Welcome to the Monday 8th July 2019 edition of our weekly ebulletin - full of news, views, events and involvement opportunities. If there's anything you would like to share with the wider network please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been sending the NSUN weekly bulletin to our members since March 2009. We would appreciate you telling us what (if any) difference the information we've shared has made to you, personally or professionally.
Have you got involved in research, workshops or projects?
Have you joined a group or applied for funding for your group?
Have you got involved in any national initiatives?
Have you had good responses to items you've advertised?
We are currently reviewing how the 4Pi National Involvement Standards are being used across the country. We want to know if they have influenced practice and policy and what difference they have made to involvement and co-production practice.
If you work with or for an organisation using the 4Pi framework, please email Angela Newton at email@example.com.
Call for ideas about a better welfare benefits system
As many of us know to our cost, there are huge problems with the current welfare benefits system and with trauma and destitution which have resulted from changes made under austerity. Because of this, a user-led Commission on Social Security has been set up to put forward improvements that are needed.
This Commission is separate both from the Government and from the Department of Work and Pensions. Do you have experience of the welfare benefits system and can you help with ideas about the changes needed? If so, please send in your suggestions. You can:
Complete the survey for the Call for Solutions here.
Recommendation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to end coercive practices in mental health
The Parliamentary Assembly consists of representatives from the organisation’s 47 member states in Europe. Parliamentarians meet four times yearly to discuss issues of their choice.
Governments of European countries are then obliged to respond to issues raised. On 26th June, the Assembly passed Resolution 2291 (2019) which calls on European governments to bring coercion in mental health provision to an end and to replace it with effective support for people in crisis, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This Resolution stems from a report by Reina de Bruijin-Wezeman (Netherlands ALDE). Key reasons for the Resolution were the fact that:
Coercion is used to ‘control’ and ‘treat’ patients who are considered potentially dangerous to themselves, or others, even though sociological research points to overwhelmingly negative experiences of coercion and there is a lack of empirical evidence that mental trauma and violence are associated and that coercion prevents self-harm or harm to others
Reliance on coercive measures leads to arbitrary deprivations of liberty and is discriminatory
There are highly successful alternatives to coercion.
Rai urges us to resurrect the 2018 film, 55 Steps, 'an important and hard-hitting film based on a true story of Eleanor Reise (a lady repeatedly drugged against her will, played by Helena Bonham Carter) and Collette Hughes (her lawyer, played by Hilary Swank) that has been effectively buried.'
The blog is based on a series of Rai's tweets, explaining why we need to work together to resurrect it.
Mark hears from individuals supporting others while struggling themselves.
"Often, it’s those of us who have experienced mental health difficulties who find ourselves trying to help or support others when they’re going through hard times because we get it, right? But what happens when you just can’t do it anymore?"
RECOVERY Assistance Dogs helps survivors across the UK recover from mental health issues through non-invasive therapy involving Assistance Dogs. They provide free dog training classes for mental health ‘survivors’ and also train dogs to assist those too unwell or under-resourced to have their own RECOVERY Dog.
RECOVERY Assistance Dogs will be joining the 10x10 Event in London
Date: 18 July 2019
Location: Monzo HQ, 35 Wilson Street, Finsbury, London, EC4 2ER
10×10 is a live crowdfunding “for purpose organisation” that is empowering the next generation of giving. 10×10 events are run by a team of volunteers and are designed to support innovative grassroots charities. They feature a pitch from 3 charities and are a fun mix between a networking event, cocktail party and pitching contest. 100 -150 Participants pledge a minimum amount which is turned into charity dollars and at the end of the night participants decide which charity to support. 10×10 is making a large impact in providing purpose to lives of its volunteers and funding for grassroots charities, like RECOVERY Assistance Dogs, that do incredible work.
Including Missing Voices Survey
The Shaping Our Lives and University of Worcester are doing a research project called 'Missing Voices'. It aims to find out if the needs of Disabled people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities are represented by the work of Deaf and Disabled People's Organisations or if the issues they experience are different and need highlighting in other ways.
The link takes you to the project information page and then requests your consent to continue before taking you to the question page. No personal information is requested and questions ask only if your organisation is involved in any way with the Disabled Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
The survey closes on 31st July 2019.
If you would like the survey in alternative formats please email Shaping Our Lives
Bootcamp 17: Autumn Activists Training!
If you are a budding activist who wants to learn about how to run powerful campaigns, then get your application in. There are full scholarships for grassroots campaigners!
Campaign Bootcamp is a year-long programme designed to give campaigners the skills, confidence and community they need to succeed The year starts with a six-day residential training at an accessible venue just outside London
You’ll learn about strategy, tactics, messaging, working with the media, creating persuasive social media content, building allies and much more
Dates: Sunday 13 October - Friday 18 October 2019
Location: Gilwell Park, Chingford, near London
There’s a lot of scholarships available, which cover up to the full cost of the programme. Learn more and apply for one here.
Discussion paper: austerity and mental health
The Impact of Austerity on Mental Health Service Provision: A UK Perspective
'This is a discussion paper which examines the impact of austerity policies on the provision of mental health services in the United Kingdom. Austerity is a shorthand for a series of policies introduced by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government in the UK from 2010 onwards. In response to the fiscal crisis following the bail out of the banks in 2008, it was argued that significant reductions in public spending were required. The background to these policies is examined before a consideration of their impact on mental health services.'
News from International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)
In a special IIMHL feature, Fran Silvestri notes that "Trieste is one of the first areas in the world to focus on ground-breaking, community-based mental health and addiction processes. The fact that it still stands strong today is a tribute to Roberto Mezzina and his colleagues from Trieste."
In 1971, Franco Basaglia was appointed as director of the San Giovanni Mental Hospital in Trieste after his pioneering work in Gorizia and Parma. Under his direction, Trieste became an internationally acknowledged laboratory for innovation in mental health care and, in 1973, became a World Health Organization (WHO) pilot center for deinstitutionalization and community mental health care (Bennett, 1985).
Kept alive by his team, Basaglia’s spirit has long survived in Trieste after his premature death in 1980, the very same year in which the San Giovanni hospital became the first in Europe to close (De Leonardis et al., 1986; Dell’Acqua and Cogliati Dezza, 1986).
Read Robert Mezzina's original article from Community Mental Health Care in Trieste and Beyond (2014)
Ultimately, Weight Watchers postponed the launch of the free program. Concerned that this wouldn't be the last time a weight loss company preys on children for profit, the Redefinging Wellnessteam wanted to continue their campaign by creating a valuable free resource for teens and their families - finding and providing a life of freedom outside of diet culture should not be a privilege.
The free ‘Redefining Wellness’ e-Book aims to provide people of all genders, racial and ethnic identities, nationalities and documentation status, abilities, sizes, and socioeconomic backgrounds with reliable information that focuses on wellness, not weight loss.
For the last few years The Mental Elfhave been reporting from events with their #BeyondTheRoom service. They live tweet, podcast and stream talks, discussions and workshops so you can follow them online.
You can subscribe to the YouTube channel if you'd like to stay in touch with the latest important #MentalHealth events and follow the#BeyondTheRoom hashtag on Twitter.
Mind Map: online resources
Mind Map is an innovative Profit for Purpose Social Enterprise, navigating individuals and organisations aged 16-30 and beyond to better mental health through journalism, signposting, therapy and Mental Health First Aid Training.
Browse therapists, find free mental health services and get advice on money, employment & more. Visit the Mind Map websitefor more information.
The Art of Coproduction - A Guerilla Guide
We Coproduce celebrated National Coproduction Week, 2019 by launching The Art of Coproduction - A Guerrilla Guide.
A pocket sized fold out guide, it is a one stop shop for all things coproduction. Designed to generate conversation, ideas and debate with people who coproduce regularly as well as providing an easy access starting point for those looking to learn.
Up to 100 free copies of the Guerrilla Guide are available to all NHS organisations and voluntary and community sector organisations via www.wecoproduce.com. Individual copies are also available to purchase for £3 incl. postage and packing from the same website. An on-line accessible version is being coproduced.
Government announces a series of changes affecting disabled people and a new cross government disability team
On 25 June, the Government announced a series of reforms that are meant to improve the lives of disabled people. The announcements relate to a potential Green Paper consultation on benefits, changes to statutory sick pay (SSP) and the forming of a cross-Government disability unit. Promises were made about making sure disabled people are at the heart of government policy.
Some of the announcements include:
Disability Benefits Green Paper
Consulting disabled people including those of us with mental health problems to reform the benefits system.
Reforming statutory sick pay
Overhauling statutory sick pay (SSP) - the minimum employees receive when their health makes them unable to work - to help more people to stay in work and make sure it's accessible to people on low incomes.
A cross-Government disability unit
A new disability unit will be formed to sit in the Cabinet Office alongside the Race Disparities Unit. Early projects will include work with different departments to make housing more accessible and improve disabled people’s experience of consumer markets
The new cross government disability team will incorporate the Office for Disability Issues and has a commitment to work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to develop a new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy.
PM launches new mission to put prevention at the top of the mental health agenda
"Package of support will overhaul approach to preventing mental illness, building on record investment in mental health services." Read more here.
Health & Wellbeing Alliance: Dentistry Report
Shaping Our Lives on behalf of the Win-Win Alliance, facilitated a focus group to discuss how special care dental services could be redesigned to work better for patients. Findings from the focus group are now available in the Special Care Dentistry Focus Group Report.
The focus group was facilitated by Becki Meakin, General Manager of Shaping Our Lives on behalf of the Win-Win Alliance. The Win-Win Alliance is a member of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance and is a consortium of user-led organisations including Disability Rights UK, NSUN, CHANGE and Shaping Our Lives. The Win-Win Alliance provide expertise on the involvement of disabled people in shaping health and social care services.
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