Friday, 17 November 2017

November Newsletter & monthly meeting Mon 20 Nov 6:30-8-30 pm

Dear Friends,

Ten years ago this week (15th Nov to be precised) the first gathering of the Friends of East End Loonies took place in Whitechapel. We already celebrated our decade of campaigning and achievement with other mental health Survivors and friends at the awesome Loonies Fest two months. Some memories are collected on
Facebook . Some more were shared by courtesy of Cheryl Prax!Aqb_F-IbVW5tmRBEg6oVW3La0rSr. We also had the debut of the song "Prescriptionpath" by Sam & Daryl

But what has actually changed in the mental health field/services in all these years?

As there seem to be more awareness about mental health, today it looks like every single person has a disorder with a diagnosis or two to refer to and possibly with pills for life to accompany them. The endless labels of our overcivilised world...
Social and environmental conditions are hardly referred to as the actual aggravating causes of mental disorders, while the "chemical imbalance" theory is still used by some professionals to coerce patients to take cocktails of several different drugs (number that often goes scarily up when a person is detained crisis in a hospital ward), that only some honest doctors admit the poisonous damage they are causing. Yet, has this so called chemical imbalanced ever been proved before chemicals, in the form of psychoactive drugs, are put into peoples body? 

Nevertheless we are more aware of the severe side effects, on mental and physical health, caused by most of medications, thanks to the patients/ex patients shared experiences, these are still ignored most of the time.
One of the most recent and shocking news was reading about the FDA approved Abilify MyCite, a pill with a sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medicationOur bodies, our own personal temples, are used and abused for lab testing and social controlling, under the misleading hat of health care. Outrageous indeed!

The changes in the welfare system and the Universal Credits is the hot topic of the moment, affecting or possibly affecting everyone soon, employed and unemployed alike: it needs to get scrapped out. Gail Ward (Disability Campaigner DPAC/BlackTriangleCampaign) has been running very useful workshops in regards. Highly recommend to follow her blog (list of highly relevant blog posts at the very bottom of the email) and DPAC website for updates and guidance. 

An interesting article can be read on the Private Eye
Another article mentions the top suggestion of a Senior Judge to charge the DWP for every benefit case it loses in Court 

Another burning issue is the Mental Health Act review announced recently by Theresa May. Is this "independent" review going to be of help or actually turn to be even more detrimental at the costs of mental health patient? It does not look like those affected by the Act are being involved in the process. The present Mental Health Act is in breach of fundamental human rights and the current politics and welfare system are crashing these rights even further

The above and more will be discussed at our monthly meeting on Mon 20 Nov 6:30-8-30pm at LARC, 
62, Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES. We've also been approached by a company called Zinc: Will, Fiona and Quinn will come along to the meeting to give an intro to their new project dedicated to using technology to solve issues around women and girls’ mental health

I leave you with a the special "Pink or Blue" poem by Hollie McNish 
Wishing you a good weekend.


​Lgbtqia+ Mental Health under Capitalism 
22 November at 18:45–21:00 Common House Unit 5E 
It's well understood that people who are LGBTQIA+ are at a significantly high risk of suffering from mental health problems. This can be down to a number of factors: everyday abuse and hate, the difficulty of 'coming out' to friends and family, isolation and identity struggles all play a major role. LGBTQIA+ people are consequently predisposed towards a higher risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, and a lot more besides. But in what ways is it harder for us to tackle mental health issues? How does this intersect with capitalism? What kinds of pressures do we feel within queer spaces themselves? How can we look after each other within antagonistic environments? 

