Menu of Dragon Delights for Monday 1st April

DD - 1 APRIL 2013jpeg

Indesign Course for beginners

Art2Print is a social enterprise that delivers high quality graphic design and printing services to commercial clients. Our team is made up of a professional graphic designer overseeing designers recruited from our Mental Health and Well-being Service.

Duration: 8 sessions starting 09.04.13 – 02.05.13
Day: Tuesdays and Thursdays (2-4pm)

Course Description: Adobe InDesign is a professional layout, desktop publishing program for setting up your document and working with graphics. It is industry standard software used in posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers and books design. Our course gives you direct hands on experience through the application of a creative brief. For those new to InDesign, we will help you develop your skills and help you to build your confidence in a supportive and friendly environment, because becoming a member of our service means that you are part of our community.

Flyer here: Art2Print Introducing Adobe Indesign_April 2013 (3)

Open days at Blackfriars Settlement – Mental Health and Well-being Service

Dear All,

Please see attached flier advertising two open days on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th April,

from 10am-2pm for our new Service from April.

Mental Health and Well-being Service April13

Please advertise this widely

Many thanks,

Mannie Onyeje

Community Mental Health Outreach

Mental Health and Well-being Service

Blackfriars Settlement – “Creating Opportunities”

Celebrating our 125th anniversary in 2012

90-94 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0BE

Telephone: 020 7928 9521  Fax: 020 7960 4628

Find out more about what we can do for you:

Follow us on Twitter: @BlackfriarsSett

Like us on Facebook:

Mad Pride event 5th April


Find attached the flyer for the next MAD PRIDE event at Tottenham Chances on FRIDAY 5th April.

All Fools_web

in solidarity
Dave Skull

Peer Led Recovery Project Managers


Just to let you know I am working now part time as Peer Led Recovery Project Manager with Vanessa Gould-Crouch and continuing as Peer Support Project Coordinator part time (See below)

The job purpose is To increase understanding within Mental Health Services about best practice in relation to peer support and recovery To support the development and coordinate new peer-led initiatives as appropriate To develop and coordinate peer support throughout the CAGs and with the voluntary / 3rd sector.

Contact me on or Vanessa on

Penelope Doué

Peer Led Recovery Project Manager

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday mornings

Peer Support Project Coordinator

Mondays, Tuesdays, Friday afternoons

Peer Support in Southwark

Together we can recover

Training for Paranoia Peer Support Facilitators


I’m pleased to announce our next training course for existing or prospective facilitators of Paranoia Peer Support Groups.

Dates are the 19th, 22nd, 25th & 29th April 2013 and timings 10am to 4.30pm.

Better Bankside Trust Community Space

18 Great Guildford St, London ­­­SE1 0FD

(map attached)

The training is FREE for people with lived experience of paranoia

£150 for Voluntary Organisations

£200 for Statutory Organisations

Mind in Camden’s Paranoia Groups Project launched in February 2012, in the wake of previous success developing a network of over 40 peer support groups across London for people who hear voices. Hearing Voices Groups provide a safe space for members to share their experiences without fear of judgment, and are founded on an ethos of acceptance and validation, where experiences are understood as having personal meaning. Building on the same peer support model, and in partnership with the National Paranoia Network the London Paranoia Groups Project aims to create a similar network of groups across London for people experiencing paranoia and/or distressing or overwhelming beliefs – groups where these beliefs can be openly explored and coping strategies shared.

For more information, please see attached flyer and application form.

application form – Paranoia Facilitation Training 2013

Paranoia Groups Fac Training – April 2013

Please send back a completed application form as soon as you can and we will let you know whether you have secured a place. Whilst we have to prioritise those organisations with definite plans for setting up a group, we’re keen to offer it to as many people and organisations as we can.

Feel free to distribute to people in your networks and to whomever may be interested.

Looking forward to your applications

Kind wishes

John Wetherell

Project Assistant

For Molly Carroll

Development Worker

Paranoia Project

Mind in Camden’s Paranoia Project is run in partnership with the National Paranoia Network

Mind in Camden

0207 625 9042 (ext 3)

Barnes House, 9-15 Camden Road, London, NW1 9LQ

Empowering Family and Carer Events

Dear Colleagues

SUITE has now planned the Empowering Family and Carer Events for this year, and for the first time there will also be one specifically for Forensic Services. All events have a different theme with presentations based on this theme.

