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This mailout contains or links to webpages or files with mentions of the following topics: the coronavirus (COVID-19), community mental health, smoking, grief, bereavement, self-injury, carers, perinatal mental health.

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Independent Mental Health Network – South West Newsletter – November 2021

As always, in this month’s newsletter you will find updates from local mental health support organisations, and details of events and sessions that you can get involved with. There is also information about some new funding opportunities for small organisations.

Bristol’s Disability Equality Commission are inviting applications to join the commission, which is a high-level strategic group working to improve the lives of Disabled people in Bristol. You can find more information under the ‘Opportunities, funding and training’ section below.

Image showing people at an event run by IMHN.  

Updates from IMHN

On Wednesday 10 November, the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) are running a focus group. The purpose of the group is to help North Somerset Council look at different ways to offer support to people with mental health problems who want to give up smoking.   Participants will receive a £25 gift voucher as a thank you for your time and contributions. The focus group will run from 14:00 – 16:00 at Vision North Somerset, in Weston-super-Mare. Click here to book your place.

The logo for IMHN's smoking focus groups.

Health teams in each locality area of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are finalising their plans for local community mental health support. Mental health lived experience representatives from across the area are actively supporting this work in each of the six localities.

Thank you to all reps for your hard work in recent months!
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.

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Upcoming dates for your diary

Good Grief Festival
Saturday 30 / Sunday 31 October (held online) Good Grief festival takes place this weekend, focusing on their 2021 theme of 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.      

Self-Harm and Early Intervention – addressing the gaps

Online event: Tuesday 2 November, 16:00 – 17:15
This free seminar will discuss the barriers for young people struggling with wellbeing and self-injury, and share learning from a recent programme run by We Are With You. Click here to book your place.       Studio Upstairs – Unlocked Exhibition Dates and time: Saturday 6 / Sunday 7 November, 11:00 – 16:00

Location: Units 1 & 2 Albion Dockside Estate, BS1 6UT
Studio Upstairs provide creative community hubs and positive, life-changing interventions for people with mental or emotional difficulties. They are preparing to hold their first exhibition since before the pandemic. Click here to download the flyer.      

Mental health and smoking: focus group

Date and time: Wednesday 10 November, 14:00 – 16:00

Location: Vision North Somerset, 3 Neva Road, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1YD The purpose of this group is to help North Somerset Council look at different ways to offer support to people with mental health problems who want to give up smoking. Click here to book your place.      

Care and Share Café

Takes place on the 3rd Friday of the month (next: 19 November), 10:30 – 12:30.

The Care and Share Café supports people caring for someone with mental health issues. The venue is to be confirmed. Contact the organisers for more information – click here to download the flyer.       Deadline to apply for Bristol Disability Equality Commissioner

Wednesday 23 November at midnight Are you a Disabled person living in Bristol? Bristol’s new Disability Equality Commission is looking for local Disabled people to support the group in improving the lives and opportunities of others in the city. Click here for more information.


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Items sent in by IMHN members

Email engagement@imhn.org to see your item included in this section in a future edition of an IMHN newsletter!    

An online event called ‘Who Cares Anthology Launch’ takes place on Thursday 25 November, focuses on the lives of eleven women in paid/unpaid carer roles. If you are interested in attending the event, click here to register your place.      

Shaping Our Lives has a new website which includes an A-Z directory of user-led organisations. Click here to visit their new website.


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Surveys, involvement and research

Bristol City Council is running an ongoing parent/carer survey collecting the views of parents and carers whose children have special educational needs and/or are Disabled and attend a for profit or independent school. Click here to complete the survey.

Bristol Health Partners’ survey about people’s experiences of living with an eating disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic remains open. Click here to be taken to the survey page.      

The Care Forum’s health equality survey is still open. Click here to complete the survey.      

The Wellaware service has 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.


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Updates from local organisation

Mothers for Mothers provide support for postnatal and perinatal mental health issues. They have recently published their 40th anniversary report. Click here to read it.

Off the Record’s Project Zazi have launched their Hall of Magnificence, celebrating exemplary young people of colour. Click here to be taken to the website!      

Off the Record’s Hubs are restarting! These weekly sessions are there for you to meet their team and discover more about what OTR offer. Click here for dates, times, and locations.

Off the Record Hub logo      


The local Making Change Happen group are holding ‘Rolling and strolling’ sessions across the local area. Email mch.bristoldef@gmail.com or phone 07552 680 678 for more information.      

Second Step’s Beside project 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.

Local wellbeing colleges have published their upcoming schedules. The Bristol Wellbeing College has also launched some new sessions about how writing can help our wellbeing.
Click here for the Bristol Wellbeing College schedule (November 2021) Click here for the North Somerset Wellbeing College schedule  

Opportunities, funding and training

Are you a Disabled person living in Bristol? Bristol’s new Disability Equality Commission is looking for local Disabled people to support the group in improving the lives and opportunities of others in the city.   If you, or someone you know, might be interested, click here for more information.

A graphic showing details of Bristol's Disability Equality Commission.      

Healthier Together have launched a new funding scheme called Reducing Inequalities Grants. Community organisations can apply for funding of up to £10,000 if they have initiatives that encourage or support vaccination (not exclusively the COVID-19 vaccination) and might also: help promote health and wellbeing, increase vaccination awareness, acceptance and uptake, or address a particular community need around reducing health inequalities. Applications close at 4pm on Monday 15 November. Click here for further information.      

Bristol’s Community Access Support Service (CASS) is recruiting for new members of their staff team. They are looking for: A new service manager A new Inner City & East Bristol networker Click the links above to be taken to the job descriptions on VOSCUR’s website.

CASS Bristol's logo.      

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 SLaM (South London and Maudsley) mental health courses and webinars   A seprator image showing small logos.  

Other updates

NSUN (National Survivor User Network)
are a network of people and groups with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress and trauma; who create, challenge and campaign. Their annual general meeting starts on 29 November 2021. Click here for more details.

North Somerset Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-2024 has just been published. Members of IMHN’s North Somerset branch, Clarity-NSIMHN, were involved in supporting the development of the strategy. Click here to read the strategy.


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Upcoming branch meetings

BIMHN's logo.
The next monthly meeting of the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network takes place on Monday 8 November (the second Monday of the month) at 1pm.


  Clarity NSIMHN's logo.
The next monthly meeting of Clarity-North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network is to be confirmed.


  South Gloucestershire Wellbeing Network's logo.
The South Gloucestershire Wellbeing Network’s next meeting takes place on Thursday 4 November, starting at 10:00.
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.

Callout: Christmas and New Year in mental health organisations

Every year, the Independent Mental Health Network produces a guide that gives operating hours and closure dates for mental health services and support organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, during the winter festive period.

Do you work for a mental health organisation? To help us compile this year’s guide, please write to engagement@imhn.org telling us any planned periods of closure or reduced hours this Christmas and New Year. Thank you in advance.

The IMHN christmas mental health services guide logo.


If you have any questions about membership of IMHN, please email membership@imhn.org.
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Independent Mental Health Network, Unit 50, Equinox South, Great Park Road, Bristol, Bristol BS32 4QL