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Independent Mental Health Network – South West Newsletter – October 2021
October is an important month in the calendar for two reasons; both Black History Month and World Mental Health Day take place.   Both represent opportunities to learn and grow our understanding. Further down this newsletter, we share websites where you can read more information about mental health inequality, and details about events taking place to honour Black History Month.   Elsewhere in this month’s newsletter, we share local surveys; involvement and research projects; and news from the network. As always, if there is something that you would like to see included in our next newsletter, please email, and we will do our best to include it in the next edition.
Image showing people at an event run by IMHN.
Updates from IMHN
IMHN’s lived experience representatives are continuing to support development of new community mental health services across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire health system. This includes: improved pathways for eating disorders; trauma-informed and trauma-responsive approaches in mental health support; support for personality disorders and complex trauma; improving community rehabilitation services, and ensuring less people are being supported ‘out of area’.
Lived experience input is also taking place in each ‘locality’ of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire health system. Lived experience representatives are supporting implementation of new mental health models in each area.
Image showing how the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area is split into six integrated care partnership areas.
The image above shows how the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area is split into six integrated care partnership (‘locality’) areas.
Elsewhere in the country, Greater Manchester IMHN have recently been featured in local press, and have also published a new blog post about setting up a peer support group.
IMHN's logo.
World Mental Health Day – Sunday 10 October
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to raise mental health awareness, understanding, and tackle mental health stigma.
It has taken place annually, and is organised by the World Health Organisation and the World Federation of Mental Health. Each year, there is a theme. This year’s is ‘Mental Health in an unequal world.’
Read more about World Mental Health Day on their main website – click here Mind‘s World Mental Health Day 2021 page shares information about mental health inequality. Read it by clicking here Mental Health UK are producing a special news programme about mental health in today’s society. The programme will launch on Sunday 10 October, but you can watch the trailer now by clicking here.
The logo for World Mental Health Day.
Black History Month
Get involved with Changes Bristol’s storytelling, poetry and spoken word project; celebrating Black History Month this year. Changes are asking for pieces of writing (both original, or written by someone else) which can cover topics including culture, race, history, allyship, community and mental wellbeing. Entries are accepted until Friday 22 October. Following this, there will be an event celebrating the pieces during the last week of October (date/location to be confirmed). To enter your piece, you can:
Email it to
Post it to Changes Bristol, Barton Hill Settlement, 41-43 Ducie Road, Bristol, BS5 0AX
Call 0117 941 1123 to make a verbal submission
A graphic for Changes' 'power of words' project.
Find out more about Changes Bristol’s groups, including their Women of Colour group, by clicking here.
Take a look at Second Step’s latest news article, which recognises Black History Month. Click here.
Bristol Women’s Voice are running a special event next week honouring Black History Month – keep reading for the details.
Upcoming dates for your diary
Many Minds: ‘I’ve been waiting…’
Saturday 2 October, 3pm
Many Minds is a Bristol-based mental health charity which facilitates creative spaces and make performances. The second of two performances takes place on the Downs in Bristol this Saturday at 3pm (today!). Click here to book your tickets.
Black Women Pause – ‘Sharing her-stories’ Tuesday 5 October, 12:30 – 13:45 Join Bristol Women’s Voice in honouring Black History Month, where the theme of this event will be ‘Sharing her-stories’. Find out more and book your space by clicking here.
Off The Record’s Shameless group
Starting Wednesday 6 October (for six weeks) Shameless is a group run by Off the Record for anyone aged 11-17 feeling impacted by issues around body image and low self-esteem. Their next set of groups starts next week. Click here for more details.
The logo for Off the Record's 'Shameless' group.
Bristol City of Sanctuary – Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 6 October at 2pm – now confirmed as taking place online.
Click here to register to attend.
Bristol Health Partners AHSC HIT Conference
Tuesday 12 October, 1-3pm (held online) The Bristol Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre connects, promotes and develops the region’s strengths in health services, research, innovation and education. At the conference, they will bring partners together to reflect on successes and build momentum. Click here to register your place.
