• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Mental health news this week



Well-known member
Founding Member
May 8, 2008
A squatter who stabbed a grandmother to death when she returned home from holiday has been detained under the Mental Health Act - Andrea Cutler carried on living at Sandra Bainbridge's cottage in Belper, Derbyshire, after she had killed the 70-year-old in December 2013. Cutler, 39, from Derby, had a long history of mental illness - BBC News - Squatter killed Sandra Bainbridge in her own home

A brave beauty queen contender has told how she has overcame post traumatic stress disorder following a sex attack to reach the finals of Miss Birmingham. Raven Dixon-Briggs, from Bearwood, says she was attacked at a party just weeks before her 18th birthday but no-one was ever charged, despite a police investigation - Miss Birmingham contender reveals sex attack trauma - Birmingham Mail

An investigation has been launched into allegations of fraud and overspending at the trust which runs Broadmoor high-security hospital. West London Mental Health Trust said it had called in independent investigators to look at "historic management of finances relating to capital projects." - BBC News - Broadmoor Hospital: Investigation into fraud and overspend claims

(See the Trust news further down for a response from the Trust)

Ancient warriors could have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as far back as 1300 BC, according to new research. It had been thought that the first record of PTSD was in 490 BC, during the Greco-Persian Battle of Marathon, but researchers at Anglia Ruskin University have found that it could have existed more than 3,000 years ago - Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers - Science - News - The Independent

A father and son team who deliberately set out to con elderly people across the south of England have been sentenced. 51 year old Albert Webb from Surrey and his son 26 year old, Jimmy Chuter travelled far and wide looking for older people to target. Many were in Hampshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire, in their 70s and 80s, and often with dementia - Father and son team who preyed on the elderly are jailed - ITV News

Birmingham radio legend Ed Doolan is battling dementia - http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-radio-legend-ed-doolan-8507525

(Ok I'll do it - his radio jingle - "E, double D, double O - L A N - that's, Ed, Doolan!")

This meeting has just gone but they might have later ones etc;

SOLIHULL Autistic Spectrum Support and Information is hosting a meeting next week for anyone with an interest in autism. The group will meet on Thursday (29/1/2015) at Kingshurst Training, CTC Kingshurst Academy in Cooks Lane, Kingshurst, at 7.15pm. Guest speaker Gill Leno from Queen Alexandra College will talk about helping young people stay safe in relationships and online.

There is no need to book and admission is free. For further details call 0121 779 1742.

Freedom from Torture West Midlands - January e-Newsletter - http://enewsletter.freedomfromtortu...e=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=

Square Peg Clothing is an all female, family run enterprise. We originally found inspiration for the business when we were all thrown into the world of disability when the daughter of one of our founder members received an Autism diagnosis. Everything suddenly changed and the idea of specialist treatments and equipment was upon us. We received very little help from the NHS like many other families we know and decided we wanted to help ourselves and other people. From this point Square Peg Clothing was born

123B Upper Holland Road, Sutton Coldfield B72 1RD


A study has linked commonly used medicines, including over-the-counter treatments for conditions such as insomnia and hay-fever, to dementia - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30988643

Cirque Berserk is an unfortunately named circus which is touring - http://www.cirqueberserk.co.uk/

Using a stress ball or watching a DVD during surgery can reduce a patient's anxiety levels, suggests a study from the University of Surrey - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31044571

Subject: Discrimination involving the police - Disability Rights UK wants your views/experiences

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will be producing new guidelines for police in 2015 on how to handle discrimination complaints. The IPCC has asked Disability Rights UK to feed into this work by gathering some examples of disabled people’s experiences of discrimination involving the police. We think that it is vitally important for the IPCC to hear real stories, directly from disabled people, about how they have been affected by discrimination or bad service from the police. So if you have an experience of poor treatment from the police, we want to hear from you.

You might feel like you were treated in an unfair or insensitive way by the police; or that necessary reasonable adjustments weren’t made; or that wrongful assumptions were made about you due to your impairment or health condition; or that the police didn’t deal appropriately with a crime you reported. It doesn’t matter whether you have made a formal complaint about your experience or not. The IPCC want to know about barriers to accessing the complaints process as well as any problems with the outcomes of complaints.

We are particularly keen to hear directly from individuals who feel that they have been treated in a discriminatory way, but we are also interested if you want to act as a representative for a friend of family member whose experience you know well.

