• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Mental health news this week



Well-known member
Founding Member
May 8, 2008
Disability benefits should go to "really disabled people" not those "taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety", a key Theresa May aide says. No 10 policy unit head George Freeman said personal independence payments (PIP) reforms were needed to roll back the "bizarre" decisions of tribunals. Ministers say the changes will save £3.7bn but leave a "strong safety net" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39097019

A POLICE officer ‘poster girl’ has quit the force with a scathing resignation letter where she claims a lack of resources and support “kills me both physically and mentally”. In an emotional Facebook post PC Laura Beal told friends and family it had “truly been an honour” to serve with Devon and Cornwall Police for 13 years, but that the pressures of her role had left her suffering from stress, depression and anxiety - 'Poster girl' police officer quits force with scathing resignation letter where she claims 'staff are suffering'

Two-thirds of all people Tasered by the police in England and Wales between 2010 and 2014 were identified as mentally ill - Two-thirds of all people Tasered identified as 'mentally ill' - The Justice Gap

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson has announced his retirement from swimming. The 28-year-old Scot broke his own British record to finish second in the 200m breaststroke in 2012 but struggled with form thereafter. Jamieson talks of a brutal training regime that led to depression - Michael Jamieson reveals depression fight on announcing retirement from swimming - BBC Sport

Anthony Collins, 49, of Chatham, will be sentenced for stalking Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox. He also admitted two counts of being in possession of indecent images, and two counts of making indecent images. The letters he sent contained details about his mental illness and that he found the DJ attractive and wanted her to invite him to the BBC Radio 2 studios - Pervert, Anthony Collins, 49, of Afghan Road, Chatham, will be sentenced later for stalking Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox

February 2017 Mind Management newsletter - http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=abf17926c1bd9d1e758f48f56&id=a169b05358&e=bd175bab3f

Birmingham Cross City Clinical Commissioning Group - consultation on mental health recovery and employment services, provided by the third sector consultation. Your views are needed on proposals for improvements in mental health day services. From 1 March until 26 May we would like your views on a number of proposed changes to some of the mental health services we buy from third sector organisations.

The full background information can be found in the consultation document here - http://bhamcrosscityccg.nhs.uk/about-us/publication/get-involved/consultations/3302-mental-health-consultation-document-v8/file

The consultation questionnaire can be completed online here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BirminghamMHConsultation

If you would like to attend one of the public meetings please see below:

2pm to 4.30pm on Friday 17 March 2017 - BVSC, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DR.
2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday 4 May 2017 - MAC Theatre, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, Birmingham B12 9QH.

Ipswich woman says charities like Suffolk Mind are ‘essential’ when mental health services are overstretched - http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich_woman_says_charities_like_suffolk_mind_are_essential_when_mental_health_services_are_overstretched_1_4914160

The use of physical restraint on women in the mental health system - report.

When a woman or girl is admitted to a mental health unit, her expectation should be of a caring, supportive environment where she can get the treatment she needs to get better. Unfortunately we now know from Agenda’s latest research on restraint that many are instead in an environment where physical force has become shockingly routine. Agenda is an alliance of more than 70 organisations campaigning on behalf of women and girls at risk. We decided to ask for data about the use of restraint because previous research we carried out on mental health trusts’ strategies and policies – as part of our Women in Mind campaign – showed that most were failing to take into account women’s specific needs.




Demi Lovato is being honoured by a mental health organisation for her work as a mental health advocate. The 24-year-old has been very vocal in the past about having bipolar disorder and has worked with charities to help other people living with the condition. She has also released a book and a documentary about people who struggle with mental health problems - http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39153242/demi-lovato-is-to-be-honoured-for-her-mental-health-work

(She's a US actress and singer - thank you Google!)

This week has been National Eating Disorders Awareness Week - http://nedawareness.org/

Here are 5 relevant social meeting groups organised online but which neither I nor the website hosters have vetted. Probably ok but take the usual precautions you would when meeting people face to face whom you've been introduced to online;

The Safe Haven Cafe Project - Hertfordshire - this is a group for anyone with lived experience of mental health issues. Our group is organised by trained volunteers with lived experience. We provide social support for those dealing with a range of mental health issues, including depression related conditions, anxiety (including social anxiety) BPD, Bi-Polar and other conditions.

More - https://www.meetup.com/The-Safe-Haven-Cafe-Project/

The aim of Umbrella is to provide a welcoming space for people with Depression and Anxiety to talk openly about their issues, socialise and feel accepted. This group serves as a reminder that you are not alone.