Good Grief Festival
Saturday 30 / Sunday 31 October (held online) Good Grief festival is back for another year, and their 2021 theme is Reflection + Remembrance. Their programme features 30+ events including talks, interviews and workshops, all of which are virtual and free to attend. Click here for the programme.
The logo for Good Grief festival.
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Items sent in by IMHN members
Got something that you would like to share with us? Email to see your item included in this section in a future edition of an IMHN newsletter!
A member has sent in a video exploring co-production, presented by David Crepaz-Keay. Click here to watch it.
The consultation on the government’s health and disability green paper, sent in by a member for our last newsletter, closes on Monday 11 October. Click here to read the background documents and respond to the consultation.
An image showing people at an IMHN event.
Surveys, involvement and research
Bristol City Council is running a survey to collect the views of parent carers whose children have special educational needs and/or are Disabled and attend a for profit or independent school. The survey has been reopened until the end of next year for ongoing responses. Responses will be used to develop a framework for the council to use when buying education frameworks in the future. Click here to complete the survey.
Bristol Health Partners are running a research project, gathering people’s experiences of living with an eating disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to be taken to the survey page. For more information, click here to download the information flyer about the project.
Bristol’s Shadow Safeguarding Board works with local leaders to make sure they stick to their promises, listen to young people’s voices, and take action to keep children and young people safe. The Board want to hear from people aged 11-25 about a range of issues – click here to find out more.
The Bristol Disability Equality Forum are asking people what they think about how city’s plans to help fight climate change will affect disabled people. Click here to complete the survey Click here to watch an accompanying video about the project
The Care Forum’s health equality survey is still open. Click here to complete the survey.
A separator image showing IMHN's leaflets.
Local groups and support
Mindline Trans+ is a confidential emotional, mental health support helpline and signposting service. Trained listeners have lived experience of being trans or non-binary and they will try and understand the multitude of feelings and concerns that may be going on for callers. The service is now operating Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8pm and midnight – call them on 0300 330 5468.
The local Making Change Happen group are running ‘Rolling and strolling’ sessions across the local area this October. Email or phone 07552 680 678 for more information.
Second Step have launched the Beside project, which offers emotional and practical support to anyone over 16 who has lost a loved one to suicide. Click here to read more.
Well Aware is a local service providing information on a wide range of organisations; support groups, community groups, events and activities that can help improve your health and wellbeing in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The service has also launched a survey to hear from service users, volunteers and professionals on how they find using the service and how it can be more accessible for all who access the service.
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Local wellbeing colleges have published their upcoming schedules. Click here for the Bristol Wellbeing College schedule (October 2021) Click here for the North Somerset Wellbeing College schedule
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Other updates
Everyone aged 16 and over can now book their COVID-19 vaccination. You can either book your jab, or attend one of a number of walk-in clinics available locally. Click here for more details or to book an appointment now.
  Remember: the NHS will never ask you to confirm your bank details, or send any sort of payment for a vaccine. If you are contacted asking you for either of these things, it is a scam.
A course is being offered at St Paul’s Learning Centre next Friday 8 October about community development. Click here to download the flyer for the course. For more information, contact the lecturer:
The Marsh Awards is back for 2021, recognising excellence in mental health peer support. A celebration event will take place in December this year – find out how to nominate a group for an award by clicking here.
Below is a list of free training available online.
Psychological first aid training from Public Health England Suicide prevention and awareness training from the Zero Suicide Alliance North Somerset Council’s Public Mental Health training timetable Thrive Bristol’s free mental health training SLaM (South London and Maudsley) mental health courses and webinars
Upcoming branch meetings
The next monthly meeting of the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network takes place on Monday 11 October (the second Monday of the month) at 1pm.
Diversity NS+IMHN-01
The next monthly meeting of Clarity-North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network is to be confirmed.
The South Gloucestershire Wellbeing Network is a collaboration between Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, IMHN and South Gloucestershire Council. The next meeting takes place on Thursday 7 October.
All members of IMHN will be sent a separate email with join links for each meeting in their local area with further details and joining instructions.
Click here for more information about the Independent Mental Health Network, and to join as a member today.
Independent Mental Health Network, Unit 50, Equinox South, Great Park Road, Bristol, Bristol BS32 4QL