August 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Taking place this year on October 9th 2017, Peerfest is a national annual event celebrating the importance, power and diversity of peer support. It’s a welcoming, inclusive and inspirational event bringing peers together to network, share skills and experiences through workshops, creative activities, debate and The Marsh Awards.
We are thrilled to be working alongside Mind and the National Planning Team to deliver Peerfest 2017. This one day event will be a mix of creative workshops, open spaces, friendly stalls and rousing debates.
Alongside lead partner Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), the team this year includes: Bristol Survivors Network, Changes Bristol, Freedom of Mind C.I.C and WellBeans Initiative C.I.C.
Representation & Accountability Officer for BIMHN, Tom Renhard, said:
“We are really excited to have the opportunity to bring Peerfest to Bristol this year. Given it is now in its fifth year, there will be a lot to live up to and we are looking forward to making this one the best one yet!
“It is also an interesting time for the city, with peer support playing an increasingly important role in communities. We hope that Peerfest 2017 will aid the development of that discussion through a host of interactive and creative activities, whilst not shying away from the key debates and challenges facing peer support.”
Day time tickets to the event will be free (and in very high demand). Our evening entertainment tickets will be a suggested donation of £5 per person.
The first wave of tickets will go on general sale on Thursdays 3rd August at 5 pm. Please check our dedicated eventbrite page to book a ticket.
Want to volunteer or run an activity / stall at Peerfest 2017?
We have many opportunities to participate in what is set to be a spectacular event. If you would like to do this then please follow the links below to express an interest:
I would like to join the lived experience reference group:
Role Description: Peerfest Lived Experience Reference Group Role Description FINAL
Terms of Reference: Peerfest 2017 – Lived Experience Reference Group v2
Meeting dates of reference group:
Tuesday 15th August, 6 – 8 pm
Tuesday 12th September, 6 – 8 pm
If you would like any further information, then please get in touch with Tom on email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you at Peerfest 2017!
August 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm | News | No comment
May 21, 2017 at 8:09 am
BIMHN have been involved in the co-production of improvements to the Bristol Crisis Service to ensure those in need get the right support. This would not have been possible without service users and carers with support from Bristol CCG and Bristol Mental Health.
A new call management system went 8th May 2017. This is to make sure that if you call the line you get through to the correct team.
Offering better support to frequent callers. People were calling the line for non-urgent queries meaning people in crisis struggled to get through at times. The introduction of updated care plans and policies for call handlers has seen a dramatic decrease in frequent callers. Frequent caller numbers will continue to be monitored.
The introduction of Crisis Cards. If you are a current Service User there is a chance you will be asked to take part in the pilot. BIMHN would like to hear your feedback if you are part of this group. You can find out more about the pilot by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Improving the Bristol Mental Health Website. Service users identified that the BMH website was not very accessible to those in a crisis or needing urgent help. Service Users and Carers have helped develop a new homepage to make it easier to access information about crisis services. You can see the new website here.
Amelia, Membership Engagement Officer, said:
“Co-producing this work has, at times, been challenging but it’s been worth it in the end. The positive feedback received from people about the new improvements has been overwhelming but it is important to remember all this wouldn’t have been possible without months of hard work from BIMHN members and other service users in Bristol.”
BBC Points West have covered the launching of the Crisis Card, you can see their video here.
May 21, 2017 at 8:09 am | News | No comment
May 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm
Mental Health Awareness Week has been held by the Mental Health Foundation in May since 2000 and this year, the theme is “Surviving or Thriving” and this year falls between the 8th and 14th of May. (more…)
May 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm | News | No comment
December 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm
In partnership with Bristol Anti-Stigma Alliance (BASA), Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG, BIMHN have been involved in the co-production of a guide to Christmas opening times of mental health services in Bristol.
We recognise that the Christmas period can be especially difficult for some, and we hope this guide will be of help.
We will be distributing hard copies of the guide with partners at Cabot Circus on Saturday 3rd December, between 10 am and 4 pm.
You can find the digital version of the guide here.
December 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm | News | No comment
November 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm
Get your voice heard at our next crisis line open forum!
At 6pm on Wednesday 14th December, the next crisis line open forum will take place at the Station, Silver Street, Bristol.
This is a follow up to our first very successful open meeting that took place on October 26th at the same location. It was unanimously agreed to hold a further meeting. This included continuing to work collaboratively with Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG to improve information on how local citizens can access mental health services in the area and ensure those in crisis are able to access the services they need to in a timely way.
You are able to book your free ticket to attend by clicking through to our Eventbrite page.
The notes from the October meeting are now available to review: crisis-line-open-meeting-26-10-16-notes-v2
They include several recommendations that have been shared with service providers and commissioners to steer potential improvements. These have been welcomed at a recent meeting of the project board, and are now being explored in more detail.
These meetings have been organised in response to concerns raised about proposed changes to the crisis line. In response to our petition, which over 4,500 people have signed, we have been continuing to meet regularly with both Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG to ensure concerns raised are heard.
