05 Aug

National Survivor User Network (NSUN) Bulletin – 3 August 2020

Welcome to the Monday 3rd August 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.
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


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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. 
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.
Our resources:
Articles, blogs, vlogs and more
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We are always looking to feature members’ blogs, posts, vlogs, podcasts and articles so please email us at info@nsun.org.uk if you would like to share yours.
Podcast via The King’s Fund
Opinion article via Mad In Asia
Vlog via Mad Covid Diaries
Post by Praveen Sunar via Taraki
Post by Mackenzie via You Matter


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.


Black Mental Health Live
Adira and SHSC
Article ImageAdira and Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust presented a live event on Black mental health, with over 2,000 people watching. You can watch the recording of the event here.
“ADIRA, Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust & Flourish have worked together to put on this event to look at ways to engage with the BAME community to build better relationships- break down barriers, dispel any myths about mental health services and build positive relationships with this community.
We are hopeful that in doing this it will support people to come forward for help at an earlier point with their mental health problems so that they are able to enter into preventable treatments rather than at a point where they are very unwell and require for example hospital inpatient care.
We want to raise awareness of our mental health services, what’s available and how to access them.”


Impact of Covid-19 on people receiving social care
The Health Foundation 
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“Our latest analysis explores the profound impact that COVID19 has had on people receiving social care, their families & on care workers.
Our two new reports explore:
  • the scale of this impact
  • the policy response in England so far
Read both here.”


BAME mental health radio hub
Under the Radar
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“The mini-pilot season, Under The Radar, has been an overwhelming success with listeners and mental health workers in its short run and is being broadcast over the next few weeks every Tuesday at 4pm on Birminghams Unity 93.5FM.”
Under the Radar is an NSUN fund grantee initiative. Tune in here


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 before 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


Independent living survey
Shaping Our Lives
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“Shaping Our Lives has been given some money from the National Lottery Community Fund to do research. The research is to find out what longer term impacts on independent living have been caused for d/Deaf and Disabled people by Covid 19 emergency policies and lockdown. For example, some people have told us they have lost their confidence in getting out and about and everyday living has become more difficult. We know that some of these issues cannot be sorted out quickly. In some cases, people’s lives may not get back to how they used to be without additional help.”
It will take about 20 minutes. You can access the survey here


Fundraising for member group
Hearts and Minds 
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In response to Covid-19, Hearts and Minds moved sessions online and run three times the number of sessions per week to extend support to young people across the country. 
A message from Beth, Director at Hearts and Minds:
“Keeping Hearts & Minds open for young people experiencing mental health difficulties during the pandemic has been a real challenge! We watched a mental health system already acknowledged as being in crisis, try to deal with a pandemic, with the result being even more young people than ever being turned away or put on endless waiting lists for support.
As a peer led grassroots organisation, it felt right we do all we could to help. Overnight we had to morph into a virtual support service and I am really proud of what we have achieved so far, but it means we now need some help… we hope to restart our in-person groups as soon as is safe to do so, as well as continuing online support for our shielding and UK wide members, but the demand is high and in order to do this, we need your help to raise an additional £5k by 17th August.
The campaign is live from TODAY on our Golden Giving page. So please donate, share, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and help us get to #HeartsAndMinds5K !”


New report: The Dr Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience
National Voices
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“We are pleased to present The Dr Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience. An insight report presenting key findings and insight from our recent research into people’s experiences of remote and virtual consultations and appointments. The project was undertaken in partnership with Traverse and Healthwatch England, and supported by PPL.


The report describes the opportunities and risks, the successes and failures of this very rapid adaptation of service models in a balanced way, and also aims to provide practical support to people who deliver or use services on how to make the experience a better one.”

Read the report here


Report on voluntary services in crisis care
University of Birmingham/NIHR
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A new report has been released on National Institute of Health Research-funded study: The role of the voluntary sector in mental health crisis by Dr Karen Newbigging and colleagues.
Read the report here


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.