These events are an opportunity for family members and carers to find out about how SLaM operates, what they can expect for themselves and their loved ones and how they can access these services. There are ‘surgeries’ for carers to meet professionals, get information about benefits, support services, medication, care and treatment and raise any concerns or complaints they have regarding the people they care for.

The first event will be on Thursday 2 May in Lambeth and the theme will be Welfare Benefits and Support Services. Please see poster attached for more information.

Please help us to advertise this event by passing this on to Carers & Family members and also Service Users so they can pass it to their carers. Please note this event is for Carers and Family members only but we are always looking for staff to be involved in delivering the event.

For more information, to book a place or to find out how you can be involved in helping to deliver the event please contact     Tel: 020 3228 3722

Booking Form May 2013

SLAM153 – Empowering Family-Carers May 2013

Healing Waters Got Talent Fundraising Showcase

Hi all, please see attached. Please read and circulate and if anyone wants to be nominated to become a contestant, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kindest regards

Marjorie Francis


Final Contestantsrevisedmarch2013

hw finalflyer2013

Service user and carer advisory group – March Update (Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group)

Hello everyone,

The Psychological Medicine Clinical Academic Group (CAG) runs services across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The services include emergency access services (such as home treatment services, a&e psychiatric liaison), complex care services (such as eating disorders, chronic fatigue, mother & baby services) and neurosciences services (such as brain injury). Advisory group members have experience of services either as service users or family members/carers. We work with the senior managers to keep the views of service users & carers at the heart of all service developments and improvements. To make sure that people know what we are discussing in our meetings, we have developed this short briefing sheet (attached).   Please feel free to circulate it to people who may have an interest.  We also welcome feedback and comments.

(After circulating the last briefing, we had some feedback about how police work with people with mental health problems –and I will be asking our service director who chairs the police liaison committee what is the best way of raising concerns.)

1) Six service user/carer consultants were present at the March meeting. Also present were the Patient & Public Involvement Lead, 1 ward manager, 1 clinical charge nurse, and the engagement officer from the Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group. Apologies were received from 3 service user consultants and 4 staff members.

2.) We focussed discussions on the Triage wards where people have a short (up to 7 days) stay for an intensive assessment. 50% of people are discharged home with support from the home treatment service or community mental health teams, and other people are transferred to another ward if they need a longer stay.

3). A member of the group was interested in data around readmissions to triage wards. We heard that this data is collected and service managers and commissioners were very interested in readmissions and how to prevent them.

4). We heard about systems for gaining patient feedback – via Linkworkers (people with experience of using mental health services who attend the ward for a couple of hours a week), via patient satisfaction questionnaires and via advocacy services. We noted that there was no longer a regular linkworker on the Lewisham Triage ward and suggested that this needed to be addressed.

5) We were pleased to hear about work on Croydon Triage ward to increase the number of patients being given a copy of their treatment plan. This work stemmed from feedback from the patient satisfaction survey.

6). The 2 members of the group who will be attending the May governance meeting to discuss patient experience on the ward will be attending the 3 triage wards during April to talk to service users and staff. They will also look at feedback from the patient satisfaction questionnaires.

7). Our carers representative told us about a report called “More than 1 person on the Journey” which outlines the needs of carers of people with learning disabilities.

8). We heard about the plans to develop a network of carers representatives. Our carers representatives have met with the Trustwide patient and public involvement team and the plans are being discussed at the Trustwide Family and Carers Strategy Meeting.

9) 3 group members attended the Lambeth Mental Health Event on March 8th. They fed back that whilst it felt ‘difficult to be heard’ at times, it provided a good opportunity for networking.

10). A group member, who had attended the Lewisham Joint Consultation Partnership Board, noted the need to increase service user involvement from Lewisham residents, both within Lewisham and at Trust level. We heard about a new voluntary sector service in Lewisham which will provide support and signposting to prepare people for discharge to primary care.

pdf here: briefing – March 2013 – doc

Best wishes,


Alice Glover
Patient & Public Involvement Lead
Mood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email: tel: 020 3228 0959
113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

Vulnerable Work Programme customers need greater protection, finds new report

Submitted by Nisha Alberti on Mon, 25/03/2013 – 2:08pm

Findings from a new report have suggested that many unemployed Londoners on the Work Programme are not getting the support they need. London Voluntary Service Council’s (LVSC) report, ‘Fair Chance to Work 2’ has revealed that some harder to help customers in the capital are being given minimal support or pressured into ‘non jobs’.