Any proposed changes to the number that had been discussed will be postponed until after the Christmas period. As part of their update, Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG said:
“In the meantime, the crisis line will continue to operate in its current form. This includes over the Christmas period and into the new year. Initial proposals were to make changes from the end of November, however the timescales have been extended to allow for this valuable coproduction work to be completed.”
We look forward to seeing you at the open forum on the 14th, and do remember to book your ticket on our Eventbrite page.
If you have any queries in the meantime, then please email: email@example.com
“Work to redevelop Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line is continuing, to ensure people in mental health crisis get the support they need faster.
Through a specific project board, BMH and NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working collaboratively with service users and carers, elected officers from Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) and staff to identify solutions. Changes will only be made when we have alternative provisions and plans in place to inform and support service users.
In the meantime, the crisis line will continue to operate in its current form. This includes over the Christmas period and into the new year. Initial proposals were to make changes from the end of November, however the timescales have been extended to allow for this valuable coproduction work to be completed.
For example, the board is exploring ways to improve information about BMH’s mental health services and to make them more accessible, such as through the website and in printed material. In addition, we are working with regular callers to the line to ensure they have alternative support.
Currently the crisis line is being used for much more than its intended purpose, which is to offer specialist intervention to people in mental health crisis. More than two thirds (66%) of callers to the crisis line are seeking advice, general information or to check appointments. This is making it harder for those in mental health crisis, as well as professionals supporting those in mental health crisis, to get through.
The project board is therefore looking at ways in which those with more general or administrative enquiries can receive timely answers to their questions, whilst those in urgent, mental health crisis can be fast-tracked for immediate support.
For more information or to offer feedback and ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org”
November 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm | News | No comment
October 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm
Concerns raised by Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) over the proposed changes to the crisis line are being addressed.
In response to our petition, which over 4,400 people have signed, we have been meeting regularly with both Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG to ensure concerns raised are heard. This will take place as part of a wider review in an attempt to help people get access to the right support at the right time in the right place.
A project board with working groups has been created, with involvement from service users and carers to work collaboratively in shaping future improvements to the crisis line. The work is also exploring how we can improve provision of information relating to how to access mental health services in the city. We want to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to do this, so we can work as a city to improve mental health services for current and future potential users & their families and friends.
These were two of our three key demands from the petition, and we welcome the approach by both Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG to work more closely with service users and carers on working through how crisis service provision can be improved for those that need it most.
We will also be hosting an open meeting on Wednesday 26th October 2016, from 2 until 4 pm at the Station on Silver Street, Bristol. You can register your attendance by going to our Eventbrite page.
Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG’s latest joint statement can be found below.
“Working with service users to improve mental health crisis line – Bristol Mental Health
October 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm | News | No comment
August 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm
We are disappointed by the recent statement released by Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG, which now states that the public crisis line will be closed.
This is a u-turn on Bristol Mental Health’s previous statement which said that the telephone service will not be cut, but “redesigned”.
Their latest communication says that a 24 hour telephone line service will continue to be available, however this is only for people who have been referred to the line by professionals, or for people as “part of their identified support”.
Whilst we acknowledge that it is good to hear there will still be a line for some, we have real concerns about what support there will be for those where access to the crisis line is not “part of their identified support”; for those that don’t access mental health services; and for those from transient parts of the population, such as university students that may have a crisis.
It is imperative that there is access to a 24 hour crisis line for all that need it in Bristol. It is also vital that additional alternatives are identified to provide people not in crisis with emotional support where it is required to help prevent any further deterioration in their wellbeing.
We feel that communication from Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG has been unclear, and we are concerned about the anxiety that it is causing people. We urge both organisations to give a clear stance on their decision and respond to our calls for a public meeting, taking into consideration the large number of concerns that have arisen as part of our campaign.
We are meeting with both organisations on Friday 9th September, and will post a further update shortly after then.
The latest statement from Bristol Mental Health can be found here.
Want to support our campaign? Click here to sign the petition.
August 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm | News | No comment
August 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm
Shared reading groups will be starting up in several libraries across Bristol from this September.
These will be hosted by The Reader, an award-winning charitable social enterprise whose aim is to bring about a reading revolution, connecting people from all communities and backgrounds with great literature for improved well-being.
The sessions are free to attend and open to people of all ages and abilities; there’s no pressure to read but those who wish to are welcome to contribute aloud.
The Reader believes that great literature provides people with vital information about being human and opens up their imaginative lives.
Shared reading gives group members a language for meaningful communication, revealing what is both common and unique about their thoughts.
Reading great literature aloud also enables us to connect, coming to new levels of understanding and awareness about our own lives, and those of other people.
The Reader work to create stimulating, friendly and non-pressured environments, where shared meanings are established across social, educational and cultural boundaries.
“This is the highlight of my week. I look forward to it every Tuesday” – Shared Reading Group Member
Dates of free Taster Sessions:
Bristol Central Library, Thursday 1st September, 11am-12:30pm
Hartcliffe Library, Monday 5th September, 2pm-3:30pm
Bristol Central Library, Tuesday 6th September, 2pm-3:30pm
Bedminster Library, Thursday 15th September, 11am-12:30pm
There’s no need to book in advance, simply turn up on the day, but if you’d like to find out more information please feel free to contact either Emma Crago: email@example.com / 07970 247410 or Sammy Weaver: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07812 238532.
