Suicide Prevention Summit – January 2020

December 21, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Please note: this item was originally published in December 2019. Thank you to everyone that attended the Summit. To keep up to date with work in this area, and outcomes from the Summit, click here. 

[Content note; this news post deals with the topic of suicide]

BIMHN are supporting an event taking place this coming January 2020, bringing people, professionals, and those with lived experience of mental health together to agree a clear call-to-action on working together to prevent suicide across the local area of Bristol, as well as South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The Suicide Prevention Summit takes place on Monday 13 January 2020 at Bristol City Hall. The event will consider the latest research into suicide prevention, work happening nationally, and will focus on initiatives and stories by people in the local area. We will also be inviting attendees to share their experiences and ideas about suicide prevention, exploring the role that communities should be playing in this work going forwards.

The summit will be lead and facilitated with those with lived experience of mental health, mental health professionals, and those with personal experience of suicide and bereavement by suicide. Because of the range of individuals and organisations expected to attend, spaces are limited. Please click here to book an individual free place.

The Summit is the final keynote event of Shine On, our Suicide Prevention campaign.

Please note: the BIMHN committee have decided to defer January’s BIMHN Monthly Members Meeting so that members can attend the summit. As a result, the scheduled meeting between 12:30 – 15:00 at St James Priory, Bristol City Centre, will not take place. 




December 21, 2019 at 12:07 pm | News | No comment

Christmas Mental Health Services Guide 2019

December 20, 2019 at 6:44 pm

Please note: this item was posted ahead of the Christmas 2019 period. The information contained in the guide mentioned below is therefore outdated.

BIMHN are pleased to share the news that this year’s Christmas Mental Health and Wellbeing Services guide has been published. This guide outlines the services providing wellbeing and mental health support available to people in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire period over the Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020 period.

The guide has been produced with input from BIMHN members, in collaboration with members of Clarity-North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network. This year’s guide follows on from the success of last year’s guide in helping people and communities navigate what is available at this time of this year.

Included is information about services operating over the seasonal period, making note of any changes to opening or operating times, and contact details. It brings together information about mental health support from both NHS and voluntary & community sector partners that can be accessed. Also included are details of national crisis and helplines.

You can view or download a copy of the guide on the Independent Mental Health Network’s website, here.

December 20, 2019 at 6:44 pm | News | No comment

Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund – Second Round of Funding

December 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm

BIMHN is proud to be supporting Shine On, a campaign all about working together to prevent suicide. Back in September, ahead of the launch of the campaign, the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund was launched.

The Fund provides funding to support local organisations deliver their own initiative to reduce suicide in their local area. Many of the initiatives funded were included in the Shine On event programme.

We are delighted to share that the fund has re-opened for a second round. For more information and details on how to apply, click here.

You can also read more about some of the funded activities and events that have already taken place on the Shine On website here.


December 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm | News, Opportunities | No comment

Bristol OCD Peer Support Group – November Meeting Update

November 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Following on from the open discussion event in July 2019 exploring Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (‘OCD’) run by Independent Mental Health Network trustee and member Tracy, there have been meetings discussing the formation of a peer-support group for those with lived experience of OCD living in Bristol.

November’s meeting has been postponed – please keep an eye out for a future update confirming the date, time and location of the rescheduled meeting.

November 28, 2019 at 5:15 pm | News | No comment

Do you have lived experience of mental health crisis services?

November 6, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Thank you to everyone that got in touch to express an interest in the below opportunity. Updates around our work with local mental health crisis care pathways will continue to be shared on our website. 

Do you have lived experience of mental health crisis or attempting to access mental health crisis services? BIMHN are looking for up to six lived experience representatives to join a crisis pathway redesign event. The aim of the day is to progress the development of a new blueprint for BNSSG crisis services. We want to come to together as system partners to co-produce the crisis services of the future.

The event will take place:

Date: Friday 15 November 2019

Times: 09:30am -16:30pm

Location: Holiday Inn, Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3LE (next to the Bristol Bear Pit roundabout).

