Thursday, 17 August 2017

August Newsletter: monthly meeting 21 August & "Survivors Stories" Art Show 5-19 September

Dear Friends,

Submissions for our "Survivors Stories" group show generated a pleasantly inebriating Art overdose. Thank you to the artists that have shared their great work from around the UK, Europe, USA and Asia. We have had an awesome response. Looking forward to install the show with the selected pieces.

The exhibition will be running at the Kingsley Hall Bow from September 5th to 19th.
Please note that the show will be accessible for viewing on specific times ONLY:
the whole day for the Loonies Fest on the Sat 9th, 10am-10pm; Tuesday 12th + 19th September 4-8pm; 
Sat 16th September (also London Open House event) 11am-6pm.
By appointment group visits can be discussed too.
To RSVP the opening on September 5th 5-7pm and for further queries, please write to

As we are finalising the plans for the Loonies Fest, which is only three weeks away, join us for the monthly FEEL meeting next Monday 21st at LARC from 6.30pm. 

We have not secured public funding for the running costs of the Fest and we are still committed to delivery the day free of charge.
If anyone wishes to sponsor deaf access and/or artists fees or travelling costs, it would be greatly appreciated. 
Do get in touch if willing to support us, please.

Massive round of applause to the organisers of the recent Fools Gold, the Gala For Mental Health and its new awards, and the forthcoming Robertfest 2017, taking place on Sunday 24th September at the Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6TY (noon to midnite)

Madness brings enough misery, pain and suffering to our lives. If we don't celebrate and discuss it openly, honestly and constructively ourselves, who will?

Please, do share/circulate our link for updates thanks.

Friday, 21 July 2017

July Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The Loonies Fest is seven weeks away; lots of prep work in the way. We are still recruiting helping hands and minds that can ease the unfolding of the event; do get in touch if you wish to get involved. 
The call for submissions for artists and stall holders has now been extended to 5pm on 15 August. 
More details can be found here also attached if you wish to print it out.

Before sharing news and updates for this month, we wish to congratulate Sarah Yiannoullou, Managing Director of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN), for her recent honorary degree awarded by the Middlesex University, wishing Sarah all the best for a further successful carrer.


Stuart Low Trust Annual Celebration - Friday 21 July, 6.30-9.00pm
St Mary's Neighbourhood Centre, Upper Street, Islington N1 2TX
The Annual Celebration and Outstanding Volunteer Awards, hosted for the final time by retiring Chair of Trustees Virginia Low, takes place this Friday. The evening will feature a performance by magician and psychological entertainer Gareth Foreman. 
Refreshments will be served from 6.30pm. AGM 7.15-7.30pm; performance by Gareth Foreman 7.30-8.30pm.


Talk for Health Special - Express Yourself: Voice workshop  Thu 27 July 2017 18-20 PM
St Luke's Community Centre 90 Central Street London EC1V 8AJ
Do you want to feel more confident and expressive in your communication? Do you want to more more dynamic in getting your message across? If yes, join Cat and Helen for this engaging, free workshop.
Drawing on techniques from the Fedenkrais Method and Linklater Voice Work, they will help you focus on body awareness, movement, breathing, and how it relates to your voice. They guide you to explore the habitual patterns of tension in the body that can limit your expression and hope to offer you an insight into how to free your body and your voice.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a willingness to unwind in a warm & supportive environment! This workshop is open to all so please feel free to bring a friend (or two). Do please just make sure you register so that we can make sure there are enough refreshments for everyone. ​Free registration here​


Kingsley Hall: An Island? Exploring Archival Accounts of Life at the Hall - Mon 31 July 18:00-19:30PM
UCL SELCS Common Room, Foster Court (ground floor, G24), Malet Place Malet Place London WC1E
Dr. Adrian Chapman (Florida State University) Kingsley Hall was radical therapeutic community established by R. D. Laing in 1965 (and that ran until 1970) in the East End of London. Here I turn to archival accounts of life at the Hall by residents and visitors. These accounts are from a book (never published) about Kingsley Hall and other communities established by the Laing network in the 70s. In his introduction to the book (the most stable title of which was Asylum: To Dwell in Strangeness), Laing engages in a debate with his former collaborator, David Cooper, who had spoken derisively of the Hall and other communities as “happy islands”, isolated zones of pseudo-freedom. Following a consideration of the aims, scope, history and marketability of the book project, I take the island metaphor as my starting point for exploring archival materials. This route allows me to trace significant connections and dissonances among several contributors to Asylum: To Dwell in Strangeness, and offers rich possibilities for interrogating the nature of the Hall and the radical psychiatry associated with R. D. Laing. In particular, I want to examine debates around the politics of the Kingsley Hall project; the relation of the Hall to its surrounding area in the East End; as well as the relation of Laing and his project to mainstream psychiatry, and to 1960s counterculture.  


