Saturday, 17 February 2018

February EXTRA

Dear Friends,

Following last December victory in High Court against the unlawful PIP (Personal Independence Payment) changes applied sinceMarch 2017 on individuals that suffer from mental illnesses, apparently DWP will have to review 1.6 million PIP claims. “Nobody is going to be called in for a face-to-face assessment, and nobody is going to have money taken away from them”, Sarah Newton said (Minister for disabled people). People that had their benefits turned down or slashed need to appeal. 
We hope the reviewing won't be stirring further concerns and misery, and that people with chronic and enduring mental health issues and other disabilities will be receiving the right care required.  

This week school shooting in Florida once again brings a serious discussion that should not be ignored: was the event triggered byguns-mania or mental illness in se, or by the antidepressant'  side effects the boy was taking?
Firearms are certainly a danger, but what about the big pharma/psychiatry damages caused to modern society? 
Let's not forget that if the shooter was a darker colored person he'd probably been classified as terrorist and killed right away. 

Our monthly meeting is taking place Mon the 19th. We'll meet for the CRPD study group on Wed the 28th Feb (it's not needed to be enrolled in the course to take part to the group; lived experience and desire to see changes in the system are good causes).
Both meetings are taking place between 6:30-8:30pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES.

Do find some extra news and updates to follow and, if not done yet, please take part in the following Survey.

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act - Have your say in this online Survey (DEADLINE 28 February 2018)
Survey for people who have been sectioned under the mental health act and/or supported someone who has been sectioned.  
This Independent Review of the Mental Health Act was set up in October to review how the law was used and how practice can improve. As part of this, the review wants to listen to all of the people who have experience with the Mental Health Act to help them have their say about what future practice and/or law should look like.This survey is aimed at service users and carers with experience of the Mental Health Acthttps://r1.surveysandforms.com/4c3zqo08-882s0m96?platform=hootsuite
You can download the survey relevant to you if you prefer and post it to the following address (must arrive by 28/2/18): 
Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0EU


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URGENT - Calling all BME mental health service users with experience of being detained 
Focus group for Mental Health Act Review 
Kings Fund, Attend 11-13 Cavendish Square,London W1G 0AN (run by National Survivor User Network) 
Fri 23 February, to start at 10.45am till 5pm with breaks and lunch, plus £15 honorarium for each participant. 
Detentions under the Mental Health Act are disproportionately used against people from Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic communities. So, despite the jaded sense that nothing really changes, it is vital that BME service users/survivors who have experience of being detained get their voice heard at this focus group. Please contact Raza.Griffiths@nsun.org.uk for details.

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The law that closed the asylums. Talk by Professor John Foot (Bristol University)
Thu 22 February 7-9 pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8NX
In 1978 Italy was the first country to legislate to close down its psychiatric hospital system, with the famous ‘180 Law’. This closure – which took twenty years or so to enact – was the result of a movement for psychiatric reform led by the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/history-and-democracy-4-the-law-that-closed-the-asylums-italy-1978-tickets-42268525297


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Mad Poets Speak poetry open mic night
Sat 24 February 7-8:30 pm Common House 5e Punderson's Gardens Unit 5E London E2 9QG. Cost: £2.68
Poetry open-mic night for people who've experienced mental distress to come and share their poetry and for anyone who wishes to come and listen. Please email hermey@me.com to put your name on the open mic list 


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Stop and Scrap Universal Credit -  DPAC Day of Action to Bring an end to #CrimesAgainstClaimants 
Thursday 1st March - Nationwide - Join the Thunderclap
DPAC believes that Universal Credit has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped. It is rotten to the core. Universal Credit is the punishing regime due to be more widely imposed on people with low incomes both those in and out of work. Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. Pensioner couples will also be affected if one of them is under pension age. Universal Credit is an economic and political disaster bringing further distress and impoverishment to those forced to endure it. To date at least £15.8 billion has been wasted on its implementation yet it will only save £1 billion to 2022. No civilized Government should impose this on its citizens and no opposition party should want to simply pause and fix it.

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NO More Deaths on our Streets protest - Supported by DPAC- Disabled People Against Cuts
Sat 3 March 3-6 pm. Gathering outside Downing Street to say enough is enough. No More Deaths on our Streets 
Getting together to organise how to prevent any further needless deaths, since another rough sleeper died on the cold London streets just yards from Parliament this week www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/homeless-man-dies-outside-parliament-12023659
Please bring along sleeping bags & other essential supplies that will keep people alive that will be distributed on the day to those that may need them across London. https://www.facebook.com/events/166541107460209/


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Women’s Strike – March 8th, Worldwide.
In solidarity with Women’s Strike, DPAC supports the Women’s Strike in London. Taking place in more than 56 countries on International Women’s Day, the strike, organised by the Women’s Strike Assembly UK will see women walk out of paid work in offices, shops and factories, as well as unpaid domestic work in homes, communities and bedrooms.
London: 1pm Women’s Strike Assembly Russell Square, WCB1 – all genders, kids welcome, food provided 
London: 7pm Sex/Work Strike – all welcome, 55 Dean Street Soho

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The book, by the legendary BME mental health activist, academic and former psychiatrist, is designed to act as a conceptual framework to help activists and practitioners analyse institutionalised racism including within psychiatry – a fundamental issue about power relationships and oppression that many choose to skirt around or do not have the conceptual tools to handle.

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!cooolest weapons these games ov throne 
by gobscure & sean (paperback: £2.85 - excl. VAT; prints on demand in 3-5 business days)
"wz a year when satirists couldnt keep up but heres wee-poem / visualweekly collab thru that strange year (2017 c.e.) - theres greater need than ever to reclaim voices, add yrs into the mix too"


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Mental health services excluding the most at risk - London Assembly Report
The prevalence of mental ill-health is significantly higher in LGBT+ communities, disabled people, Deaf people, and those with experience of the criminal justice system. And the issue is compounded by services that do not understand and meet their specific needs. Read more www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/mental-health-services-excluding-the-most-at-risk
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The Mental Health Act: A Human Rights Perspective - presented by the National Hearing Voices Network 
Amnesty International 17-25 New Inn Yard London, EC2A 3EA
Friday, 27 April 2018 from 10:00 to 16:30, AGM will follow at 5pm
"In this one day event, we invite you to join us to explore the mental health act from a human rights perspective. We will be creating space for discussion, reflection and exploration of the impact the Mental Health Act has had on each of us (and those we care about), and the changes you would like to see happen in the forthcoming review."

Thursday, 1 February 2018

February Newsletter - Time to talk... about CRDP - Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities


Dear Friends, 

Today some people might be taking part in the "time to talk day", where everyone is encouraged to talk about mental health.
I wonder how many will touch issues such as the abuses, damages, coercion and neglect (see the TORTURE in these) that many people with mental illnesses or other severe difficulties are still experiencing under psychiatric care, primarily offered in this advancing 21st century.

With the online CRPD (Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities) course taught by Tina Minkowitz, Esq (a Human Rights Lawyer and Survivor of Psychiatry) that will start in March, a group of us is planning to hold regular monthly reading/study meetings to discuss the course material https://crpdcourse.org/ 
People interested in the topics are welcome to joining in, even if not intending to enrol to the course.
We are meeting on Tuesday, 6th Feb 6:30-8:30pm at LARC Centre  62, Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES for an initial planning meeting. Find the info/invite attached and please forward to those who might be interested.

Our regular monthly  FEEL meeting will still take place on the 19th of February as usual.

Last month Dr Rose McGranahan introduced us to the NEON Study (Narrative Experiences Online), a large-scale research study running from 2017-2022 that is looking into collecting people's experiences of mental health to make them available online to help others. People willing to share their stories can find out more on www.researchintorecovery.com/NEON  or email wolfson-neon@qmul.ac.uk


To conclude it must be stressed once again that FEEL was never intended to run as a support group. We invite people requiring specialist or supportive help to refer to local social services, mental health team or peer supported circles (run a search online to find one near you, if no familiar with any one; have also a look at the resources here in our blog). 
Creating a little list of contacts you trust and helpful strategies to have handy, if fearing to reach extreme emergency states is great self-help. 
Some suggested contacts to remember could be The Samaritans ( phone 116 123; email jo@samaritans.org), The Spiritual Crisis Network or, if you are local to us in Tower Hamlets, The Lifehouse meets every Tuesday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at The Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonard’s Street, London E3 3BT for face to face support (for more info reach on 07926 886372 or nickwaller30@gmail.com).

We apologise for not being able to offer practical help, other than meeting at our monthly gatherings; so please be gentle with yourselves when difficulties strike, and with us, as some are already struggling with chronic life challenges.

