31 Jul

National Survivor User Network (NSUN) Bulletin – 27 July 2020

Welcome to the Monday 27th July 2020 edition of our weekly ebulletin – full of news, views, events and involvement opportunities.
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

Bulletin items
If you would like to send us an event, involvement opportunity, blog article or anything else to share with the wider network in the bulletin, please email us at info@nsun.org.uk.
You can view our previous NSUN weekly bulletins and subscribe to get them sent directly to your mailbox here.
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 so here.
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.

Our work
A great way to have a look at what’s been happening over the last year is to go to our News pageand visit the pages below.
NSUN news – new staff member
My name is Amy and I’ve just started as the new Communications and Membership Officer for NSUN! I’ll be looking after the bulletin and social media (and lots more) – I’m really excited to connect with the membership and hear your thoughts on our communications, so please do feel free to get in touch with me via the email below.
Take care,
NSUN AGM 2019 report available
held in York
Article ImageThe full NSUN AGM 2019 York report is now available to download here.
As well as the details of our statutory business, the report features:
  • the transcript of an empassioned speech by Anne Beales, NSUN’s co-founder, which brought many members to tears;
  • notes on guest speakers including Alison Faulkner, Mark Brown, and Dominic Makuvachuma
  • links to all the videos of the ever popular soapboxes
Please take a look! 
Watch this space for info on the NSUN AGM 2020 soon…

DHSC Covid-19 VCSE partner update 
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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.
NHS Volunteer Responder scheme
If you or someone you know requires help with things like shopping, collection of prescriptions and the ‘check in and chat’ facility for those feeling lonely, you can now call the scheme directly on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm). Currently you can’t self-refer online but this may change. For those who need help with transport e.g. to hospital appointments, you still have to be referred by the NHS, your local authority or via a local VCSE organisation. 
Please see the RVS website for more info and eligibility criteria. This list has been recently updated to confirm that if you are “vulnerable due to a mental health condition” you can access this service. 
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 info@nsun.org.uk

Covid-19 links
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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. 
Read more here:
NSUN Covid-19 fund *APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED* including an update on the Fund so far 
Articles, blogs, vlogs and more
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We are always looking to feature members’ blogs and articles so please email us at info@nsun.org.uk if you would like to share yours.
By Penny Vicary via Applied Research Collaboration East of England 
By Mark Brown (lecture to Goldsmiths MA Social Enterprise students)
In Mad Covid Diaries
Podcast by Expert by Experience 
By Micha Frazer-Carroll in the Independent
By Becki Meakin and Jurgen Grotz (Shaping Our Lives)

Food banks – find your local one and donate/help out
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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:
Ways in which you can help include:
  • donate money
  • donate food
  • volunteer
  • become a business partner
Contact your local food bank to find out the best way you can help.

Hardship Fund for the Mentally ill during COVID-19
on gofundme
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“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 OT employed 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.
To apply for funds, please fill in this short online survey (also featured on the page below): https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/73YNTCZ
To find out more, please click here.
You can read more about #MadCovidDiaries here or get in touch by email: madcovid@gmail.com.”

£585,000 of emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups!
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“​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” 
Find out more here

A community-led public health programme through a disability justice & anti-oppression lens
Healing Justice London (open to all)
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Healing Justice have announced “Through the Portal: Healing Justice Beyond Pandemic”, a programme that will run from summer to autumn. It is free and open to all.
To find out more and register, click here. For access needs, please email info@healingjusticeldn.org

Member survey: “accessing A&E for self-harm treatment through a ‘call before you walk’ system”
Self Injury Support
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“The NHS in England and Wales is considering using a ‘call b efore you walk’ approach to attending A&E over the winter to try and reduce pressures on A&E.
What has been suggested is a “triage point” such as NHS 111 should be available for patients needing urgent treatment and be able to book access to primary care, urgent treatment centres or same-day emergency “hot clinics” staffed by specialists.

We have been contacted by some people who attend A&E for self-harm treatment to say they have concerns about this approach and we would like to gather more views so that we can feed them back to policy makers in this area. We can talk to policy makers about how this will impact on people who need self-harm treatment and how to make sure they get the treatment they need.
All information will be used anonymised and we will not share your contact details with anyone.”
You can complete their survey here

Do you suffer from Anxiety or Depression? Is Lockdown taking its toll on you?
The Sunshine Group
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“If you are finding life challenging in these difficult times, then why not join us online?

The Sunshine Group is an independent confidentially run Peer Support Group, we meet every Tuesday & Friday evening at 7pm for an hour or more. When restrictions ease we will be hosting some group meetings face-to-face (in South London).

Want to join or know more? Feel free to contact Phil on: 07961 337 966

We have a new website, please take a look here.

thesunshinegroup2@gmail.com or enquiriesthesunshinegroup@gmail.com

Remember you are not alone.”