In the News: 
The mental health first aid programme is a pet project – if the NHS services were properly funded in the first place, it wouldn't be needed. 
Article by Jay Watts 


Thrive London engagement events
Thrive LDN is a citywide movement for mental health, supported by the Mayor of London and the London Health Board. Thrive will host a community conversation aimed at encouraging people to work together to improve health and happiness in the borough. At this community conversation people will hear about the aims of Thrive LDN and then discuss how we can all work together to make them happen in the borough. The organisers hope to see broad representation across the borough including from the council, NHS providers and commissioners, businesses, local people, service users and carers, voluntary and community sector, faith groups, schools and social landlords. The events are in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Tower Hamlets. 
Tower Hamlets Tues 25 July 6-8pm PDC - book here 
Barking & Dagenham Weds 26th July 3:30-6pm - book here

Consultation: the London Mayor's vision for a Diverse and Inclusive city
Have your say on the Mayor's vision for Diversity and Inclusion online consultation is now open till 11 September 2017  
The Mayor wants to hear from individuals and organisations that can help him and the GLA group make London a more inclusive city.

The roll out of PIP is running far behind schedule, the DWP have confirmed. All existing DLA claimants should have been ‘invited’ to claim PIP by April of this year. But a poster on the Rightsnet forum has confirmed that this target is now history. Instead the aim is now that all working age DLA claimants will have received their invitation letters by late 2018, with the final assessments and transfers not being completed until mid-2019. However, we reported last month that there had been a huge fall in the number of DLA to PIP cases being sent to Atos and Capita since January of this year. So, whether the DWP will stick to this new target remains to be seen.

Instead, the total number of people in receipt of UC is just 540,000 according to the latest DWP figures. The UC roll out is more than 90% behind schedule and is not now expected to be completed until 2022. Though even that target seems massively optimistic, given that the vast majority of claimants so far have been the simplest claims, and there is no indication that the DWP’s software systems will cope with a huge increase in complex cases. Citizens Advice published a report earlier this month asking the government to pause the roll out of UC because of the major problems it is causing even the most straightforward claimants, including 57% having to borrow money while waiting for their first payment. The DWP, however, have dismissed the concerns of Citizens Advice and confirmed that the roll out of full service UC will increase from 5 areas a month to 50 areas a month from October. 


Please note that the formal Healthwatch Tower Hamlets AGM will be conducte prior to the Your Voice Counts event at 11:00 am 9 August at The Hub, Victoria Park next to the Park Café, Rothbury Rd, London E9 5HD. You are invited to attend.


NSUN AGM to take place this September 

This year, the AGM will take place in Sheffield on 27 September. 
Put this date in your calendars! 
We're looking forwards to seeing you there.

NSUN MANIFESTO cand be read here

​Launch of Revised Understanding Psychosis Document​ Friday 13 October 2017 11am- 4pm 
BPS London Office, 30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE

Thursday, 20 July 2017




From 5th to 19th September 2017

To mark the 10th anniversary of our collective F.E.E.L. (Friends of East End Loonies), are hosting the LOONIES FEST, a major diverse event to celebrate the joint work and achievements of the past decade.

We would like to invite Artists to submit their works for the group exhibition ‘SURVIVORS STORIES’.

The call is open strictly to Artists with lived psychosis/psychiatric hospital experience, as we will be celebrating past and present Survivors, patients, ex-patients, service users (whatever way people prefer to be called like). The show will run between 5th to 19th September 2017.

On Saturday 9th of September the exhibition will be accessible from 10am to 10pm.
During the day there will be a variety of entertaining and engaging activities, a market space (12-3pm), poetry, music, performances (4-10pm), workshops, and a panel discussion on the theme of the benefits & importance of the Arts as Healing Mediums. Particular emphasis of the day revolves around Healing.

Remarkable pro-active Artists in the Survivor's movements like Frank Bangay, Dolly Sen, Michelle Baharier, and many more are our guests among poet David Kessel, which founded F.E.E.L. in 2007 with Myra Garret.  

