Wednesday, 15 May 2019

R.I.P. Tom Collins

We are extremely sad to share the news of the passing of the talented musician, performer and fellow mental health activists Tom Collins, at aged 51.

Thomas Michael Collins (27 December 1967 - 25 April 2019) service took place at Lambeth Crematorium, Blackshaw Road, London, SW17 0BY on Monday 13th May 2019.

A condolence page can be found here

                            SOAP protests at the Royal Courts of Justice April 2014, courtesy of Cheryl Prax

                                  SOAP protest, February 2016, Australia House, courtesy of Cheryl Prax

Condolences to his family and friends from all of us.
Rest in Peace Tom 💗🙏 

Thursday, 11 April 2019

April Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Only a few more days till our monthly FEEL meeting at LARC, on Monday the 15th. We'll ​be ​continu​ing the conversations started at our recent event and brainstorm​ing​on what ​steps to take ​next.​ 

It was a pleasure to gather once again at Kingsley Hall, since last time was in 2017 for the Loonies Fest​; where did time go??
We are immensely grateful to Liz BrosnanAkiko Hart and Dorothy Gould for their presentationsto Pete Coward for chairing the evening and to all those of you that joined the event, with your voices, actions and support.

​Hearing Akiko read the ​Mental Patients Union list of demands was a highly fuelling moment. Equally interesting was hearing from Liz's talk about the Irish process of the MHA review, the REE (Recovery Experts by Experience) work done back then, and the UNCRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and Absolute Prohibition Campaign​; mentioning these was very important, since many people are still not aware​
Those that don't see the torture in psychiatric treatment haven't obviously experienced it themselves, but does not mean that does not happen.

Dorothy gave us a deeper insight into the UNCRPD and the needs of promoting the social and human rights model of disability, the rights of ALL patients, considering BAME, LGBT communities, socio-economic disadvantage, older age, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, issues for Deaf people and for people living with dementia requirements, etc. Extra stress goes on the fact that the review has not considered old age, nevertheless Simon Wessely said that the highest number of people being detained are in old age. 

Some notes were collected​ on the evening by Georgina ​​(available upon request)​.​
Some footage was also collected by Sian Whitehead and will be available at some point soon on her channel

Other massive thanks go to D.O.C. Survivors Poets David and Frank​; for those not familiar with these gentlemen, I thought a couple of extra lines should be added. David Kessel ​i​s the reason why FEEL ​started existing. However ageing and with increasingly​ ​difficult mobility issues (and​ speech sadly, for what some of us seem to be experiencing), ​David has been struggling to attend some FEEL meetings​ ​lately​. So huge thank you to David ​for the effort to be at Kingsley Hall for the occasion​. And Happy Birthday too, as he just passed the 72 years mark last week​.

Frank Bangay is the man that can get you engaged about PROMPT - Protection of the Rights of 'Mental Patients' in Treatment, and CAPO - Campaign Against Psychiatric Oppression; the Survivors struggles over several decades and poetry to escape all of that. 
We are honoured and grateful that Frank offered us his support and inspiration for many years. We also wish to congratulate him for his recently published new, super colored and vibrant book, The Adventures of Jack FrostMore about Frank on DAO & the Survivors History Group websites.

Seeing these "frail" gentlemen often makes me think about my long gone Father, which sadly did not reach his old age. A survivor himself, he never had the chance in his lifetime to experience the vibrant and supportive network that fellow loonies/mad/crazy/no-fits/psychiatry patients can offer to each other. 
I also think about the frailty path no-one of us sooner or later will be spared from, unless we or our fate, decide to take an early way out. So a massive thanks to all campaigners that have dedicated large part of their lives raising awareness about our rights, nevertheless their struggles and difficulties, inspiring many of us to go ahead with this work. 

also wish to send ​some apologies for a few avoidable failures​ that took place on the evening (and sent me on a ​semi-​panic mode) when few ​last minute ​technical glitches delayed the start of the talks. A bit of a scrambled evening on a personal level I must admit, and wish to apologise if this might have affected others too. Still not sure how we managed to have 5 screens up, but it was sad that the notetaking could not be displayed; they say these things happen when Mercury is retrograde... 

​A (delayed​) virtual round of applause and huge thanks to Graham J Jones that kept the early comers entertained with good music.​ Did I forget to call for ​the applause after thanking him for his performance? How ungrateful...Heartfelt apologies Graham. We're forever thankful to Graham's support and contributions to our events over the years.​ I take the chance to share the song "Shine on You", which Graham wrote in 2013, dedicated to anyone that had links with the old St Clements​ H​ospital.

Interestingly there was another event 3 days after ours, on 25th March, organised by the NIHR with Akiko and Dorothy presenting among Simon Wessely (MHA Review Chair) and other speakers.​ After the MHA reviewwas live streamed and recorded, for those willing to see it

One more event about the MHA is taking place on 24 April

​While the politics behind psychiatry and mental health care are slow to change and improve for the benefit of ​patients, we must remember the fast pace things have changed in the past 10-20 yrs alone. This alone gives me some hope, specially thinking at my acquired chronic health conditions.  
New and re-discoveries are calling for science (and history too) books to be rewritten in fact!
Not surprisingly the level of censorship has been rising globally on the internet, as it's easier to manipulate the masses hypnotised on fear and control. 

