Saturday, 25 March 2017


​​Dear Friends,

Due to a variety of exceptionally urgent issues, please find a few extra dates for this month and some other important information.

The criteria for PIP claimants with mental health conditions shamefully is under further attack. The government seem to be going back and forth with changes. Please read more about this HERE
According to UNITE half million people have had their benefit suddenly stopped and sanctioned in the past 12 months.
FEEL is supporting
UNITE, DPAC and other organisation that are leading the National Day of Action Against Sanctions on Thursday 30 March. Find a variety of times and locations in London and nationwide for this day of action HERE

For those unable attending the march please share the news and links widely and do consider joining THUNDERCLAP; the positive effect on raising general public awareness on this matters is very important.

Following the premature passing of young Survivor Dina Ibrahim, we wish to send our condolences to Dina's friends and family. 
Dina's and Robert Dellar's lives will be celebrated at next week Survivors History Group meeting, on Wed 29th March at Together, 12 Old St, London EC1V 9BE, between 1-4 PM
Please find the 2017 draft programme for the SHG - open to all - meetings, HERE

Soteria Network are holding their AGM on Saturday 1st April 11am – 4pm
​ at the 
Kirkgate Centre, 29a Kirkgate, Shipley BB18 2EH

News From Nowhere Club is hosting an event dedicated to William Morris on Saturday 8th April.
Evening kicks off at 7.30pm with a buffet (please bring something, if you can!) for 8pm talk at Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E114LJ. More info HERE

Are you aware about INSPIRE, the mental health consortium recently formed in Tower Hamlets with the participation of several local organisations? If you want to find out more check their website to learn more and how you can get involved.

FEEL has now finalised not one, but two forthcoming events planned to take place soon. 
The long awaited Research into Antipsychotic Discontinuation and Reduction (RADAR) update will take place on Friday the 12th May. Dr Joanna Moncrieff has kindly accepted FEEL invite to be present on this occasion. The same evening there will also be updates about the serious situation and changes with PIP. If you know of a suitable speaker do send us some suggestions, please.

On Tuesday 16th May FEEL, the Gandhi Foundation and other community groups of Kingsley Hall will be supporting the screening of Katharine Round's film-documentary The Divide
More info with details and leaflets to share for both events will follow in April.

Wishing you a good weekend and much LOVE to all Mothers of the World!

Comrade Morris is not Dead! On the 8th April - (by News From Nowhere Club)

Saturday 8th April 7.30pm buffet (please bring something, if you can!) for 8pm talk at Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E114LJ

William Morris was active as a socialist from 1883 till his death in 1896. While remaining a designer, craftsperson, artist and poet, he travelled the country speaking to working-class audiences on topics like 'Useful work versus useless toil', 'How we live & how we might live', and 'A factory as it might be'. In 1889, his 'utopian' novel, News from Nowhere, was published. This talk will look at how Morris related to others active at the time, including Eleanor Marx and the anarchists who joined his Socialist League, and will suggest that his ideas may be more relevant now than ever.

The speaker, Colin Waugh has a long experience as a further education lecturer, including 21 years teaching Liberal Studies with industrial-release engineering students at Tottenham College. He is the editor of the magazine Post-16 Educator. In 2009, to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Plebs League by students at Ruskin College, he wrote the pamphlet ‘Plebs’: The Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education. He is involved with the Independent Working-Class Education Network (IWCEN) which developed around this pamphlet.

New PIP restrictions for Mental Health Patients (by Stephen Woodhams)

Dear Reader,

Even by this government’s standards it’s a shockingly cruel move.

Last month a tribunal of judges ruled that claimants with mental health conditions such as severe anxiety have a right to claim even the higher rate of PIP for help with going outdoors.

It was a decision that put an end to years of the DWP deliberately misinterpreting the law. It meant that many thousands of people with serious mental health conditions finally had a chance to gain a little bit more independence.

So the government acted with remarkable speed.

Bypassing the social security advisory committee, who are supposed to get the chance to comment on all changes to social security law, they published a statutory instrument that will reverse the judges’ decision.

In an effort to justify overturning the judges’ ruling, Tory policy supremo George Freeman mocked as “bizarre” the idea that claimants with mental health conditions should be eligible for PIP. Instead, he said, PIP should only be for “the really disabled people who need it.”

The changes will apply to all claims made from 16 March, 2017

Please sign and share the petition

Monday, 13 March 2017

March FEEL meeting Monday 20 March 6:30 PM @ LARC

Dear Friends,

It is exactly one year since the RADAR research programme (Research into Antipsychotic Discontinuation And Reduction) started. There are plans to have this topic as one of the themes of the next forthcoming FEEL event.
Details will be discussed and decided next week at the monthly FEEL meeting at LARC on Monday 20 March from 6:30pm.

The 2017 Peer-supported Open Dialogue conference is taking place next Wed 22 March 9:30-17:00, Regent Hall 275 Oxford Street London W1C 2DJ. Tickets are on a donations basis.

