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


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