This bulletin is FREE. You can join as a member here- it's free for individuals and user-led groups. If you would like to make a donation to help support the continuation of this work you can do sohere.
Please note: sharing is not endorsing
Sometimes, we may feature items that you (and we) may not necessarily agree with but we feel it's important to make our members aware of what is happening out there.
A great way to have a look at what's been happening over the last year is to go to our News page, and visit the pages below.
We are still working on the Reform of the Mental Health Act, and we understand the White Paper is due before Christmas. Thanks to campaigning work from NSUNand other organisations, the proposed changes to mental health legislation in the Coronavirus Act have recently been dropped. We welcome this news, and join others in campaigning for the social easements in the Act to be abandoned.
PS: Our 2020 AGM will be online on the 24th and 25th November- registration will open next week. Our annual Members' Survey is out- please see the link below!
Calls to action
Annual members' survey
Please complete the survey if you haven't already - the results are so important for setting our agenda as a membership organisation. We want to make sure we know our membership as best as we can - and know what you would like from us.
It should take up to 20 minutes to complete, and will close on the 16th October.
For those responding on behalf of a member group or organisation: click here
Usually at our AGM 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 which will then be ready and available to watch whenever you want.
So we would like to invite you, our members, to record yourselves on a three-minute video speaking about anything you like. You could speak about a current issue that's really important to you, you could talk about your experience of what really helped you through your mental health difficulties, 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 just anything you like!
If you would like to take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Friday 23rd October with your interest and we will send you more information about how to create your video. Your film will be hosted on our AGM 2020 website (more news on that imminently). We look forward to hearing from you soon!
We are looking to put together a "virtual exhibition" for our AGM website, featuring creative pieces by our membership. This means we would love it if you could send in:
Artwork: paintings, photography, drawings, collage, digital art, 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, please send it (along with the name you'd like displaying and any links to your website/Instagram etc) to email@example.com.
Articles, blogs, vlogs, and more
We want to use this space to feature members' blogs, posts, vlogs, podcasts and articles. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org you would like to share yours with the network here.
"Winter is coming and with the looming second ‘wave’, Mad Covid are holding a mad meet up!
Join our survivor / lived experience panel to discuss the impact COVID19 has had on the mad community.
As well as looking back, we will be exploring what mental health services and others can do to support us during the impending second 'wave'.
The event will kick off with our panellists: • Andrew Grundy, Service User Researcher, Twitter: @acgrundy • Tamar Whyte, Lived Experience Practitioner, Twitter: @tamar_whyte and more to be confirmed shortly!
A question and answer session / open discussion will follow.
Survivors, service users and allies all welcome. The event will be hosted on Zoom and a Zoom invite will be shared with attendees before the event. A big thanks to NSUN who have supported us to purchase Zoom through their COVID19 grants. Our aim is to write a short account of our discussion, which can be shared with mental health services, professionals, organisations and anyone else. We will also be recording the event so we can share it with the wider community.
This is a free event, however, attendees are able to make a donation to our Hardship Fund if they wish!
The event will take a UK focus, however, allies and survivors from across the globe are welcome to attend.
Mad Covid is a service user / survivor led collective that began in March 2020, you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram and you can read more about us here.
There are limited places left so please book ASAP to avoid disappointment: click here"
Connecting remotely: peer support conversations
Mind, Bipolar UK, Get Up Set Up, NSUN, Together for Mental Wellbeing
These sessions are useful for any of our member groups who use, or want to use, peer support:
"Join the conversation the become part of a growing peer support community
The Connecting Remotely; Peer Support conversation is a fortnightly forum held on Zoom, hosted by Mind, GetUp SetUp, Bipolar UK, Together for Mental Wellbeing, and NSUN (National Survivors User Network). Setup in the wake of COVID-19, the conversation was started to provide a safe space for peer leaders, community groups and organisations to connect, share learning and experiences of peer support during the pandemic and beyond.
You can download the shared learning resource that was written by Alison Faulkner, drawing from the conversations we have been having.
On each session we breakout into up to 3 rooms giving us the opportunity to talk about different topics. This can include conversation around the principles of peer support, how to facilitate online peer support, creative ways of working, and staying safe online.
These sessions will be hosted on Zoom. You can call in or join via video call on your laptop or smart device. We will send out the joining instructions to you in a confirmation email on the day.
Members For Women have just launched a new website: click here.
For Women "contribute to the emotional and physical well-being of women through peer-to-peer talking groups and free educational workshops.
Our vision is a world in which women's well-being is viewed and understood in a holistic way to include the mental, physical, and social aspects of life.
