Monday, 17 January 2011

Whose Recovery is it anyway?

Please find details of an interesting event taking place on Monday, 21st February 2011, in Nottingham.

This event is an opportunity to discuss what has become of ‘recovery’and what is happening to the concept of peer support. Some people who use mental health services now understand recovery as a bad thing and peer support workers are being asked to be involved in forcibly drugging people. Was this what we expected?

Both ideas originate from survivors of psychiatric services. Do we need to reclaim them, rename them or try and exercise some control over how they are used?

The day will focus on generating discussion around these issues and there will be lots of opportunity to contribute.

If you are interested in giving a short presentation on these issues or helping out on the day please let me know.

Please note this event is for people with experience of mental distress.

It is the wrong place to come to if you simply want to find out more about recovery or peer support.

The event is free and food and refreshments will be provided. We will fund travel costs for those in receipt of benefits. To book a place please fill in a booking form.

To apply
Contact: Torsten Shaw



Spiritual Crisis Network
free public talk and book launch of

Consolidating the New Paradigm
Edited by Isabel Clarke.
Published: Wiley.

Hosted by St Marylebone Healing and Counselling Centre

Short Talks:

"Spiritual Crisis Network – In Action"
by Jim Taylor and Maria Ravisankar

Isabel Clarke: " About the Book"

Janice Hartley: "The Hero's Journey".

Friday 11th February 2011 6.30 – 8.30 pm in the Crypt, St Marylebone Parish Church, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LT (opposite Regents Park York Gate)

Refreshments provided.
For more information visit

Donations to SCN appreciated

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Housing Link proposed closure

Housing Link is a Council service working with people with mental health problems. Only a few days before Christmas the Council proposed to close the service offered, giving only a couple of weeks notice to the HL staff and a few other services that facethe same possibility.The final decision will be taken on Wed 12th of January. The Housing Link Staff are calling for any possible supporter that could join them in the Union protest totake place at Mulberry Place Town Hall, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 2BG tomorrow Wednesday 12th January by 5pm.
You might meet Housing Link staff at 3.30 at their offices in 54-86 Old Montague St, Whitechapel and reach the Council offices with them.

Survivor Resistance Network

This is a mail received from the
Self Defence Coalition, now called Survivor Resistance Network
meeting tomorrow Wednesday 12th January 2011, 2.00pm - 4.00pm

Hi to Everyone opposed to Benefit changes,
First of all, Happy New Year!
We had a very productive meeting in December where we decided to set up working groups to start work on differednt aspects of our campaign against the government's plan to get us all off disability benefits whether we are fit for work or not. Most of the working groups didn't happen, largely due to rotten weather and the holiday season. However, we have drawn up the demands that our campaign will be centred around and I have attached the full document. We are now ready to decide and plan the actions we want to take.
As a result of my request for a better name for ourselves, the best one that seems to have emerged is 'Survivor Resistance Network' and those I have discussed this with seem to want to go ahead and use that name. So from now on anything you recieve from me will be using that name.
We will be meeting again next week from 2.00pm - 4.00pm at:

The Lorrimore Centre,
Lorrimore Square,
London SE17 3QU

We have not forgotten that we will also be setting up a support group for when people are called up for Work Capability Assessments and will be working on this too.
I hope to see you at the meeting next week.


January Newsletter.

Dear Friends,
We hope that the New Year has started well for you and that you have exciting plans for the weeks and months ahead. For us the year is starting well indeed, as we are looking forward to improve the work we do and take on board more minds.

One of our resolutions for the year 2010 was to network with other active service users/survivors/mental health campaigners groups (you name them the way you wish!) and that has worked wonderfully. The Pageant organised in partnership with the Survivors History Group last March, which included valuable contributions of members from THACMHO (Tower Hamlets African Caribbean Mental Health Organisation) and Core Arts among others, and the link created with the Mad Pride movement and their incisive campaign against welfare benefit cuts are just a few steps that have allowed FEEL to reach out for people living outside the Borough of Tower Hamlets.

The ideal for the year 2011 will be to solidify these connections and united, campaign for our beliefs. Of course we wish for having more people to join us, that are passionate about making a difference in this ill and often damaging system.
Steve Jobs said: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe, otherwise why else even be here?

We cannot stop the wars around the World, but perhaps we can make good use of time & energy for those problems in the community we live in that touch us closely.

So... we have planned an event to take place on Saturday the 12th of March 2011 3-6pm at The Kingsley Hall, for a chance to network and hear as many voices as possible; a brainstorm that will allow to bring voice to the laudest complains that circulate about the psychiatric system that need attention and action. My ears tend to hear a lot about people being over-medicated and in-wards poor and/or abusive attitudes ...and bear with me, I don't hear voices; these are voices from REAL people, really living these situations.

The proposed cuts on benefits is an issue that needs lots of attention too, seeing the current state of things.
The process has been described to be against human rights law by some lawyers on the TV News.
Denise Meckenna will kindly join us, offering a presentation with advice on how to deal with the re-assessment process of benefits eligibility. It will be worth for people to listen carefully to the precious information that Denise will be sharing.

At our December meeting we were suggested by Tony Ian White to have a statement that, being the type of untypical group we are, can introduce ourselves to new members. So, here is a draft that Tony has offered to write and we will be discussing about it at our monthly meeting, next Monday the 17th (6.30-8.30 pm). Have a read through it and let us know what you think.

'We are an independent group who through our ethical approach dispute the fundamental assumptions and practices of psychiatry. We view the outward symptoms of mental distress as valid descriptions of a lived experience (expressions of anguish experienced throughout impossible life situations) that should otherwise be valued as cathartic and transformative. We consequently consider alternative and complementary medical and social approaches to health and wellbeing, meeting regularly to contribute to discussions and debates. Promoting renewed hope, choice, empowerment, social inclusion and achievement, we gather as a focus to challenge an apparently oppressive and rigid system of diagnosis and treatment.'

Looking forward to seeing you next week!