The IPCC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales so we are only looking for examples from this area.

If you would like to contribute please let us know your contact information (name, email and phone number if possible) and a brief account of your experience of discrimination involving the police. We will collect all your experiences but, if you give us your permission, we will also be contacting some of you in January for a longer follow up interview.


Contact email:

Contact phone number:

Brief account of your experience:

May we contact you by email and / or by phone?:

If possible, please email your information to Cheryl Gowar: [email protected]

If you would prefer to provide your information in a different way, please contact Cheryl on 020 7250 8178 or write to;

Disability Rights UK,
CAN Mezzanine,
49-51 East Road,
N1 6AH.

Please be assured: although we need to know how to contact you, no personal details will be passed on to the IPCC or the police.

300 Voices Engagement Workshop: Improving Experience and Outcomes for Young African Men

You are invited to join a 300 Voices Engagement Workshop - Research and service utilisation data present a consistent and reliable evidence base that young African Caribbean men have poorer experiences and outcomes in relation to their mental health. The relationship between YACM and services- has been cited as a central feature in the disparity by several academic studies. YACM in Birmingham and elsewhere in the country tell individual stories which are supported by findings from research.

We are bringing together statutory professionals who work with YACM on the basis of their mental health, along with YACM with lived experience of mental health problems, to explore potential ways to improve experience and outcomes. The session will focus on the case for change (why the need to focus on the disparities from YACM) and potential improvements in care pathways and experience of YACM, drawn from experience and expertise in the room.

Working together - what can you expect from the workshop?

The workshop is focused around a series of activities that will provide many opportunities for you to share ideas and create a sense of what you want to achieve for mental health services in Birmingham, and for the people who are using and providing them.

The outputs will be:

• Learning about these services when they work at their best with YACM
• A shared vision of what services should be like in future, together with
• Priorities and commitments for collaborative action between YACM and professionals, to achieve the vision that emerges from the session.

In joining this workshop, we invite you to participate fully by talking from your own positive experience, inquiring with us about the best of the past and working with us to build on this for the future.

Please book your place onto a 300 Voices workshop by clicking here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/300Voices-getinvolved

(Please invite the YACM service users that you work with. If you cannot find a suitable date for you and your team, please feel free to suggest alternative dates)

Suresearch is a network of Service Users in Research and Education. We welcome as members, users and survivors of mental health services and their allies, who have experience and/or an interest in mental health research and education. Meet at the University of Birmingham.

Suresearch Monthly Meetings in 2015

Wednesday 4th February
Thursday 5th March
Wednesday 1st April
Thursday 7th May
Wednesday 3rd June
Thursday 2nd July
Wednesday 5th August
Thursday 10th September
Wednesday 7th October
Thursday 5th November
Wednesday 2nd December

Meetings are generally held at 10.30am in the Garden Room at Park House, 40 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2RT.

Tea, coffee and a warm welcome are available from 10.00 am. Our meetings are open, friendly, and relaxed. Everyone has the chance to sit and listen or contribute to the discussions, raise topics and distribute information. News of local and national developments is shared, along with information on current and forthcoming research and teaching projects

Information on access to the venue can be obtained by emailing us at - [email protected]

Updated information on meetings will be on our website at - www.suresearch.org.uk

Birmingham Central User Voice Forum - Promoting user involvement in Birmingham & Solihull mental health services. Diary Dates 2015;

Monday 9 February
Monday 27 April
Monday 22 June
Monday 24 August
Monday 26 October
Monday 21 December

Venue: Small Heath Health Centre, 42 Chapman Road, Birmingham B10 OPG

1pm — 2pm

- Share ideas on improvement or voice your concern
- Service Users only during first half -hour session
- Refreshments provided
- Travel costs refunded for those travelling by bus

For further information contact: Cabdulqaadir Ruumi, User Voice Development Worker.

Tel: 07985 883 143 or email [email protected]

Birmingham Healthy Minds Free Mindfulness Workshops - Are you struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world? Do you need help managing your moods?

Free workshops for anyone aged 16 or over, who is registered with a Birmingham GP. Just drop in on the day. For any enquiries please call 0121 301 3892.

16 February 2015, 1.30pm - 3.30pm - Uffculme Centre, 52 Queensbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8QY
2 February 2015, 12.30pm - 2.30pm - South & City Birmingham College, Hall Green Campus, Cole Bank Road, Hall Green B28 8ES
2 March 2015, 12.30pm - 2.30pm - MAC Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH
16 March 2015, 1.30pm - 3.30pm - Uffculme Centre, 52 Queensbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8QY

More - www.birminghamhealthyminds.org/

Mindfulness is a secularised aspect of Buddhism - so you may wonder why The Daily Mail etc isn't ranting about it `infiltrating' the NHS like that - especially after the Trojan Horse scandal and all that.

Three possible answers for you to pick from about why there is no such ranting;

1. Mindfulness works as a treatment
2. Buddhists didn't attack the US on 9/11, Moslems did
3. Attacking Buddhists doesn't shove vital swing-voters in places like Essex into your political camp, but ranting about Moslems does

(I vote that reason Number 3 explains it)

Shoulder To Shoulder Veterans' Drop in, 10.30am - 12.30pm. Forthcoming dates:

Tuesday 17th February 2015
Thursday 26th March 2015
Tuesday 21st April 2015
Monday 18th May 2015

At West Midlands Fire Service Headquarters, 99 Vauxhall Road Birmingham B7 4HW

20 minute walk from Moor St Station past Millennium Point Number 14 Bus runs regularly from Priory Queensway to Vauxhall Road We can pay travel expenses on the day - please keep your tickets

Come along for coffee and a chat
Meet other veterans
Find out about Shoulder to Shoulder mentoring

Reception staff will direct you to the room

Any queries on the day call Jane on 07842 811 459
Any queries generally call 0121 236 2531

Positive Mental Health Group - monthly networking meeting dates for 2015. The group is open to anyone with an interest in promoting a greater
awareness of mental health issues across the communities of Birmingham and Solihull. Your chance to share information, news & views with statutory agencies, voluntary sector organisations, user groups - and individual users/carers/staff. Come and join one of the biggest mental health networking meetings in the Midlands, every month! Just turn up - no need to book. Meetings include guest speakers, information table, light refreshments & a chance to chat and catch up.

Thursday 26 February - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 26 March - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 30 April - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 28 May - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 25 June - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 30 July - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 27 August - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 24 September - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 29 October - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 26 November-- from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 17 December - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm

(Last Thursday of the month except in December)

ALL MEETINGS ARE HELD AT - Matchbox Cafe, 38 - 40 Holloway Circus, Birmingham city centre, B1 1EQ

Just a short walk from all city centre rail stations and bus stops. The cafe is located next to Birmingham LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre, opposite the Chinese pagoda traffic island and the Radisson hotel.

Buses 61 and 63 stop at HF1 outside the cafe. The journey is just two stops from the Rotunda/Bullring centre, board buses outside the Boots store.

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) at BSMHFT can offer information on this group and other voluntary or user groups within Birmingham and Solihull - Phone 0800 953 0045

Marie-Louise von Franz's Esoteric Psychology
Lecture - Vivianne Crowley
Venue - Treadwell's Books, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS
Friday 20 February 2015
Time: 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start
Price: £7

One of the most brilliant pupils of Carl Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz analysed over 65,000 dreams. For her, the veil between imagination and magic was thin and to voyage into the unconscious was to undertake a shamanic initiation. Translator of the famous text Aurora Consurgens and a leading figure in the Zürich school of Jungian analysts, her work is an essential starting point in the psychology of alchemy. Dr Vivianne Crowley is a psychologist, academic, author, and magical practitioner, currently at Cherry Hill Seminary. Her books include Carl Jung: Journey of Transformation and Wicca.

Ring 0207 419 8507 or book online - http://www.treadwells-london.com/event/marie-louse-von-franz/


(Sorry about the Capitals but it was sent to me that way)


Spirit possession is recognised worldwide across many cultures and by several religions. Spirit possession is often seen as an idiom of distress causing a change in behaviour and mental well being.

Spirit possession is also included in the ICD 10 and DSM IV classifications of mental disorders, yet the extent to which it is recognised and/or discussed in clinical practice is less than we would expect, even in UK cities where there resides a diverse population.

This one day event will consider the critical themes and debates on spirit possession from an anthropological, social, psychological, medical and religious perspective using a range of illustrative case study, clinical practice and research

This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care, including those from Local Authorities and NHS trusts across the UK, Social Workers, Approved Mental Health Professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Early Intervention Teams, CPN’s, OT’s, Chaplains, Community Faith Leaders & Healers, Equality Leads, Community Development Workers, Service User Representatives, Charities, Third Sector, Educational Establishments, Academics and Policy makers.