The report has said that most charities subcontracted to provide specialist support for disadvantaged jobseekers have had few or no customer referrals. Meanwhile, the report also found that other charities without contracts have been supporting Work Programme customers on an unpaid basis, in response to the growing needs of those who have been overlooked.

The case studies featured in the report showed customers with high needs receiving inadequate support from Work Programme providers:

  • One example was of a disability charity in South London, which has seen its customers with learning disabilities assigned to Work Programme advisers with no specialist expertise, and exposed to ridicule from other jobseekers at a generic job search session.
  • Another organisation describes a migrant customer who was pressured by her caseworker to become self-employed and sign off, but received no business support. The customer is now living most weeks only on the income she gets from child benefit and tax credits.
  • Finally, a homeless customer was sent to work in a hotel chain. Despite assurances from her Work Programme advisor that she would be paid minimum wage, she received £1.40 per room cleaned. As a result of this she went into rent arrears and received notice at her hostel, which was only retracted after intervention by charity Cardinal Hume Centre (who are not a Work Programme subcontractor).

The report has identified the pricing mechanism, which allocates support based on the benefits a customer claims, rather than the particular barriers they face, as one of the core problems with the Work Programme. The report has said that this means many customers with serious barriers are not getting adequate support.

These concerns are echoed in the Department for Work and Pension’s own evaluation report, the LVSC has said, which concludes that ‘the differential pricing model [is] not sufficiently encouraging providers to support the most disadvantaged customers.’

LVSC’s report also finds examples of good practice within the Work Programme and urges such practice to be highlighted and spread more widely.

The report recommends various measures to empower Work Programme customers:

  • DWP and providers should publicise in plain English minimum service standards;
  • providers should commit to transparent customer satisfaction reporting;
  • customers should be able to challenge which payment group they have been assigned to;
  • and voluntary customers should have the right to choose which provider supports them.

Download the report on the LVSC website.

#RT via

Recovery College Co-Production Workshop – Service User Involvement

Dear All

The development of SLaM’s proposed Recovery College is, I’m happy to report, proceeding apace. The next stage in the development is to recruit potential facilitators (both staff and service users) to develop and run courses in a pilot scheme. I’m hoping that all of you working in involvement are able to ‘spread the word’.

As you may be aware, one of the primary purposes in the development of a Recovery College is to break down the destructive barriers between ‘them’ and ‘us’ that perpetuate stigma and exclusion – hence all of our courses will be co-developed and co-delivered by people with lived experience of mental illness together with mental health practitioners. The courses will cover these key areas:

  • Understanding mental health difficulties and treatment
  • Rebuilding your life
  • Developing knowledge and skills
  • Getting involved

Next month, we will be hosting a Co-Production Workshop, facilitated by our colleagues from the CNWL Recovery College. The purpose of this workshop is to explore in detail what is involved in co-production (we will then host a two-day train the trainers course sometime in May).

We are therefore looking for service users who think they may be interested in developing and delivering a course to come along to the workshop (although places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come’ basis). We are running the workshop twice:

  • Wed 24 April 10am-1pm
  • Mon 29 April 2pm-5pm

Both workshops will be held at Cambridge House, Addington Square, SE5. The audience will be a mix of staff and service users.

If you know of anyone who might be interested and who would like to come to one of these workshops please can they reply ASAP to – stating which date/s they would like/are able attend.


Tony Holmes

Social Inclusion and Recovery Volunteer

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Maudsley Charity

Corporate OT | 1st Floor Admin | MaudsleyHospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ

Telephone: 020 3228 2175

MIND Peer Support in Lewisham Project

Volunteers with lived experience of mental health problems needed.

Are you looking for a role that values your experience of mental health problems and the skills to manage them?

Would you like to run support groups to help others with mental health problems?

Do you want to develop skills, work experience and be a part of a team?

Flyer here: PSV Recruit Poster1

Application document and more information here: MIND Peer Support in Lewisham Volunteer Application Pack

Love letters and kindness may improve mental health

By Lorna StewartHealth Check, BBC World Service

“You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel… you and all the parts of you.”

It’s not the kind of thing you normally write to a complete stranger.

But after graduating from college and moving to New York City, Hannah Brencher was feeling anxious and depressed. She found herself not wanting to be around other people and “just really unravelling”.

Then she started writing love letters to strangers and leaving them all over the city. The first letter she left on a train simply addressed: “If you find this letter then it’s for you.”

Since then she has left letters in libraries and cafes, and even hidden them around the United Nations building.

You and I don’t know one another. We may never sit and laugh over cups of coffee. We may never dance in the same circles or yawn together by the midnight hour. None of that really matters to me. It is so small and meaningless to the things I wish you would know on a daily basis: that you are lovely. That you are worthy. That those hands of yours were made for mighty, mighty things.

You probably think I am crazy. You are probably sitting here with this letter in your hands thinking, you cannot know that… you don’t know me… you don’t know a stitch of me. Yes, you’re right. But I know all the things I thought I never deserved. I know how very hard it once was to love myself and value myself and even find myself worth the reflection in the mirror. And so I know I am not alone in needing a boost some days, in needing to know that I matter to someone somewhere.

You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel… you and all the parts of you.


A girl just trying to find her way

“What I noticed was that my sadness and loneliness got backburnered,” she told the BBC. “I found something that allowed me to take the focus off of myself.”

Hannah and her More Love Letters campaign are part of a growing number of organisations shouting about the beneficial effects of random acts of kindness for givers as well as receivers.

It might sound a bit like new-age nonsense to some people, but new research suggests being kind might actually be good for your mental health.

A study published in the journal Emotion reports that performing acts of kindness may help people with social anxiety to feel more positive.

Dr Lynn Alden and Dr Jennifer Trew, from the University of British Columbia, asked volunteers with high levels of social anxiety to commit multiple acts of kindness on two days a week over a four-week period.

“Sometimes people would give a small gift to somebody, or picking somebody up from work, visiting sick people, thanking a bus driver. They were actually fairly small acts,” explained Dr Alden.

They were small acts perhaps, but ones which had a much bigger impact.

Challenging beliefs

More standard treatment for social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) adapted specifically for people who fear they will do or say something embarrassing in a social situation.

In Dr Alden’s experiment a comparison group of anxious volunteers were asked to perform small “belief-challenging” tasks similar to these therapeutic ones.

Just like the kind acts group, this group were also increasing their levels of social contact, engaging in unfamiliar behaviour, and paying attention to others’ responses; all things which have been suggested to be important components in overcoming social anxiety.

At the end of the four weeks, participants in the kind acts group avoided social situations less and also reported increased relationship satisfaction. Performing kind acts appeared to have a bigger effect than CBT-like behaviour tasks.

A London-based initiative called the Kindness Offensive have been organising give-away events and encouraging kind acts since 2008.

They hold the world record for the largest ever random act of kindness for distributing 39 tonnes of goods in one day.

“It’s practically impossible to do an act of kindness without feeling good about yourself,” said the aptly named David Goodfellow, one of the founding members of the group.

“If you can make someone’s day a little bit better it will actually make your day a little bit better.”

Dr Nick Grey, consultant clinical psychologist and clinic director at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma in London, was initially wary of the idea that performing kind acts might have therapeutic value for patients with anxiety disorders.

“I hadn’t seen the paper and I was sceptical from the title to be honest. But it’s a good paper and comes from a well-respected team.

“I don’t think that’s ever going to be a therapy in and of itself, but it could well be the kind of activity that could be integrated as part of a broader treatment.”

Dr Alden suggests that acts of kindness might be an initial step in a longer therapeutic pathway.

“Engaging in kind acts may help the person to get out and encounter other people and then we can use other techniques to help the person change their beliefs about themselves.”

But she urges caution about performing acts of kindness chosen by someone else or just to impress others.

“I think it has be done in such a way that the individual has a sense of autonomy. They are performing the act because they want to and not because it’s required by the group.”

#RT via Bridget via

Resources for visitors to and people in Lewisham

Dear All,

Please find attached 2 excellent docs with useful information on them re advice, benefits, looking for work, local support etc. for people in Lewisham

Thanks to the Social Inclusion & Recovery Service for this.


Cath Collins

EU_Help_Kit-web updated

1 1 13 useful information sheet

How to Train Your Brain to Alleviate Anxiety

Our thoughts affect our brains. More specifically, “… what you pay attention to, what you think and feel and want, and how you work with your reactions to things sculpt your brain in multiple ways,” according to neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D, in his newest book Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. In other words, how you use your mind can change your brain.

According to Canadian scientist Donald Hebb, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” If your thoughts focus on worrying and self-criticism, you’ll develop neural structures of anxiety and a negative sense of self, says Hanson.

