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Relating Outcomes to Lived Experience

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Pat’s Petition

This is an open petition, on the government’s website, by a group of individual volunteers, disabled people and carers, who are alarmed by the number of changes taking place and their effect on society’s most vulnerable.
It calls for the government to “Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families“.
The link is here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968 and more information is here: http://carerwatch.com/reform/  Mind, Afiya Trust and many other organisations have sent messages of support.

 Please sign the petition and spread the word around your networks. This petition must reach 100000 votes.
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New 24-hour veteran support helpline

There’s a new 24-hour freephone helpline number, 0800 138 1619, to help veterans and their families access expert advice from people trained and experienced in dealing with ex-Service men and women and their often complex mental health needs. Run by Combat Stress and Rethink, the phoneline has been given funding for a 12 month pilot.

 

Spoon theory

A great description of what it’s like to live with an invisible illness – the spoon theory).

Survivor Research to Edit Openmind

Survivor Research has been commissioned to edit Openmind, the mental health magazine published by the national mental health charity Mind.

Openmind is a subscription-only magazine, well-respected for it’s insightful coverage of topical mental health issues from a variety of perspectives. The magazine will be re-launched in November 2010, and will be published regularly once every two months.

Jayasree Kalathil is the new editor of Openmind. Survivor Research is working in partnership with Marmoset Media’s Maurice McLeod, an experienced journalist and editor of Engaged, who will provide design leadership.

More information about Openmind

Acute services – triangle of care launch

THE TRIANGLE OF CARE – Carers Included: A Best Practice Guide in Acute Mental Health Care

launched at a reception at the House of Commons on July 28th 2010

from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (PRTC) and The National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU).

The title refers to the ‘essential 3-way relationship between professionals, service users, their carers and families’.

‘The guide emphasises the need for better local strategic involvement of carers and families in the care-planning and treatment of people experiencing mental ill-health and calls for better partnership working between service users, their carers and providers of services in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “Increasingly we are becoming aware that mental health issues touch all of us. One in four of us will experience some kind of mental illness in our lifetime but the wider role of family and friends in helping to care for those affected is still too easily over looked, especially when crisis situations arise. “Caring can be rewarding but it can also be challenging. This guide shows how professionals, service users and carers can better work together to access the support needed.”

Download the Triangle of Care

(from NMHDU – acute care programme).

Election – compact

Here is the text of the agreement which the leaders of all 3 major parties have signed up to –

Election compact on mental health

Principles for good practice and conduct
This compact applies to all those involved in national, local or European election campaigns, whether they are prospective MPs, MSPs, AMs, MEPs, councillors, candidates, party members, campaigners or supporters.

I, the undersigned, undertake to:

  1. Not stigmatise, slur or discriminate against anyone with a mental health problem, in particular, members or prospective members of the chamber, or their families, by publishing, or seeking to have published by others, or in any way endorsing slurs or stigmatising material, including in any dealings with the public such as door-to-door and telephone canvassing.
  2. Challenge negative attitudes towards mental health:
    • Recognise that the stigma of mental illness may inhibit colleagues from disclosing any mental health condition that they may have experienced in the past or be experiencing while presently serving as a representative;
    • Challenge “canteen culture harassment”, whereby discriminatory comments made in the course of conversation, but without the intention of causing offence, are often made in the belief that everyone in the immediate audience will be sympathetic to them;
    • Agree not to speculate about the mental health of any member or prospective member or to ridicule any such person on the grounds of their suspected mental health condition, or that of their families; and
    • Reject all forms of hate crime, violence, harassment, bullying and unlawful disability discrimination against people with a mental illness.
  3. Represent the interests of all my constituents, regardless of their mental health in the same way that I would for any other group in society regardless of race, sex, religion, physical disability or any other factor.

In endorsing this declaration, I agree to make sure everyone involved in my (and my party’s) campaign for election pledges to abide by these principles.

I also accept responsibility to ensure that every alleged breach is properly investigated by my party, and that appropriate action is taken against any, party member, who knowingly fails to comply with these principles.

There is more information on rethink’s website.

March 2010

About time we had an update!

We’ve met several times now with our Open Up coordinator, Cath Norris. Cath has been helping us to look at some of the difficulties we’ve faced as a group. She’s run training sessions for us and has helped us to talk through our plans.

We realised that we often see the same old faces at regional events, and while that’s good and very positive, we started to think about who we’d be leaving out.

We thought one way forward would be to organise local events as well as the regional event. So each one of us has agreed to look at how we can get local voices involved. We’ll then make sure that those local opinions come back to the regional event.

We also thought about how we can use technology and the internet to include people. We’ve seen lots of conferences and events where people tweet and liveblog, so that people not at the event can ask questions remotely. We’re not experts in this though, and we’re not sure how our specific audience would like it. But we thought it was something we could explore. So we’re looking for additional funding to see if we could do something with that.

One of the main difficulties for us though is that we meet so rarely. Its difficult being a regional group. We’re all very busy locally, some of us have jobs, and some of us also do things nationally. So it can be very difficult to coordinate our time to meet up.

All in all, our progress feels like its a bit slower than we’d hoped, but we’re still on target to get our event up and running.

Happy World Mental Health Day

In Kendal? This week catch this exhibition on from 10th to 17th October.

In St Helens? – see the Forum’s page for local events

Going to the Superleague Grand Final? look out for time to change on the videos and in the programme.

World Mental Health Day 2009

World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on 10th October. Some areas celebrate for longer – in Scotland, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival lasts a whole 3 weeks.

This year the day itself is on a Saturday – not the easiest day to arrange events for when staff work a 5 day week – and its also the day of the Grand Final (rugby).

Look in your local media or contact your local PCT to find out what’s going on where you live.

Collective Voice North West – 12th October

The standing conference for service users, carers and the public now has a new name – Collective Voice North West.

The first event was held in Liverpool in July – see this short film.

The next Collective Voice North West event will be held in Manchester on the 12th October, in conjunction with World Mental health Day. The theme of the event will be ‘stigma’ with opportunities throughout the day to engage in discussions, workshops and a marketplace.

Anyone wanting to attend should contact the conference admin team on 01704 511013 or 511018 or email collectivevoice@rethink.org