13 Jun

National Survivor User Network (NSUN) Bulletin – 9 June 2020

Welcome to the Tuesday 9th June 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.
Last week, the Public Health England review on whether people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are more adversely affected by Covid-19 was published. NSUN Associate Jayasree Kalathil wrote a powerful and urgent response to it, which summarises our concerns: “the biggest pre-existing risk factor for the health of people from racialised communities in the UK is the systemic and structural racism that is the direct result of white supremacy and privilege.” Please read Colin King’s Poem for George, and the new slavery, Covid-19. I can’t breathe.
If you have a moment, please check out the latest posts in our new #NSUNCovidLife series of blogs and videos by our members, including Jhilmil Breckenridge on her work with Mad in Asia and the Bhor Foundation during lockdown, and David Gibbs inviting us to think about what “restoration”, post Covid-19, might look like: “but how do we live and do peer support when so many are dying, marginalised, betrayed or exhausted?”
Warm wishes,
Akiko Hart
pronouns: she/her
akiko.hart@nsun.org.uk | @AkikoMHart
PS: The NSUN Covid-19 fund is still open. We have awarded 39 grants so far. You can apply here for grants of up to £1000 to support community action, peer support, mutual aid and other activities that will make a direct difference to the lives of people living with mental ill-health, trauma and distress during this Covid-19 period. We have also worked with People First to create an Easy Read version of the form and guidance. Please do apply and spread the word.

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:
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 Jayasree Kalathil
by Colin King
In Disability News Service 
in gal-dem
in Mad in America

DHSC Covid-19 VCSE partner update
Article ImageAs a VCSE partner of the Dept. of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NSUN now attends a fortnightly webinar where we are given updates on Covid-19. 
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

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.”

LISTEN: Dr. Dwight Turner talks about the anguish and action that has risen from the murder of George Floyd
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Dr Dwight Turner is a psychotherapist, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at School of Applied Social Science at Brighton University. His most recent blog – “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” for BME Voices Talk Mental Health – addressed the anguish and the action that has risen from the latest public murder of a Black man, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and has been very widely read by UK and US therapists.
In this podcast he speaks about being a Black man and a Black therapist; of racism being a problem of Whiteness rather than a Black problem; and the legacy of centuries of racism that remains largely unaddressed within our professions.
Listen to the podcast here.
You can find our more about Dr Turner’s work here and read his blog on BME Voices Talk Mental Health at BMEVOICES.CO.UK

Don’t leave Disabled People Behind – latest on the campaign
Disability Benefits Consortium
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Read the latest on this campaign by DBC on their website here.
  • ‘Computer says no’ – Government excuse for hundreds of thousands of disabled people denied emergency Covid support
  • Government uses ‘computer says no’ as an excuse for disability discrimination during Covid-19 crisis
  • Over 115,000 have signed ‘Don’t Leave Disabled People Behind’ petition to give people on ALL legacy benefits an emergency top up – following Universal Credit’s £20 uplift
  • Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to stop discrimination against disabled people by backdating pay
Join the DBC’s call in demanding the Government to stop leaving disabled people behind & read our letter to Rishi Sunak here
Or tweet @RishiSunak encouraging him to take action
Best wishes,
Ella and Emily
(DBC Campaigns Co-Chairs)

The workshops: Patient Voices storytelling goes online
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If you have a story – any story – to tell about #Covid19, the next @PatientVoicesUK digital storytelling workshop is for you!
Find out more here:
WEBINAR: Mental Health & Human Rights in the time of COVID-19
United for Global Mental Health 
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The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, MHPSS.net and United for Global Mental Health have launched a series of weekly webinars designed to provide policy makers and the wider health community with the latest evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and how to address it.
The webinars provide practical solutions to the challenging issues we are all grappling with. Participants are encouraged to join from around the world, including those with lived experience of mental health and of COVID-19. The format is short remarks by up to 4 panellists followed by a Q&A chaired by Niall Boyce, Editor of The Lancet Psychiatry.
Date: This webinar on Tuesday 9th June (and weekly on Tuesdays)
Time: 14:00 BST (09:00 EST; 15:00 CET; 15:00 SAST; 18:30 IST)
Find out more and see the latest webinar schedule here and register here