Please find below a listing of forthcoming events, including the Solidarietea/MHRN event (tonight), The NHS march (Sat 3rd Feb) and more.


SolidariTEA/ MHRN event at The Field - FREE
The Field, 385 Queen's Road, New Cross, London SE14 5HD 
Thurs 1st Feb 2018 Starts 7pm til 10pm (doors open at 6.30pm)  
'An Evening with ... Tara Fleur, Woman of Bones', with divine friends (made of bones) 'Thomas Gillies Smith', 'Marika Josef' 'Tom Bland' & 'Cathy Flower' . Incredible performance poet and digital artist Tara Fleur is going to take us on a round trip of her poetry and digital art, from the point of view of both a survivor artist and a psych nurse newly returned to work in the NHS. Searing truths, biting satire and rich in passion, Tara will leave you flabbergasted and knocked for 6 ... MHRN FB page www.facebook.com/MHResist/

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NHS in Crisis: Fix It Now!  Emergency Demonstration - Saturday 3 February  
END THE WINTER CRISIS, FUND #OURNHS 

Assemble: 12pm, Gower Street Central London WC1 (near UCLH) , March to Downing Street
Organised by the The People's Assembly Against Austerity and Health Campaigns Together.
The #NHSWinterCrisis has now descended into a perpetual year round crisis. A crisis that has brought staff to their knees and patients languishing and even dying in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors. When headlines report there is a "third world" crisis in the 6th richest country in the world, let's be clear and call this what it is: an entirely manufactured political crisis by the Tories www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/nhs_fix_it  FB event page https://www.facebook.com/events/174477699821503/

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Spirit Influence on Mental Health 
Is 'spirit' intrusion an important overlooked factor in hallucinatory disorders?
Regent's University London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NS 
Saturday 4 February 2017, 9:30 - 17:00 
£55:00 (£45:00 for members of SRF and unwaged) Lunch and Refreshments: Tea and coffee will be provided in morning and afternoon. Buffet lunches are available in the university canteen  www.spiritrelease.org/conference.php

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Effect of Childhood Brain Injury in Adulthood - FREE 
Headway West London - Evening Support Group
Fulham Broadway Methodist Church, 452 Fulham Road, Fulham SW6 1BY
Tuesday 6th February 2018, 7-9pm
Gerard Anderson, Regional Child and Family Support Coordinator, London who will lead a session on "The Impact of Child Brain Injury on Adult Life". For further information please either email us at info@headwaywestlondon.org.uk or telephone us on 07562 341 460 www.headwaywestlondon.org.uk

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Melancholy and Raving 
The Ship pub (the upstairs room) , 68 Borough Road, SE1 1DX
8pm – 10pm on the last Monday of the month - next is on the 26th February
Melancholy and Raving is a free monthly mental health inspired Variety Night in London, organised and hosted by community comic and former service user Kym Winstanley www.melancholyandraving.com

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National POD Conference (Peer Supported Dialogue)
Regent Hall, 275 Oxford St, London W1C 2DJ 
Wednesday February 28th, 9.30am -5 pm
If you would like to reserve tickets for yourself or anyone you know - friends, families or colleagues - please respond to Katya (katya.vasco.od@gmail.com) and tell her how many you need. POD students and alumnus are admitted for free. You can also book places on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2018-national-peer-supported-open-dialogue-conference-tickets-37362821204

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National Day of Action to #StopandScrap Universal Credit - March 1st 2018
More details to follow but there will be a national day of action to call for Universal Credit to be scrapped on March 1st. We hope local groups will be able to support this and please send us details of any planned events to mail@dpac.uk.net. Please save this date to take action against this vile Tory creation and beware the IDS of March.

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Action Against Austerity!
Presented by BASW London and the Austerity Action Group
The Hall at St Margarets House, 21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London , E2 9PL
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 6.30pm (refreshments from 6pm) 
Join social workers in the fight for social justice and learn about ways of campaigning, big and small, from speakers including: Jane Tunstill (Emeritus Professor of Social Work); Roger Lewis (Disabled People Against Cuts); Tom Griffiths (People’s Assembly Against Austerity); Social workers from the Boot Out Austerity march; Psychologists For Social Change; and through film, poetry and song. https://www.basw.co.uk/event/?id=1125