Launch event: what needs to change in the benefits system
The Commission on Social Security Led by Experts by Experience  
Article ImageOn Wednesday 12th August at 7pm, there is a launch event for a consultation on proposals for a better benefits system.
“The online launch event will
  • Unveil the Commission’s proposals
  • Explain how you can have your say
  • Provide information on getting involved in the consultation
  • Have British Sign Language interpretation and live subtitles
Please register for the event and further details will then be sent to you nearer the time.
If you can’t make it but would like follow-up information please email the Commission Secretary: Michael.Orton@warwick.ac.uk


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”


More and better mental health support needed in GP surgeries following pandemic
Centre for Mental Health
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“More and better mental health support is needed in GP surgeries in the wake of Covid-19, according to a report published by The King’s Fund and Centre for Mental Health.
Mental Health and Primary Care Networks finds that current provision of mental health support in general practice is variable and often inadequate. As practices join up into over 1,000 Primary Care Networks in England, the report calls on them to seize the opportunity to strengthen mental health provision in primary care. This could help to fill the gap at a time of increased need for mental health care in the aftermath of the pandemic.”


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.”


August zoom meeting
Mad Studies Birmingham
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“‘Mad Studies’ is a field of scholarship, theory, and activism about the lived experiences, history, cultures, and politics about people who may identify as ‘Mad’, mentally ill, psychiatric survivors, consumers, service users, patients, neurodiverse and disabled…
All welcome!
Are you a Lived Experience Practitioner (LXP)? (Mad) Academic? Student? Clinician? Service User? Carer?


5pm – 6.30PM
6 August 2020″

Find out more and book here


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.
Volunteer opportunity 
Together for Mental Wellbeing
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Together for Mental Wellbeing is a national charity that believes that people with mental health issues have the right and the ability to lead independent, fulfilling lives as part of their communities. Together for Mental Wellbeing is trusted for our expertise in service user leadership. In everything we do we are inspired and guided by the hopes and wishes of those we support.
We recently launched a new service supporting people who are part of the London Offender Personality Disorder Pathway. Our service is called Together Wellbeing Pathway and aims to provide support to people who are likely to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Personality Disorder and have lived experience of the criminal justice system as a service user.
Practical Support Volunteer – London
  • In this role you will support the service user in a way that is led by them. You will work alongside the Volunteer Co-ordinator and a network of other volunteers.
  • The support you will offer will be around practical help for example, assisting people to complete housing applications, promoting independence for those who may struggle with everyday life activities, accompanying people to appointments.
  • Whilst volunteering with us, you will have regular support and guidance from your Volunteer Coordinator.
  • For more information, please contact: Deborah Adewole deborah-adewole@together-uk.org or call Deborah on 07889 318392
Freelance Group and Network Development Worker
Hearing Voices Network
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Payment: £540 (equivalent to £22.50 per hour for 24 hours work to be completed within 3 months)
Location: Home-based
Contact: Rai Waddingham – chair@hearing-voices.org
SeeFull job advert 
Expressions of interest: send to chair@hearing-voices.org by: 5pm, 14th August 2020
Interviews: w/c 17 & 24 August (online, by mutual arrangement)
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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
Research advisory committee members
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“The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds high quality research that is focused on the needs of patients and the public. We aim to ensure that the knowledge, experiences and interests of patients, service users, carers and the public inform and contribute to our work.
We at the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) are looking for members of the public to join our advisory committees with the following research funding programmes.
For more information and how to apply, please click here. To find out more about the opportunity, take a look at the information below:
Everything you wanted to know about being a public committee member’ is a video about public members sharing their experiences and insights on the role, including some useful tips
Public reviewing with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)‘ is a free online interactive course designed for new and experienced public committee members as well as public reviewers.
If you have any questions about these opportunities please contact us by email: publicrecruitment@nihr.ac.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.
Closing date: 9am Monday 7th September 2020
Peer Advocate
Inclusion Barnet
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Are you a disabled person who cares passionately about social justice? Could you support groups of disabled people to make their voices heard and advocate for change?
We’re looking for someone with lived experience of disability, mental health issues or a long term condition who would relish the opportunity to support groups of disabled people about the things that matter to them. As well as a pan disability group for our members, you’ll also support groups for people with learning disabilities and for people with mental health issues, focusing in on the different issues that matter to them. A committed advocate for disability rights, you’ll be someone able to speak and write confidently about sometimes complex issues and form positive working relationships with people in authority. You’ll work with our communications team to get messages out to our members and other stakeholders, and you’ll be confident collating responses to consultations and conducting research.
For more information and to apply, please click here.
Deadline: Thurs 3rd September 2020

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

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