NSUN Bulletin - Monday 18th January

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NSUN news

Influence change in the use of restraint in mental health services

NSUN and Mind have produced a resource  for people who want to change the practice of restraint in mental health services and end the use of force, particularly on adult mental health wards. Please read on for more information and a link to download the guides.

Major new study reveals state of mental health crisis in England

The Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published a major new study, surveying over 5,000 adults in England. Whilst covering a wide range of issues, including hearing problems and obesity, the study includes a full chapter on the prevalence of mental illness in the population, reflecting on lifetime experience, as well as on current conditions and treatment. Read the full article here.

Member Blogs

Guest blogger Paul Wilson wonders whether the so-called 'mentally ill' could be the next step in evolution, Homo Empathicus. Read his blog here. If you would like to share your experiences, ideas, news or views, please send a request to info@nsun.org.uk.

Previously shared information available online

Please visit our website to find jobs and events we shared in previous e-bulletins.


Seminar: the role of learning in mental health involvement initiatives

The possibilities and challenges of creating a stronger political voice.

Dr. Emma Perry, NSUN Research Coordinator and Honorary Research Fellow, Wolverhampton University, is to present on the role of adult learning within mental health service user involvement initiatives.

It is vital that people with lived experience are able to form independent networks not only for personal wellbeing and support, but also in order to campaign for political change. The presentation will focus on a discussion of the work of NSUN, highlighting the benefits and successes of learning through user involvement initiatives as well as exploring the ongoing challenges of this work.

Thursday, 28 January 2016, 5-6.30pm with drinks from 4.30 pm - WN (Samuel Johnson) Building 213, Walsall Campus, Wolverhampton University.

For more information and booking please visit here


Survivors History Group to hold first 2016 meeting

Members of the Survivors History Group wish all a Happy New Year and extend an invitation to their next meeting:

All are welcome to join in this informative gathering.
Date: Wednesday 27 January
Time: 1pm - 4.30pm
Venue: Together's head office, 12 Old Street, London EC1V 9BE

For more information beforehand, please email Andrew Roberts.


New initiative to provide support and improve mental and sexual health of BAME women in the UK

1000women is an initiative to provide support and to help improve the mental and sexual health of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in the UK. The aim is to become a platform through which women affected by mental health, women living with HIV, Lesbian and Bi-sexual women can safely share their stories and receive support through each other.


Introducing Pride In Mind

Pride in Mind is a user-led social and support group for members of the LGBTQI communities with lived experience of mental health conditions living in the North East of England.

The group meets on the second Friday of each month between 12 noon and 2pm at MESMAC, 11 Nelson Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5AN. The meetings are a safe, welcoming and confidential space for members to receive support both from the group’s facilitators and their peers.

In addition to monthly meetings the group also organises regular social events; including meals out and trips to the cinema or theatre to watch LGBTQI or mental health themed films or plays. All social outings are subsidised for members.

To find out more about the group, make a referral or any other query contact Mish Loraine, Co-Facilitator: phone 07902 403630 or email

If you are looking for further mental health support in the North East, Pride in Mind is listed alongside other groups and organisations on our North East page as well as  here.


Four creative contents producers needed in Sheffield

Recovery Enterprises is working in partnership with Human Studio and the University of Sheffield to design and build an exciting new digital well-being hub called Sheffield Flourish.

Due to launch in the Spring of 2016, the hub will be a virtual meeting place that will enable people living with mental health conditions to take control over their life – a support and signposting online community where people can find ways to flourish.

4 creative content producers are needed to join a team of talented writers, filmmakers, photographers and designers will be essential to the success of this innovative project.  All of the Creative Content Producers will need to have lived experience and/or and understanding of mental ill health.

This is a voluntary role. For more information and how to apply (by 9am on 18 January) please visit here.


Changing Minds: Mental health and the arts festival

Saturday 6 February 2016 - Sunday 7 February 2016
Southbank Centre, London

Be soothed or provoked by the Arts Pharmacy, discover punk-poetry musical My Beautiful Black Dog and fall under the spell of Can I Start Again Please?

Listen to music by Robert Schumann, who had a lifelong mental illness, and learn memory techniques before hearing Aurora Orchestra perform Mozart's Symphony No.4 entirely from memory.

Come and rest your mind on the Clore Ballroom, take part in yoga, singing or read a book from our festival library. Or contribute to the Day in the Life project, funded by Public Health England and created by Social Spider.


2nd conference on Peer Support Open Dialogue (POD)

An event organised by the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and the Academy of Peer-supported Open Dialogue (APOD).

Since the last conference nearly 60 clinicians from around the country have completed the first training in Peer-supported Open Dialogue in the UK and dozens of families in 4 NHS Trusts have now received care in this way. Peer-supported Open Dialogue is on its way to become a reality in the NHS, with a further 80 peers and clinicians to be trained in 2016, and a large scale research study also being planned.

This year, the event will focus on:

  • The first UK staff trained in Peer-supported Open Dialogue
  • Peers working in Peer-supported Open Dialogue teams across the UK
  • The first service users and families receiving Peer-supported Open Dialogue in the UK
  • The first national multi-centre trial in Peer- supported Open Dialogue being planned in the UK
  • The UK’s first NHS service based on some key Open Dialogue principles, open to referrals from across the country

This takes place on Monday 25 April, 10am - 6pm, at Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL For more information and booking please visit here

Don't forget that Open Dialogue UK's national conference, taking place earlier on 2 February, comes with a special highlight on the importance of peer support initiatives.


Take part in research on social networks and personal budgets

A PhD student at the University of Oxford's Internet Institute is conducting study on how social networks might make a difference to how effective personal budgets are, and how they can be made to work better for everyone.

In order to participate you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Have full capacity to make your own decisions
  • Use a personal budget to manage some or all of your social care needs

The interview will be conducted using an intuitive drag and drop app developed by the student. Data is stored on a stand-alone research computer. Findings will be published ananymously in a thesis.

For more information and a participation pack please visit this site


Scots mental health video becomes woldwide hit

A video aiming to get people talking about mental health has been viewed over 150,000 and brought people together from all over the world.

Created by organisation See Mee Scotland, the video, which looks at how people worry about what others think of them when they are struggling with their mental health, is part of the campaign The Power of Okay . See Me Scotland says the campaign aims at 'creating a culture of openness about mental health by encouraging conversations that will help to dispel the stigma'.


NCVO annual conference 2016

Over 500 voluntary sector leaders will come together on 18 April, 9am - 5pm at the Brewery, London EC1 to consider how charities have changed and what needs to be done do to set the agenda for tomorrow’s voluntary sector.

Highlights will include

  • Sir Stuart Etherington’s state of the sector address
  • Expert-led workshops (choose from practical and strategic sessions) providing professional development.
  • Learning from over 50 thought-leaders, advisors and case studies
  • Debating key issues with fellow delegates and experts
  • Sharing successes and challenges with your peers during the day and at the drinks reception celebrating what’s great about the sector

This event is ideal if you are a chief executive, director or senior manager from a voluntary organisation. It will also be useful to trustees, chairs and anyone working closely with an organisation’s management team.

For a full programme and to book your place online please visit here.


The Care Quality Commission news

State of Care report feedback
In October 2015, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its State of Care 2014/15 report. The CQC would be grateful if you could answer a short questionnaire to tell the organisation whether you found the report useful.
The questionnaire is available here
For reference, the State of Care report and accompanying information can be found at this link

Experts by Experience
CQC have now awarded these contracts to manage and supply their Experts by Experience (ExE) programme in England.
The successful organisations are:

  • Remploy – in CQC’s North, South and London regions
  • Choice Support – in CQC’s Central region.

Remploy and Choice Support support will be working with all outgoing-contractors  to facilitate a smooth transfer for those who wish to continue as an Expert by Experience. However there is concern that the new suppliers are more than halving the rate of pay for experts on the new  contract to £8.25 from £17.00 per hour . More information will be published by CQC in February.


Mental health on the web

This past week, we came across these news and blogs in the mental health web sphere:

Disability Rights UK found out that 'an important legal judgment has been issued that will likely deny an award of the Personal Independence Payment mobility component to disabled people, with conditions such as depression, panic attacks or anxiety'

Van to stop mental health patients being locked up. Dyfed-Pwys Policy launched a pilot project using a van.

Leading blogging site 'Mad In America' reported on research which confirms that 'psychiatry's evidence base for long term use of [antipsychotic] drugs does not exist'

Physicist Stephen Hawking used a beautiful space metaphor to give hope to those who experience depression: 'if you feel you're in a black hole don't give up there's a way out'.

A blogger from India, Niraj Chandan, drew our attention to his wittingly named website : 'The Shrinking Couch' is about 'life, love, children and bipolar'.

Another author, Oliver Burkeman, asked whether it's time to get back on the proverbial therapy couch, as, in the on-going therapy war between CBT and psychoanalysis, the power balance might have shifted.


London Mental Health Crisis Care Summit

Join co-chairs Sophie Corlett (Director of External Relations, Mind), Jane Milligan (co-chair, London Mental Health Transformation Board and Chief Officer, Tower Hamlets CCG) and national keynote speaker Dr Geraldine Strathdee (National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England) to bring together delegates from London’s crisis care concordat groups and the newly established Urgent & Emergency Care (UEC) networks to share learning and best practice in the crisis care system.

The summit also aims to ensure that local transformational initiatives led by London’s concordat groups and UEC networks are properly informed and supported by national and pan-London transformational programmes.

The event will be held on the 25 February 2016 at The Kia Oval, Kennington, SE11 5SS from 9:00am – 16:00pm. Register for free here


Workshops: developing quality measures for people with psychosis

Would you like to help develop quality measures for services for people with psychosis? Have your say!

  • How do we know that a psychosis service is high quality?
  • What should we be looking for?

The McPin Foundation is working with NHS England and they would like to invite people with lived experience of psychosis or carers of someone who has experienced psychosis to help answer these questions. They will be holding two workshops (25 people each) to discuss these issues and help identify suitable quality measures for psychosis services: 
Monday 25 January in Leeds
Friday 29 January in London

Download the flyer by clicking here. You can also access further information by visiting the website.

Reasonable travel expenses will be covered, lunch will be provided and anyone attending will receive a £20 a shopping voucher as a thank you for their time
If you are interested please email or call  020 7922 7877.


Department of Health gets new Permanent Secretary

Chris Wormald is to become Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health. Mr Wormald, who moves on from the Department for Education, succeeds Dame Una O'Brien, who intends to step down from her role at the end of April 2016. Whilst Westminster colleagues Jeremy Hunt, Nicky Morgan and Sir Jeremy Haywood reacted with a chorus of praises, reporter John Dickens was much less enthusiastic, saying on Twitter that Mr Wormald will be leaving the Department for Education in a 'massive accounts mess'. Read more here.

Consultation: health risks linked to the consumption of alcohol

Seeks views on the UK Chief Medical Officers’ proposed new guidelines to limit the health risks associated with the consumption of alcohol. This consultation closes on 1 April.

CQC consultation

Seeking views on plans to give Care Quality Commission (CQC) powers to set fees for the cost of all aspects of its comprehensive inspections.
Consultation closes  1 February 2016
Respond online here.

Department of Health responds to consultation on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty standards

The Department of Health has published its response to the Law Commission’s consultation on how the law should regulate deprivations of liberty (DoLS) for people who lack capacity to consent to their care and treatment arrangements. The consultation proposes that DoLS should be replaced by a new system called ‘protective care’ and that there should be a new code of practice. The Law Commission will publish its final recommendations by the end of 2016.