Our virtual Annual General Meeting will be taking place over two days on the 29th of November and 1st of December.
Stay tuned for more details coming soon!
AGM & Members’ Meeting 2021: art exhibition and soapboxes
Last year, we put together a “virtual exhibition” of members’ creative works for our Members’ Event –click here to view the exhibition with brilliant contributions from 16 NSUN members.
We will be putting together another virtual exhibition for our 2021 AGM website, featuring creative pieces by our membership. This means we would love it if you could send in:
Artwork: pictures of your paintings, photography, prints, embroidery, drawings, collage, digital/visual art
Short films or animations
Poetry: written, or you can film/record yourself doing a reading
Original songs or music
If you have something you'd like to share, big or small, please send it (along with the name you'd like displaying, and any links to your website/Instagram etc) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usually at our in-person AGMs we have a mix of members who book a “soapbox” slot in advance with some members speaking on the day. This year for ease we are going to pre-record soapboxes again which will then be ready and available to watch whenever you want.
We would like to invite you to record yourselves (with video or just voice) on a three-minute video speaking about anything you like. You could speak about a current issue that's really important to you or share your views on what needs to change in society to provide people with the care that they really need and deserve - but really soapboxes are a chance for you to have your say on anything you would like to have heard.
If you would like to take part, please email email@example.com and we can send you more information about how to create your video. Your film will be hosted on our AGM 2021 website (more news on that imminently) and on our YouTube channel.
User-led organisations carry out work to connect, campaign, and improve the mental health of their communities. They often have to learn as they go when setting up and growing, relying on relationships with similar organisations to share knowledge and help them tackle the “hidden curriculum” of forming, running and managing an organisation.
"Understanding VoicesandHearing the Voicehas made downloadable PDF fact sheets about hearing voices translated into the top 10 languages other than English spoken in the UK, according to the 2011 census.
Our Narratives Yet Explained (ONYX) hub is a youth-led organisation that works to empower Black youth aged 11-25 to take an active and positive role in transforming the society they live in.
This event is being organized by a community of Black youth Advocactes, who are passionate about social change and aim to create a safe space for those who want to be connectors, influencers, and change makers.
The three events are:
- 8th Oct: Black Mental Health Matters
- 15th Oct: Let's Talk Sociology
- 22nd Oct: Let's Celebrate."
A student's guide to hearing voices
"Voice collective launch two new resources to support voice hearers at university - one booklet for students, and one for university staff funded by Student Space.
Click here to download the student guide: This guide is written by students for students. It covers some of the aspects of university life that voices and visions can have an impact on. It’s not intended to be comprehensive - everyone’s experiences will be different and we cannot speak for all. Yet we hope that in these pages you’ll fi nd something that will spark your own ideas.
Click here to download the staff guide: This booklet is aimed at anyone with a role in supporting university students (undergraduate or post graduate). That might include: tutors, lecturers, supervisors, student union staff and those who work in Disability or Wellbeing teams."
Mental Health Act: Call for "unequivocal commitment " to improve access to advocacy
"Over fifty leaders in mental health and advocacy are calling on the government to “make an unequivocal commitment to improving access to Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) as part of the reform of the Mental Health Act” in a joint letter to Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
The letter, written and coordinated by VoiceAbility, has over fifty signatories including the chief executives of Mind, Rethink, the National Autistic Society, the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The last year has witnessed a proliferation of events, funding, and consultations around race in terms of the White Paper Review of the Mental Health Act and the statutory guidance in relation Mental Health, 2018, Use of Forces Act (Seni’s Law). The renewed engagement of diverse researchers, organisations and activists have, however, failed to address the Lived experiences of race, how whiteness remains as a historical norm, how value and practice shapes co-production and represents the ethnically diverse experience, particularly black men within current mental health systems. To achieve real authentic race equality in mental health the seminar looks at how the cultural restraint of race needs to be addressed for an effective model of coproduction and change."
Creating Compassionate Alternatives to Mainstream Interventions for People in Crisis and Distress
The Summit is organized to promote and support Peer Respites and Soteria Houses as effective alternatives to existing mainstream responses for people in emotional distress or life-interrupting challenges. This free international, online, participatory conference will give people the inspiration, tools, resources, networks and ongoing support to bring a Peer Respite or Soteria House to their communities.
*Clickherefor a Peer Respite/Soteria comparison chart."
La Marr Jurelle Bruce and Farah Jasmine Griffin will discuss How to Go Mad Without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity.
“Hold tight. The way to go mad without losing your mind is sometimes unruly.” So begins La Marr Jurelle Bruce's urgent provocation and poignant meditation on madness in black radical art, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity, published in April 2021. Bruce theorizes four overlapping meanings of madness: the lived experience of an unruly mind, the psychiatric category of serious mental illness, the emotional state also known as “rage,” and any drastic deviation from psychosocial norms. With care and verve, he explores the mad in the literature of Amiri Baraka, Gayl Jones, and Ntozake Shange; in the jazz repertoires of Buddy Bolden, Sun Ra, and Charles Mingus; in the comedic performances of Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle; in the protest music of Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, and Kendrick Lamar, and beyond."
It’s October - it’s Black History month. We always discuss intersectionality - or the lack of it - within our Mad Studies space. However, we are celebrating the month by centring our conversation on issues unique to Black Mental Health
One of our co-facilitators, Allison, who starts Mad Sudies by introducing the idea of a safe space, has suggested a conversation based on the bestselling ‘My Grandmothers Hands’ by Resmaa Manakem. The book explores racial trauma being located within both White, Black and ‘Blue’ (law enforcement) bodies. How does this idea of intergenerational trauma fit with trauma that we have experienced as people within the ‘Mad Community’?
We are particularly excited that we can be joined by Anne Aiyegbusi. Anne has written about how group therapies are based on White European therapy models which can differ from the needs of Black service users. We will have a conversation based on her paper ‘The White Mirror: Face to face with racism in group analysis’"
Was your NHS trust on one of 24 on Santa’s Good List, ready to be blessed with a brand new Band 7 Lived Experience Professional (LXP) to join their staff?
This means 24 new Band 7 posts exist or are in the pipeline. Are they local to you? Do you know about them? Maybe you want to to apply for one? Check out the blog, and contact your local trust to find out more.
The Help Desk provides short term, ad hoc coaching, support and guidance with issues that movement organisations are facing. Drawing on the expertise of our team and our wider network of consultants and associates, we can support you in a range of areas, whether you have a specific issue that you need help with, or if you’d like time with one of our coaches to have space to think, reflect, prioritise and plan.
We can support with a broad range of issues including:
Responding to trigger moments
Communications – e.g. speaking in the media, advice for press officers, framing and messaging
Structure and operations – e.g. HR, finance, governance, policies
Movement building – e.g. strategic collaboration, organising, absorption
Applying the learnings from our courses in your groups and movement spaces
Coaching – space for discussion, reflection and planning
After a long wait, the UK Government has shared their plans to improve the disability benefits system. Some of these proposals will be welcomed by disabled people and those with long-term conditions, but others don't go far enough and a few may even be unwelcome.
We'd like to hear about your experiences of the benefits system, and what changes you would recommend. So, when we respond to the Government consultation about their plans, we can show them what meaningful change really looks like for disabled people and people with long-term conditions.
This survey may take up to 10-15 minutes to complete. Most questions are optional, but anything you share with us could really help us make sure the calls for change by disabled people are heard by the Government."
Papers, reports and policy
A Social Guarantee: The case for universal services
New Economics Foundation
"Too many people are unable to meet their essential needs. Before Covid-19 hit, three in ten people were already living in a household that did not earn enough to reach what the public thinks is a socially acceptable minimum standard of living. A recent New Economics Foundation (NEF) forecast shows that by November 2021, it is expected that nearly one in three households will be living below this publicly defined, minimum standard.
"There is a growing recognition that mental illness should be taken more seriously within Muslim communities. In this are emerging trends to Islamicise psychology or psychologise Islam, whereby the former attempts to adapt contemporary psychological practices for Muslims, while the latter endeavours to indigenise and establish a psychology rooted firmly in Islamic traditions. Yet a large body of interdisciplinary works has argued that Muslims are uniquely positioned vis-à-vis Nation-States across the Global North.
There is thus a need to underscore the significance of the political which underpins the relationship between ‘Muslim’ and ‘mental health’. The political will be explored by addressing three paradigms and their particular relationship to Muslim mental health: neoliberalism, nationalism and securitisation.
DPO Forum response to Health & Disability Green Paper
DPO Forum England, including NSUN
"Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper
The DPO Forum England brings together disabled people’s organisations (DPO’s) across England to work collectively to act as the voice of disabled people. The DPO forum offers a unique and valuable perspective, as the members are all DPO’s that are majority run and controlled by and for disabled people. We are truly able to speak as a voice of disabled people because we represent disabled people.
Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper is not a reality-based document. This is a fundamental problem because you cannot plan successful policy without first knowing the reality of current policy failure. The reality is that successive welfare reforms from successive administrations of differing parties, sharing a Westminster consensus, has caused the stigmatisation and demonisation of disabled people and the creation of a structure that has been described by Dr David Webster as a ‘secret penal system’.
Peer Support is one of the best forms of therapy for helping people recover from mental distress and its impact on their lives. People who have experienced mental health issues can offer insight and understanding and can draw on their own experiences to help. They can offer an effective complement to the professional support offered by trained mental health JD name & date here 2 workers. To this end, Jami is looking for someone who understands and who is committed to the values of peer support and who is able to develop this new role in a sensitive and innovative way.
You will be working as part of our Community Support and Hubs team to support people on both a 1:1 basis and within our hub settings. You will carry out initial assessments, reviews and long-term interventions enabling people to identify their needs and goals."
CNWL Recovery Services are looking for 2 Peer IT Tutors in an exciting new project which is designed to increase digital inclusion for people who experience psychosis. The role is to tutor people in basic digital skills – one to one. This role is specifically for people who experience, or have experienced, psychosis.
The people we are looking for will have strong, but not necessarily highly advanced IT skills. This role involves the confident communication of core IT skills with digitally excluded people and is not a ‘tech role’ as such."
Community Development Facilitator - Head Room Café
Head Room Cafe is a social enterprise and a community hub, providing a space for mutual support and open conversations about mental health. We take mental health support out of an institutional context and onto the high street. We aim to expand the conversation from individualised wellbeing towards a focus on solidarity and mutual support in community. The café has developed a peer-led programme that offers opportunities for people to be part of an inclusive community, in a relaxed and fun environment. The programme tackles social isolation and raises awareness and socio-relational understanding of mental health and ways of responding to distress.
We are now looking to recruit a Community Development Coordinator to help develop and deliver our growing provision. This role will be mainly based in the café and involves a combination of coordination, administration and facilitation."
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.
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 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. Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum.
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. 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 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."
Mental health services and support have been at breaking point for a very long time, and many people with a mental health condition / illness or who experience emotional distress will suffer in all manner of ways given the outbreak of Covid-19. We have set up a fundraiser for those who struggle with mental illness who are facing financial hardship during these unprecedented times who are living in the UK."
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