End of April, quick and messy but compendious mail-out

How long is it since the last big mail-out? Too long say some, not blinking long enough say others. So, in the forlorn hope of satisfying both camps, here’s a links and attachment heavy mail-out (do feel free to send on and recycle: that’ll reduce our carbon footprint. Or something), with a scintilla less comment, because your correspondent is going away for a few days (rumours of Interpol being hot on his trail are wide of the mark).

Onwards and upwards, here is a cluster of news bulletins from our estimable allies and colleagues at NSUN. One, Two, Three, Four, even a Fifth.

In there somewhere is mention of the excellent Devising Psychosis event held just this past Sunday, and here are some photos (n.b. the link is to a facebook page, so your workplace might bar your entry to Mr Zuckerburg’s domain) It won’t be the last such multi-disciplinary,multi-media, performance/event/exhibition happenings type thing centring on mental health that we’re involved with, and there are exciting things in the pipeline, so do spread the word for folk to get in touch and keep themselves informed as to how they might get involved or have their stuff promoted. Why, look, already here’s another groovy set of things already, featuring Bobby Baker, and the press release is attached. Do note that while places are limited, we’ve pre-booked a whole bundle for service users and carers, and they won’t have to pay (but they should get in touch, and places are limited, in case you didn’t catch that first time).

More on the links front, and possibly the most important link is this ESA questionnaire for individual service users and this accompanying one for organisations/groups.. Now, we’ve banged on about the iniquities of the system created be welfare "reform", but to counter its worst aspects we need to gather an evidence base, and this questionnaire by MHNE is the very tool (and for reasons to oppose the legislation, and to seek to have it amended, look no further than some of the links lower down in this mail-out, or indeed in scores of earlier mail-outs). Attached too is the MHNE newsletter.

On the newsletter front, please also find attached the hot-off-the-presses NEMHDU one, and also the April news from the Moving Forward Newcastle service.
Now a couple of inter-related bits of news

An independent Inquiry into the ‘Schizophrenia’ Label has been launched on 16th April 2012 by a group of organisations and individuals concerned about the meaning and usefulness of ‘schizophrenia’ and similar labels such as ‘psychosis’. The Inquiry aims to investigate the impact this label has on people’s lives and to collect evidence from people, including mental health service users and carers, those (including professionals) who use these labels to describe mental health problems in other people, and those who have concerns about the use of such labels.

Please visit the website www.schizophreniainquiry.org for more information and to submit evidence to the Inquiry. You can submit evidence via the website by completing a questionnaire or writing to us using our testimony form at http://www.schizophreniainquiry.org/get-involved

The evidence collected will be examined by an independent panel made up of service users, academicians and a lawyer. The panel will produce a report based on this evidence which will be forwarded to a range of organisations including NICE, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, other professional and statutory bodies, private and third sector organisations, and the Department of Health.

This Inquiry has no financial ties to any organisation and is supported by around one hundred individuals and over 20 national and international organisations. You can also use the website to register your support and to spread the word about the Inquiry.

Please email info if you need any further information.

a petition to the Royal College of Psychiatrists to end psychiatric labelling:


The petition reads:

Abolish the use of formal psychiatric diagnostic systems like ICD and DSM

Psychiatric diagnoses are not valid.
Use of psychiatric diagnosis increases stigma.
Using psychiatric diagnosis does not aid treatment decisions.
Long term prognosis for mental health problems has got worse.
Psychiatric diagnosis imposes Western beliefs about mental distress on other cultures.
Alternative evidence based models for organizing effective mental health care are available.

To read the full evidence based arguments view the ‘No More Psychiatric Labels’ paper at

Now back to newsletter territory and the Carers’ Centre Newcastle publication,attached.

Also attached is a small opportunity for a mental health service user to research peer support and its networks in the region (who on earth could such a researcher look to talk to? Nope, can’t think either…).
Plus the final book/report from the Critical friends project looking into personalisation.

lastly on the attachment side of things comes courtesy of the MHRN regional hub,

Following the success of last years Bi-polar feedback event we are pleased to announce that we are holding an anti-stigma feedback event this year which will look at the results of the national Viewpoint survey.

It will take place on Tuesday 26th June, 12 – 4.30pm at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. It is FREE to attend. For further details and how to register please see the attached flyer.

Is that enough information for you? No? Okay then, you asked for it…the blizzard of links, hopefully with clear enough summaries and/or titles to encourage you to read on…

Are GP consortia/CCGs just PCTs again, but with lots of money spent on shuffling chairs? Meet the New Boss, Same as the…Oh Wait, it IS the OLD Boss!

A very good, almost philosophical piece from a GP on empowerment and political realities
Roy Lilley on the ball as ever, and wonder what having two DHs will mean for personal health budgets…can’t see Nicholson being a driver for them.

And if you want to be really dismayed at the co-option/perversion of user language and terminology, read this (very good,too)
User-led charity Disability Rights UK has done an interesting analysis of government plans for 500,000 people to lose access to disability living allowance by 2015-16, which finds it leading to significant extra costs in out-of-work benefits, social care and health.This is because DLA recipients who are in work will find it harder to stay in their jobs should they lose the benefit, and care and health needs will also increase for those who lose out.
Disability Rights UK policy director has done a blog on his argument for Left Food Forward, which is worth a read for a quick summary. (Hat-tip to Ray Brown)

And a right old mixture to finish you off:

Sickness benefit: lost in the ESA appeal system – video

Shock and anger over DWP’s hate crime claims

Social care service users feel excluded from reform debate

ATOS–Still Incompetent, Still Killing; Grayling– Still Lying, Still Killing

Back-to-work schemes to face court hearing

Sickness benefit: ‘They try their damnedest to avoid paying’

Adventures at A4e

IAPT programme grabs mental health cash

Jobseekers who shunned voluntary scheme forced to do unpaid work

NHS watchdog not ready for new responsibilities, say MPs

Of incontinence pads and private equity

Over 10,000 Benefit Sanctions Applied to Sick and Disabled People Last Year



Alisdair Cameron
LAUNCHPAD Team Leader,
NTWSU&C n/wk co-chair (with Mish Loraine)
(for network business: ntwsuc)

Offices 210 and 211,
Holy Jesus Hospital,
City Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,

Tel 0191 2330382 (personal mobile 07736074213)

E-mail launchpadncl
or alisdairscameron

Bobby Baker press release.pdf

MHNE Bulletin 16 APRIL 12.doc

NEMHDU Newsletter 5.pdf

Moving Forward Newcastle April (1).pdf

Carers’ Centre NewcastleNewsletter spring 2012.pdf

Peer Support Researcher Ad.pdf

CRITICAL FRIENDS FINAL booklet April 12.pdf


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