MARKET STALLS: open to mental health groups (small, independent, non-for-profit organisations) wishing to share their info during the Loonies Fest.

Market space runs 12-3pm on Saturday 9th September. Please submit your ideas!


Artworks should be in the medium of drawing, painting, photos, text based works, book arts and textiles. Size of 2Dimensional works should not exceed 120cm x 120cm. All 2D artworks (excluding textiles) should be submitted framed with a wire and D-rings attached at back of frame or canvas. Each artist will exhibit only one artwork. If selected, the artwork needs to be delivered to Kingsley Hall Community Centre, Powis Rd, London E3 3HJ on Monday 4th Sept. and to be collected on Tuesday 19th Sept. 
Send us 2-3 jpg images, low resolution, of the work you wish to present specifying: Title, Medium, Size, Hanging Requirements.

15th August 2017 by 5pm


Facebook event page
We look forward to receiving your ideas and celebrating the festival together!

Friday, 14 July 2017

FEEL monthly meeting Monday 17 July 6:30 pm @ LARC

Dear Friends,

Last week we've had a very productive initial brainstorming for the forthcoming Loonies Fest on 9 September
We plan to continue the conversation at our next meeting, Monday 17 July 6:30 pm @ LARC, 62 Fielgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES. Do join us, please.

Please find a list of important info/events below and have a great weekend.


​Liberty Festival 1.30-6.30pm Saturday 15 July 2017​ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 
Come and have a go at a range of activities and sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, boccia and even New Age Kurling. Taking place from 1.30-6.30pm, there will be an incredible line up of Deaf and disability arts. With street theatre, circus acts, live music, art, dance, food stalls and more! 
Tickets for the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017, taking place in the London Stadium at the park from 14-23 July are in sale.


2017 DPAC Week of Action #SummerOfDiscontent#NotOneMoreDay#CutsKill

Friday 14th July – As the World Para Athletics kick off in London sponsored by Atos, join us at Queens Elizabeth Olympics Park for our own opening ceremony (meet Stratford station tube at 6pm, to walk towards site)

Sunday 16th July – Carnival Against Cuts @ the Fair Funding for All Schools Carnival. Education cuts are taking learning support away from Disabled pupils, undermining the right to inclusive education. Assemble Victoria Embankment at midday; Rally at Parliament Square 30pm Family fun, picnics, art, songs, kids’ entertainment and speakers.

Tuesday 18th July – National Day of Action (for local DPAC groups and supporters to organise own actions on local issues)

Wednesday 19th July – Lobby of Parliament for Independent Living: Assemble outside House of Commons entrance from 11am

Thursday 20th July – Turn Up and Go protest to deliver a petition demanding our right to ride on public transport. Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm, Great Minster House ,33 Horseferry Road, London W1P 4DR. Please sign and share the petition:

Friday 21st July – Anti-Atos protest: Final day of action, DPAC will be returning to Atos HQ
Assemble 12.30 pm outside their offices at 4, Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3HG Bring rugs, food and noise and let’s party.

​For a full list of events go to:

Petition to demand guards on trains
One thing that has become very apparent since the onset of Driver-Only Operated (DOO) trains has been the deplorable lack of freedom to travel. In addition Southern Rail has announced that it is withdrawing turn-up-and-go assistance from 33 stations across its network. Disabled and vulnerable people have been put at risk by the lack of support on the train.

Survivors History Group ​Wed 26.7.2017 1pm. 
This will be the last meeting at Together, 12 Old Street, as Together are moving. 
Rose Gardens: Alternative dreams and realities - A discussion based on Searching for a Rose Garden: challenging psychiatry, fostering Mad Studies - a collection of articles edited by Jasna Russo and Angela Sweeney. The first part of the meeting to discuss "alternatives to something" and the second "what is Mad Studies"? Plus selective history from Asylum magazine and MORE. Angela, and possibly Jasna, will be in attendance to respond. ​
Click for next London meeting - Everyone welcome


Maternity Mates Open Day
Wednesday 26th July 11am - 1pm The Brady Centre (Side Hall) 192-196 Hanbury Street, E1 5HU
Are you interested in gaining skills and accredited training as a volunteer to support pregnant women in Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest? 
-Would you like to share your skills and experience as a mother to help other mothers during pregnancy and birth? 
-Are you looking for additional, practical experience that could help support your application to study midwifery, or supplement your training? 
-Whether you’re a mum who wants to help other mums, or are looking to enhance your healthcare skills, Maternity Mates is for you. Come along to the Open Day to meet the team and find out more about Maternity Mates. Please contact for more information.