Our mission is to assist and encourage women to strive for wellness in all areas and aspects of their lives and to create spaces where women can support and encourage each other through their experiences."
Free programme in talking for wellbeing
Talk For Health
"How are you… really? In these uncertain times, we need connection now more than ever. At Talk for Health, we provide FREE peer support that’s as effective as therapy.
Click HERE to attend a FREE Talk for Health Taster on 21st October.
WHAT’S THE IDEA?
It’s important to take care of our emotional wellbeing, just as it is to take care of our bodies. One way of doing this is to connect in a truthful and empathic way with others.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone who wants to take care of their wellbeing and support others.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?
Attend a Taster and/or do our in-depth 4-day Talk for Health Programme. Then you can:
Come to TALK FOR HEALTH CAFES; continue talking for wellbeing and gain communication skills.
Follow these with ongoing groups for strong peer networks.
It’s all FREE and is commissioned by the NHS. You will learn and have space for:
Honest talking – being the real you
Basic counselling skills
How to set up and be part of an ongoing group to talk for wellbeing.
"We are hosting a virtual film night called ‘The Bigger Picture’ as part of World Mental Health Day, and joining us on 15th October on Zoom will be guest speakers from Thrive LDN, Calm and Time to Change.
The Bigger Picture is a collaborative project based in Tower Hamlets between Trapped in Zone One, GoodGym Tower Hamlets, Mile End Community Project and Inspiring City.
The Bigger Picture is a themed film event which covered a diverse range of experiences from groups and individuals from our communities.
The objective of The Bigger Picture is to entertain and encourage non-divisive discussion.
This month the theme we’re focusing on is ‘Feelings’ and the event will based around resilience and positive wellbeing.
We have created a Facebook events and Eventbrite ticket page with details for those interested in attending to book FREE online and the Zoom link to our event will be forwarded onto them.
Equality Act 10th Anniversary Intersectionality workshop 14th October, 11am-1pm "HEAR is pleased to be partnering with Equally Ours for the first in the series, which will examine Intersectionality and the Equality Act". More information and register here.
Ethical and Responsible Data Use for small charities, 14th October More information and register here.
Intersectionality Good Practice for Refugee and Asylum Organisations 6th November "The HEAR Network, Refugee Women Connect and Refugee Action are planning an interactive workshop exploring Intersectionality and what it means for holistic service design for voluntary and community sector organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers." Register your interest, tell them what you'd like them to cover or ask a question by emailing email@example.com, including your mame, organisation and contact details.
The Marsh Awards are back for 2020
Mind, Marsh Christian Trust, PeerFest
"Nominations now open!
This is an opportunity to nominate your peer support group for an award and receive a cash prize.
The Marsh Awards for mental health peer support 2020 recognise excellence in mental health peer support in England and Wales.
We know there is fantastic peer-led peer support running in England and Wales. We also know that during the pandemic many groups have found alternative ways of running their face-to-face meetings with groups moving online or using other digital platforms. We'd love to hear from all of you!
Deadline for nominations is midnight Sunday 8 November 2020.
We will be awarding 9 projects under the categories of:
Peer support in marginalised communities
Doing it for ourselves
Innovative peer support
Your nomination needs to be completed collectively with representatives of the group/project. Each project chosen will receive a cash prize and hear about other events and learning opportunities offered by Mind and PeerFest partners.
We will invite all finalists to a special celebration event which will take place online mid-December 2020.
If you need any help or support about nominating your group or filling in the online nomination form then drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Pro bono initiative: Statisticians for Society
Royal Statistical Society
"The Royal Statistical Society received a funding boost from the National Lottery to continue its pro bono initiative, Statisticians for Society, for another five years. The programme connects third sector organisations with professional statisticians who can provide expert help with collecting, analysing and presenting data. It is open to UK charities and other third sector organisations with an annual income of less than £500,000.
We are hosting an event entitled Data, decisions and impact, which is suitable for anyone who is interested in using our service and wants to know more. It will be held online on Tuesday 3 November 2020 at 1pm and will highlight the ways in which volunteers with statistical and operational research expertise have worked with charities to deliver better data analysis and robust decision making."
Shared Decision Making 2020 and Beyond Conference
Prof Shula Ramon
"The Shared Decision Making 2020 and Beyond conference is now to be delivered online.
A Zoom link will be sent to you nearer the conference dates.
As we are aware that people becoming very tired from a whole day Zoom attendance, this conference is now divided into two half days; the first will take place on Tuesday, 17th November 2020 a.m., and the second on Wednesday, 25th November p.m.