Mad Hearts: The Arts and Mental Health
Queen Mary Uni of London
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A one day online event organised by the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health.
Date:  Friday 19 June 2020 | Online
Time:  10:40am – 4pm
“This one-day webinar explores productive, radical, contemporary encounters between the arts and mental health, bringing together clinical, artistic and research perspectives that offer a re-interpretation of contemporary mental health science and practice.
We welcome service users, mental health professionals, artists and researchers and any members of the general public interested in the way the arts can contribute to mental health.
More info and register here.”

A new Mental Health Charter for Britain – call to action
Manchester Mental Health Charter Alliance
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Tom Griffiths of the Manchester Mental Health Charter Alliance writes a member’s blog here about the Manchester Charter, its history and its importance in fighting the injustices in the treatment of service users that persist today. He puts a call out to all of those who wish to see a new Mental Health Charter for Britain.
“We are publicising our Alliance in this bulletin in order to discover if our experiences of a crumbling system failing to deal with our expectations tally with yours – despite up-beat managerial claims to the contrary. We want to learn whether the Charter is just about what is going on in one Northern metropolis or whether our struggle is also your struggle.  If it is then please contact us at campaign.mhcharteralliance@gmail.com so that together we can secure justice with and for service-users and give you a platform to have your voice heard.”
Read the full article here

UK Standards Implementation Stories
UK Standards for Public Involvement
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UK Standards for Public Involvement has worked in partnership with the UK Standards Test Bed sites to develop a handbook of implementation stories based on the experiences of the test beds. We hope that these showcase different experiences of applying the UK Standards in a range of contexts. 
The handbook shares stories of implementing the UK Standards for
Public Involvement in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The stories are designed to give you a glimpse of different ways
the standards were implemented and integrated into ‘business as
usual’ in research, or as part of special projects. As well as setting out
the context for each story, there are details about what happened,
some reflections about public involvement, and the experience of
implementing the standards.
Read the stories here

Exploring the lived experiences of loneliness and isolation with people with mental health problems during the COVID 19 pandemic in the UK
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“The aim of this research study is to find out about the experiences of feeling lonely or isolated and how they may relate to experiences of mental health problems during the COVID pandemic and more generally.
Lived experience researchers are conducting telephone and online interviews with people with lived experience of mental illness to help us understand more about mental health and loneliness and how it relates to COVID 19 pandemic.
It will also help us to do further research looking at how to measure these things, or to develop ways of supporting people’s mental health and reducing loneliness and isolation particularly during pandemics.
Full information including ethics approvals is online here and you can email dop.pru@ucl.ac.uk if you’re interested in taking part or with any questions.”

OTHER WAYS TO CARE III Beyond the Neo-liberal Madness
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Other Ways to Care III will take place on Friday 12th June, as part of the Antiuniversity Festival 2020, and we would love to count you in.
As a way of continuing the conversation, this year we will create RadioCare: an on the spot radio session, a virtual fonoplatea, a radio room created for sharing reflections, stories, observations, songs, opinions, silences, ruminations, noises, book fragments, poems, or nothing at all.
We wonder if you would want to take part by sending a short audio-file or text with your insights beforehand, and/or simply by joining the conversation on a radio evening (6:30 to 9:30 pm) that day.
Please do let us know if you would like to share something, attend, or if you have any other ideas/questions.
Paola, Rachel, Laura, Ludovica, Susana
Other Ways to Care

Young people and their mental health: new articles from NHS England
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The coronavirus outbreak is having an impact on everybody’s lives. At this time, it is understandable that children and young people may be feeling anxious and upset. Their life may feel unpredictable and out of control and their usual mechanisms of support through friends, family members and professionals will have changed and may be more limited.
Some children and young people with extra vulnerabilities will be facing greater challenges. We know that all professionals and services working with children and young people across the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors are doing their best to support children, young people and their families but as we move out of lock-down these anxieties may increase.
Children and Young People’s Mental Health services have adapted to the crisis by offering creative solutions and extra support to crisis lines, but we would like to go further in reaching out to let children, young people and those who support them know that help is available, and for this we seek your help.
We would like to draw your attention to two articles by Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan (the NHS’ Associate National Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Health), which are now on our website.
The first is on advice on what to do if you’re a young person and it’s all getting too much with mental ill health.
The second is advice for parents, guardians and carers on how to help and support a child or young person with mental ill health.

Intentional Peer Support Training
Hearts and Minds 
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Big news! Hearts & Minds have partnered with Intentional Peer Support to be able to deliver Peer Support Training to 18 young people (aged 16-30) across the UK! Our Director, Beth Ingram will be facilitating it alongside Mirabai Swingler, Founder of the ‘Only Us’ Campaign.
At the end of the course you will have an Intentional Peer Support Core Qualification which is recognised and respected by charities and NHS Services that employ peer support workers across the country. NSUN is delighted to be able to offer 5 bursaries towards this course.
Click here to find out more

Do you suffer from Anxiety or Depression?
Is Lockdown taking its toll on you? 
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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 evening at 7pm for an hour. When restrictions ease we will be hosting some group meetings face-to-face.
Want to join or know more? Feel free to contact Phil on philipbayes@hotmail.com or thesunshinegroup2@gmail.com
Remember you are not alone.”

Free Suicide Prevention Training
Zero Suicide Alliance
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“The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) is a collaboration of National Health Service trusts, charities, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond.
We are an alliance of people and organisations coming together around one basic principle: Suicide is preventable
The ZSA is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of, and promoting, FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.
Find out more about this free training here.”

Virtual mental wellbeing events
Dragon Cafe in the City 
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“Virtual DCC comes to you, right where you are.
Please join us for ‘Virtual DCC’, our online Dragon Café in the City event. It’s
Men’s Health Week so we have some specials. We hope you can participate.
Date: Wednesday 10th June
Time: various events at various times
Click here to look at the full schedule and to register for different events.”

Join the conversation around remote peer support
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We appreciate these are challenging times – particularly with social distancing set to be around for the foreseeable future.
Bipolar UK, Together UK, NSUN, and Mind are continuing to host a fortnightly peer support conversation, via Zoom. 
The session will be split into 2 groups: One for peer support leaders and participants, the other for service providers and local organisations. The aim is to talk through the mutual challenges we are facing, connect with our peers, and to share our experiences.
Next event: Thursday 11th June
Time: 11am – 12.30pm
Find out more and register for this free event here

How has young people’s mental health and psychological wellbeing been influenced by lockdown measures?
University of Oxford study
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“How has young people’s mental health and psychological wellbeing been influenced by lockdown measures? What mental health struggles may emerge in transitioning to the ‘new normal’?
The Oxford Achieving Resilience during and after COVID-19 study investigates resilience and how teenagers and their parents/carers are coping with social isolation during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We want to find out why some young people cope extremely well with stressful situations, while others find it more difficult.
We are inviting teenagers (aged 13 – 18), and their parents/carers, to take part in this longitudinal online study. We hope to better understand how psychological factors relating to worry, resilience, and social isolation affects the mental health of teenagers and their parents/carers during the challenges and uncertainties of this pandemic.
For more information about the study, including ethical information and where to participate visit www.oxfordarcstudy.com. You can also email oxfordarcstudy@psy.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions or are interested in participating.”

People with learning disabilities – COVID19 Support and Action Group
Weekly Zoom meetings
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People First are holding weekly zoom meetings for people with learning difficulties/disabilities around the country.
The meetings are facilitated by Andrew Lee, Director of People First and Joanne Kennedy, Chair of Change.
“We meet every Wednesday 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Our meetings are an opportunity for people to talk about their feelings, concerns and ideas during the coronavirus lockdown. Please join us!
Email info@peoplefirstltd.com for more information and details on how to join.”

National Voices’ Covid Conversations
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“Please take a look at our full schedule of webinars which we have planned for the next month. The webinar ‘National Voices’ Covid Conversations‘, focuses on health inequalities during the Covid-19 crisis. Register below and we’ll circulate joining details.

Is Covid-19 widening the digital divide?
Date: Friday 19th June
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
We’ll be looking at what’s working and what’s not in the move to a more digital society and healthcare system? What technology should be kept post crisis? Finally, is the move to digital exacerbating existing health inequalities?
Register here.”

Online Shopping Explained (for older people & carers)
Clear Community Web
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“We are running 2 sessions for older people and carers to help simplify online shopping for those that may be thinking about starting to do this.
We will focus on food shopping initially, its benefits, creating shopping basket and safety. You can make good use of a supermarket website even without purchasing as it can help with choosing your items, nutrition advice and budgeting.
These are one off session on the 1st (now gone) and 15th June at 2pm. But we may run more or evolve the format if there is the demand.
If you would like to attend you can sign up on Eventbrite, email Caspar Kennerdale at caspar@clearcommunityweb.co.uk or call or send a WhatsApp on 07523 646 277 to get the Zoom link.
Find out more here.”

Share your lockdown/covid story/ object/ message to the future
Soul Relics Museum
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“Soul Relics (http://soulrelicsmuseum.me) is an object-based storytelling platform for mental wellbeing. We collect objects and personal stories that relate to a challenging time in our contributors’ lives. A Soul Relic can be anything of personal significance.
We are now collecting stories relating to the lockdown/ covid-19. The lockdown period has been tremendously challenging for many of us, provoking anxiety, stress, sadness and grief, but it may also have been a relief and created breathing space for some others.
Tell us about how the lockdown has been for you by sharing one or more of the following, as we weave together our collective memories:
• A picture of an object that will act as a relic for your lockdown life (eg. a toilet roll/ a packet of flour/ a yoga mat etc)
• A short description/ story that relates to the object of choice
• A message to the future – a brief time capsule message for your future self
To submit your story: you can fill in the form on the bottom right ‘tell us your story!’ of the website: http://soulrelicsmuseum.me/stories or directly email soulrelicsmuseum@outlook.com

Jobs & Recruitment
Coordinator of Service User and Carer Involvement (in R&D)
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
We’re a large NHS Mental Health Trust in South East England. We’re looking for people to help us provide high quality services for the patients, carers and local communities we serve.
We want patients and staff to recommend our organisation as a place where they would be happy for their friends and family to be treated. You can help us do this by bringing your skills, experience and commitment to Sussex Partnership.
Find out more `.
Closing date: Thursday 11th June 2020, 23:59
Various posts
Inclusion London
Inclusion London are seeking to appoint Deaf or
Disabled people to the following posts:
  • Policy & Campaigns Officer
  • Communications & Media Officer
  • Nothing About Us Without Us Project co-ordinator
Click here to find out more and how to apply.
Closing date:  Monday 15th June 2020
Lived Experience Advisory Group
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The Violence Abuse & Mental Health Network (VAMHN) are currently looking for eight people with lived experience of violence or abuse and significant mental distress to join a new Lived Experience Advisory Group. The role of the group will be to comment on network activities and potentially develop survivor-led activities. The group is supported by a Lived Experience Coordinator. Group members will be compensated for time spent preparing for and attending meetings at £20 per hour, and expenses will be reimbursed.  Meetings will be held remotely during COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to run up to 3 half-day meetings per year. Please note that you will not be asked to share details of your personal experiences at any point. 
We would also like to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved but don’t feel able to submit an application right now.
Find out more and apply here.
Closing date: Sunday 14th June, midnight
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

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

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