Loneliness and disability 
We are all more likely to experience loneliness at certain times in our lives, such as retirement, bereavement or after becoming a parent. Disabled people experience the same life transitions as everyone else, but in addition to this, having a disability means they are more likely to be chronically lonely than non-disabled people.
A new report, Someone cares if I’m not there explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities, from the perspective of disabled people themselves. Read the report here:


SHAPE ARTS: ​​Applications are now open for the flagship art award, the 2018 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, a £10,000 award and accompanying 3 month residency with Pallant House Gallery for disabled artists! Now in its 10th year, the ARMB is a huge opportunity for any mid-career disabled artist looking to develop their practice and build their profile in the arts & cultural sector. Applications deadline: 1 August 2017 For more information, and to apply for the 2018 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, visit​​


Monday, 3 July 2017

Loonies Fest planning meeting

Dear Friends,

Please join us to help shaping the forthcoming Loonies Fest, happening next September the 9th. 
We are gathering at Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, E3 3HJ for a relaxed brainstorming session tomorrow, Tuesday the 4th of July between 4-6pm. 
Keep the evening free as some of us will stay on site for Estbeat, the free monthly poetry+music event, which starts at 7:30pm; maybe someone wants to perform a poem or two?

If unable to come to this planning session please join us at the monthly FEEL meeting at LARC on Monday 17th July and 21st August. 
All queries and suggestions can be sent to 
More info here 
Thank you!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Summer Solstice News

Dear Friends, 

Summer is here, no doubts as we just had the longest day of the year! Hopefully this excessive heat is not affecting you too much, as some find it harder to cope than others. Do keep well hydrated, please. 

Today I am forwarding a list of very interesting and culturally varied events that people might find useful.
Well done and all the best to all involved.

Special highlight...while Ronnie is occupying most of the screen in "Mad to Be Normal" (and giving some hope and satisfaction to all Laingians and anti-psychiatrist types), Londoners next week will have the chance to meet a true Loonies' hero that lived the tales and tragedies that took place at Kingsley Hall in the Sixties. 
Please find below the info about the "Mary Barnes" play

Join us at Kingsley Hall on Tuesday 4 July 4-6 PM for a briefing and mind mapping for the programme for our special day on Saturday 9 September as it is starting to shape up.
We'd like to invite anyone willing to exhibiting their art work in the dedicated show 'Survivors Stories'. We are also looking for stewards, first aiders, crew members with practical experience and initiative and volunteers. On the day there will also be a market place (Saturday 9 September 12-4PM) and stalls will be available for mental health groups and organisations. Please send queries and suggestions to 

Solstice Blessings to all!


HUGE FALL IN DLA TO PIP REASSESSMENTS (from Benefits and Work newsletter
The number of people being summoned to go through their DLA to PIP reassessments has plummeted in recent months. The combined number of PIP new claims and reassessments has plunged from 104,333 in January of this year to 49,409 in April. Most of the fall is due to a huge reduction in DLA to PIP reassessments. The DWP have offered no explanation for the fall, saying only that “reassessment registrations have decreased due to DWP managing capacity within the system.” Anecdotal evidence from our members suggests that waiting times for assessments have risen in recent months. So the reason may simply be that a large backlog has once again built up and the DWP are doing their best to cover up the truth. We’d be very interested to hear from you about how long you waited for your face-to-face assessment.

Thu 22 June 18:45 Post-Election Anxiety by Mental Health Under Capitalism - support and solidarity group 
Common House, Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG
Following the horrific formation of a Tory-DUP alliance, many of us are filled with dread at the thought of further cuts to mental health services, financial instability and fractured communities. This is down, at least partially, to the somewhat uncertain role of the DUP; a party who are pro-Brexit, anti-choice, anti-LGBT rights, climate-change deniers with strong links to loyalist paramilitary groups. Little wonder so many of us are feeling anxious.

Join us at 18:45 for an hourly discussion of the 2017 General Election, followed by our solidarity and support group session. We hope to see you all there.