Join us at 18:45 for an hourly discussion of LGBTQIA+ mental health, 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.​


56th Maudsley Debate: Mental Health Act 
Wed 22 November 2017 5:30-8:30pm, Wolfson Lecture Theatre Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF Participants will express views (for and against) on the statement '‘This house believes that fundamental reform of the Mental Health Act is required to reduce discrimination and unnecessary detention’' You can attend for free. Registration here


The Politics of Psychiatry and Public Health since 1945, Italy and the UK. A Talk by John Foot (University of Bristol) organised by Professor Andrea Mammone (Royal Holloway) and Professor Umberto Gentiloni (La Sapienza, Rome) part of twelve talks on "The Pace of History, the Shape of Democracy" dedicated to contemporary history 
Thursday, 23 November 7-8:30pm, Italian Cultural Institute 39 Belgrave Square SW1X 8NX London


Stop data sharing between the NHS and the Home Office
Migrants' Rights Network is challenging a secret deal between the NHS and the Home Office to share confidential patient data for immigration purposes. 
The court challenge alleges that the data sharing agreement "turns doctors into immigration officers", violates patient confidentiality and means that migrants are less likely to access health care. 
Fizza Qureshi, director of the Migrants' Rights Network, is concerned that "immigration enforcement is creeping into our public services." A report by the Guardian discussed the challenge as part of a wider pattern of immigration controls seeping deeper and deeper into the public sphere. Help the Migrants' Rights Network fund this important case pledging now (by 8th Dec 2017)


The next Survivors Poetry events will all take place at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Rd, London N17 6QN
Thursday 23rd November, then a Solstice party on the 14th December for a final bash of the year. 
Back at the Poetry CafĂ© on Thursday 11th January, 22 Betterton St WC2 at 8pm, Covent Garden tube. 
For more updates follow Razz Poet's page

Please find the Poetry Express Newsletter #55 here  
People wishing to contribuite or subscribe to the newsletter can write directly to the Editor, David Russell, at


Lauri Love’s appeal
Lauri Love’s appeal will be heard on 28 and 29 November at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London. Love is appealing against extradition to the United States and a potential 99 year prison sentence for his alleged involvement in the online protests that followed the death of Aaron Swartz. 
He needs all the support he can get


William Blake's 260th Birthday Party 
Tuesday 28th November from 1pm. The Blake Room, Tate Britain Millbank London SW1P 4RG
The annual William Blake Birthday celebration is free and open to everyone willing to read, perform and remember this awesome artist: bring music, dance, poems and food and drinks for picnic afterwards, weather permitting.


Mental Health Question Time
Launch of the Mental Health Policy Research Unit for England
Wednesday 29th November 6-9pm, Inner Temple Main Hall Crown Office Row London EC4Y 7HL
Organised by UCL Division of Psychiatry, The Lancet Psychiatry and the National Elf Service, commissioned by the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Free tickets possibly sold out but the event will be live streamed ( and live tweeted #MHQT for those who can't make it to London.


Your Voice Counts by Healthwatch & Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board
Monday 11th of December 1-3pm, Tower Hamlets Professional Development Centre, 229 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6AB This time the foucs is on how older people (and those who are getting older) can shape the future of services and support


Call for Participants
I am a postgrad researcher looking into non-suicidal self-injury. My focus is on people from the community, who have managed to cease harming, and wish to share what helped and what hindered them on their journey to do so. 
My hope is that this will help people who as yet have been unable to do so. I have attached my call for participants for people to email me directly. I can provide them with an information sheet and consent form.
The format is generally a conversation either face to face, phone or skype which lasts for approx. 1 hr.
Warm wishes, Lorna Robinson (


Big Gene Gathering +20
December 2, 2017 9.30am – 6pm, December 3rd (10am to 3pm) LARC, 62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES. 
Celebrate 20 Years of Defeating Corporate GM Food! FREE/donation 


​​Universal Credit info by Gail Ward (Disability Campaigner DPAC/BlackTriangleCampaign​) blog posts


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Speech for FEEL meeting 16th October 2017, by Paula Peters

I would like to thank all of you at FEEL for the invitation to speak to you all tonight. It’s always a pleasure to speak to fellow MH Survivors.
Nat asked me here tonight to speak on current social security benefit changes and about the United Nations Convention of the rights of People with Disabilities. Before I begin, I would like to say and stress, that we at DPAC pass benefit information along, we sign post people to the relevant welfare rights services or groups, and we always recommend that wherever possible you seek independent welfare rights advice, as we are not welfare rights advisors or welfare rights trained.