Based in North London - https://www.meetup.com/Umbrella-a-Social-Group-for-those-with-Anxiety-Depression/

Find out about relaxation events and classes around Kingston Upon Thames (including Surbiton, Richmond, Epsom, and Leatherhead) where you can learn to beat stress and anxiety with Mindful Motion. This form of exercise combines gentle, flowing movements from tai chi and yoga with mindfulness meditation. In many of the events, mood lighting is used as well as meditative music to enhance the atmosphere. It is suitable for the complete beginner and anyone who wants to learn how to beat stress - https://www.meetup.com/Mindful-Motion/

Surrey Practical Psychology - this group is for people interested in developing psychological skills to maintain good mental health. These meetups are for those who want to discuss a range of practical strategies to deal effectively with common psychological problems in a friendly and informal environment. Meetups are hosted by a Clinical & Coaching Psychologist who provides some useful information and gets the session going on a specific topic. From there, we aim to have a collaborative discussion and sharing of ideas.

PLEASE NOTE: The group is NOT for people affected by a mental illness, or those seeking psychotherapy. Please contact the organiser directly if are seeking professional individual help - https://www.meetup.com/Surrey-Practical-Psychology/

The Beautiful Journey - London - my name is Bel, this a community where people can find encouragement and hope. I'm a survivor of a 10 year eating disorder, low self esteem and depression. So as I've recovered, I created a community of hope

More - https://www.meetup.com/The-Beautiful-Journey/

Holistic Ways Festivals in Scotland;

Aberdeen (Elphinstone Hall). 25 - 26/3/2017 and 14 - 15/10/2017
Dumfries (Easterbrook Hall). 15 - 16/4/2017
Dundee (Marryat Hall). 7/5/2017
Edinburgh (Corn Exchange). 26/11/2017

More - http://www.holisticwaysfestival.co.uk/

The Arches Project is a place that offers a platform for creative talents of all disciplines to gain experience and exposure to become employable within their industry, by showcasing the work in an exciting and unique space within the Birmingham art scene. We are currently seeking work for an exhibition called 'Reflected Realities', which aims to explore the differences between what people think and see. We are looking for works that are sculpture, installation, collage, mixed media, 3D and 2D work.

The deadline for submission is 21st April 2017 and the exhibition will run from 9th June.

We would really like to involve artists who have experience with mental health and can therefore offer a unique perspective of their own reflected reality in a creative way. We would appreciate it if you circulate the attached poster for us amongst your community.

For any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks

Catherine Bell
[email protected]

(Again I've had to hunt out details - the place is in Digbeth in Birmingham - I've found that link anyway)

Mind Body Spirit festival

Olympia, London
28 April - 1 May

More - http://www.mindbodyspirit.co.uk/london

Are you caring for a friend or family member in Birmingham? Why not join our programme for a creative outlet and a chance to meet other carers.

Stained glass painting - Musuem and Art Gallery. Learn about the stained glass collection in our Industrial Museum and have a go at making your own.

March 17th from 11am – 1.30pm

Sarehole Mill Easter Bake. Ever tried making Italian Easter bread? Learn how to make and bake your own. Decorate it or eat it warm!

April 13th 11am – 1.30pm

Life Drawing - Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Expressionism or realism? However your pencil interprets the model and her extravagant jewellery is down to you. An introductory class to life drawing led by an artist.

April 20th from 11am – 1.30pm

House Tour and Drama Workshop - Aston Hall. In the dramatic setting of Aston Hall, uncover its history and unlock your dramatic flair. No experience necessary!

May 20th from 11am – 1.30pm

Italian Pizza Make - Sarehole Mill. Move over Jamie Oliver! Using a wood-fired oven, we’ll make, cook and eat together under the glorious sun (hopefully!)

June 29th from 11am – 1.30pm

To book please contact Hannah on [email protected] or call 0121 348 8271

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.

Remaining 2017 meetings;

Wednesday 5th April
Thursday 4th May
Wednesday 7th June
Thursday 6th July
Wednesday 2nd August
Thursday 7th September
Wednesday 4th October
Thursday 2nd November
Wednesday 6th December

Reasonable travel expenses are paid to members and guests who live in the Midlands, subject to a maximum of £15.

Park House. University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2RT.

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

Positive Mental Health Group - monthly networking meeting dates for 2017. 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.

Remaining meetings;

Tuesday 28th March - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 25th April - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 30th May - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 27th June - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 25th July - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 29th August - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 26th September - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 31st October - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 28th November - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 19th December - from 2.30pm to 4.30pm

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

More - http://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/service-user-and-carer/local-groups-and-events/positive-mental-health-group/

The Gaffer's Garden Project - Would you like to help re-create the vegetable garden at Sarehole Mill in Birmingham?

If you'd like to get out in the open air and join the mill's gardeners to help create our garden, while improving your wellbeing and mental health, we'd love to hear from you. This project is being run in collaboration with Birmingham Mind as part of Birmingham Museums' Health and Wellbeing programme, and is open to anyone who is, or has, been suffering with a mental health condition and would like to join us as part of their recovery.


