Welcome to this week's ebulletin - full of news, views, events and involvement opportunities. Please view the bulletin in a Webpage if you need to change the text size.
Help and support
If at any time you need immediate support you can find out where to go, who to call, where to get information from here.
Please send any posts (about events, involvement opportunities, jobs, news, blogs or anything else) you'd like to post in the bulletin to email@example.com.
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 have just published Indonesian, Tagalog (Filipino) and Vietnamese translations of our Keeping Control resource for anyone who has experienced abuse, victimisation or hate crime directed at them because of their mental distress or psychiatric diagnosis. You can find the new translations here.
The resource, by Alison Faulkner, is also available in Arabic, Bengali, English, Gujarati, & Urdu. An easy read English version is also available.
You can also listen to short interviews with Alison Faulkner, Christine Khisa, Ian Loynes, Sarah Carr and Tina Coldham about the Keeping Control project and addressing discrimination people face within systems here.
DWP ‘offer to settle’ policy – call to share experiences
The Public Law Projectis representing a client bringing a systemic challenge to the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) ‘offer to settle’ policy. We’re putting a call out to our members to share experiences of this process.
The process involves the DWP contacting Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants after Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) but before appeal. Many claimants have understood that the DWP will only increase their award if they agree to withdraw their appeal. The DWP call this their ‘lapsing policy’ and are defending the claim. Many claimants have been told that the ‘offer’ of the increased award will only be available for a certain amount of time. Many are only told about their appeal rights against the new increased offer if they accept it and agree to withdraw their appeal.
The case will appear before the High Court in July and we are supporting a call to capture experiences of this process since September 2020 to present. In August of last year, the DWP updated guidance on this process, however, there are concerns these practices are ongoing. If you, or someone close to you has experienced this process since September 2020 and you’d be happy to talk further, please contact Policy Officer Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles, blogs, vlogs, and more
We want to use this space to feature members' blogs, posts, vlogs, podcasts and articles. Please email us at email@example.com you would like to share yours with the network here.
Survivor researchers from outside England are welcome to attend."
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.
RCPsych have today (14/06/2021) published a new statement: "RCPsych calls for urgent and transparent investigation into NHS Innovation Accelerator and AHSN following HIN suspension" - you can read it here.
Petition - Create a user-led, independent body to support CQC to monitor secure settings
We believe an independent body led by people with lived experience should be created to work with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to monitor secure settings such as hospitals and assessment and treatment unit (ATUs), and hold them to account.
We have seen too many enquiries and reports talking about abuse. ‘We are sick, angry & upset; we wonder who cares about our lives?’. As of March 2019, over 2,000 learning disabled and autistic people were detained in ATUs & secure hospitals in the UK. This needs to stop.
#WeAreHumanToo are working for change, in 2021 there are concerns that repeated abuse in some institutions is still happening. People are being stripped of their Human Rights, living in fear without a voice."
Racism and Mental Health: How to be an anti-racist mental health researcher
"In June 2020, we held our first webinar “Racism in Mental Health”, in which our three speakers revealed the ways and extent to which institutional racism is embedded in mental health practice across the world. From what was said, it is clear that the issues at hand remain vast, and that much needs to be done to take steps towards equality (to view the recordings and slides from the event, clickhere)
The conversations specifically raised a plethora of issues which exist within mental health research, the body of work and evidence which informs and underpins all of practice. This research then feeds back into the system of practice and further inquiry, perpetuating a seemingly unbreakable cycle. To penetrate deeply entrenched racism within mental health, it is clear that tackling racism within research is paramount."
Exploring Transformational Governance - open house
A session exploring the potential of a co-learning community for innovative governance to drive change and transform our systems.
We are a group of practitioners passionate about the transformative potential of innovative governance, including the contribution good governance can make to disrupting systems of oppression.
We are being supported by Lankelly Chase to test the need and scope for a resourced community of practice to undertake an ongoing, collaborative inquiry into this important topic. We are organising a short series of activities in June as a way of inviting new ideas, perspectives and potential collaborators into the conversation."
We're launching our online peer support groups for lived experiences workers from June 2021. The groups will be hosted on Zoom during weekday evenings, and will be for lived experience activists, peer supporters and broader lived experience workers.
You don't need to be in 'paid work' to be part of these groups, volunteers are welcome to attend. The groups are intended for people who consider their activism, peer support or lived experience activities to constitute some kind of 'labour', and would like to support from others in a similar position.
The first groups in each series will be to decide what we're going to do with the time, how often we would like to have them and to set up our group agreements. We won't be doing much 'peer support' in group one, more getting ourselves set up with a good group!"