As am sure many of you may have heard, from 29 th September 2017 when being reassessed for ESA and for a WCA, when having an assessment, the Maximus healthcare professional will consider whether the condition you have or its functional effect will meet the new severe conditions criteria, and where the criteria is met the HCP will advise that no further assessment is made, however this is subject to two things, if you have a change of circumstances, i.e., you have a partner move in with you, or a partner leaves, you are subjected to a new assessment, and as this new guidance is discretionary, there will be no right to appeal.

The Limited Capacity for Work/Limited Capacity for Work Related Activity means now the claimant has to meet one of the descriptors in the ESA 50 questionnaire, for example, personal action, coping with change, engaging socially, behaving appropriately. Then all 4 of the following criteria must also be met, these are: that the condition is lifelong, the level of function will always meet limited capacity for work, no change in the condition and no realistic prospect of recovery.

It is important to highlight here now, as with everything with the DWP, implementation will be key. There have already been questions raised about this, for example, will this new guidance be limited to a number of people found to meet the criteria, ie conditions like dementia, Huntingdon’s disease for example. What if a disability assessor and a claimant GP or consultants disagree about realistic prospect of recovery? Could a disability assessor who is neither GP nor a consultant override a GP or consultant in that regard?

We all know from experience don’t we, that assessors do not taken into account medical evidence from our drs, do not understand fluctuating conditions and the appeal rate for ESA at around 65 per cent successful appeal decisions overturned speak for themselves.

To that end, it is important that everyone here feeds into the DWP Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry appeal for evidence on ESA/PIP of which the deadline to submit evidence is November 10 th 2017, details of who to send written evidence to can be found in the DPAC website link. The enquiry will be looking at: the entire assessment process for ESA/PIP, what works, what does not, the appeals process and its so important to share your personal experience of this, how it affected you from start to finish, the impact it has had, and if it has caused further distress to you.

As many of you would have seen in the news and on social media, the secretary of state, David Gauke is determined to continue with the roll out of universal credit, and it is important to stress, that if you report a change of circumstances to the DWP, i.e., partner moves in, or partner leaves for example, you will be treated as a new claim for Universal Credit, and as a new claim you will not be given transitional protection. However, if you are naturally migrated to UC which the DWP says they hope to begin this in July 2019 (this means what top of award you may get, however this is only
available for some people and not available to all yet) its so ambiguous and complicated. The Daily Mirror newspaper is looking for personal experiences of UC and people to share their stories if you are in receipt of it. Details of which can also be found on the DPAC website.

I now need to say to you here tonight, that under Universal Credit, there will be no severe disability premium, or enhanced disability premium, it simply disappears, and disabled people could stand to lose up to £78.35p a week. We are asking you to contact your MP to tell them what you think of this appalling cut, which will plunge disabled people further into poverty and if you can let DPAC know you have written to them, and any response you get.

It needs to be stressed, that under universal credit to date, evictions have risen by 50 per cent that you can wait upwards of 3 months for a payment. That when you apply for UC your housing benefit automatically stops and you go into arrears. That people with a mental health condition under Universal Credit will be responsible for paying their own rent under UC that it will not be paid directly to your landlord or housing association anymore. When Southwark piloted claimants paying their own rent via UC 90 per cent of claimants went in to arrears when having to pay the rent on their own. With UC, with an online application it is important that Mental Health claimants get an appointee, perhaps two if one is holiday to assist them with the application, deal with any work coach queries as they arise. Support is the key, knowing what your rights are hugely important. Everyone will be subjected to the claimant conditionality, and the ever rising threat of sanctions.