More - http://www.bmehealth.org/

Mind Management For You Newsletter - This month’s newsletter is about “New beginnings”.

We are now nearly at the end of January. Some of you may have made New Year’s resolutions, some of you may not. It’s about whatever works for you. Ironically my partner’s resolution is not to make New Year’s resolutions. He fulfils this every year! For some of you the start of the year can represent a good time to change the things you are not happy with.

For some people who make New Year’s resolutions, you may find that by the end of January you have fallen off the wagon! If you haven’t then well done. If you have then this is part of being human. It may be helpful to be mindful that a new start can be at any time of the year. I encourage you that if you have fallen short of your goals, that each day is a new day and a new beginning.

There is great saying that goes: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”! So, if you have a goal that you really want to succeed in, I encourage you to listen to that part of you that wants success and find a way to motivate yourself again.

As for me I’m still on the journey of writing my book. Some days I’m motivated and some days I’m not. What keeps me going is knowing each day is a new beginning. If I’m having a bad day I accept it and acknowledge that the next day is a fresh start. I accept the process and focus on the end result.

I hope this newsletter has helped.

As always if I can help you or anyone you know who is stuck with anxiety, lacking in self-confidence or struggling with depression, then please free to give me call.

I wish you all continued success and happiness.

Sheila x

Counsellor MBACP

Mobile: 07799 791 537
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.MindManagementForYou.com

From the Boots supplement magazine of January/February 2015;

Women - Feel like you're fading into the background? Shake off that invisibility cloak and get your mojo back once and for all

Words: Danielle Hine

We're all ageing every day. Yes, including the lovely twenty-something sitting beside you on the bus. And that athletic teenager playing football in the park. Even babies. Because getting older is part of life. So it's disturbing that according to new research, two-thirds of women over 45 feel invisible in everyday life. This is all the more worrying when you think that, based on current mortality rates, a newborn baby girl in the UK could expect to live until she's almost 83 years old - that's a long time to spend feeling like you're not important. And by 2020, 48% of the UK's population will be over 50. That's a lot of people feeling pretty irrelevant!

Why is there this 'cult of invisibility' in the middle age? Vivian Diller PhD, clinical psychologist and co-author of Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change And What To Do About It, says: `The negativity around ageing is relatively new, because we're living so much longer than we used to. And unfortunately, this fear of invisibility has come about because the message from society is that the only way we can be visible is by trying to look younger than we are.' She adds: `The message should really be: look the best you can for your age. And stop being anything other than your age. Being visible doesn't mean trying to be the woman you were 20 years ago.'

So it's time for us to reframe our thinking, kick our 'invisible woman' into touch and be proud to be - and look - older. Here's how...

EMBRACE THE CHANGES - We all remember our first. Grey hair, that is. You don't know whether to cry, rip it out or reach for the hair dye. As for finding your first wrinkle... I call this the "Uh Oh" moment,' says Vivian. 'No matter who you are and what you look like, when you start to see those signs, it hits you on a very deep level: you start to question your value in society.' Her advice is to try to think, 'This is the beginning of an exciting new phase of my life. I'm getting older, but I'm going to be more than OK.' Psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist Gladeana McMahon adds: 'If you value yourself purely by your looks, you're in for misery. The way we look changes all the time, so it's important to focus more on the wonderful wisdom, knowledge and experience you've gained and not let your appearance override that.' Both agree emphatically that you have the choice of whether to buy into the belief that it's only the young and beautiful who are visible and have any worth. And we say: choosing to enjoy life, rather than staying at home fretting and counting your wrinkles, is more fun, no?

INVISIBILITY IS A STATE OF MIND. BELIEVE IT - Picture the scene: you're in an achingly cool boutique trying to find a gift for your daughter. But you can't attract the attention of the hipster shop staff and you're convinced it's because you're too old for them to notice you. But hang on a minute ... is it realty them thinking that, or is it you?

'Feeling you're no longer visible because you're older is a mindset, not a reality,' says Lisa Warmington, chairperson of the National Board of Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. 'Our external world is a reflection of our internal world. We're constantly showing other people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. If you're thinking: "Why would anyone listen to, or look at, me any more?" then this is what you portray on the outside. Don't forget, people get overlooked all the time, at any age. The same thing could be happening in another shop to a shy, under-confident 25 year old.'