Also on Wed 22 March there will be the online conference Rethinking Madness: Psychosis and Spiritual Awakening, also ideal for less mobile individuals.

The last shared announcement is about The Lifehouse opening tomorrow, Tuesday 14th March 5.30 - 7.30 pm.
See description to follow:

THE LIFEHOUSE is a weekly informal discussion group that often touch on issues of anxiety, anger, depression, isolation. Everything talked about in the group is private. Meetings are free, and refreshments are provided.
At the moment the meeting happen every Tuesday 5.30 - 7.30, at the Bromley By Bow Centre, St. Leonard's Street, London E3 3BT. Eventually the hope is to operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Call Nick : 07926886372 if you can't locate the room. For further information you can email Kevin on

Friday, 17 February 2017

Next FEEL meeting is on Monday 20 Feb

The next monthly FEEL meeting is on Monday 20 Feb 6.30 pm at LARC 62 Fieldgate st, E1 1ES. 
Join us in making plans for our next meeting at Kingsley Hall in March or April.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

FEEL meeting: Monday 16 January 6.30pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 1ES

Dear Friends,
We hope you have managed a serene holiday season and started 2017 well.

There are a couple of events lined up for this year, details of which will be circulated as soon as the dates are finalised. Do attend the monthly meeting  next Monday the 16th if you wish to find out more and could contribute to some plannings. It's happening as usual at LARC from 6:30 pm.

Many of you might already be aware of the sad and sudden passing of the extraordinary Robert Dellar last month. Robert was one of the founders of Mad Pride and the Mental Health Resistance Network, among endless other involvement in the mental health and social fields, resulting a great worker and ispirational individual.

The service of remembrance will be held Tuesday 24th January 2017 12.15pm at Honor Oak Crematorium Camberwell New Cemetery, Brockley Way Entrance, London, SE4 2LW 
From 2.15pm there will be music, food and an open mic for stories celebrating Robert's life at The Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road, London, SE15 3BE. Please bring photos, texts, posters, zines, records and memories to share.
A crowdfund has been set up in order to help covering for some of the funeral and wake costs In place of flowers, Robert would have preferred donations to his favoured charities, Mental Health Resistance Network, Kindred Minds and The Field. Sending our condolences to his partner Shirley Pearson and all Robert's friends and family.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Supporting individuals affected by prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal

We wish to circulate this important article from the British Medical Association (BMA) and the letter from Professor Parveen Kumar to Nicola Blackwood MP highlighting the devastating health problems caused by dependence on prescribed drugs.
These are the type of Doctors we might feel safe when our health is being taken care of.

Nicola Blackwood MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall

24 October 2016

Dear Minister

Supporting patients affected by prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal

The British Medical Association (BMA) has taken a leading role in trying to identify what positive action is needed to support patients with dependency and withdrawal due to prescribed drugs. These patients suffer devastating health problems caused by prescribed drugs, such as benzodiazepines, z-drugs, opioids and antidepressants. We would like the government to play its part in providing this much needed support.

Antidepressant prescribing in the UK has more than doubled over the last decade, with over 70 million prescriptions dispensed in 2015 at a cost of over £340 million- this is a major public health issue. The provision of services for these patients is inconsistent across the country and it is clear that a national approach for services and guidance is needed.

Over the last three years, we have been working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders including the medical royal colleges, professional organisations and patient groups, to identify three key measures which we believe are vital to supporting affected individuals. These are:

1. A national 24 hour helpline for prescribed drug dependence The introduction of a national 24 hour helpline for prescribed drug dependence would provide vital, real time support and could be implemented in a relatively short time frame. This national helpline would sit alongside a website and act as a single trusted resource for patientsthemselves to manage their drug dependence and also for doctors to signpost patients when they need crucial support.

2. A national approach to specialised services for those patients suffering with dependence on prescribed drugs There are currently a small number of charity groups providing support but they cannot meet the vast demand. In the absence of specialist services, patients are often referred to general drug and alcohol services, which again have few resources or indeed the training or skills to manage prescribed dependence.

3. Robust guidance on tapering and withdrawal management for psychoactive medications There is currently inadequate guidance in this area. NICE have recognised this is an issue and is considering the development of guidance on managing prescription medicines associated with dependence and withdrawal. It is vital that this guidance is developed and we would welcome any support you could offer in this area.

We fully acknowledge there is much more the medical profession could do to support these patients. To this end, we are working with key stakeholders to ensure doctors and medical students are adequately trained in managing the risks associated with prescribing psychoactive medications.

I would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our work, and to look ahead to plan what needs to be done next to support these patients. I attach a copy of the BMA’s analysis report ‘Prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal - building a consensus for action’, which provides more information on the work we have done so far on this important issue.

I would be grateful if your PA could kindly contact Susan Bahl, Senior Public Affairs Officer at the BMA on 020 3058 7457 to arrange an early meeting at your convenience.

With best wishes

Professor Parveen Kumar CBE
Chair, BMA Board of Science

Read the letter (PDF)