We are also asking people to write to your MP about the appalling UC helpline that the DWP has set up to help with questions. This helpline has a charge of 55p a minute from a landline or mobile, we all know with hanging on the phone listening to four seasons you can wait longer than an hour for someone to answer you. Labour worked out that the total cost of waiting to speak to someone on the UC helpline is £33 per hour. None of us can afford it. We have taken to calling it the Gauke Tax and we ask you to join us in getting the Gauke tax scrapped! No one should be phoning for help and getting charged for it. It’s another way for the DWP to take money from us!

There is a lot of information about Universal Credit, and the implications of it. I am going to give you a couple of dates for training workshops on UC. They are being run by a fellow disability campaigner, Gail Ward, from Black Triangle and DPAC, and they are as follows:
Anarchist BookFair: Saturday 28 th October 2017. 10 am-7pm at Park View School, Park View Road, London, N15 3QR details of which can be found on the anarchist book fair website
The workshop will be from 1 to 3 pm if you wish to come along, please contact the anarchist book fair to book a place.

The MHRN (mental health resistance network) will also be holding a workshop on Universal Credit training on Monday 30 th October 2017 at the Field Community Centre, 285 Queen’s Road, SE15 5JB from 11am until 4pm with lunch provided, and Please RSVP to MHRN to book your place as spaces will be severely limited due to the small space.

You have all heard about the United Nations Inquiry re the convention of the rights of people with disabilities. The UK is the first party state to be formally investigated of grave (severe) and systematic (continuous and built into the system of welfare reform policies) breaking of rights under the UNCRPD. DPAC instigated the enquiry in 2012, and it needs to be stated that to contact the UN using the UNCRPD you must exhaust all avenues of the countries court legal system first. DPAC instigated the UNCRPD inquiry using optional protocol 6 meaning a formal process was carried out by DPAC to submit complaints and submissions. This process meant documents needed to be written in a particular way with attention to separate articles within the UNCRPD, and strong evidence needed to be framed accordingly. The use of the UNCRPD protocol formal process with the strict guidelines followed was the first of its kind for grave and systematic human rights violations towards disabled people.

Evidence was submitted in 2013, and since then thousands of disabled people, campaign groups, and charities have submitted evidence and given testimony throughout 2014 and 2015. The UNCRPD gave its findings in a report that the government was in breach of the CRPD convention with grave and systematic human rights violations and recommended that the UK government carry out 11 recommendations from the report. The UK government met this request with a shrug and ignored the report. One of the recommendations was that the government carry out a cumulative impact assessment of all the welfare reforms and cuts to services on disabled people.

In August 2017 disabled groups and campaigners met with the CRPD committee in Geneva and submitted further evidence to the committee, the committees judgement was that the cuts are causing a human catastrophe on disabled people’s lives, and its important to never forget the tragic human impact of the cuts on people in mental distress and the deaths of disabled people. That there has been a ramping up of suicides due to the WCA and constant reassessments under PIP and ESA and benefit sanctions. It must be noted that the government has consistently misled the public on the impact of the austerity agenda, refusing to answer questions and mis use statics in their counter arguments around the UNCRPD report allegations.

The question is what can be done to continue the fight for disability rights? There are countless ways to get involved. First, sign up to the dpac website and sign up to email alerts of campaigns and how to submit evidence to inquiry and select committee hearings. Share your testimony of how the cuts have impacted on you – write to your MP, your local councillor, speak to the media, write, take photos make a video, be creative to express your voices. We need as many people as possible now raising their voices in anger, joining the resistance and supporting one another. It is only by uniting and fighting back together, is how we will win against the most pernicious government the UK has ever had.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Dear Friends,

Due to an emergency Paula Peter sent her apologies for last FEEL meeting. However she's sent us the speech she was going to give us, which was discussed at the meeting

Some relevant suggestions and updates from Paula in regards to ways to get involved in the fight and protest against the 
​​Universal Credit:
1. National Disability Summit - Saturday 4th November 2017 11am to 4.30 pm NUT HQ Marbeldon place, Kings Cross London. 
2. National Day of Action against Universal Credit on 2nd December 2017 across the UK contact Unite Community ​on ​how you can support and spread the word. 
3. Training workshops. Gail Ward, Disability Campaigner is putting on training workshops around UC, know your rights, the regulations to advocate and support as many people as possible. 