SHUT THE DOOR ON THAT NEGATIVE VOICE - 'Eugh - look at my turkey neck!' 'There are bigger bags under my eyes than on the luggage carousels at Heathrow!' You'd never say that to someone at work, so why say it to yourself and believe it? But how do we stop this harsh habit? 'Thoughts are not facts,' says Lisa. 'I advise my clients to try repeating positive mantras. Some people think they're airy-fairy, but there's strong evidence they work. So, the next time you catch yourself thinking negatively, change it to something like: "I am what I am, and what I am is amazing!'"

Hmm, surely it's not that easy? 'Some people do struggle to believe it at first, but keep at it and it will become second nature and help re-programme that negative self-talk,' she advises. Gladeana has another tactic to help rewire your brain - gratitude. 'One exercise is to look at all the things you have got. You'll soon start to look for the positives in your day, instead of the negatives.'

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF - You've organised a fun Saturday night out with friends in a local bar, tout it's so full of gorgeous, younger women that even Rosie Huntington-Whiteley would feel insecure. But comparing yourself with younger women is a dangerous habit, Vivian cautions: 'It's always going to make you feel bad. And don't compete, either. The more women try to look like they're still in their 20s or 30s, the older they feel in comparison.'

Gladeana adds: 'Remember how hard it was to be young? When something as small as a pimple on your face seemed like the end of the world? With age comes freedom fro/n all of that.' But she says there's no harm in giving yourself a revamp if you're stuck in a rut or need a confidence boost - just don't try to turn back time. 'You should think: "I'm 50 and I want to look that age, but good with it."'

REALISE THAT BEING OLDER IS ACTUALLY AMAZING. (YES!) - Increased confidence and happiness, more enjoyment of life... these are some of the great things we can look forward to as we grow older. Psychologists think it's because we start to accept who we are, rather than who we feel we need to become. Studies show that our lives become more emotionally fulfilling, too -we direct our attention towards a meaningful life and build stronger social relationships.

Plus - get this - if you have a positive attitude towards ageing, you could live 7 1/2 years longer than if you're negative about it. Talk about an incentive to embrace those greys! And if all else fails, heed the advice of actress Sophia Loren, aged 80: 'There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.'

From my local Trust;

NHS Confederation – The Mental Capacity Act: update on progress and next steps - http://www.nhsconfed.org/news/2015/01/update-on-the-mental-capacity-act

Mental Health Today – More than half of companies take proactive approach to mental health, research finds - http://www.mentalhealthtoday.co.uk/...approach-to-mental-health-research-finds.aspx

Mental Health Today – All of England now signed up to police cell crisis pledge - http://www.mentalhealthtoday.co.uk/...mental-health-crises-police-cells-pledge.aspx

HSCIC – First report released from Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Data Set - http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/533...tal-Health-and-Learning-Disabilities-Data-Set

NHS Networks – Joining up health and social care personal budgets - http://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/2015/01/joining-up-health-and-social-care-personal-budgets

NHS Networks – Substance misuse services consultation - http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/we-want-your-views-about-way-we-look-substance-misuse-services

NHS Networks – Rules on protecting vulnerable adults added to dementia guidance - https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-care-for-people-with-dementia/activity

CQC – Increasing numbers of vulnerable people protected - http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/rising-protection-vulnerable-people

Mind – More than 100 people with mental health problems are sanctioned a day - http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaig...h-problems-are-sanctioned-a-day/#.VMvPlblyat8

HSJ – Clegg: Moving away from block contract is biggest change in mental health - http://www.hsj.co.uk/news/clegg-mov...e?blocktitle=Mental-health-news&contentID=554

HSJ – Exclusive: NHS England to probe costs of seven day services - http://www.hsj.co.uk/news/exclusive...e?blocktitle=Mental-health-news&contentID=554

Royal College of Psychiatrists – RCPsych’s statement on the Medical Innovation Bill – Third Reading in the House of Lords - http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mediacentre/pressreleases2015/medicalinnovationbill.aspx

West London Mental Health NHS Trust – The trust has responded to a news item in the Independent on Sunday - denies an overspend at Broadmoor Hospital - http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/news-events/statement-about-independent-on-sunday-story/