Aim: Updating our knowledge, evidence, and implementation of SDM in mental health
Day 1 (17th November 2020): 10.00-13.30
10.00-10.15 Welcome and introduction
10.15-10.45 Obstacles to SDM
10.45-11.15 How does the Springbank ward avoid the obstacles highlighted in 2015?
11.30-12.00 Beginning to Implement Shared Decision Making in HPFT led jointly by service users and providers trainers
12.00-12.30 Decision making concerning the use of medication by pregnant women experiencing mental ill health
Day 2: Wednesday, 25th November 2020: 14.00- 17.00
14.00-14.15 Welcome and introduction
14.15-14.45 The Montgomery Case and its implications for SDM in mental health
14.45-15.15 The place of shared decision making in the application of the IMR (Illness, Management and Recovery) Programme to the Israeli Arab Population
15.15-15.45 The Role of Shared Decision Making in the application of the Keshet Programme of Working with Family Carers
16.00-16.30 Exploring the influence of SDM and Therapeutic Relationships on Service User’s and Clinicians’ attitudes to Antipsychotic Medication
16.30-17.00 Does it make a difference if we choose?
17.00-17.30 Comments and Questions
To book, please let Shula know which date(s) you would like to attend via email: email@example.com".
Social security for all of us - agreeing a way forward event
Commission on Social Security
"The Commission on Social Security, led by Experts by Experience has identified 8 ideas for a better benefits system. The Commission is undertaking a public consultation to see what people think of the proposals.
These online sessions will enable people to discuss these proposals in more detail. Each session will: • Explain the background to the Commission on Social Security • Talk through the proposals for a better benefits system • Have small group discussions using zoom breakout rooms"
"We’re delighted to announce the Social Care Future On-Line Festival and hope that you’ll come along to help build a brighter future between November 4th-6th 2020
What is social care to you? What should it be? How can we build something better?
Social Care Future is not only about imagining something better but also action to bring it about. That is why the presentations and debates go beyond sharing ideas and developments to prompt and propose follow up action. Many of the sessions will update on current actions, others will start new ones and invite others to join in. Everything links to our inquiry “Whose social care future is it anyway” led by a panel of people with lived experience of social care. All sessions will be co-produced and delivered.
New survey request - remote communication technology
Shaping Our Lives
"During the Covid19 pandemic many appointments, meetings and leisure activities have taken place remotely. Shaping Our Lives want to find out if remote communication technology is a good way for you to take part or receive a service. Or, if remote ways of communicating are difficult or impossible for you to use.
Shaping Our Lives would be very grateful if you answer a short survey. This survey is only for d/Deaf and Disabled people.
You will not be asked to give your name and all answers will be kept anonymous. What you and other people tell Shaping Our Lives will then be used to tell people in national and local government the support d/Deaf and Disabled people need to use remote communication technology and if it is suitable all the time.
To complete the survey you can either: 1. Click here 2. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send a Word version of the survey for you to complete. 3. Call Becki on 07956 424511 and do the survey over the telephone or by Zoom.
The survey will take about 15 minutes."
COVID-19 and Voluntary Sector Organisations in the UK: Impact and Response
Nottingham Trent University, NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) and Sheffield Hallam University
"COVID-19 is having a major impact on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector.To assess its effect on the sector, researchers have secured funding from Economic and Social Research Council to conduct an investigation into the way that COVID-19 is impacting the sector and how organisations are responding.
As part of the project, our team will be conducting a monthly barometer which will run for 15 months, from mid-September 2020 to November 2021. This barometer is unique as the results will be publicly updated monthly. Organisations can use the results to compare themselves against other organisations of similar type and size. The barometer will have a dashboard, that allows organisations to see how their experiences compare to other organisations. This will help organisations better understand how they are doing and learn lessons from others.
Every month, organisations that complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw with the potential to win £200. At the end of the project all participating organisations will be entered into a prize draw to win £2,000.
Understanding alcohol use among people with lived experience of a mental health problem
University of Liverpool
"Do you have a diagnosis of either bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other psychotic condition? Do you currently drink alcohol or are a non-drinker (but have previously drank alcohol)? Are you aged 18 or older? Are you based in the North West of England?
If you answered yes to these questions, we would like to invite you to take part in a telephone-based research study at the University of Liverpool. We want to interview you about your experiences of drinking or not drinking alcohol and how this may have changed over time. We are a group of individuals who have lived experience of a mental health problem. If you take part you will be paid with a £20 voucher (Love2Shop).
If you are interested in taking part or would like more information please contact Jo-Anne Puddephatt via email at email@example.com."
Expert by Experience Consultation
Manchester Metropolitan University, funded by the National Institute for Health Research
"This is an opportunity to discuss your thoughts about a possible new NHS service for children and young people distressed by hearing voices, seeing visions, or other "unusual" sensory experiences or thoughts that don't feel like their own.
