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Welcome to the September edition of IMHN’s newsletter for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

This Newsletter contains links to webpages or files with mentions of the following topics:

the coronavirus (COVID-19)
suicide and suicide prevention
community mental health
body image
sight loss
mental health training
health appointments
mental health services
young people’s support.

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Updates from IMHN  

Alongside transformation of community mental health services, more locally-based health systems (known as integrated care partnerships) are being developed.    

Mental health lived experience representatives are supporting the development of improved community mental health pathways across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.    

Lived experience representatives are also working with the teams in each integrated care partnership to ensure that new mental health support works for people in those areas. There are six integrated care partnerships in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.      

Click here to watch an NHS video explaining community mental health transformation.

Click here to read IMHN’s reports from the ‘discovery’ phase of this transformation project – where we asked people with lived experience of mental health to share their views on a variety of topics.   Text Box:  

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021   Every year World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on September 10. The first time it took place was in 2003. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to deliver the worldwide event. Below are some items related to this year’s event.    

Community Access Support Service (CASS) Bristol have put together a booklet called How to Talk About Suicide. Click here to download a copy.    

The Samaritans are running a campaign called Creating Hope Through Action. This campaign is asking people to share the things they do to make themselves feel hopeful when they’re going through a difficult time.    

The West of England Suicide Prevention Summit took place earlier this summer. A report from the event will be available shortly. The Summit saw the launch of the Suicide Prevention Initiative – calling for 10,000 people in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance’s free online training so more people can play a part in saving lives. Click here for details about the training.   

Andy’s Man Club run talking groups for men. They run sessions every Monday at 7pm at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol. Click here to visit their Facebook page for latest updates.    

North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network are running a virtual conference on the topic of suicide prevention on Friday 10 September, starting at 10am. Click here for more information.  

Important news about the Bristol Mental Health Employment Service  

We have been advised that the Bristol Mental Health Employment Service is changing. From September, it will transition to a more targeted Individual Placement and Support (known as ‘IPS’) model of delivery.

The service has remained in contact throughout this time with people who are currently receiving support. If you are concerned about how the changes might affect you or someone you know, please get in touch with us and we can pass your message on to the service managers (please email

You can read more about IPS here:

Upcoming dates for your diary  

Smoking and mental health – focus groups Throughout September IMHN are running some focus groups this September looking at smoking and mental health. These focus groups are for people who live in North Somerset. If you haven’t yet signed up, click here.    

Mural project for Bristol – project meeting Tuesday 7 September at 12:30pm (held online) Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living (BRIL) and Disability Murals are starting work on a new project bringing together disabled asylum seekers, refugees and citizens. Click here to read more about the project (click here for an easy read version). They are holding a planning meeting next Thursday – if you would like to attend, contact    

Mindfulness for carers taster session Thursday 9 September, 19:00 – 20:15 This session is a taster for the Mindfulness for Carers online course, which aims to improve the wellbeing of carers through mindfulness. Click here for more details, and email if you would like to attend.    

Coffee & Convo (Sight Support West of England) Throughout September Sight Support West of England have restarted their Coffee & Convo events, taking place at various local venues throughout September. Click here for full details, locations and dates.    

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 month. Click here for more details.    

Bristol City of Sanctuary – Annual General Meeting Wednesday 6 October at 2pm The team hope to hold the AGM in person – if you would like to attend, please contact Bristol City of Sanctuary (click here).    

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.    

Items sent in by IMHN members   SLaM (South London and Maudsley) Recovery College started sharing free online courses and webinars about mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions remain available at their website –

A BIMHN member has shared their thoughts after attending some SLaM sessions: “I’ve attended a few of the training sessions offered by SLaM Recovery College and have found them really useful. They are run by both clinicians and other staff and as such provide a great overview of various conditions. Their courses are sometimes run as mini-courses eg 3 separate sessions of 30-45 mins long and if you miss one of them for any reason, you can use the same MS Teams link to listen back in your own time. Can highly recommend attending them.”    

A member has sent in a video exploring co-production, presented by David Crepaz-Keay. Click here to watch it.    

One of IMHN’s members has got in touch to let us know about a consultation on the government’s health and disability green paper. The green paper “explores how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future, enabling people to live independently and move into work where possible.” Click here to read the background documents and respond to the consultation.      

Surveys, involvement and research The local health system is currently consulting on changes to stroke care. Proposed changes include improvements to emergency treatment, ongoing hospital treatment and care, and in-patient rehabilitation services. You can find the full proposals (with explanatory information), and the consultation by clicking here. The consultation closes this Friday (3 September).    

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.    

Kooth provides digital mental health services for adults, and are working on making their service inclusive of different population groups and cultures. Kooth have got in touch and asked us to share a survey specifically designed for men between the ages of 26 – 45 years old from ethnic minority backgrounds. They are inviting men from this group to share their insights and experiences of mental health support. Click here to complete the survey today.    

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 are running a health equality survey. We know that people from certain demographic groups are heavily underrepresented in health services. This project aims to explore and challenge this inequality. Click here to complete the survey.    

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.    

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.    

Local wellbeing colleges have published their upcoming schedules. Click here for the Bristol Wellbeing College schedule (September/October 2021) Click here for the North Somerset Wellbeing College schedule    

North Somerset Council have compiled a leaflet that explains what mental health support is available for children and young people in the area. Click here to download a copy.    

Mind Without Borders is run by Bristol Mind. Refugees and Asylum Seekers can join the project’s Greenspace and Wellbeing sessions every Thursday at 1pm. Sessions are held at Boiling Wells (near St Werburgh’s City Farm). Please email or call 07377 877303 for more information or to book your place.    

On the first Wednesday and the third Thursday of the month, Wellbeing Friends meet at the Winterbourne Community Centre. Click here to download their flyer, which has more information.    

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.  

Have you heard about The Exchange’s Gig Buddies Bristol project? It’s a befriending project that enables people to enjoy events by pairing them up with new friends with similar interests, run by the venue. Find out more, or how to become a gig buddy, by clicking here.    

Yesterday (Monday 30 August) was Grief Awareness Day. A film has been produced to mark the occasion, and features The Harbour – a local bereavement support organisation. Click here to watch the film’s trailer.    

Bristol Older People’s Forum have published the second of their Life Under Lockdown research reports. Click here to download it.    

Invisible Army is the name of a project highlighting the work of Bristol’s 40,138 unpaid carers. To keep up to date, visit their website ( For more information, contact    

Bluebell are looking for a new Inclusion & Diversity Link Worker. This role will ensure services become more inclusive to all parents, partners and infants who need them. Click here for more details (closing date Friday 17 September).    

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 13 September (the second Monday of the month) at 1pm.  

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 2 September.  

Click here for more information about the Independent Mental Health Network, and to join as a member today.

If you have any questions about membership of IMHN, please email

Independent Mental Health Network, Unit 50, Equinox South, Great Park Road, Bristol, Bristol BS32 4QL