Next training workshops in London take place on Saturday 28th October 1pm until 3 pm Anarchist BookFair Park View School, Park View Road, London, N15. 
Also on ​Monday 30th October 11 am until 4pm The Field, 28​​5 Queens Road, New Cross SE15 contact MHRN to book a place on that. Or contact Gail via dpac or black triangle to organise a training workshop​;​ she will need support for funding for acommodation and travel and printing costs of hand outs. Trade Unions please support if you can with funding here. 
If you can't get to training workshops, actions on the street. Lobby your MP, and local ward councillor. Go on to parliament website to contact your MP; if you do not know who that is type in your postcode and the details of who it is will come up and how to contact them. Write and email, they do not respond on twitter. Same with ward councillors in your local area​.​ 
If you are impacted by UC already and have a story to share contact the local media or national media about it, they always want a story about UC  
Do signup to DPAC newsletter for regular updates!

Some more info and events.

​​​Anyone Can M​a​ke a Film!​ 

​Check the new programme that ​
​l​aunches October ​25​, 2017​​ ​​organised by ​INUF-Independent Newham Users Forum (Mental Health)​ Ithaca House, 27 Romford Road, Stratford, E15 4LJ London​. Contact Trevor on​ ​ ​​


National Disabled People’s Summit Saturday 4 November 11am – 4.30pm 
NUT headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9BD 
Since 2010 Disabled people have been subject to brutal attacks in every area of our lives caused by the disproportionate impact of austerity measures and the dismantling of the welfare system. In August the United Nations disability committee publicly declared that they are now more worried about the UK than any other country in the entire history of the committee and that UK Government “social cuts” have led to “human catastrophe”. This followed publication at the end of last year of the Committee’s investigation into the UK which found evidence of “grave and systematic violations” of Disabled people’s rights due to welfare reform. Yet the Tory Government continues to deny there is a problem. This summit will bring together Deaf and Disabled people from the trade union movement, Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations and grassroots campaigns to explore how we can more effectively co-ordinate our resistance and organise joint campaigning in identified areas. The event will be largely workshop based with the aim of each workshop to come up with and agree a campaigns plan that participants will go away and work together to put into action. The idea of the Summit is to inspire concrete activity that will lead to real change.​ The venue is wheelchair accessible, BSL interpretation will be provided and there will be a quiet room. Lunch will be provided (with thanks to the National Education Union). Please book via: If you are unable to attend in person, we will be livestreaming the plenary. For more information or if you have any access queries please contact:


Deaf poets society Talk by Richard D France - Free 
09 Nov 2017 18:00 - 20:00 Royal College of Nursing 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G ORN At this talk and poetry event, Richard will talk about his experiences with the psychiatric system and perform some of his poetry. The event will be introduced by Herbert Klein, Deaf Advisor at Springfield Hospital (National Deaf Services). 


GOBSCURE in London 
-half hour reading in eastham library at 6pm on friday 17th november - all free, all welcome, against a wall of words and arthritis-permitting with a welsh poppy (328 Barking Rd, London E6 2RT)
-joey at camden peoples theatre - 30th november & 1st december at 7:15pm
-free zine workshop 30th november 3 - 6pm free
camden peoples theatre 58-60 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2PY


