The committee are responsible for the running of the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network, the Bristol branch of the Independent Mental Health Network. The committee are elected from our membership at BIMHN’s AGM.
Co-Chairs: Erica Wildgoose and Dave
Hello, we are Erica and Dave – your elected Co-Chairs. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for electing us to the position – We feel very humbled and excited to make a difference. Over this next year, we will be chairing the monthly business meetings of BIMHN, as well as supporting some of the work the group is involved in. This will include ensuring a strong lived experience voice is heard as part of the recommissioning process for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Our role is also to help provide strategic direction for the organisation, encouraging more people to participate and show how much of a difference mental health lived experience leadership can make to people’s lives.
We feel strongly about BIMHN’s aims and values, and believe that those suffering with mental ill health deserve the best possible access to local services, to be heard and to feel empowered to use their voice and share their story. I look forward to representing you all, and ensuring your voice is heard over the next year.
Get in touch! Email us at bimhn[at]imhn.org.
Representation & Accountability Officer: Neil
Events Officer: Shaun
Hiya, I’m the Events Officer, and I offer my thanks to all those who took part in the election process. While this is a new role within BIMHN, it is not a new function: previously event orgainisation was undertaken as part of other elected officer’s duties. It’s creation, therefore is a consequence of the group’s success in expanding its mental health work across Bristol.
I graduated as a Building Surveyor, many, many years ago and served as the membership secretary for the Bristol and Bath branch of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), which had a membership of around 90. In the sphere of well-being, I have done both voluntary and paid work for charities that work with people who need some support to live with (or through) their physical and/or mental health. I’m also the Service User rep for The Sanctuary, St. Mungos, Bristol.
Personal experience – For around two decades I have lived with, to varying degrees of severity, depression and anxiety. The first of these I have discussed on Radio Bristol and in B24/7. An important lesson I’ve learned is the value (and values of) those who’ve traversed (and perhaps temporarily fallen off!) a similar path.
Perhaps understandably, as Events Officer, I would like to encourage a greater understanding of BIMHN’s role and of mental health as an aspect of what it is to be human. A fine example of how this can work through into lived experience, and contemporary challenges, is the conference, Mental Health Conversations: Housing and mental health, a joint collaboration by CASS and BIMHN, which brought together service users, housing providers and mental health practitioners.
Advice, compliments and ideas: I am new to this role, and so would especially appreciate hearing your ideas around events, topics of interest, or suggestions on how to make events more effective and relevant.
Finally, I look forward to meeting you all in the not too distant future and get in touch with your ideas for collaboration by emailing bimhn[at]imhn.org.