I would like to discuss plans for the service with you and hear your thoughts through an informal teleconference call on Zoom. You will recieve a £20 amazon voucher for your time.
You can take part if you are aged 16+, have direct experiences of hearing voices and other sensory experiences or are a parent/carer or a young person who has voices and visions, and have sought support from practicioners in NHS children and young people's mental health services for you or your child.
Improving the health of people with mental and physical health problems - what are the questions you would like to see answered by research?
University of York
As part of our mental health research here at the University of York, we want to give people living with both mental and physical health problems a voice in deciding the most important questions to be answered by future research. To do this, we are undertaking a research priority setting project.
Our aim is to identify questions about what would help people with mental health problems look after their physical health, and what treatments and services, if examined by research, could make a real difference to peoples’ lives.
If you would like to add your questions and ideas, you can do so by taking part in a short online survey here.The survey will only take about 10 minutes to complete and you do not need to give your name or contact details, unless you would like to hear more about the survey results.
"Our report, Pushed from pillar to post: Improving the availability and quality of support after self-harm in England, shows that there is no consistently effective support available to people who self-harm. This situation must improve to better support people and tackle rising rates of self-harm.
"Our new report is out now: it includes analysis of 66,000 collective responses to National Voices members' surveys - we have called this WHAT WE KNOW NOW. Alongside a number of member organisations we extended the National Voices reach and created a compelling picture of people's struggles - and successes.
We are launching our second report on Tuesday, which includes powerful testimony from those who contributed to the Our COVID Voices platform and also includes some new National Voices I Statements and recommendations on how to adapt services to be more effective and fair for those using those services.
"Our report and guides regarding Service User Involvement and Identity are available on our website. These aim to improve understanding of good and bad experiences of service user involvement in the commissioning, design, delivery and evaluation of public sector services and the challenges faced by service users in negotiating their dual role of both being a service user representative and recipients of services."
NSUN is part of the Lived Experience Alliance (the LEA, focussing on reducing health inequalities and discrimination) and we're looking for someone to coordinate the activities of the LEA. The consortium includes NSUN, Shaping our Lives, and CHANGE.
"We’re recruiting new board members. At LGBT Foundation we believe in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people can achieve their full potential. We campaign for equality and deliver a huge range of vital services to LGBT people.
We are seeking people who can help us drive forward the vision of LGBT Foundation over the coming years. We’re looking for people who are passionate about LGBT rights and want to join us on our journey of achieving equality, promoting safety and encouraging wellbeing.
We want to increase trans representation on the board. Many folks in these communities often feel marginalised and alone, from those outside the LGBT community, and even from within.
Trustees are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the charity, and there are certain roles and responsibilities that all trustees will be required to undertake. Being a trustee is a voluntary role, but we do pay reasonable travel and subsistence expenses.
The closing date for applications is 23rd October 2020. Interviews will take place week commencing 2nd November 2020.
You can apply and find out more about this role and multiple others currently available with the LGBT Foundation here.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
"Location: Mead House, Hillingdon
Salary: £28,691 - £35,207 pa inc
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an individual with personal lived experience of recovery from mental health challenges and work experience as a peer support worker within mental health statutory or voluntary services.
We are looking for a Senior Peer Support Worker to:
Facilitate the expansion of peer support worker roles within Community Mental Health services in Hillingdon
Utilise their own personal lived experience to work alongside individuals on a one-to-one and group basis
Provide professional supervision to peer support workers in Hillingdon and co-facilitate group peer supervision across the Trust
Represent Peer Support Workers and Hillingdon Community Mental Health Services at borough and Trust-wide meetings
Co-facilitate learning and development opportunities; including delivery of the accredited ‘Peer Worker Training’.
Through positively sharing and drawing upon aspects of their own lived experience, the post holder will inspire others, challenge stigma and discrimination and promote recovery.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual, with excellent communication and interpersonal skills who can work flexibility under supervision to meet the demands of this exciting and varied position.
Only candidates who have personally accessed secondary mental health services will meet the shortlisting criteria for this post, therefore, please reference these experiences within your application.
If you are interested in the post, feel you meet the requirements and would like to discuss further please contact:
Tallis Murphy, Specialist Occupational Therapist/Clinical Lead on 07784293639 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Francesca Lepori, Interim Peer Support Project Officer on 07415880943 or email@example.com
Or contact Jess if you would like a paper copy or have any questions on- firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01138 249 686.
Closing date for applications- 28 October 2020."
Together Wellbeing Pathway - volunteer peer supporters
"Together is a national charity that works alongside people with mental health issues on their journey towards leading independent and fulfilling lives.