More Taster Sessions and Shared Reading Groups will be happening into the autumn so keep an eye out for those!
August 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm | News | No comment
August 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm
A 10-mile walk between Bath and Bristol is taking place on Saturday 10th September, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
‘Walking out of Darkness’ – organised by charity CLASP – aims to highlight how we can all make a difference through communication, education and increasing awareness around mental health and suicide prevention, and in effect reduce suicides across the region and the UK.
Suicide in the South West has risen according to recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) with specific increases in females during 2014.
Together with Public Health England (PHE), West of England Sport Trust, local councils and many other charities, including Rethink Mental Illness, CLASP invites people to walk in unity on World Suicide Prevention Day to raise awareness and end the stigma.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and ONS found of the 6,233 people who completed suicide in 2014, over 70% were not known to mental health services or NHS and suffered in silence, due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Walking Out Of Darkness has support from MPs across all major parties including Minister for Mental Health Alistair Burt who said: “This is an excellent example of awareness-raising in mental health. If we are going to finally break the taboo around mental health, we need more people to openly talk about these issues. This event is helping people to do that.”
Former Minister for Care and Support, MP Norman Lamb is in full support of this cause and event. He stated: “It is an appalling statistic that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in Britain, while 9 out of 10 people with mental illness experience stigma and discrimination. Walking out of Darkness is a fantastic way of bringing people together to increase awareness of issues around mental health and suicide prevention, and hopefully raise lots of money for charity in the process.”
Helen Yeo, Chair of the North Somerset Zero Suicide steering group, commented: “We are really pleased to be supporting the Walk out of Darkness event in Bristol and Bath this September. Sadly suicide rates are high in the local area and we feel strongly that events like this help raise awareness around the issue of mental health and suicide and work towards reducing the stigma.”
Registration for the walk is only £10 via www.claspcharity.com and participants are given the chance to fundraise for any UK mental health charity they wish to support.
The 10 mile route starts in Green Park, Bath before heading along the Bath to Bristol cycle pathway and footpath along the river Avon with some majestic scenery.
There will be two refreshment and first aid points along the route and an opportunity to enjoy the event with family and friends whilst inspiring people across the UK. Information kiosks will be present at the end of the event.
Watch the Walking Out Of Darkness promotional video, here.
To register for the event, click here.
If you are concerned about mental illness or suicide, call NHS 111 or speak to your GP immediately.
August 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm | News | No comment
August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am
BIMHN says that monitoring any decisions around the crisis line is paramount, after Bristol Mental Health announces a u-turn over the closure of the phone service.
We welcome the news that Bristol Mental Health (BMH) has made a u-turn over its decision to close its crisis line.
BMH’s announcement is in response to our recent article, which highlighted our concerns about the potential closure, and the public’s reaction to the proposal.
The service will now not be cut, but it will be “redesigned”, Bristol Mental Health has said.
We will be monitoring the situation very carefully and challenging any future proposals that are not in the interests of people currently accessing mental health services, or that may access them in the future.
Openness and transparency is paramount in these discussions at all times.
We will be meeting with BMH and Bristol CCG on 9th September to discuss the crisis line further, and will also announce a date for an open meeting to get wider views in due course.
We would like to thank everyone who has responded to our campaign so far, and highlighted the detrimental impact that the closure would have.
Bristol Mental Health said in their most recent statement:
Recently, an online petition has been started to campaign against the closure of Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line. BMH and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to address the concerns raised in this petition.
The purpose of the Crisis Line is to respond to those experiencing a mental health crisis and to their carers. It is crucial that those requiring this service are able to get through and speak to someone when they need to. During the review of the service it was identified that approximately 66% of calls were actually seeking information or general advice; meanwhile others who needed to talk to a mental health professional urgently were unable to get through. It is for this reason that the decision has been made to change the way this service is managed.
As part of this, we will identify options that give more appropriate responses to those ringing the line. This will include where to ring if you need general advice, if you need to know about your forthcoming appointment time, or if you are a professional needing advice. It will ensure that those in mental health crisis will be responded to more quickly than is often the case at present.
The decision to redesign this service is one which has been reached with input from service users and staff from Bristol Mental Health, as well as commissioners from Bristol CCG. It should be noted that this is not a service cut, but a service redesign.
This decision was made as part of a wider review that will improve the balance between planned and unplanned interventions within local mental health services. Both BMH and Bristol CCG are working closely with service users and carers to ensure they identify other resources to best meet the needs of those who access the line.
BMH remain committed to work alongside the CCG with service users and carers to achieve the best mental health and wellbeing for the people of Bristol.
For more information about this issue please contact email@example.com.
If anyone wants to let BIMHN know their experiences of the crisis line in the meantime, please contact Tom on firstname.lastname@example.org. To support our campaign, please sign our petition: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-our-crisis-line-in-bristol!
If you are in need of help and support, please visit our signposting page for relevant information.
August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am | News | No comment