These are intended as safe and accessible spaces for men of colour to regularly gather in solidarity and healing.
The next couple of sessions will be focused on creativity as medicine. We will move through discussion, creative practices and movement as a means to share and reflect. The space will be a chance for us to reconnect to our innate creative potential as a form of healing within a community, following practices deeply rooted in various traditions.
The intentions for this space are on how we can break down patterns of harm in our communities, including gender hierarchies and gender based violence, by exploring and sharing the different forms of trauma and oppression that men of colour experience.
These circles are open to cis and trans men/trans masculine people of colour. The group will be capped at 10 participants, and sign up is first come, first serve."
Activism and Tech: New ways of working and organising
The session will offer practical insight and advice for any organisation keen to explore how technology can enhance its impact and deliver a hybrid post-Covid organising model."
Creative News and Opportunities
Mad Hearts - Arts & Mental Health at QMUL
"Do you have a an opportunity, article, provocation or piece of art relating to Arts and Mental health?
Drop us a tweet @MadHeartsArtsand we'll RT and share it with our followers!
Promoting dialogues to challenge and change ideas and practices in mental health through the arts. Rooted in MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health at Queen Mary."
Surveys and involvement opportunities
Participation Opportunities for Co-Production
"Closing date: 25th June
SCIE is involved, with a range of adult social care sector partners, in working to ensure the sector is prepared for the forthcomingLiberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).
As part of this work we want to hear from the people using care services, to support our understanding of how prepared the sector is, what knowledge is required and what the priorities are. We are looking to build peer networks and communities of practice that include experts by experience.
We will be holding a ‘round table’ event, with up to 10 people to inform the training and development of resources that we will produce on behalf of you. We’d like to hear from you if you have experience of being under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) or you have a relative or friend who is subject to DOLS. We want to hear your questions, thoughts and experiences concerning the change from DOLS to LPS.
The meeting will be held online on Monday 5th July from 10am – 11am.
Self Injury Support has been supporting people who self injure for over 30 years. We want to better understand the support you need if you self-injure. Please help us by filling in our survey to help us to improve our services and inform our training and campaigning work. You do not need to answer all of the questions if some are triggering. Anything you share will be helpful to us.
This survey is funded by the National Lottery. The survey is entirely confidential; you do not have to give your name or contact details unless you would like to take part in a follow-up interview.
Do you provide mental health support in the community?
Supporting VCSE organisations to deliver mental health services and support in London
"The Centre for Mental Health are conducting a project on behalf of the Greater London Authority, working alongside Mind and Thrive LDN. The pandemic has been and continues to be a difficult time for the voluntary and community sector and our communities. Both demand and delivery of support, including that relating to mental health, has changed significantly through the last year, including in terms of how VCSE and statutory partners work together to deliver services and support. The Centre for Mental Health have been asked to explore how the voluntary and community sector in London has experienced and responded to Covid-19 in terms of supporting Londoner's mental health.
Do you represent a voluntary or community sector organisation? If so you are invited to share your experiences in a short survey here.
The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete.
It also includes an invitation to share further information in a short interview (approximately 30 mins) with the Centre for Mental Health.
Involvement opportunity - Black men's lived experience of detainment
"Are you a man of Black African Carribean or Black Mixed background and have lived experience of either being detained under the mental health act or supporting someone who has?
Manchester Metropolitan University is working on a research project funded by the National Institute for Health Research. We are looking to recruit members to an Expert by Experience Group to be an integral part of our research team. The research will co-produce an intervention with you that prioritizes what is important to Black African Caribbean and Black mixed men who have experience of being detained. The aim is to reduce rates of detention and improve experiences.
For further information or to express and interest:
We are looking for 8 Young Co-producers with interest in and/or lived experience of mental health issues and racial injustices. This is an opportunity to reimagine and affect change within mental health support. Young Co-producers will drive the development of our new programme. As a Young Co-producer you will co-produce training and recruitment of other young people, help design the programme brand, get involved with peer-research and share your ideas and insight to advise the project team on the change you want to see within mental health support.
The role will run from July 2021 to April 2022 and is paid, supported role for young people aged 16 – 25. Being a Young Co-producer will help you develop your skills and experience. As part of your role, we will provide training and support to help you establish yourself as a Young Co-producer, including project management, goal setting and reflective practice."
Papers, reports and policy
Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches
World Health Organisation (WHO)
Read the response by NSUN policy officer, Mary Sadid here.
"The WHO Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches documentis part of the WHO Guidance and technical packages on community mental health services set of publications.
It provides a detailed description of person-centred and human rights-based approaches in mental health, and summary examples of good practice services around the world. It describes the linkages needed with housing, education, employment and social protection sectors, and presents examples of integrated regional and national networks of community-based mental health services. Specific recommendations and action steps are presented for developing community mental health services that respect human rights and focus on recovery. This comprehensive document is accompanied by a set of seven technical packages focused on specific categories of mental health services and guidance for setting up new services.
CII survey report into disabled women's healthcare experiences
Chronic Illness Inclusion
"In this report we argue that the NHS’ construct of Medically Unexplained Symptoms, which conflates MUS with somatisation and hysteria, produces systemic disbelief in our lived experience of illness and impairment. And our survey findings demonstrate the damage that this systemic disbelief has on the whole of our lives, including by creating barriers to disability equality and inclusion.
The MUS framework and related services in the NHS are explicitly about cutting healthcare costs by diverting patients who take up too much GP surgery time away from biomedical investigation and into psychologist-led services where their physical symptoms are systemically discredited. There is virtually no evaluation of these services from the service-user perspective. Others have critiqued the MUS construct from within the philosophical tradition of ‘epistemic injustice’ and bioethics. (Read this article by Diane O Leary and Keith Geraghty )
First port of call: the role of GPs in early support for young people’s mental health
"General Practitioners (GPs) are a frontline service for young people that are struggling with their mental health. They play a crucial role in providing advice to young people and in making referrals to specialist support, which can be life-changing.
However, both young people and GPs themselves often voice frustration over their experiences of trying to navigate the complexity of our health system.
Working alongside The Children's Society, we wanted to hear from young people and GPs about what they thought needed to change to ensure that young people can access mental health support when they need it.
"The Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society has commissioned an update to the2010“Understanding Bipolar Disorder report”. Since its last iteration there have been significant expansions in research relevant to understanding bipolar disorder and updates in NICE Clinical Guidelines.
The original bipolar report made a strong case for understanding mood variation as being experienced across a continuum with substantial overlap with the wider population. The updated report will build on this perspective with additional material on strengths associated with experiences of extreme mood states and highlighting how collaborative support focused on personal recovery can facilitate living a valued life alongside mood challenges. In addition there are opportunities to strengthen consideration of diversity issues including age, gender, ethnicity, physical health and intellectual disabilities.
The editorial team (Prof. Steven Jones (Chair), Prof. Fiona Lobban, Anne Cooke, Joanne Hemmingfield) are currently holding a public consultation (open 7-25 June) on the structure of the updated report on which the editors would value feedback. It can be accessed here.
To read the full report create a free account hereto access, or you can find a direct access copy externallyhere."
Shared decision making
"This guideline covers how to make shared decision making part of everyday care in all healthcare settings. It promotes ways for healthcare professionals and people using services to work together to make decisions about treatment and care. It includes recommendations on training, communicating risks, benefits and consequences, using decision aids, and how to embed shared decision making in organisational culture and practices.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Due to an expansion in services, Kensington & Chelsea Mind is looking to appoint 4 new Peer Support Workers, including one senoir post to join our established Peer Support Team. Kensington and Chelsea Mind is the delivery partner for NHS Community Living Well Peer Support Service.
The service operates alongside other clinical and wellbeing services to offer; one to one peer support, peer support groups, social peer support, training and workshops for people with complex, common and stable long term mental health needs. You will be working as part of an NHS integrated mental health service to deliver community-based peer support. You will be building and maintaining constructive working relationships with people who use our services, carers, colleagues and community networks.
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 workers.
You will be working as part of our Recovery and Outreach team, creating links with primary care and voluntary sector organisations to support people. You will carry out initial assessments and short-term interventions enabling people to identify their needs and goals.
For further details/informal visit please contact Raisel Byrne on 020 8458 2223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org"
The World Reimagined is a ground-breaking, national art education project to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact on all of us. The World Reimagined will see trails of large Globe sculptures in cities across the UK in May-July of 2022, created by artists to bring to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The trails will be the centre of a broader learning and engagement programme - with hundreds of schools, community groups, sporting and cultural institutions taking part across the country.
To make this vision happen we are recruiting committed and connected community coordinators across our host cities to work with organisations and individuals who are committed to fighting for racial justice and increasing levels of awareness around issues of race, history and identity.
You will be responsible for working alongside grassroots organisations and inspiring individuals working in and across communities in a host city. Connecting the themes of The World Reimagined to the excellent work carried out by organisations across the country"
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."
Would you like to forward this email to a friend? Click here.