Thursday, 21 April 2011


ADMISSION £5 / £2 concessions.


The S E London MAD PRIDE group are staging another fundraising event for the MENTAL HEALTH RESISTANCE NETWORK a coalition of individuals and organisations with concerns around mental health issues , which MAD PRIDE are affiliated to, for their campaigning activity to raise concern about the government ‘moving the goal posts’ for qualification to sickness benefits, especially as it will impact on people with mental health issues. This follows from the success of their recent fundraising event at the Montague Arms.

We fear that the new ‘work test’ that has been criticised as flawed and inappropriate for people with mental health problems will be used to force vulnerable into inappropriate employment which could worsen their mental health problems or being moved on to lower level ‘Job Seekers’ benefits and then being put under pressure to show they are taking steps to seek work and accept unsuitable employment that could have a detrimental effect on their condition.

Monies are needed for this vital campaigning activity to ensure that the voice of people with mental health problems – who have traditionally been marginalised, will be heard. We would urge people to come to the event and support our cause and enjoy an evening of top quality acts – all of which are offering their services free in support of the campaign, in the process.

Artists to be featured are:

Monday, 11 April 2011

Hearing Sends You Crazy!

So the latest news is that hearing loss could lead to dementia in some people.

Or as they put it an early warning that dementia is likely in later life. This from the John Hopkins School of Medicine in New York.

They are scientists dealing in facts. Although this apparently comes from a Department of Neurology, they have forgotten something very important: the effect of emotions on the brain.
FRUSTRATION is a major issue in people with a hearing loss. Presumably the scientists are saying that you can go crazy.

After a lifetime of guessing what people say and frustration when you cannot figure it out, that's no surprise! Why frustration? One example is the guy who repeats the same sentence ten times. Intelligence should make him realise at the third repetition that the person is not going to understand. Please say it another way. Use other words that are easier to lip-read. Repeating ad-infinitum will make us laugh.

For more information on hearing, join us at Hearing Tips '. It's the way to an easy hearing life.

Frustration-free? Yes. Teach yourself and teach those with ordinary hearing how to make your hearing easy.

Debbie Jeffrey

Food and Behaviour (FAB) research.

“Omega-3s are precious nutrients that have never reached such historically low levels in our diets. We cannot ignore the physical health risks to children from a poor nutritional diet as they are all too visible. What’s less visible is the damage to their brains,” said Dr Alex Richardson, a research scientist at the University of Oxford and founder and director of FAB.

Dr Richardson and other speakers highlighted the studies that have so far indicated the crucial role of omega-3 in improving behaviour, learning and mood disorders.

Potential benefits of the fatty acids include a reduction in violent or impulsive behaviour, improvements in neurodevelopmental disorders in children (such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism), as well as improvements or even prevention of adult psychiatric disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and depression).

A number of randomized controlled trials – the gold standard in the scientific world – have demonstrated some of these benefits, explained the speakers. However, the results cannot be compared and confirmed through systematic reviews or meta-analyses because the studies are too differing – conducted in different populations and using different measures.

Ultimately, this means that regulatory authorities require more studies before the benefits can be recognised, but funds for these remain limited.

“Omega-3s do not work in the same way for everyone – we all agree that we need more studies. The department of education wants to see the results, but they don’t want to contribute anything,” said Dr Richardson.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

UK Uncut Thu 14th Apr 2011

Join disability activists, benefit claimants groups and all decent right-thinking people outside the so called Daily Mail to demand Stop the Defamation - Stop the Lies.

The Daily Mail's chairperson is Viscount Rotheremere, a non-dom who avoids UK taxes on his vast wealth by claiming to live in France despite owning a £40 million house with a 220-acre estate in Wiltshire.

As part of the third National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts a protest has been called outside the Daily Mail's head office in Kensington on 14th April 2011.

The Daily Mail has a long history of abusing and defaming benefit claimants. Lurid headlines have dishonestly claimed that disabled people, people on sickness benefits, single parents and the unemployed are workshy, scroungers or even fraudsters. Hate filled rants by D...aily Mail columnists have spewed out propaganda about the most vulnerable in society, which have been used by politicians of all major parties to launch an attack on the Welfare State.

Discredited Atos test results have been twisted to claim that two million people claiming sickness benefits are 'cheats'.