We recently launched a new service called the Together Wellbeing Pathway supporting people who are screened on the London Offender Personality Disorder Pathway. In partnership with NHS England and the National Probation Service we aim to improve the experience and outcomes of people who have experience of personality disorder and who are in contact with the criminal justice system.
An exciting opportunity has arisen to recruit Peer Support Volunteers to work within our new service. As a Peer Supporter, you will use your own lived experience of personality disorder and the criminal justice system to support others with similar experiences towards better wellbeing.
You will work directly with individuals with similar lived experience, to help them develop a belief in their own abilities to deal with various situations; the confidence to have control over their own motivation, behaviour and social environment; and the ability to successfully achieve their goals in life.
The best parts of becoming a peer supporter:
Meeting new people with similar life experiences
Make a real difference to someone’s life
Personal development and training opportunities
Variety of opportunities to be involved in all levels within the organisation
Service User Network Group Facilitator/Peer Support Worker
"1 year fixed term contract initially
Various locations in Surrey
The Peer Support Worker will be working closely with a mental health practitioner to deliver regular Service User Network (SUN) groups in different community-based locations across Surrey.
Fundamental to creating empowerment and engagement in the SUN Project is the therapeutic community principle, that the effectiveness of the service depends upon engaging group members in the task of running, delivery, development and evaluation of the service. The utilisation of SUN members’ own resources and expertise is integral to the model of peer support upon which the SUN groups are based. Peer support workers will have regular supervision and support in this role.
"Wish is at an exciting point in our journey. As a result, we’re hiring a Director of Operations to lead and coordinate the development and delivery of services for women and professionals. They’ll support Wish as we move to our next stage of strategic development, working with service managers, the director and other members of the team to ensure services are running smoothly.
Hours: 15 hours per week Salary: £40,395 – £43,353 pro rata, including London weighting.
For more information on the Director of Operations role, and to download the job pack, see below.
Interviews will take place during the week of 19th October 2020 via Zoom. If you have any questions about the role, feel free to get in touch with Emily: email@example.com.
You can find the job pack and more information here."
Grants for UK based BAME groups and organisations
African Health Policy Network, Africa Advocacy Foundation, and House of Rainbow, via Comic Relief
"Deadline Oct 30
Resilience and rebuilding from the grassroots: BAME healthy communities surviving COVID-19
Calling all CICs - we would like to support BAME LGBTQI communities, those with no recourse to public funds or those living with difficulties or long term conditions. We will fund organisations that provide critical care during this pandemic.
If you wish to apply, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org".
Hardship Fund for the Mentally ill during COVID-19
"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.
£585,000 of emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups!
"LGBTQ+ organisations and groups across the UK will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 to support their vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ communities through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
METRO Charity in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT, will be cascading the £585,000 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’.
The partners will be convening grants panels in each nation - Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to ensure the maximum reach to grassroots community-led LGBTQ+ organisations across the UK. Organisations and groups with income under £100,000 will be able to apply for over 100 grants ranging from £500 to £15,000.
Register your interest in applying for a grant here"
NSUN is a community of people and groups who come together to support each other. We come together in many ways: physically, digitally through social media or through sharing information.
During these uncertain times, we will try and share with you what we can that is useful. In particular, we will think of ways of being together, when we can’t physically be together. And finally, we will continue our campaigning role, ensuring that policy and legislative changes are scrutinised and are rights based.
Submissions to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (July 2020)
We have submitted written evidence to the JCHR's inquiry: "The Government’s response to COVID-19: human rights implications". You can read it here.
You can also read the British Institute of Human Rights' submission via the previous link or see a summary from them here.
NSUN is part of the DBC and is supporting the campaign to keep the £20 uplift on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit and extend it to those on legacy benefits. You can read more from this Joseph Rowntree Foundation blog post here.
NSUN is a VCSE (Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise) partner of the Dept. of Health and Social Care's (DHSC) Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HWA).
Covid-19 Health Inequalities Task and Finish Group
Meetings are continuing with HWA members being linked in to the Task & Finish group, its priorities and subsequent actions. We will update you with news when we have any.
Food for vulnerable people
Further conversations are taking place with Defra about access to priority supermarket deliveries (which are still oversubscribed) and a number of other commercial food box schemes they have collated in this guide.
We will update you on these items when we receive more news. In the meantime, if you have any questions you would like us to put to DHSC, please email us at email@example.com.
Food banks - find your local one and donate/help out
Food banks are playing a very important part in ensuring people have enough food to eat in these challenging times.
If you are either in need of help yourself or would like to find out how you can help, find and contact your local food bank here: