National Survivor User Network is recruiting new Trustees
We have just opened recruitment for up to three new Trustees, including a Treasurer, to help us strengthen our governance and shape our strategic direction.
NSUN is a network of people and groups with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress, or trauma. As a membership organisation with over 5000 members, NSUN connects individuals and groups and then supports, encourages, amplifies, and advocates so that the issues, ideas, dreams, and ambitions of those who live with long-term distress and/or mental ill-health can become actions. This is an incredibly exciting time to join us as a Trustee: NSUN is in a period of growth and change, and this a real opportunity to be part of this journey and help strengthen the organisation from within.
NSUN is a user-led organisation: lived experience is at the heart of our work. Each Trustee must have lived experience of mental ill-health, trauma, or distress. We particularly welcome applications from people from under-represented and/or marginalised communities, including people from racialised communities, disabled people and people under 30.
Blog by Birmingham Peer Support Worker via LXP Revolution
Events and membership news
StopSIM Coalition Petition
#StopSIM - Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM and conduct an independent review
"This petitionwas started by the StopSIM Coalition. We are a group of mental health service users, survivors and allies calling on NHS England to halt the development and rollout of ‘Serenity Integrated Mentoring’ (SIM), created by the ‘High Intensity Network' (HIN), with immediate effect, and to conduct an independent review. We believe that SIM is an unacceptable step backwards in disability justice and has the effect of criminalising mental distress/illness.
We ask you to sign this petition, calling on NHS England to:
Halt the rollout and delivery of SIM with immediate effect, as well as interventions operating under a different name, which are associated with the High Intensity Network (HIN).
Conduct an independent review and evaluation of SIM in regards to its evidence base, safety, legality, ethics, governance and acceptability to service users."
The #StopSIM Coalition has released statements which you can read on their website (you can also sign up to the mailing list via this website), and a write to your MP tool. They are currently taking a short break from social media to focus on their own mental health after weeks of tireless activism, but saw the High Intensity Network "close permanently" recently, which you can read about here via Disability News Service.
Supported by NSUN’s Covid-19 Fund, we are excited to be offering a webinar with Caroline Mazel-Carlton from HVN USAand the amazing Wildflower Alliance– a grassroots Peer Support, Advocacy and Training organisation with a focus on harm reduction and human rights.
This session will explore lessons learned over the years on how to create a supportive community for voice-hearers and visionaries online.
We will explore key aspects of HVN group facilitation and how they can be modified as we move from in-person circles to online Zoom grid. We will leave plenty of time to explore common scenarios unique to online formats.
Bring your questions and your wisdom!"
We cannot walk alone
"Four people with lived experience of the UK's hostile environment towards migrants co-produce this fascinating virtual panel event.
This is a recording of a closed live event that took place within a custom-built Mozilla Hubs universe on Monday June 14 2021. In order to protect the identities of the panel, they used custom avatars to represent themselves in this virtual world.
Held on the first day of Refugee Week 2021, this event was an opportunity to share stories amongst four people with lived experience of the UK Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’ policies, which make it extremely difficult for migrants to receive indefinite Leave to Remain status. As precarious migrants – undocumented individuals, asylum seekers and refugees – they face daily battles to access to services and support including Covid-19 vaccines and mental health care, and to remain in the country they call home.
Click here for more information and to watch the panel event."
Soteria Past, Present, and Future: The Evidence For This Model of Care with Robert Whitaker
US journalist, and founder of Mad in America, Robert Whitaker, will be joining us to talk about the evidence for Soteria houses.
Robert will be talking about the evidence base for Soteria houses:
"There is a long record of evidence that psychosocial care that avoids or minimizes use of neuroleptics can help people struggling with psychosis recover and fare better over the long-term than if they were treated conventionally with these drugs. The original Soteria project that ran for a decade in California produced such results. There is a renewed interest in creating Soteria homes (or other respites that de-emphasize use of neuroleptics), and in Israel, there are a number of such homes now operating, with insurance covering the cost of such care. A recent World Health Organization Report on Community Mental Health called for paradigm shift in mental health, away from the biological model that has governed care for the past 40 years, and toward a psychosocial model of care that is based in honoring the human rights of those who are being “treated.” The WHO report pointed to Soteria homes as a model for such care." "
Creating Resources for Students who Hear Voices or See Visions: Focus Group
Voice Collective, in partnership with Student Minds, are currently running a project aimed at supporting university students who hear voices, see visions, have other similar sensory experiences and/or unusual beliefs. Whilst experiences like these are relatively common, they can be hard to talk about and surrounded by a whole host of misconceptions.
The session will host a focus group of university students with personal experiences of voices/visions (etc). In addition to meeting other students, you'll have the opportunity to shape the resources we create as part of this project - helping make sure they are as useful as possible.
As well as coming to the focus group, you are welcome to complete our survey here."
Madness and Social Change: experience, politics & practice
The workshop will facilitate new thinking, warm connections and possible plans, by encompassing and embodying madness, by creating a curious space, and by asking questions such as:
What do experiences of madness have to contribute to radical social change?
Where are the best places to make this happen?
What are the most effective and sustainable strategies?
It could be relevant to anyone using, or choosing not to use, mental health services; people interested in peer support; mental health professionals; and mental health activists.
We will watch films, have discussions and do some fun, creative activities from many directions and disciplines to explore everything from Anarchism to Zombies — including what we have to learn from nature, spirituality and superheroes to help us envision a less oppressive, more humane work and world."
Racism as a public mental health concern
The Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care
The seminar looks at the structural and social determinants of race and racism as public mental health concern disguised by the White PaperReview of the Mental Health Act (2021) for clinical and competency changes. It analyses the inter-related factors of class, gender, education as important contributing factors to the over-representation of racialised (ethnically diverse) communities, suffering from Covid-19 and long-term medical diseases.
It looks at the need to avoid a simple reductionist approach posed by the Commission on Race and Ethnic disparities (2021), that positions black Caribbean men as the central race and public mental health concern. The seminar thus explores the escalator of other discriminatory experiences within the structures of British society; family, school, work and political systems, and the impact on the priority characteristics, such as religion and gender as depoliticised in the area of Racism as a public mental health concern."
Lived Experience Practioners Revolution
"Demanding Equity for the Lived Experience Professions!
The Lived Experience Professions and people who work within LXP posts do not have a professional association or union to provide support, supervision, protection or lobby for awareness. The LXP Revolution is not a replacement for this, but is the name that a grassroots coalition in Birmingham, UK have used to refer to their initial call for equality. We invite our comrades across the UK and further afield to join with their own local calls to be treated as equals – there is nothing quite like realising you are not alone in this.
Anybody can send in a blog to be posted either anonymously or with their own name, we can reblog blogs posted elsewhere via twitter threads
Click hereto visit the site and find out more about LXP Revolution."
Patient Directors - The Next step in the Patient Revolution
Following on from the recent NICE Guidance that has endorsed the role of Patient Directors to help embed Shared Decision Making, InHealth Associates is running a free zoom event on 'The Role of the Patient Director - The Next Step In The Patient Revolution'
With Steve Laitner (GP, who came up with the idea), Lesley Preece (Patient Partner, Sussex MSK Partnership), and David Gilbert (Patient Director, Sussex MSK Partnership).
The McPin Foundation issues a quarterly Involvement Bulletin, advertising the latest opportunities to get involved with mental health research. You can sign up here.
"In these bulletins, we primarily advertise user and carer involvement in research opportunities, both with McPin and other organisations. From time to time we advertise opportunities for people to take part in studies as participants."
We are recruiting a group of up to 10 people who can work together to support the rewriting of the document. We want to be able to discuss different points fo view in a constructive way, being able to respect and tolerate different opinions. We want to be able to do this whilst acknowledging the intensely personal nature of the experiences concerned. We want to create a safe enough space so that we can be open and honest with one and another and also contribute help fully to the development of the updated document.
Not making the grade: why our approach to mental health at secondary school is failing young people.
"Almost half (48%) of young people responding to our survey told us they had been disciplined at school for behaviour that was due to their mental health. Over one in four (27%) of those who had been subjected to these interventions said that they had been placed in isolation and one in ten (10%) had been physically restrained by staff.”
A new report from Mind “Not making the grade” lays bare practices in schools that penalise young people for behaviour that may result from struggling with their mental health. The report is full of testimony from young people, sharing their accounts, including experiences of being pushed out of mainstream education with unmet mental health needs. Recommendations include banning isolation practices,funding early support hubs and creating trauma-informed environments in schools. As the report highlights, exclusions are highly racialised and more work needs to be done to understand and address the experiences of racialised and minoritised students in schools. In addition, social isolation and unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated behavioural issues in educational settings. Responding to these challenges earlier this year, the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition put together an open letter to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, advocating for a moratorium on exclusions to protect vulnerable young people and their futures. Need is high and time is limited in controlling the damage the Covid-19 pandemic has done to some young people's futures, "Not making the grade" is a starting point.
Public Involvement in Social Care Research
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
"This report presents the results of a piece of work undertaken by SCIE for NIHR INVOLVE to explore public involvement in social care research. 14 people were interviewed, and a workshop was held to discuss early findings and carried out a brief literature review. The aim of the work was to surface good practice in involvement in social care research, explore differences between involvement in health care and social care research, and identify opportunities for further work.
This piece of work concludes that the practice of public involvement in social care research shares much in common with health care research. Many of the elements that support good practice or act as barriers to involvement are shared across the two fields. Guidelines that address public involvement in health care research can be adapted for use by social care researchers. However, we heard from many people who felt that issues of equal access (for Disabled people, people with different health conditions and people with caring responsibilities) need a greater focus in social care research, in order to ensure that research is accessible and people can be meaningfully involved.
Out of the woods?: Young people's mental health and labour market status as the economy reopens
The Resolution Foundation
"Much has been said about the plight of young people during the Covid-19 crisis, both in terms of their labour market and mental health circumstances. This spotlight provides a timely update on how young people were faring at the end of May, shortly after the major relaxation of restrictions in mid-May.
The proportion of economically-active young adults either unemployed or fully furloughed has halved since May 2020, to around 16 per cent at the end of May 2021. But they remain harder hit than older people, being two-and-a-half times more likely to be out of work. Young people are also less optimistic about their mental health in general, and certain groups are facing more difficulties than others.
"This report provides a framework for how Greater Manchester can ‘Build Back Fairer’ in the aftermath of the pandemic. Fundamental to achieving a permanent reduction in health inequalities is a focus on the social determinants of health: those factors outside health care that affect health.
Some of the recommendations are new and some offer support for, and expansion of, existing approaches in Greater Manchester. The framework calls for health equity to be placed at the heart of governance, including resource allocation, in Greater Manchester and for all policies in the region to be geared towards achieving greater health equity.
Freeing low-income single parents from in-work poverty's grip
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)
"For too many single parents in Scotland the labour market is not working. Support provided for single parents to get into and progress in work must be transformed if we are to meet Scotland's child poverty targets.
Children from single-parent households make up 40% of all children in poverty in Scotland. In the last 10 years there has also been a pronounced increase in the number of children who are part of in-work single-parent households. This research was conducted to learn more about the experiences of low- or no-income single parents entering, staying in and progressing in, the Scottish labour market and to develop solutions with them.
HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network is looking for a Chair and Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees, to help lead the organisation, during this pivotal and exciting time.
As Chair you will have excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to strategically lead the Board of Trustees with charity governance, compliance, operations, finance, and services.
As Treasurer you will have good skills and expertise of financial compliance, finance, budgets, forecasting and income generation with an ability to read and present the Charity’s financial operations at Board meetings. You will have good interpersonal and communication skills.
HEAR is also looking for Trustees. Are you passionate about making a difference within human rights and equality? If the answer is yes, become a trustee for HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network. We need YOU! We would like to hear from people who understand the needs of organisations, and individuals, working in the field of equality and human rights.
If you are interested in any of the above or would like to discuss further, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org a CV and supporting statement outlining your skills, knowledge, experience."
A Call for Web Developers to Create New ENIL Website
European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)
"Are you a web development agency with experience in designing beautiful and accessible WordPress websites? Are you based in Europe? Have you worked with advocacy NGOS before?
If so, the European Network on Independent Living would love to hear from you. We are redeveloping our website in the second half of 2021 and invite you to provide bids for this work. Please carefully read the specification which includes details on the information requested, and apply no later than Friday 16 July.
We are looking for exceptional people who share our vision for sustainable future rooted in liberation, equity, justice and health.
1) We are seeking a full time Personal Assistant and Administrator to provide office and administrative support to Healing Justice Ldn’s Executive Director. Duties will include all-round personal assistant support. As our Executive Director is a writer and curator involved in a wide variety of activities and projects, the successful candidate will be experienced and confident in communicating with a wide range of people and will have excellent copy editing and writing skills.
2) We are also seeking a full time Media and Communications Coordinatorto plan and deliver HJL’s communications and outreach strategies and campaigns. This includes: copywriting; designing and reviewing promotional materials; overseeing and managing the organisation’s social media presence; coordinating press outreach; supporting the delivery of organisational programmes (e.g. communicating with speakers & practitioners, supporting events, tech checks, briefings etc).You will be coordinating closely with the Healing Justice Ldn Communications and Programmes teams to accomplish these objectives."
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced caseworker to join Z2K’s advice services team to provide in-depth advice and casework on a range of Social Security and housing issues. You will have at least 2 years’ experience of providing social welfare advice and casework and the ability to manage a varied caseload. You will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of welfare benefits law, regulations and guidance as well as experience of representing clients at First-tier Tribunal. You will share our passion for tackling poverty and injustice and commitment to working in an anti-oppressive, non-discriminatory and empowering way with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
Z2K is an equal opportunity employer. People with lived experience of poverty, from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQIA+ individuals and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. We welcome evidence of experience from both work and non-work settings such as volunteering and personal life"
This is the second round of the Local Connections Fund, a £4 million investment designed to help small charities and community groups working to reduce loneliness by building community connections across England. This round will be investing £2 million of funding. It will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.
By a ‘community’, we mean people:
living in the same area - like a city, town or street
who share characteristics - like beliefs, values, interests or faith
who can be grouped together in some other way.
Who can apply?: Organisations can still apply, even if they already have existing grants with The National Lottery Community Fund. You cannot apply for costs which have been funded by other means, including Government or National Lottery funding. If duplicate funding does occur, we’ll take action to recover these funds.
Suitable for: Small (with an income below £50,000), constituted, local charities and community groups working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities.
Funding size: £300 to £2,500
Total available: £2 million in Round 2 - successful applicants must have completed their project and spent their grant by 30 November 2021."
Voice4Change England (V4CE) are pleased to announce the Windrush Community Fund. This fund is open to charities, community organisations and/or grassroots groups to bid for financial assistance from a £500,000 fund to help ensure that organisations and groups can raise awareness and support engagement among those eligible for the government’s Windrush Scheme and Windrush Compensation Scheme."
The Wakeham Trust provides grants to help people rebuild their communities. They are particularly interested in neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded.
The Trust also supports innovative projects to promote excellence in teaching (at any level, from primary schools to universities), though it never support individuals. They aim to refresh the parts that other funding sources can't reach, especially new ideas and unpopular causes. Because they do not appeal to the public for funds, they can take risks.
They favour small projects - often, but not always, start-ups and they try to break the vicious circle whereby you have to be established to get funding from major charities, but you have to get funding to get established.
The Trust does not favour any particular areas of activity. The best way to understand the kinds of projects they support is to look at their website."
Small Grants Scheme
"Our Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities registered and operating in the United Kingdom, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities. Please note we are not able to support individuals. Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum.
What the Foundation will Fund
Our focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability. Our priority will be to support local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.
Organisations can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000. There are no deadlines for submission. Online Applications can be received at all times, but it may take up to four months to obtain a decision from Trustees.
The NLCF has reopened its "Awards for All" funding for Voluntary and Community Organisations in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. This funding aims to provide a quicker way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300-£10,000 for up to one year.
"Our funding can be used to deliver activities, but also to help your organisation recover, adapt and thrive. This includes supporting you to become more financially resilient and operate in a more digital world. We can also help you to make useful connections with other organisations, whilst also supporting infrastructure to nurture grassroots community action. We can cover core costs to help your organisation develop, share learning with others, support you to test activity designed to help your organisation work in new ways and help you better understand the difference you make."
We are Jo Edge and Bethan Edwards, both survivors of mental illness and the psychiatric system. Jo is a doctor of medieval history, currently working at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester, beginning a stint as Women's Rep on the National Executive Committee of the University and College Union in May 2020. Bethan is a Research OTemployed by the NHS, and is also undertaking her PhD. She is professionally registered with the HCPC. Both Jo and Bethan are Welsh. Money will only go to those who need it: folks who do not have access to other available funds from employers or through the government."
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