Join us outside the Daily Mail's Kensington headquarters to demand no more lies and no more defamation of disabled people, people with illnesses, parents, the low waged, the unemployed, carers and volunteers who are all set to face devastating cutbacks in the already meagre state support they receive.

Bring musical instruments, megaphones, banners, placards and come prepared to tell the truth as loudly as possible to the faceless hacks who write this poisonous garbage.

The protest will begin at 2pm. Nearest tube is Kensington High Street (not accessible sadly), which is also well served by bus routes.


Detained patients give their views on the mental health tribunal process

A ground-breaking report is published today on the experiences of patients who appealed to a tribunal against their detention under the Mental Health Act.

First-hand information has been obtained from patients of their personal experiences of appearing before the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health), formerly the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

This type of information has never been gathered before to this extent because of the practical difficulties in gaining access to mental health patients.

The report was commissioned by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC’s Mental Health Act Commissioners carried out more than 150 interviews with patients who volunteered to participate in the study.

In 2009-10 the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health), which serves England, dealt with just over 25,000 appeals, almost 5,000 more than the previous year. The introduction of community treatment orders in November 2008 accounted for a significant part of this increase.

Key points in the report:

* Patients’ experiences of tribunals were diverse, ranging from positive to strongly negative.
* Those whose appeals were allowed were, not surprisingly, much more positive about the system than those who received a negative outcome.
* Patients are not always well placed to ensure their lawyers are providing a good standard of advice and representation.
* Delays are a substantial factor in many patients’ negative experiences of the tribunal process.
* A large part of the distress caused by delays was due to a lack of information about how long the process would take.
* The way pre-hearing medical examinations are carried out is very variable.
* Patients had positive experiences of some parts of the tribunal hearing, but there were concerns about the provision of information and access to medical reports.
* A significant minority said they were not given enough time to be heard by the tribunal.
* Nearly all said they received a very rapid decision. However, follow-up information was lacking and patients felt poorly informed of any further right to appeal.

The report makes recommendations for improvement aimed at those bodies and individuals involved in the tribunal process, including hospital managers and staff, the Tribunals Service, the tribunal judiciary, mental health clinicians and other health care professionals, the CQC, the Legal Services Commission and the Law Society.

In their joint foreword to the report, the respective chairs of the AJTC and the CQC, Richard Thomas and Jo Williams, express the hope that the recommendations will be considered carefully and acted upon and that the study’s methodology will form a blueprint for future similar studies.

Richard Thomas said: “This is the first time the voice of patients themselves has been heard. Whilst we recognise and welcome the considerable efforts made by the Tribunals Service and the judiciary, particularly in the last 18 months, to introduce a number of measures to secure improvements in the tribunal process, we trust that the findings of this study will enable further improvements to be made.”

Jo Williams said: “People who exercise their right to apply to the tribunal place a great deal of hope in the process as a means of being able to participate in their care and potentially to have their liberty restored. It is important for their well-being that they come out of the tribunal hearing – whether successful or not – feeling that they have been treated fairly and given every opportunity to make their case.”


April Newsletter.

Dear Friends,

Here is the reminder of our April meeting, taking place on Monday the 18th of April, 6.30-8.30pm at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel E1 1ES.

Last month it was decided to dedicate the next meeting for a hands-on workshop on the theme of the welfare benefit reassessment procedures. The leader/representatives of several service users groups have been invitated to come along to collect some useful tips and info to take back to their respective circles and share the knowledge.

The workshop will be delivered by David Amery, from the Housing Link team and Dave Skull, member of the Mental Health Survivors Network, Creative Routes and Mad Pride: it will offer practical advice on how to fill the new forms and what the possible interview will be like.

This were the ACTION POINTS discussed at the last meeting:

-Thank Eamer for typing ground rules and suggesting the introduction of the "5min quick-news";

-Community Options YSYD event on 5th of May to discuss ESA;

-Funding for FEEL and strings attached; need to discuss the C.O. application;

-Feedback on Kingsley Hall workshop on 12th march: success and fails;

-MHRN meeting at Cooltanarts on 23rd of March 2-4pm, David Kessel to attend;

-Organise joint meeting with MHRN (Mental Health Resistance Network) and Housing Link on 18th April;

-Whiter FEEL? draft info/campaigning leaflet for discussion.

We look forward to start the workshop promptly and leave some time at the end of the meeting to discuss a few of the above points.


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