When There Are No Words: Working Creatively With Psychosis
ISPS UK webinar 
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“About this Event 
How can arts and creative therapies help those living with psychosis to make sense of their experiences when talking can be too difficult? How can we make this way of working to be more available within the NHS? Our panellists Mary Coaten, Louise Combes, Sarah Parkinson and Harry Walker will talk about these and other important but complex issues. There will be time for discussion and questions from participants.”
When: Thursday 30 July 2020 
Time: 19.00 – 20.30
Click here to find out more and register for this free event.

LGBT online mental health support
London Friend
“While we’re coming out of lockdown, a lot of people are struggling with the mental health effects of the pandemic. We provide up to six free online 1:1 as well as group support sessions. You can find more info + register here.”


Making debt advice accessible to people with mental health problems 
Money and Mental Health Policy Institute 
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“Our new report explores the challenges people with mental health problems face when accessing debt advice – and sets out what debt advice providers, funders and regulators can do to better support people.”
Click here to read the report.

Paper on collaborative and personalised advance decision making
Mental Health and Justice research group
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Following the Mental Health Act review, the government has committed to introducing Advance Choice Documents (ACDs) for mental health service users. The Mental Health and Justice research group has produced the paper “The PACT advance decision-making template: preparing for Mental Health Act reforms with co-production, focus groups and consultation” in response, proposing guidelines for the introduction of ACDs:
“A prototype template and guidance, the PACT (Preferences and Advance decisions for Crisis and Treatment) was co-produced, designed to help manage fluctuating mental capacity through collaborative decision making.”
You can read their paper here

Participants needed for research about compassionate care
University of East London
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“Compassionate care: as defined by individuals who have used mental health services and are from an ethnic minority background.
I am a trainee clinical psychologist at the University of East London, looking for participants to speak to me about compassion and compassionate care.
The study will involve attending an informal interview, which will last for approximately 1 hour. Interviews will be held via phone or online call, or face to face at the University of East London, Stratford campus (depending on government guidelines on social distancing).
You can take part if you:
– Are aged 18 and over
– Identify with a minority ethnicity in the UK
– Can speak and understand English (to a level where you can communicate comfortably in an informal interview about compassion)
– Have previously used NHS acute mental health services (but not currently or within the last 3 months)
Acute mental health services include:
– Inpatient mental health wards
– Psychiatric intensive care units (PICU)
– Home treatment/ crisis resolution teams (HTT)
– A&E psychiatric liaison
If you would like more information or want to take part, please email Sabiha Kalam-Polli at: u1120061@uel.ac.uk
Deadline: 30th November 2020
This study has been approved by the University of East London School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee”

Petition: Abolish the Mental Health Act
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NSUN member Wendy Micklewright has created a petition asking for signatories to join her in calling for the abolition of the Mental Health Act.
Find out more about the petition “Abolish the Mental Health Act and legislate for new forms of support” here

SURVEY: Share your experiences of diagnosis and treatment for Depersonalisation-Derealisation
Unreal & UCL
Article Image“The Department of Psychiatry at University College London in collaboration with Unreal is asking individuals with symptoms of Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder to take part in a survey.
There are many anecdotal reports of difficulties in getting a diagnosis and accessing treatment, but there is no published research to evaluate these experiences. This survey will be valuable in helping us understanding the specific barriers that people with Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder might have met. We hope you can share your experience so that we can help improve this process in the future.
This survey is open to UK residents and will close on Saturday 8th August
If you are interested in taking part, please click here.”
Go to this survey page on Unreal’s website here

Research funding call
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The UKRI Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network is delighted to launch our second plus projects funding call.  Grants are available for small projects up to £25k, on the theme of understanding violence, abuse, and mental health.  We will commission research that aims to understand:
(1)    The common sources of harm in the interconnected systems encountered by victims and survivors of violence and abuse?
(2)    The pathways to experiencing – and/or using – violence and abuse, and their relationship with mental health problems?
(3)    Which factors are protective against violence, abuse, and mental health problems across the life course, disaggregated by gender, and which could be potential targets for interventions?
Grants can be used to deliver a targeted piece of research or to pump-prime larger projects.  We welcome applications from a broad range of disciplines and the inclusion of early career researchers, users/survivors, and third sector and other non-academic organisations as co-investigators.  We expect the meaningful involvement of survivors and of third sector organisations within all applications.
Applications are now open and close at 5pm on 11th December 2020. We anticipate making 4-5 awards.
Full details on how to apply, including the call specification and frequently asked questions, can be accessed from our website here. Information about the projects funded through our first funding call, on the theme of measurement of violence, abuse, and mental health can be found here.”