How can we be living in a civilised time, yet there's still wars and so much poverty and inequalities around us?
Do we need further proof of how science is driven by profit and easy pharma money, if we know that there’s no money in curing dis-ease?
Blessed are those that are breaking barriers and frames.

Wondering if there could be some good use in setting up Mental Patients Unions like in the old days, as David suggests from time to time. 
If only the different political or religious beliefs, class prejudice, racism, disability and other discrimination issues did not keep arising, separating one from another... It's hard enough to look after our own needs, that the occasional conflicts within the movement seriously sadden and weakens many of us, demotivating participation. Let's do our best to stay strong and supportive toward each other, because life's journey is a rollercoaster' ride for everyone.

Going Through  (£10-12)
From 29 March – 27 April, Bush Theatre​,​ 7 Uxbridge RoadShepherd's BushLondon W12 8LJ
Going Through is a bold and visually thrilling production about the journeys child migrants take and the people they leave behind. 
All performances combine English, BSL and Creative Captioning, with the aim of being equally accessible to hearing and deaf audiences.


Defiant Journey - Scratch Performance by Jo-Anne Cox
Thu, April 11, 2:30 PM – 3:30 pm, Stratford Circus Arts CentreTheatre SquareLondon E15 1BX

Survivors' Poetry Live at the Poetry Cafe (every second Thursday of the month - see leaflet attached) 
Thu 1​1 April, 7:30-10.30pm. Arrive 7pm to sign up for floorspots (1.50 floorspots / 2.50 concessions / 3.50 the full ticket). 
The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9BX Facebook: Survivor's Poetry Gigs.
An evening of Poetry and song. ​Resident musician Dave Russell. 


London Group of the Spiritual Crisis Network (usually on the 2nd Friday of the month) 
Friday 1​2 April.  Arrive 7pm for 7.15pm​. 5 min walking from Bethnal Green Station.​
If you're planning to attend ​please ​contact
The ​SCN ​London group was set up in line with the ethos/aims ​of the ​national SCN 


Co-produced community general advocacy course 
Potential date: June/July 2019. Location: Richmond, London. This course will only go ahead if enough learners book to attend. 
The organisers are hoping to get enough expressions of interest to run this course again, following the success of a first instalment, which was co-produced with the help of NSUN and others. To express interest, please email:, call 0330 440 9000 ext 210


Open: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm, 21 March - 28 April, Gallery by the Pool, 1 Park Approach, Southwark Park, London SE16 2UA
Realm is an experimental residency-based commission between a trio of London based artists Hazel Brill, Richard Downes and Mr X.
Realm is a co-commission between CGP London, Outside In and Bethlem Gallery


Orwell, Poverty and London. Speaker: Dr Luke Seaber.
Saturday 13th April, 7.30 Doors open, 8pm Talk, 9pm Discussion, Epicentre, West Street E11 4LJ 
Contact ROS KANE or if urgent, please phone 0208 555 5248.


Aldous Huxley: Mysticism for the Masses, by The Psychedelic Society
Tue 16 Apr 2019 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Cafe 1001, 91 Brick Ln, London, E1 6QL

​Also ​on Tuesday, 16th April, The Psychedelic Society welcome you to the soft launch of their co-working space. 
You’re invited to join the space for free until Friday, 10th May to get a real taster of our vibrant co-working experience


REaD Rhymes Live (on the last Friday of the month, until June 2019)
Friday 26 April at 8pm at Karamel vegan restaurant, 4 Coburg Rd, Wood Green, London N22 6UJ. Entry £5.
REaD Rhymes Live is a new Disability Arts night for 2019 compered by Richard Downes. 


Deaf Day 2019 celebrations - 100 years of Deaf Education 
Saturday 27th April, 10 am to 4pm, City Lit - 1-10 Keeley Street - WC2B 4BA London
This year Deaf Day promises to be even more special as 2019 marks the centenary of City Lit and also 50 years since ​the Centre for Deaf Education was established.
Admission is free – all welcome! For more information please email


UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 29th April until 5th May 2019
This year's theme for the third annual UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week , 29th April until 5th May 2019 , is Mums Matter.
Throughout the week, they will be using  the hashtag #maternalmhmatters on social media.
Find out more on the PMHP Facebook page


The impact of welfare reforms one day course in London on 29 April
For more information and to book a place please call 020 7354 6433 or email:


Members' Seminar - African and Caribbean men’s perspectives on social approaches to mental health recovery
Fri, 3 May12:30 – 14:00 pm, ORTUS Conferencing and Events Venue82-96 Grove LaneLondon SE5 8SN


Antipsychiatry: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? (£15 - £20)
Symposium exploring the history and continuing relevance of the Antipsychiatry movement.
Fri 3 May 7 - 9 pm, Freud Museum20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX


PA Open Day - May 4th 2019

State of the Art - Call for contributions
The Digital Innovation in Mental Health 2019 Conference will take place the 13-14th August 2019
A call for contributions for art works to be exhibited at the conference is open till 30th April 2019.


RAW Labs Residency: Enni-Kukka Tuomala – Campaign for Empathy
Sunday, March 24, 2019 to Sunday, July 28, RAW Labs, Norton Quays, Royal Albert Wharf, London, E16 2QJ


ECT Protest
Friday 10th May, 14.30-17.30 pm, N.I.C.E. 10 Spring Gardens, St James’s, London, United Kingdom, SW1A 2BU
Nearest tube: Charing Cross (take Trafalgar Square exit which is right on the square) and cross over the bottom of the square towards the large arch leading to The Mall.
We can have tea after at the popular Crypt café on the Square. Contact: Cheryl Prax 
Twitter hashtag: #electroshock #mentalhealth. FB
Also use their Twitter hashtag to get attention: #NICEConf19 - Their 20th year conference is in Manchester on 9th May 2019


Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival - Fri 3 to Sun 26 May 2019
One of Scotland's most striking and provocative cultural events, covering everything from music, film and visual art to theatre, dance, and literature. Now in its 13th year, it is shaped by the voices of people with lived experience of mental health issues and aims to explore the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.


International Emerging Proud Day 2019
Emerging Proud Through NOTEs Live Online Book Launch Party!
Live Online event on 12 May, from 2​ ​pm (UK)  REGISTER HERE


Anarchist Festival - Friday 31st May ​to ​Sunday 2nd June 2019
The idea is simple: groups put on their own programme of anarchist events, concentrating on the dates of the long weekend of 31st May to the 2nd June 2019, and the programme is collated by us on our website and social media.​ ​London​ events email​
DEADLINE ALERT! Please be sure to submit your event by 1st May 2019 for inclusion in the programme.


Tuesday 4th June 2019 2pm at Conway Hall.
Please tell your group members about these meetings and encourage them to attend, it is a meeting for group members as well as facilitators. 
Email if you will be attending.


Sascha Altman Dubrul UK visit
Co-founder of the online community Icarus Project, a network of peer based mental health support groups and media project that is actively redefining the language and culture of mental health and illness (check the CRISIS TOOLKIT, among other pages), Sascha will be visiting the UK from the USA. Below a few of the already set dates; possibly more coming. Among other things he will talk of his work/deliver trainings on the Transformative Mutual Aid Practices (T-MAPs) model.  

**Thu, 30 May ​Tunbridge​ ​Wells​​
​**Mon, 3 June 10am-4:30pm, Brockway Room, Conway Hall 25 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4RL
​**6 June, Cambridge University
​**Sat, 8 June13:00 - 16:00Partisan Collective19 Cheetham Hill RoadManchester M4 4EW
Extreme Experiences – Mental Illnesses or Dangerous Gifts? by ISPS UK in association with Asylum Magazine and CCrAMHP (£0 – £6.98)
​**Wed, 26 June09:45 - 16:15The Brighthelm Centre North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD


ANTIUNIVERSITY NOW​ - ​Fri ​15​ to Fri ​22 June​ ​2019 
A collaborative experiment in autonomous radical learning. Self-organised education as direct action. #AgitateEducateOrganise
Anyone can organise an Antiuniversity event. You don't have to be an expert on the subject you want to share and we don't ask for any proof of education or experience. Registration to host an event is open till 21 April


I is for Insult: questioning “Borderline Personality Disorder”by Mind in Camden (£12 – £125)
Mon, 17 June10:30 – 17:00 Conway Hall25 Red Lion SquareLondon WC1R 4RL
This one-day workshop will cover both practical and theoretical approaches to the disputed diagnosis of “Borderline Personality Disorder”, facilitated by someone with lived / living experience of these issues.


Working With Shame (£90.00, concessions available here)
22 June 10am - 5pm, Amnesty  17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA
We all know about shame, we all know what it feels like, but what actually is it? How is it different from guilt? What purpose does it serve? What problem does it solve? How does it manifest in, and how is it affected by, our neurobiology? Most importantly, how can wework with it to alleviate it? course-london-22-06-19
PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors)



Justice for Jodey Whiting. 
Independent inquiry into deaths linked to the DWP

Legal aid for inquests: Now or never!

Ask the Commonwealth of Nations to expel Brunei

Tell the MoD to cancel nuclear weapons thanksgiving service
If the thanksgiving service goes ahead, join ​the protest outside the Abbey on the day, 3rd May 12-13pm

Stop sending misleading letters to GPs

Yoga and Meditation to be included in the UK National school curriculum

Stop making people travel unfair distances for disability assessments

Iran: Free Nasrin Sotoudeh now

Launch an independent enquiry into the health and safety risks of 5G


After 14 issues and one year of bringing the stories that affect the disabled community, the disability rights magazine UNITE has ceased publication, effective immediately.
Should anyone – subscribers or well-wishers – like to contact us, a member of staff will be available to answer your queries at our info account: