rethink, 15th - 17th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London, SE1 7TP
Time: 10 am - 4.00 pm

FREE for 16 people (ex or current mental health service users preferably with experience of being a claimant).

All participants will receive a FREE copy of Tom's book.
There will be a strict no filming/photography request for both days.


Big book of benefits and mental health 2015 / 2016

The Big Book has updated user-friendly information, tips, tactics and sample forms to support anyone living with mental health problems and those who advise them, in the ever changing world of “welfare reforms”.

Written in an engaging, informal style with many illustrations and copious examples, this book aims to make complex information about benefits more accessible and digestible, while retaining the clarity and accuracy needed to ensure its usefulness.

Price: £23.00 / 400 pages.

For more details about this book and to order a copy, please read here

NB: if you are due to attend the training organised by Recovery in The Bin (see above) you will get a free copy of this book.


Lunch with Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker, an Internationally renowned Author & Medical Journalist from the US, is giving a talk in support of Chy-Sawel a mental health charity.

Le Mercury have kindly offered to prepare a three course lunch to raise funds for Chy-Sawel which was founded by a mother whose son was detained in a psychiatric hospital for many years. 

Event details: 13 May at Le Mercury, 154 Upper Street Islington London N1 1RA. Doors open at 10.00a.m./ 4.00p.m.  For lunch & talk no later than 12.15 for 12.30 lunch. Tickets cost £40.00 including a three-course lunch.

For more information and to book a place place contact Sandra Breakspeare, either by email or phone 01736 795748 /  07814489701

You can read more about the event here.


Podcast: the institutional corruption of modern psychiatry

Robert Whitaker, due to give a talk in London (see article above), shares his views in this podcast. One of the great critics of modern psychiatry, Robert Whitaker examines how the partnership between the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatry has corrupted psychiatry, done extraordinary injury to society,  and created a cultural outlook devoid of intellectual and spiritual depth.  Bob unravels the historical details of how this tragedy came about and concludes with a profound critique of its consequences.

You can listen to the podcast here


Mental Health Awareness week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 takes place from 16-22 May, with the theme of relationships. Join the Thunderclap here to help ensure maximum impact.
Find out more here.

Participate in focus groups on your workplace and mental health

Do you experience mental health problems at work? Or, do you manage someone who experiences mental health problems at work? Or, are you an HR lead working with people with mental health problems at work?

The Mental Health Foundation is  looking to understand how to better recognise, address and prevent mental health problems in work and through work. The organisation is interested to learn more about what support both people with mental health problems and employers need to keep people well in work.

You are invited to take part in a focus group with peers to share your experiences in this area. There will be separate focus groups for:

  • People who experience mental health problems in work
  • Line managers

Aside from the focus groups, the Foundation also offers the option to take part in a brief telephone interview. Focus groups will take place in central London (London Bridge) in the last two weeks of May, and will last up to one hour. You will be reimbursed for your time with £5 and your travel expenses will be covered.

If this sounds like you and you are interested in being involved, please call or email Lauren Chakkalackal, Senior Research Officer at the Mental Health Foundation,  (phone: 020 7803 1187) with your contact details including your name, telephone number and an ideal time for the team to call you back.


MacMillan's 3rd engagement event for mental health and cancer taskforce

Have you had cancer and found that the experience impacted on your emotional and mental health? Or perhaps you had pre-existing mental health problems and then developed cancer as well? Have you cared for or supported someone who experienced both cancer and mental health problems?

MacMillan are holding a co-design and partnership event for people affected by both cancer and mental health problems to come together with Macmillan staff and healthcare professionals to better define the problems faced by people with this dual lived experience and to co-design solutions to these problems.

The event will be structured and interactive, but led by the views and input of those attending. Lunch and refreshments will be provided free. The venue is fully accessible.

Where: 3mins walk from Euston Station, London, NW1

When: Wednesday 20th July, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Maximum number of places: 30 people

For more details and how to get in touch to take part, please visit here


Women use make up sessions in their recovery from domestic violence

‘Cosmetics are often seen as superficial.’ says make-up artist Lee Pycroft, whose team provides tutorials to women who have experienced domestic violence. ‘But there’s a therapeutic side to it, too. Many of the women I work with haven’t worn make-up for a long time, and you suddenly see a huge shift taking place in front of you when they’re given the opportunity to express their identity.’ 

Read more and watch the project's video on this page


NSUN members get discount offers on several events

Mental Health in the Young - 21 June, Salford. Please visit here for information concerning the event and your discount code. Organisers originally asked for people to confirm by 22 April but it may be worth checking with them again this week, in case there are some discounted places left.

Healthcare UK (HCUK) events and masterclasses taking place between April and July - please visit here for details concerning many events and a discount code


Guide to service user involvement and co-production

This guide is designed to give you the practical tools you need to develop an involvement programme and approach which places your service users at the heart of your organisation. It provides a structured and accessible introduction to involving people with lived experience of criminal justice in your work, including examples of good practice, checklists, top tips and signposting to further information and support.

Sections include:

  • About service user involvement - what it is, why and how to do it
  • Getting started - developing a strategy, identifying what you will need, and troubleshooting common problems
  • Project planning and delivery - ensuring your involvement project is as effective as possible
  • Recruitment, reward and support - how to motivate, recruit, train, support and acknowledge your service users
  • Resources - where to look and who to speak to for more information and advice

For more details and to download the guide, please visit here


Bidding opens for safe places for people in mental health crisis

Government opens bidding to fund health based places of safety to stop those in mental health crisis being held in police cells.

Public Health England's strategic plan

The strategic plan outlines how Public Health England will protect and improve public health, and reduce health inequalities, over the next 4 years. Some main areas of work are reducing childhood obesity, new approaches to dementia awareness, and multiple projects about alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Read the plan.

Mental health champion for UK schools axed after criticising government

Department for Education denies axing of role is connected to Natasha Devon’s criticism of policies such as increased testing. 

BMA agrees to re-enter talks with Government over junior doctors contract

Junior doctors have staged a series of strikes in protest at attempts by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to introduce a new contract partly designed to increase staffing at weekends. Read more here

Support for junior doctor strikes

public support has largely increased as the strikes have happened, says this article published on the blog Opinium