For instance, individuals who are constantly stressed (such as acute or traumatic stress) release cortisol, which in another article Hanson says eats away at the memory-focused hippocampus. People with a history of stress have lost up to 25 percent of the volume of their hippocampus and have more difficulty forming new memories.

The opposite also is true. Engaging in relaxing activities regularly can wire your brain for calm. Research has shown that people who routinely relax have “improved expression of genes that calm down stress reactions, making them more resilient,” Hanson writes.

Also, over time, people who engage in mindfulness meditation develop thicker layers of neurons in the attention-focused parts of the prefrontal cortex and in the insula, an area that’s triggered when we tune into our feelings and bodies.

Other research has shown that being mindful boosts activation of the left prefrontal cortex, which suppresses negative emotions, and minimizes the activation of the amygdala, which Hanson refers to as the “alarm bell of the brain.”

Hanson’s book gives readers a variety of exercises to cultivate calm and self-confidence and to enjoy life. Here are three anxiety-alleviating practices to try.

1. “Notice you’re all right right now.” For many of us sitting still is a joke — as in, it’s impossible. According to Hanson, “To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer world for signs of trouble.”

Being on high alert is adaptive. It’s meant to protect us. But this isn’t so helpful when we’re trying to soothe our stress and keep calm. Some of us — me included — even worry that if we relax for a few minutes, something bad will happen. (Of course, this isn’t true.)

Hanson encourages readers to focus on the present and to realize that right now in this moment, you’re probably OK. He says that focusing on the future forces us to worry and focusing on the past leads to regret. Whatever activity you’re engaged in, whether it’s driving, cooking dinner or replying to email, Hanson suggests saying, “I’m all right right now.”

Of course, there will be moments when you won’t be all right. In these times, Hanson suggests that after you ride out the storm, “… as soon as possible, notice that the core of your being is okay, like the quiet place fifty feet underwater, beneath a hurricane howling above the sea.”

2. “Feel safer.” “Evolution has given us an anxious brain,” Hanson writes. So, whether there’s a tiger in the bushes doesn’t matter, because staying away in both cases keeps us alive. But, again, this also keeps us hyper-focused on avoiding danger day to day. And depending on our temperaments and life experiences, we might be even more anxious.

Most people overestimate threats. This leads to excessive worrying, anxiety, stress-related aliments, less patience and generosity with others and a shorter fuse, according to Hanson.

Are you more guarded or anxious than you need to be? If so, Hanson suggests the following for feeling safer:

  • Think of how it feels to be with a person who cares about you and connect to those feelings and sensations.
  • Remember a time when you felt strong.
  • List some of the resources at your disposal to cope with life’s curveballs.
  • Take several long, deep breaths.
  • Become more in tune with what it feels like to feel safer. “Let those good feelings sink in, so you can remember them in your body and find your way back to them in the future.”

3. “Let go.” Letting go is hard. Even though clinging to clutter, regrets, resentment, unrealistic expectations or unfulfilling relationships is painful, we might be afraid that letting go makes us weak, shows we don’t care or lets someone off the hook. What holds you back in letting go?

Letting go is liberating. Hanson says that letting go might mean releasing pain or damaging thoughts or deeds or yielding instead of breaking. He offers a great analogy:

“When you let go, you’re like a supple and resilient willow tree that bends before the storm, still here in the morning — rather than a stiff oak that ends up broken and toppled over.”

Here are some of Hanson’s suggestions for letting go:

  • Be aware of how you let go naturally every day, whether it’s sending an email, taking out the trash, going from one thought or feeling to another or saying goodbye to a friend.
  • Let go of tension in your body. Take long and slow exhalations, and relax your shoulders, jaw and eyes.
  • Let go of things you don’t need or use.
  • Resolve to let go of a certain grudge or resentment. “This does not necessarily mean letting other people off the moral hook, just that you are letting yourself off the hotplate of staying upset about whatever happened,” Hanson writes. If you still feel hurt, he suggests recognizing your feelings, being kind to yourself and gently releasing them.
  • Let go of painful emotions. Hanson recommends several books on this topic: Focusing by Eugene Gendlin and What We May Beby Piero Ferrucci. In his book, Hanson summarizes his favorite methods: “relax your body;” “imagine that the feelings are flowing out of you like water’” express your feelings in a letter that you won’t send or vent aloud; talk to a good friend; and be open to positive feelings and let them replace the negative ones.

#RT via Bridget via