Together! 2017 Disability Film Festival 
The sixth annual Together! Disability Film Festival takes place from 8-10 December 2017 at the Old Town Hall Stratford (see below for full venue details). The Together! Disability Film Festival is the only UK disability film festival that covers all impairment groups, including disabled people with physical and sensory conditions, learning difficulties, mental health difficulties and long-term health conditions. We release the programme with the addition of links to available online versions and trailers each morning, and these remain online in our archive as a portal to Disability Film for programmers and scholars. Entries are being accepted now via 
In addition to any other information you send, please include programme information in the following format: Name of Film; Name of Director; Country of Origin; Year of Completion; Length; Premiere status; Link to any Online Version or Trailer; Access Status (i.e. English captions, audio-description, BSL); + 2/3 sentences of description; and at least 1 still. We accept entries in any format (DVDs and sticks to Together! 2012 CIC, 90A Tudor Road, London E6 1DR), but need the information above via email. 
For more information contact Together! 2012 Artistic Director Dr Ju Gosling


We now have the criteria that the DWP are using to decide which claimants will be exempt from repeat work capability assessments. Only claimants in the support group will be considered. In addition, claimants will have to have a condition that will last for the rest of their lives with no realistic prospect of recovery including by way of interventions such as transplants. Also, their condition must always cause them to meet one of the support group descriptors. However, this means the DWP are deliberately excluding claimants who are placed in the support group on the grounds that their mental health condition means that there would be a substantial risk to themselves or someone else if they were not placed there. This is in spite of the fact that the DWP will be aware that these are some of the claimants whose health will be most put at risk by the stress of repeated reassessments. There’s more details about who is and isn’t likely to qualify in our full article


The Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit - FREE Online Summit 30 Oct-8 Nov 2017 
In recent years we've seen extraordinary breakthroughs from the combination of Western psychotherapy and spiritual practice. From the “mindfulness revolution” to the prescription of yoga for PTSD and other challenges, this emerging synthesis of the scientific and the spiritual is transforming our approach to health and healing. And we've only scratched the surface. With The Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit, you are invited to explore the profound implications of this uniquely exciting time in history. Beginning on October 30, 2017, 30 leading experts from diverse fields will share their insights into the journey towards becoming a mature, balanced, spiritually open, and psychologically healthy human being. Book FREE place here


NDACA Introducing the 'Golden Age' of the Disability Arts Movement
The National Disability Arts Collection & Archive (NDACA) Project Team is currently bringing to life the heritage and rich history of the Disability Arts Movement. The Disability Arts Movement is a heritage story that began in the late 1970s and still flourishes today. It involves disabled creatives, activists, their allies and disability arts organisations all over the UK, who campaigned and broke barriers to make real change for disabled people. Change did happen with the Disability Discrimination Act being passed through Parliament in 1995. Along the way to achieving justice and rights, disabled people made the great art, music and culture that chronicles the Disability Arts Movement. Piss on Pity, indeed!


PSSD (Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) Sterilising the mentally ill
PSSD is irreversible sexual disfigurament caused by psychiatric drugs. Genital numbness and loss of arousal; or sexual dysfunction. Find articles of sufferers around the world, in the PSSD blog curated by Daryl. Some of the latest posts:

PSSD awareness on Juliemadblogger Radio. It has been recorded and widely available for free on demand at


Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Psychologists give new insight into the nature of psychosis
A week after the government announced its review of mental health legislation, an expert report published by the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology challenges received wisdom about the nature of mental illness. The report, Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help, has been written by a group of eminent clinical psychologists drawn from eight universities and six NHS trusts, together with people who have themselves experienced psychosis. It provides an accessible overview of the current state of knowledge, and its conclusions have profound implications both for the way we understand ‘mental illness’ and for the future of mental health services. The report can be downloaded free of charge


"A Disorder for Everyone!" - Fri 8 December 09:00 – 17:00 
Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis, creating change. (In association with Manchester Rape Crisis) 
Methodist Central Buildings Central Hall Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JQ 
AD4E is coming to Manchester, this will be our 6th event. We are delighted to be supported by Manchester Rape Crisis Contributors include Dr Lucy Johnstone, Jacqui Dillon, Dr Gary Sidley, Jo Watson & Nollaig McSweeney