The opportunity will be paid. For more information and details on how to express your interest, please click here, or click here to read the Independent Mental Health Network’s news release.

November 6, 2019 at 5:59 pm | News, Opportunities | No comment

BIMHN Member Attends Shared Learning Day on Suicide Prevention

October 18, 2019 at 12:22 pm

The Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) is actively involved with suicide prevention work taking place locally. Two of our members sit on the local Suicide Prevention Transformation Fund Working Group, which oversees the use of a portion of money given by NHS England to address the relatively high suicide rate in the local area. This group oversees initiatives such as the Hope Project, which aims to help men at risk of self-harm or suicide.

Additionally, BIMHN is supporting a wide-ranging campaign taking place later this year that will raise awareness and educate on suicide and self-harm. Watch this space for more details, to be announced soon!

Recently, Francesco, one of our members, attended the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH)’s recent learning day in London. These learning days are known as ‘Learning Sets’.

These sessions are an opportunity for healthcare organisations to provide updates on various suicide prevention initiatives taking place up and down the country, with an emphasis on shared learning, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of lives lost to suicide nationally.

You can read Francesco’s report of the session here.

October 18, 2019 at 12:22 pm | News | No comment

OCD Awareness Week: Picture your OCD

October 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Update: the next meeting of Bristol’s OCD Social Support Group mentioned at the foot of this article has been set for Tuesday 26 November between 20:00 – 21:30, at the Rose & Crown, 11 Two Mile Hill, Kingswood, BS15 1BH. For more information, please email Tracy at her email address mentioned below. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (‘OCD’) Awareness Week is just around the corner, and one of BIMHN’s members has asked us to pass on details of OCD Action’s most recent news article about a project they are supporting, Picture Your OCD. 

The Picture Your OCD project invites people to submit a photograph or short video from a first-person’s perspective that visually expresses their experience of OCD. The photo or video should be anonymous; i.e. not showing your face. This project is intended to raise awareness of OCD, and the different ways it can affect people’s lives. If you’d like to get involved, head to, for more information about the project and how you can contribute.

BIMHN are supporting Tracy, one of the trustees of the Independent Mental Health Network, with her work in setting up a local OCD Social Support Group. Following on from Lifting the Myth of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a very successful open discussion event that took place earlier this year, Tracy is looking to hold further meet-ups.

If you are interested in Tracy’s work, or would like to attend the next meeting (provisionally set for November), please feel free to email Tracy directly at tracy_tainton[@] (taking out the brackets from the email address).

October 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm | News | No comment

Bank of Ireland Signs Time to Change Employer Pledge

October 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Today, on World Mental Health Day 2019, Bank of Ireland signed up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge at its offices at Temple Quay, Bristol. In attendance were employees of the Bank, members of the Bank’s leadership team, representatives from the Time to Change Bristol hub, and Bristol City Council.

Furthering the reach of the Time to Change Employer Pledge is one of the aims of the Time to Change Bristol hub. The hub is a group of organisations who have come together to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination within the city of Bristol.

Over 1,200 organisations, collectively employing over 2 million people, have now signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge nationally. Bank of Ireland have signed the pledge today to show their commitment to the launch of their company-wide wellbeing offer, at all of their offices across the England, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

This picture shows David Carrie (Director of Operations, Bank of Ireland – centre) holding the newly signed Employer Pledge, with others including Tom (far left) and Lynn (far right) from the Time to Change Bristol Hub.


The Time to Change Bristol hub is delivered by the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN); the Bristol branch of the Independent Mental Health Network.

Independent Mental Health Network CEO, Tom Renhard, said:

We are really pleased to have joined the Bank of Ireland on World Mental Health Day for the signing of the Time to Change Employer Pledge. It signals their commitment to this agenda and it is great to hear of the important work that has already started within the organisation to challenge mental health stigma and encourage people to open up about their mental health in a supportive environment.

