NSUN Bulletin Monday 08 April 2019

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Table of Contents


Selected blogs and articles

The Dragon Cafe: Lore of the Land with Horniman Studio Collective

Red Earth Collective presents Revealed and StereoHype

Rain Dance: Break The Silence

Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “The Value of Unity”

User-led Women's Mental Health Network - turn up the volume!

More than 4,000 women with mental health problems to benefit from peer support

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week

Research: Are you interested in physical health in mental health?

Healthwatch survey on the NHS Long Term Plan: What would you do?

Co-produced community general advocacy course

Refocus On Recovery 2019: international conference

In the news

Dates for your calendar

GOV.UK news

Welcome to the Monday 08 April 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin.

This week's edition features lots of creative news from events, theatre productions, concerts, art projects and some great collaborations.

There's also a focus on women's mental health initiatives with the development of the user-led Women's Mental Health Network, announcements from Mind, Agenda, NHS England and UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week coming up at the end of the month. 

If you don't receive this bulletin directly from us but would like to, you can become a member and sign up for it here.

Remember to  email us any news or information that you would like to share.  Previous bulletins can be viewed here.

Donations to NSUN are gratefully received for this free service.

You can donate directly here.

We have a variety of ways you can support NSUN, including a few that will not cost you an extra penny, such as:

Shopping with the Giving Machine

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The Big Give

NSUN News  

Reigniting the Space

The Reigniting the Space project is led by a group of BME user/survivors, including some of the original steering group members of Catch-a-Fiya, in collaboration with NSUN. The aim is to recreate a national platform for a collective political voice. 

Since the project started in early 2018, a steering group has been set up and regional researchers for the East Midlands and London have been recruited. The researchers will start mapping the current work mental health service users and survivors from racialised groups are involved in around the country.

While welfare cuts and the changes to the benefits system have affected mental health service users across the board, people from racialised groups have been doubly hit by its effects. We hope that this project will reignite the space for collective action, advocacy and influence.


NSUN reflects on the Mental Health Act Review at "After the MHA Review" event

This “After the MHA Review” event was organised by the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit to discuss the research programme which accompanied the Mental Health Act Review.

Researchers from the Policy Research Unit and a number of external speakers, including Dorothy Gould, NSUN's MHA policy lead, reflected on the Mental Health Act review and future research needs. Speakers and delegates also discussed the programme of research conducted by the Policy Research Unit to support the MHA Review.

You can listen to the podcasts, watch the presentations on the live video streaming link and download the slide presentations here.


Co-production guidance and tips

The Win-Win Alliance (Shaping Our Lives, Disability Rights UK, Change and NSUN) have produced some guidance outlining the simple, practical things you can do to provide inclusive and accessible involvement activities. You can read and download the Co-production guidance and tips papers here.


The Value of User Led Groups - 2019 campaign UPDATE

Thank you to all of you who have completed our survey We are now in the process of collating responses and will publish our findings at the end of this month.

 Following yet more announcements of impending closures we were encouraged to learn of a new major project that aims to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations in public services. 

‘ Collaborative work between NCVOACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, will explore how voluntary organisations of different sizes can work better together in bidding for and delivering public services. 

The move follows concern that smaller organisations are being squeezed out of public service delivery, in part by the practices of larger organisations as well as by commissioning and procurement processes. 

There are also concerns that, as a result, smaller organisations are struggling to survive with many facing closure. The project will explore the extent to which this is the case and any drivers behind it by listening to large and small voluntary organisations. 

 The project, known as ‘Rebalancing the Relationship’, will ‘look under the bonnet’ of current bidding and commissioning practices. A call for evidence to be launched in coming weeks will seek views from the sector. This evidence, combined with further desk-based and qualitative research, will form the basis of a research report expected in the autumn.'

 Visit our website for further updates on the campaign.


A short video and the Soap Boxes from our Members' Event in October 2018 is now available. You can also browse our Annual Report 2017-2018 here.

You can view the Principles of Peer Support Charter here.

Selected blogs and articles 

 Hypomanic in Prague, September 1991

 ''As time passes, the events in Prague become distant memories. But, during the cold winter months, my right shoulder seizes up and the dull aching pain reminds me of the imprint left by a wooden truncheon wielded by a Czech policeman.''

 A blog about the importance of being able to challenge what others 'officially' write about you.

 Public Participation in Health and Social Care: Exploring the Co-production of Knowledge

 "My background has particularly encouraged me to adopt an historical perspective and highlighted its benefits in trying to understand participation. There seem to be few such discussions of public participation."