Challenge and Change – NEW FUND for young activists
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“Challenge and Change is a fund dedicated to supporting the limitless energy of young people affected by injustices who are working tirelessly across England to create positive change. We see you. We know that you are creators of change and active citizens for the public good. We also recognise that you need investment and support to take forward your ambitions for a positive future.
If you’re 18-25 years old, working at the hard edge of injustice and have radical ideas, dreams, visions, and imaginations for a just and fair world for all, we want to invest in you and your work and offer a package of mentoring and network support to help take your work to the next level.
Applications open now until 11.59pm on 27th July 2020
This fund was co-created by a group of partners: Young Advisers – Daze Aghaji, Chloe Deakin, Jovan Nepaul – the Blagrave Trust and the Centre for Knowledge Equity.”
Find out more here

Affordable employee assistance programme (EAP)
Sheffield Flourish
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“We are supporting a project which is set up to offer an affordable employee assistance programme for small third sector organisations. We are a small charity ourselves, working in mental health, and were really keen to support this because we know from our own experience that support for staff can be expensive, and we loved the idea of something at a more affordable cost to help ensure staff get the support they need.


“Dedicated Space is an employee assistance programme (EAP) designed specifically to support smaller third sector organisations. Everyone is at risk from life experiences causing levels of distress – these work related vulnerabilities can create heightened risk of stress-related ill health. These in turn undermine healthy relationships and impact on professional effectiveness. The lowered productivity, diminished practice quality, and increased absence from work linked to mental ill health can have a devastating effect on small organisations. Limited budgets make high staff turnover, impeded effectiveness, lack of sickness cover and service disruption more likely and in turn creates further pressure on a small team and the service it provides. Dedicated Space offers affordable counselling specifically to the employees and volunteers of third sector organisations with a turnover of less than £1,000,000. Sessions are delivered by fully insured, Diploma level qualified counsellors who are members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Support is offered to individuals, for couples with relationship difficulties or colleagues in conflict, and to enable staff teams to solve relational difficulties in a safe environment.”

Jobs & Recruitment
Volunteer Peer Researchers
Against Violence and Abuse
“AVA has launched a new national project – ‘Staying Mum’ – in order to develop responses to women who have faced domestic and/or sexual violence and have faced the loss of their child(ren) being temporarily or permanently removed.
We are recruiting up to 15 women (aged 18 and above), to talk and listen to women about their experiences of domestic and sexual violence and the loss of their child(ren). We are looking for women who:
  • Have experienced domestic and/ or sexual violence
  • AND have experienced the loss of having their child(ren) being temporarily or permanently removed.
  • We are also interested in recruiting women who have: experienced mental ill health,  used substances in a way that has impacted on their well-being (substances may include alcohol, illegal drugs, prescribed and over-the counter medications), had contact with the criminal justice system; experienced homelessness; have been involved in sex work or faced sexual exploitation. 
Peer researchers will receive full training and support to undertake research. No previous research experience is necessary.  Please do contact Lucy Allwright – lucy.allwright@avaproject.org.uk if you have any questions or would like more information.”
Find out more and apply here.
Deadline for applications is Friday August 7th.
Survivor/Lived Experience Involvement Consultant
The Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN) are currently recruiting for a Survivor/Lived Experience Involvement Consultant. The post holder will support the ongoing development of VAMHN’s lived experience involvement strategy and activities, including through the development and strengthening of links with local and national survivor/service user led organisations, and helping to coordinate and facilitate the VAMHN Lived Experience Advisory Group. For full details including job description, payment information and start dates please click here.
The deadline for applications is Friday 7th August 2020. 
HEAR is seeking new trustees to help us move forward as we grow as a network and an organisation: a new Chair of Trustees, a Treasurer, and other trustees with the skills and interests to support our work going forward.
Please initially contact the Network Coordinator: christine@hearequality.org.uk
for more information. Find out more about HEAR here.
Underground Lights
Article ImageThe Underground Lights Board of Trustees meet at least four times a year and are responsible for the successful and legal running of the charity We’re a passionate and committed team – and we’re looking for people to help guide us towards success.
Find out more here
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“We’re Mind. We’re the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We’re here to make sure that everyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.
We’re looking for up to three trustees to join our Board from December 2020. We’re looking for dedicated, empathetic and ambitious candidates to help make our mission a reality.
Diversity is critical for a board to be effective; enabling varied discussions, active debate and effective decision making. This year, we particularly encourage applications from those
  • from BAME groups
  • from Wales or have a strong knowledge and understanding of the devolved environment in Wales
  • who have experienced or are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage
Whether you’re an experienced trustee or taking your first steps into governance, if you have the commitment, values and skills, we want to hear from you. For more details click here.
Click here to read an interview with one of our current trustees about why you should apply.”
Deadline: Monday 17th August 2020

There are currently no face-to-face events. Please see listings above for virtual meetings.

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