The Time to Change Bristol hub look forward to working with the Bank of Ireland in the coming months and years to support them on their journey. If you work for an organisation that hasn’t yet signed the Employer Pledge, please do get in touch with the hub by emailing us at ttcbristol[@]

Notes to editors:

What is the Time to Change Bristol Hub?

The Hub are a group of organisations who have come together to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in the city of Bristol.

The lead partner of the Hub is the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network, a branch of the Independent Mental Health Network, which is a membership-lead organisation for those with lived experience of mental health. The Hub is supported by Rethink (Bristol), Wellbeans Initiative, Community Access Support Service (CASS) Bristol, and Bristol City Council. 

Find out more about the Hub here.


What is the Time to Change Employer Pledge?

The Time to Change Employer Pledge is a commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace. The Pledge is organised by Time to Change, a national campaign committed to campaigning against mental health stigma.

Over 1,200 organisations, employing over 2 million people, have now signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge. The Employer Pledge is free of charge and available to organisations based in England.

October 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm | News, Time to Change | No comment

World Mental Health Day 2019 – in Bristol and Beyond!

October 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm

World Mental Health Day takes place annually on 10th October, bringing national and international attention to mental illness and what it means for those living with mental health difficulties worldwide. There are always a rich variety of independently-organised events recognising and celebrating the day, and this year is no exception. This year, the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network have compiled a guide to the events taking place in Bristol and the immediate surrounding area that have a focus on mental health, or have been specifically organised to recognise World Mental Health Day.

For more information about any of the events or activities listed below, click on the event title to take you to a webpage that will provide more information.


Community Access Support Service (CASS) Bristol – Social Media Posters – 7th – 11th October

For World Mental Health Day this year, CASS have partnered with some local organisations to produce posters promoting their peer-support services. Watch out for these posters appearing on Twitter and Facebook, and throughout the city, from October 7th.


World Mental Health Day at Origin Workspace – Thursday 10th October – Origin Workspace

A day of events and activities dedicated to wellness and taking care of mental wellbeing, taking place at Origin Workspace, in Berkeley Square, near Clifton.


Reflection — A Curated art exhibition of mirrors – Thursday 10th – Sunday 20th October – Left Handed Giant Brewpub

Maya & Safehouse Present, in partnership with Off The Record, Bristol Mind & Left Handed Giant, Reflection – A Curated art exhibition of mirrors. This exhibition, featuring work from Artists, Illustrators, Designers, Sign Writers and Graffiti Artists, will be fundraising for Off The Record and Bristol Mind.


Dawn Till Dusk – Thursday 10th October – Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare

Warriors of Wellbeing and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership are organising a day of activity to celebrate World Mental Health Day 2019.

  • 07:15: Dawn Dawgs Walk – a walk from Royal Sands along Weston beach. Richard and rescue dog Roobi, will be highlighting the mental health benefits of fresh air, exercise and contact with our four-legged friends. Please join us for the walk, chat about mental health and bring your furry friend too!
  • 18:15: Sunset Guided Mindfulness – a guided mindfulness session at the end of Clevedon Pier.
  • 18:45: Wellbeing Music Parade – follow the Ambling Brass Band along Clevedon seafront to the Salthouse Pub.
  • 19:00: Mental Matters Pub Quiz – hosted at the Salthouse Pub Clevedon, all proceeds from this quiz go towards future mental health events and patient care. £1 entry.


Clothes Swap – Thursday 10th October – The Canteen, Stokes Croft, Bristol

Fancy refreshing your wardrobe? Changes Bristol are hosting a clothes swap, to co-incide with World Mental Health Day. £5 entry – all proceeds help Changes Bristol fund mental health services. For more information, take a look at the official Facebook event, linked in the title above.


Second Step Community Rehabilitation Service – Celebratory Event – Thursday 10th October – The Station Bristol

The Community Rehabilitation Service will is holding a celebratory event on World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2019, for clients, staff and friends at The Station in central Bristol.