9th Mar
23 Mar
6th Apr
20th Apr
4th May

Sarehole Mill, Cole Bank Road, Birmingham B13 0BD

For more information about the project, please contact - [email protected]

Yours Live magazine wellbeing events;

Bodelwyddan Castle, Rhyl, Wales. 3 - 7 April
Thoresby Hall, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire. 7 - 10 July
Gunton Hall, Lowestoft. 6 - 9 October
Lakeside Village, Hampshire. 11 - 15 December

More details - http://www.yours.co.uk/2016/08/events2017

Flo Vibe Festival

2nd - 4th June

A weekend to dip into yoga masterclasses, dance and movement workshops, lakeside revelry and treatments in the woods. When twilight comes, get your groove on and let your spirit soar to spellbinding musicians and DJs.

Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens, Northampton NN6 9LY

More - https://flovibe.com/

Calm Zone Stress Management with Dr Liz Croton

Venue - Barefoot Yoga studio, Harborne, Birmingham

Sat 17 Jun

3 - 5.30pm

Cost: £30 / £25 Early Bird when booked by 17 May

Simple, fast techniques based on neuroscience for eliminating anxiety, panic, depression, reducing chronic stress and self-sabotage, and gaining more freedom in your life.

More - http://barefootbirmingham.com/calmzone-workshop-g-p-lizzie-croton-sat-17-june-2017/#more-'

One World Camp

30 July - 6 August

Cannington, Somerset

Set in stunning lush countryside surrounded by trees and fields. The One World Summer Festival is a truly magical mid-summer event where humans of all shapes and sizes gather together for a week seeking education, like mindedness, love, super healthy macrobiotic food, and off the scale entertainment all in a unique atmosphere of rest and activity, fun and freedom, challenge and adventure. One World presents over 300 plus workshops and lectures over throughout the week. Our teachers are come from all over the world, and are dedicated and experienced in many therapies, natural movement and dance forms, exercise for physical and spiritual development, holistic health, arts, crafts and sports, as well as in specialist areas such as natural cookery.



http://www.oneworldcamp.com/backoffice/kcfinder-master/upload/files/programme v2.pdf

Refocus on Recovery

18 to 20 September

Nottingham Conference Centre

Call for abstracts – closes on 28th February – don’t miss out!

Refocus on Recovery 2017 is an international conference aimed at advancing the field of recovery research and to create an international community of influence. It is the largest regular scientific conference in the world on recovery for people with mental health problems and is presenting world-leading research about how people can live well with illness.

Keynote speakers come from the UK (Steve Gillard, Isabella Goldie, Jayasree Kalathil, Anu Singh, Mike Slade) as well as from India (Manoj Kumar), Canada (Kwame McKenzie), Germany (Jasna Russo) and Norway (Mark Hopfenbeck). We will also hear from Jenny Edwards (Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation) and Ruth Hawkins (Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust).

It promises a great opportunity for learning and networking. For the three previous Recovery conferences, around 500 people came from 25 countries. There is a lively social programme, as well as the Gala Dinner, we have exciting creative opportunities such as the boomwhacker percussion energiser event, a ‘Story Shop’ offering a range of stories from people with lived experience and more….

Main conference themes:
Recovery for different groups
Prevention of mental ill-health
Re-situating recovery
Allocating resources
Registration and abstract submission are now open! Visit www.researchintorecovery.com/ror2017 for more information.

The Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Innovation Park, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU

Email: [email protected]
Web: www.researchintorecovery.com/ror2017
Twitter: @InstituteMH #RonR2017

From my local Trust;

Centre for Mental Health – First Local Authority Councillors get training in mental health promotion - https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/news/first-local-authority-councillors-get-training-in-mental-health-promotion

Mind - Too many women left without perinatal mental health services, report finds - http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/too-many-women-left-without-perinatal-mental-health-services-finds-report/#.WLLlDjvyjIU

NHS Networks – Retirement on hold: supporting older carers - https://carers.org/news-item/no-such-thing-retirement-older-carers-says-new-carers-trust-report

NHS Networks – Saving STPs: achieving meaningful health and social care reform - http://www.reform.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Saving-STPs.pdf

NHS Networks – Local authorities need to work together with nightclubs and gyms to prevent drug misuse - https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/local-authorities-need-to-work-together-with-nightclubs-and-gyms-to-prevent-drug-misuse

Health Service Journal - Exclusive: Trusts given stricter instructions on reviewing patient deaths - https://www.hsj.co.uk/topics/policy-and-regulation/exclusive-trusts-given-stricter-instructions-on-reviewing-patient-deaths/7015908.article

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – We are disability confident - https://www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/latest-news/we-are-disability-confident-1771

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust – Pioneering Respond training transforms mental health crisis support - https://www.ntw.nhs.uk/section.php?page=news&t=ln&nid=660

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust – New Professor of Psychiatry appointed - https://www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/our-news/new-professor-of-psychiatry-appointed--1020