 Peter Beresford identifies four key 'historical' stages in the development of public participation in health and social care.

The Dragon Cafe: Lore of the Land with Horniman Studio Collective 

 Date: Monday 08 April 

Time: 12pm - 8pm

Venue: The Crypt of St George the Martyr Church,  Borough High Street, SE1 1JA

This Monday we have a very special day connecting with the Horniman Museum and Gardens' new exhibition space and engagement programme - The Studio.  The Horniman is working in collaboration with artists and local community partners, in response to its anthropology collections, to create thought-provoking artworks, exhibitions and event programmes.

The Collective is a group of community members involved in local creative support programmes (including our very own Lu Firth and Phil Baird), a commissioned artist and Horniman staff. 
The Collective have collaboratively curated the first Studio exhibition: The Lore of the Land as well as an accompanying events programme . 

Read the full programme of Studio Samples alongside a day of wellbeing activities and ta Folk Music Finale. 

Red Earth Collective presents Revealed and StereoHype 


Revealed - Acclaimed play challenging the ‘strong black man’ stereotype is back by popular demand for its second run after securing Arts Council funding to showcase two performances . 

Date:  Friday 19th April

Time: 2pm - 4.30pm & 7pm - 9.30pm

Venue: Midlands Art Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

Revealed, which debuted with a sell-out show in February 2018, is the first production from the new Menologues platform, founded by The Red Earth Collective, to highlight diverse stories of  the mental well being of  racialised and marginalised men  through the arts. The play is inspired by the worrying fact that black men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental health illness than white men.

 Written by Rites of Passage Productions co-founder Daniel Anderson, the production explores three black men from the same family: Malcolm, a restaurant owner, his son Luther and Malcolm’s father Sidney, who are in the family restaurant  while a violent protest at yet another death in custody rages on the streets. What follows is a passionate unravelling of emotions, where three generations of anger are revealed.

Revealed plans to tour in theatres and community settings across the country to create a social movement where black men are encouraged to talk more openly when in emotional distress.

Media and Tour Contact

If you would like to interview Sandra Griffiths, Daniel Anderson, Jay Crutchley or any of the cast and contributors, contact Sandra Griffiths. 

E: redearth52@gmail.com  Mb: 07745 392 318 Follow #RevealedthePlay 


StereoHype - A one-day festival celebrating mental health and well-being of African and Caribbean Communities. Challenging stigma, inspiring change!

Date:  Saturday 27th April

Time: 12pm - 9pm

Venue: Midlands Art Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

SteroeHype free day time event includes live performances, well-being workshops, African and Caribbean craft market and food and information stalls.

 The evening event from 5.30pm includes:

  • Black Men on the Couch - with Vanley Burke, Godfather of Black British Photography and Award-winning Rapper, Trade Mark Blud in conversation with therapist Rotimi Akinsete explore the dynamic and creative relationship that exist between mental health and the arts.

  • NHS and Me Performance- Renaissance One presents a brand new-show written by internationally renowned Jamaican poet Jean BintaBreeze, featuring music, and spoken-word performances to celebrate 70 years of the NHS and the everyday and hidden stories of its Caribbean staff.

Tickets £10 Concessions £7 here.

Download the flyer here.

Rain Dance: Break The Silence 

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The Sapphire Community Group seeks to help young people (13-30 year olds) find out what they are meant to do in life. They aim to do this through mentoring, coaching, publishing literature, film and media, through multiple events technological development and hosting workshops.

Sapphire is holding its first mental health concert at Chelsea Academy. The event is free. There will be free food, drinks, music, poetry, film, fashion and drama. The showcase is all about breaking mental health stigma and bringing community together. 


Date: Saturday 13 April

Time: 6pm - 10pm

Venue: Chelsea Academy, Lots Road , London , SW10 0AB 

A night of poetry, music, fashion, film, drama, speakers and dance. A night not to be missed.

 CEO Jasmine Cannon--Ikurusi says:

'This is a night like no other. A night where we use the beauty of art to heal wounds. A night where we go deeper and remove every mask that has held us bound from being free. They say that showing emotion is a state of weakness, but I know that there is power in being vulnerable. For years, we have lost our young! Today in the 20th century, we are losing many to the hands of mental health issues. We can no longer sit back and do nothing. It is time we speak up. It is time we heal from our pains. It is time we let go of all the pain. It is time we put to bed every shackle that has held us bound.

This event, is aimed at pushing through the obstacles and dancing in the rain. This event is aimed at not giving a care if anyone is looking at you or calling you weird. The time to be who you are is now. Even in the midst of the storms, we will rise. We will keep fighting. We will keep living. We will keep pushing. We will not be silent. We will speak. We will breakthrough! No more losing the war the mental health issues. This is rain dance.'

 Book tickets here.

Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “The Value of Unity”  

Call for art work

Becky Inkster and Vanessa from Soul Relics Museum are jointly curating the art exhibition for the digital mental health conference, Value of Unity, in the summer, which will feature the work of Dolly Sen.

They are currently seeking proposals for art work to be added to the digital collection for the Digital Mental Health Conference 2019. “Unity” is the theme of this summer’s conference, as observed from different stakeholders’ perspectives.

 The theme of the art work will address any of the questions:

  • Digital Psychiatry

  • Ethics, Policy and the Public Sphere

  • Methodologies & Statistics

  • Social Media

  • Global Digital Mental Health, Society and Culture

  • Neuroscience & Biotechnology

  • Financial Health & Technology

Other topics welcomed are themed around isolation, connectedness, intergenerational initiatives etc

Their aims are to acknowledge, understand, and celebrate different perspectives in the field of digital culture of mental health, and to provide a platform for people to showcase their work to an audience from different disciplines. They are keen to embrace any art form that can be exhibited including but not limited to, written word, fine art, digital, music, medical humanities, narrative medicine, installations

Contributors will be invited to the conference social event in the evening. 

Contributions will be featured on the digital mental health conference website and up to 20 artists work will be selected to be exhibited on the actual conference in London in August, 2019.


A proposal or expression of interest of up to 250 words (with photos) of your work, as well as a brief biography and why you think the work fits with the theme of the conference should be sent to art@beckyinkster.com by 11:55pm on 30 April, 2019.

The conference is taking place 13 - 14 August in London.

User-led Women's Mental Health Network - turn up the volume! 

The Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN) is the latest project from Wish, a women’s user-led mental health charity.

A partnership of voluntary organisations working across sectors, the WMHN aims to provide a user-led, campaigning platform to give women with mental health needs a voice, and drive forward change.

The network’s focus is to improve women’s experience of using statutory services in a range of settings, such as hospitals, prisons, drugs and alcohol, housing, social services, by influencing them to become more gender-specific.

We are currently consulting with women who have experience of the mental health and/or criminal justice system, to find out what changes in service provision they would like to see.

Please complete the survey to help shape the network.

If you would like this questionnaire to be sent to you in a different format or language please email womensmhnetwork@gmail.com.


Mind Logo.gif

More than 4,000 women with mental health problems to benefit from peer support

'Women across England and Wales will get vital mental health support as part of a major new programme launched by mental health charity Mind and Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk.'

Led by Mind and Agenda, the £1.8m initiative, which is called Women Side by Side, has set up five new hubs (four in England and one in Wales). The hubs, run by women’s organisations, are using their specialist expertise and links to community organisations to make sure all services understand and respond to women’s specific needs, including their experiences of trauma and abuse. It is hoped that women will be able to find community-based peer support set up through around 70 projects.

Read the press release here.

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 29th April until 5th May 2019.

What is it? A week long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness while pregnant or after having a baby. The Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP) are dedicated to signposting to support for all mums and advocating for mums affected by Maternal Mental Health, to access the information and help they require to enable recovery.

 Who is it organised by? In 2014, a small group of 10 individuals including women with lived experience , from charities and health care professionals , came together with the dream of creating an awareness campaign for maternal mental health. They formed and created the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP) and in 2017, falling within the week that World Maternal Mental Health Day ran, they launched the first ever UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week . The second week ran last year, with the theme ‘Support For All’.

This year's theme for the third annual UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week , 29th April until 5th May 2019 , is Mums Matter.

Throughout the week, they will be using  the hashtag #maternalmhmatters on social media.

 You can find out more on the PMHP Facebook page.

Research: Are you interested in physical health in mental health?  

CARDIOPHITNESS: Cardiometabolic health and Pharmacists in Severe Mental Illness study 

 An opportunity has arisen to share experiences of physical healthcare (and pharmacy) through Aston University and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

  • Do you have a severe mental illness (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder or any other form of non-organic psychosis) or are you a carer or care professional providing care for someone with a severe mental illness?

  • Would you like to share your views and opinions on physical activity, smoking, nutrition, heart disease, diabetes, obesity/overweight and what pharmacy  and pharmacists can do to help?

If so, please contact Dolly Sud at sudd@aston.ac.uk for more information.

Healthwatch survey on the NHS Long Term Plan: What would you do? 

Healthwatch wants to know what you think the NHS can do to help you and your community stay well. 

Healthwatch is running a national survey to ask people’s views on how local NHS services could be improved through the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Government is investing £billions a year in the NHS as part of the Long Term Plan. Local services have been asked to work together to develop their own plans, which will set out how the national plan will work across local areas.

You can access the surveys here. Alternative formats available here.

Co-produced community general advocacy course 

This course will only go ahead if enough learners book to attend.

The organisers are hoping to get enough expressions of interest to run this course again, following the success of a first installment, which was co-produced with the help of NSUN and others.

Potential date: June 2019

Location: Richmond, London

The course aims to support learners to understand, what independent advocacy is, how to use the principles which underpin good practice in advocacy and the different models of advocacy.

To express interest, please email: info@advocacytraining.org.ukwmicklewright@yahoo.co.uk

Or call 0330 440 9000 ext 210

Refocus On Recovery 2019: international conference 

Refocus .jpg

Date: 3-5 September 2019

Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU

This is the fifth Recovery Research conference. This year's event will be addressing:

  • Mental health and human rights

  • Supporting recovery through services

  • Supporting recovery through communities

  • Recovery and power

Alison Faulkner and David Crepaz-Keay will be keynote speakers. You can see the full list of speakers here.

ImROC Dinner (evening of 2 September 2019) - Meet colleagues and global thought leaders over an enjoyable dinner. (Venue: to be confirmed)

Expert Workshops (0900-1200 on 3 September 2019) - Spend the morning before the international conference learning skills from international leaders. (Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre). Click here to register for an expert workshop.

Refocus on Recovery 2019 (1300 on 3 September until 1300 on 5 September 2019) - Join our 5th international recovery research conference. (Venue: Nottingham Conference Centre). Click here to register for the conference or to apply for a bursary place please complete the registration form which can be found here and email to refocusonrecovery2019@nottingham.ac.uk.

Register here.

Follow on Twitter #RonR19 @institutemh

In the news 


The Guardian

Six in 10 Britons say Brexit uncertainty bad for mental healthPoll finds large majority bored with hearing about Brexit and unimpressed by politicians

Social media firms to be penalised for not removing child abuse

Senior executives could be held liable for not taking down harmful content from platform

 BBC News

 A charity in charge of a mental health home in London where a teenager was found hanged is being investigated. Read more here.

Family of suicide father felt 'abandoned' by NHS before tragedy. A woman has told the Scottish Parliament she felt "turned away and abandoned" after being refused help eight times in the week before her partner took his own life.

Disability News Service

User-led advice centre set to close its doors after NHS funding blow. Possability People has been running the advice centre for 30 years, but it was told by Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that it was going to stop all its annual funding from this month. Read the full article here.

Campaigner pledges to devote his last months to saving independent living. John Evans, one of the country’s best-known and most-respected disabled campaigners has pledged to devote the last months of his life to trying to save the independent living movement.

Dates for your calendar 

29 April in London: one day course on the impact of welfare reforms - For more information and to book a place please call 020 7354 6433 or email training@centralcare.co.uk

03 May in York: 'A Disorder for Everyone!' - book your place please click here

12 May internationally: Emerging Proud Day - Click here for more information

13-19 May Mental Health Awareness Week Download the resources pack and add your own event to the activity map, please click here.

03 June in London Creative Strategies for Peer support Engagement interactive workshop. Click here for more information.

08 June in Manchester: Extreme experiences - mental illnesses or danger gifts? 

Please email catonneil1009@gmail.com with any questions.

This is an ISPS UK event in association with Asylum Magazine and CCrAMHP

17 June in London: I is for insult, questionning ''borderline personality disorder'' - for more information please click here

01 to 05 July in England: National Co-production Week - For more information please click here

14 to 16 July in Norfolk: Sacred Space Weekend Retreat for mental health professionals with lived experience - Limited spaces; Shared Room: £249, Single Room £299, Fully inclusive of all meals - Email Katie at: mendthegap@hotmail.com - Find out more about the outstanding retreat venue in the beautiful Norfolk Broads here.

GOV.UK news 

NHS England press release 04.04.19


New and expectant mothers across the country can now access specialist mental health care in the area where they live, NHS England announced today.