Dark Room: The Unseen Taboo: Discussion Event – Thursday 10th October – 14:00 – 16:00 – The Students’ Union at UWE, Frenchay Campus

Join students and Project Zazi (Off the Record’s BME youth mental health initiative) who will be creating a safe and inclusive space to discuss mental health in Black communities.


Fishing for Wellbeing – Starting Thursday 10th October

A new active wellness course, Fishing for Wellbeing, delivered by the Bristol Active Life Project, starts this World Mental Health Day.


Portishead Hopewalk – Saturday 12th October – 18:00 – 20:00 – Portishead

We are Aware, in association with Papyrus, are staging a lantern-lit Hopewalk around the Marine Lake grounds in Portishead to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health. The walk will be joined by the The Ambling Band.


Mental Wealth Lab – Wednesday 16th October – 18:00 – 21:00 – Bristol Business School, UWE Frenchay

Ben Smith, from the401challenge, will deliver a talk as part of the UWE Bristol Mental Wealth Lab Initiative, discussing his experience of mental ill-health.


Celebrating World Mental Health Day – Open Discussion Event – Friday 18th October 13:00 – 15:00 – Old Market

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church will be holding an event at Fi Real Restaurant, Old Market, discussing the stigma surrounding anxiety and depression, mental health discrimination, and different types of mental health conditions. For more information, take a look at the poster for the event.


October 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm | News | No comment

New Suicide Prevention Innovation Grant Launched!

September 23, 2019 at 10:43 pm

This news item was originally posted in October 2019. Since then, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Shine On campaign and the completion  of a number of initiatives funded by the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund, with more to come in the coming months. To stay up to date, visit the Shine On website!

Content note; please note that this piece contains discussions of suicide and self-harm. 

As part of a suicide prevention campaign later this year, a fund has been launched to support local groups whose work helps to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

In particular, we are looking for imaginative and innovative projects which aim to reduce the numbers of suicides in:

  • middle aged men
  • men and women aged 16-25
  • BAME communities
  • LGBTQ+ communities
  • Disabled communities

This innovation grant is available to support new or emerging projects. They can benefit from a small pot of funding that is intended to support initiatives that prevent suicides and reduce self-harm in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

Applicants can apply for one-off funding grants of up to £250 towards their project (or up to £500 where it is across BNSSG). There is a total funding pot of £4,500 available.

How do I apply and when is the closing date?

Applications for the fund will close on Friday 18 October 2019 and the application form can be found here. Completed application forms need to be submitted to: engagement[@] (removing the brackets from that email address).

Please note that applications will be considered in the order that they are received; please therefore send your application in as soon as you can, as interest is high.


Tom Renhard, CEO of the Independent Mental Health Network, said:

“We are really pleased to be supporting local efforts by groups that are leading the fight to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, where we know a small amount of seed funding can make a bigger difference to people who know their communities well and what is needed.

“I am hopeful that as part of a wider campaign launching later this year, we will be able to enable more initiatives to flourish and support a wider regional ambition to reduce the number of people taking their own lives. One life lost is one too many, and there is plenty for us all to do to ensure people know there is support available out there.

“If you are interested in getting involved in the campaign that will launch in November, do send an email to”


Notes to editors:

Who are IMHN?

The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) represents a diverse community of past, current and future users of mental health services, as well as those with lived experience of mental health.

By working together, we believe that we can be a force for positive change in the way that mental health is treated, perceived, and recognised.

Who are the people behind the fund?

The Fund is supported by the Suicide Prevention Transformation Working Group that brings together organisations from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The organisations include:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Bristol City Council
  • Bristol North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)
  • Community Access Support Service (CASS)
  • Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)
  • North Somerset Council
  • Public Health England
  • Second Step
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • University of Bristol
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust


September 23, 2019 at 10:43 pm | News | No comment

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