Who can be members?
Membership of BIMHN is open to people with lived experience of mental health; or who are past, current, future users of mental health services; and registered with a GP in the Bristol area.
You can also join us if you are a representative of a user-led group that supports people with mental health problems.
How do I join the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network?
To become a member of BIMHN, please fill out our online membership form (please see our membership bye-laws below to ensure that you meet the criteria). By becoming a member of BIMHN, you will be able to attend our monthly meetings – held every second Monday of the month, 12.30pm-4pm (including lunch) – and receive our monthly e-newsletter. For more information, and future dates, please visit our meetings page.
Please note that your application will be reviewed by the committee, before your membership is officially agreed.
Please see below the section of our bye-laws relating to becoming a member of BIMHN, last updated August 2015.
BIMHN bye-laws (Membership)
1.13 Full Membership
(a) This can be through a group membership or an individual membership.
(b) There will be 2 places as full members for every service user-led group and user–led self help Group within the defined boundary area. The representatives will be decided by each group through a democratic process, with evidence of this being provided to the IMHN committee, or its nominee upon request. It is the responsibility of these representatives to feedback between their group and IMHN.
(c) People who meet the criteria in sub-clause (e) (who are not representing a group) can, if they wish, apply to become full members.
(d) Application to be decided by a majority vote of the committee for individuals. For an application from a group, this will be decided by a majority vote at a general meeting of a branch of IMHN and after a minimum of two attendances at the monthly meeting.
(e) Criteria for individual membership are:
(i) The individual will usually be registered with a GP practice or accessing mental health services within the defined boundary area that the branch has been formed in; and
(ii) Are over the age of eighteen; and
(iii) An individual who has ever used mental health services; or
(iv) An individual who is currently using mental health services; or
(v) An individual currently trying to access mental health services; or
(vi) An individual who self-defines as having had or currently having mental health issues.
(f) Carers and staff of mental health services may apply to become full members if they meet the criteria outlined in sub-clause (e); but must be attending meetings in the capacity as outlined in the aforementioned section.
(g) Full membership will allow speaking rights and a vote at meetings, including Annual General Meetings, and the potential to stand for election as officers.
1.14 Associate Membership
(a) This can be through an individual membership only.
(b) People who do not meet the criteria to become full members can apply to become associate members. Application to be decided by a majority vote of the committee for individuals.
(c) Associate members will also not be allowed to stand for election as officers or vote for those standing for election as Officers.
(d) Associate membership will allow a vote on general matters at meetings; however this will not include any changes to the constitution, role descriptions of officers, or the policies and procedures of IMHN.
(e) Associate membership will allow for speaking rights at meetings.
1.15 Expectations of Membership
(a) All attendees and members are expected to contribute to information and debate about mental health services.
(b) All full members and associate members are expected to adhere to the policies and procedures as laid out in the IMHN Policies and Procedures document.
(c) People who do not meet the criteria to be members, including carers and mental health staff, can be invited to attend part or all of a meeting, but will not be able to vote.