Mental Health Under Capitalism is a collective of anti-capitalists who are interested in the impact of how capitalism effects our mental health, creating communities of care and support for one another


SECTIONED (1/2h play) 
Saturday June 24th, 11am in The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke.
Reading based Rose and Thorn Theatre Company are presenting 'Sectioned' about a gay man who has a breakdown and who is detained by the police under section 136 of the mental health act, the stresses that cause this, how the mental health system react and how things could improve. 
John Hoggett, the author of the play, who is also acting in the play, said, "LGBT people have high rates of mental distress with gay men suffering twice the rate of psychosis as the general population. Services often ignore the causes of people's distress and section 136 assessments have massively increased in recent years due to cuts in budgets to services so all of these things are worth looking at." John Hoggett was also a founder of Speak Out Against Psychiatry which bought survivors of psychiatry together to protest against the injustices they felt they had suffered


Sunday 25th June film screenings from 18.15 
Lords of Sounds and Lesser Things 
Part of the East End Film Festival
The Castle Cinema, First floor, 64-66 Brooksby's Walk Hackney, London E9 6DA
Emerging artist filmmakers Juliet Jacques and Ker Wallwork present their film 'Approach/ Withdraw', which explores the intersection between queer love, sex and gender with biomedical science, alongside a selection of other works that were an influence on it, or form a dialogue with it. Inspired by the Queering Love, Queering Hormones project. This programme will consist of: Marina Grzinic & Aina Smid - Bilokacija Lis Rhodes - Light Reading VALIE EXPORT - Syntagma Katherine Arianello - The Interview (Parts 1 + 2) Stéphane Marti - Allegoria Eline McGeorge - A World of Our Own Andrea Crespo - Polymorphoses.
Presented in partnership with Tickets can be bought
​ here​


'Mary Barnes'
Final year students of the Drama Centre London (part of UAL Central Saint Martins) present the BA Acting Production 'Mary Barnes'  an adaptation from the David Edgar playwright about Mary’s time in Kingsley Hall.
Directed by Georgina Sowerby (Dirty Market theatre the Platform Theatre, 1 Handyside St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA

Mon 26 Jun, 7.30pm 
Thu 29 Jun, 2.00pm and 7.30pm 
Fri 30 Jun, 2.00pm 
Sat 1 Jul, 7.30pm 
Ticket Prices: Adults £12 | Concessions £9 | UAL staff / students £6 
Suitable only for people aged 14 years and over


30 June 2017 Time: 7-9 PM Shoreditch Art Wall 17-19 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London EC2
To Celebrate the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships Artist Michelle Baharier and the Artist group Vision with Action for Children, lead by Artist Sarah Hughes have created Murals To Celebrate the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships running 25th June - 23rd July 2017.


​​Thai Boxing Fighters Academy (Service User Led) Annual General Meeting 2016-2017
Monday 10th July 2017 19:00-20:00 at Oxford House Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green London E2 6HG 
Buffet & Social 20:00-21:00 Guest Speaker: Marion Khalam (TBFA) Special Guest: Alan Green, Vicar St Johns Church. Please confirm attendance at 07769797916​


Interrogating Digital Capitalism: a series of events organised by Breaking the Frame
Event 1: Digital Technology and Neoliberalism – the Basics
July 6th 2017, 7.15pm. Apple Tree pub function room. 45 Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 0AE 
How does digital technology function in and shape neoliberal capitalism? Is it just a question of corporations using technology to their advantage or has digital technology fundamentally reshaped the whole system? Are we already, as a key anarchist critique, The Cybernetic Hypothesis suggests, enmeshed in a control system in which conventional resistance just strengthens the system? Ursula Huws (University of Hertfordshire) will describe the nuts and bolts of how digital capitalism works. 
Richard Hall of De Montfort University will look at a critique of digital capitalism developed by French anarchists in the 1990s. Free/donation. 
We apologise that this venue has no wheelchair access. Other events will be at accessible venues. 

Event 2: Digital Technology as Heavy Industrial Technology: iSlavery and Environmental Destruction 
September 6th 2017, 7.15pm. Feminist Library meeting room, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW 
Digital technology is often seen as ‘immaterial’ and ‘smart’, defining a new industrial and social paradigm. Yet digital gadgets are produced within an ‘old-fashioned’ highly exploitative regime that has been likened to slavery, whilst the industry creates massive environmental destruction and makes a major contribution to climate change. 
Jack Linchuan Qiu, author of Goodbye iSlave will describe the conditions in Chinese electronics factories, such as Foxconn, which were brought to international attention by a wave of worker suicides in 2010. 
Second speaker (TBC) will look at the environmental impacts of digital technology and its role in causing conflicts. 
Venue is accessible, we would advise wheelchair users to contact us in advance if possible.