The landmark rollout of specialist perinatal community services across the whole of England, means that mums and mums-to-be who are experiencing anxiety, depression or other forms of mental ill health should be able to access high quality care much closer to home.

Five years ago two in five parts of the country had no access to specialist community perinatal mental health treatment, but there is now full geographical coverage for the first time, with services in every one of the 44 local NHS areas, and plans to develop them further.

The expansion comes alongside the opening of four new mother and baby units, which mean that the most seriously ill women can receive residential care without being separated from their babies in every region.

Claire Murdoch, NHS national mental health director said: “Mental ill health during pregnancy or that affects bonding with a new baby can be devastating, which is why the NHS has invested in better care for expectant and new mums, with at least 9,000 extra women getting treatment last year.

“As well as expanding access to world-leading talking therapy for anyone who needs it – the NHS Long Term Plan is further ramping up specialist perinatal care for every part of the country, offering tailored support to dads and partners and extending care to cover the first two years of a child’s life.”

Specialist community perinatal mental health teams can offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and care for women with complex or severe mental health problems during the perinatal period. They can also provide pre-conception advice for women with a current or past severe mental illness who are planning a pregnancy.

Teams can be made up of doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, nursery nurses and administrative staff, who all work together to provide a comprehensive service to mums, depending on what their individual needs are. They also work closely with partners across the health and care system, including in maternity, health visiting, and other mental health services.

The expansion to the community teams is a key plank of wider plans to transform perinatal services. By 2023/4 an additional 54,000 women each year with moderate and complex, to severe mental health difficulties should get the right care, at the right time and as close to home as possible.

The NHS Long Term Plan also sets out a raft of new measures to improve care for new and expectant mums and their families, including:

  • Making specialist community-based care available from pre-conception to two years after birth rather than one. Evidence suggests this is the most critical time in a child’s development and the period when infant separation anxiety can peak and may trigger a relapse of mental health difficulties, along with other changes in women and children’s lives.

  • If a new mum is suffering from mental ill health, the NHS will automatically offer comprehensive assessment to her partner if they are suffering from mental ill health too and sign-post them to professional support if needed.

  • Expanding access to evidence-based psychological therapies within specialist perinatal mental health services so that they also include parent-infant, couple, co-parenting and family interventions.

  • Increasing access to evidence-based psychological support and therapy, including digital options.

  • Maternity outreach clinics will join up maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts“We know from conversations on Mumsnet that the effects of mental ill-health in the perinatal period can ricochet; illness that goes untreated has impacts on mothers' self-confidence in their own parenting, sometimes for years afterwards, with a knock-on effect for children and the wider family. Our users have talked movingly about the difficulty of accessing support, so it's fantastic to see these specialist services being rolled out nationwide.”

Dr Trudi Seneviratne, chair of the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: "This is fantastic news for all new and expectant mums, and for their families. 1 in 5 new mothers will experience some form of mental health difficulty and if left untreated, perinatal mental health problems can be devastating.

“A previous lack of specialist services has not only meant that some women couldn’t access the treatment they needed, but it also lead to mothers and babies often being separated at a key time in their child’s development. Providing everyone with access to the right care in the right place has always been our hope, and it’s now finally being realised in England. Hopefully this will cause a tipping point for other nations too.

“We now need to focus on building the perinatal mental health workforce whose job it will be to deliver these vital services.”

Emily Slater, Campaign Director at the Maternal Mental Health Alliance
said: “The Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA) Everyone’s Business campaign welcomes the opening of specialist perinatal mental health services in the remaining areas of England, meaning women should now be able to access life-saving care in their local area. We look forward to working closely with NHS England to ensure these services are of the highest quality and sustainable across the whole country to meet the needs of women and families.”

As many as one in four women will experience mental ill health during pregnancy or in the two years after birth, covering a wide range of conditions and different degrees of severity. It is estimated that as many as one in five hundred women may experience postpartum psychosis, one of the most severe forms of mental ill health affecting women in the perinatal period.

NHS England has already funded four new Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in areas of the country which historically struggled to access specialist inpatient services close to home.

Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) support women who are experiencing the most severe forms of mental ill health to stay with their babies, helping them to bond at a critical time, while receiving around the clock care, treatment and support.

All four new MBUs are now offering care – three eight bedded units have opened in Kent, Lancashire and in East Anglia, with a further unit in Devon open.

NHS England plans to increase the national capacity further to more than 160 beds - providing specialist inpatient care and treatment to mums, without separation from their babies.