Bullying from SLaM to shut the blog rather than make it inactive

Dear all,

Earlier today we notified SLaM that our last post would be on 8th September, after which the blog would be dormant until or unless we secured future funding.

SLaM responded by telling us that we had to change the blog domain address (which they knew was impossible), or to shut down the site. Leaving it dormant was not an option.

After we challenged the legality of their edict, they backtracked.

Here’s today’s emails: Corres with SLaM Comms 14th August

It’s so sad that they are trying to make us disappear, so that the blog can’t even be a historical resource.

If you’re cross or sad about this, please email the Head of Comms: Sarah.Crack@slam.nhs.uk and / or the Chief Exec: matthew.patrick@slam.nhs.uk, copied to me at d.rosieruk@gmail.com .

Best wishes,


Blog Administrator

Funding will cease for our social media in less than 3 months!

On 3rd July our current SLaM funder announced that they will cease to fund our media platforms at the end of September.

This news saddens us, because we all know that without the blog, Facebook and Twitter there would be limited space for those who use the mental health services to get their views heard, and hear other people’s stories.

Without our social media it would be difficult to support voluntary communities’ campaigns and let people know what these communities are doing.

Although some of will always strive to do social media in one form or another, we would prefer the involvement accounts to continue in their current shape rather than them disappearing.

If our social media is no longer funded, most of this work will be under threat or stop altogether on 30th September.

We all believe that it is really important to have service user and carer independent media. There are many benefits to SLaM: it is good PR for them to facilitate our platforms; staff can use it to signpost their clients to community resources and opportunities etc.

D manages the blog, which has nearly 300 subscribers, and on top of that the blog gets about 100 hits a day (i.e. from non-subscribers).

Bridget and Matthew co-run Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Soundcloud (for audio blogs). They try to post items that are not only about involvement work with SLaM but also things that they feel will be of interest to the service users and carers who follow us – such as local community events, support groups, news items etc.

They also try to engage with service users and carers who follow us to foster a community spirit.  SLaM staff are encouraged to signpost service users and carers to our social media sites for extra support and a wealth of information. This is becoming more and more important as there are unfortunately significant cuts happening in the NHS both with physical and mental care.

Within Matthew’s social media role on the South London Involvement Forum, he works hard helping to run its Facebook, twitter and YouTube account.  He also physically goes out to attend and support mental health communities in South London.

Our Facebook page currently has over 100 ‘Likes’ and we have over 800 followers on Twitter.  Matthew does excellent video blogs that we post on YouTube.  His blog for “Depression Awareness Day” was picked up by a major website, Psych Central, in USA and placed on their website.

We only have a short time to persuade SLaM to change its mind, or to come up with an alternative funding solution. Can you help us with any of these things? Do you have money or access to funds that could contribute to this?

If you value the blog, our Facebook page and / or our tweets, you can help now by writing to SLaM to tell them how it is of use to you and asking them to reconsider their decision to withdraw our funding (about £500 per month).

Please write to our current funder, Zoe at Zoe.Reed@slam.nhs.uk and SLaM Head of Communications, Sarah at Sarah.Crack@slam.nhs.uk. You may wish to copy it to the Chief Executive, Matthew Patrick at Matthew.Patrick@slam.nhs.uk.

Please send us a copy at d.rosieruk@gmail.com. We suggest you don’t use our SLaM address as the Trust can of course shut down our access to this at any moment.

Please share this widely.

We will also be posting on Facebook and twitter, and we would be grateful if you could share these also.

Best wishes,

Abi, Bridget, D and Matthew

Your SLIF Communications team


Matthew’s YouTube blog on the “Time to Talk” campaign from Time to Change. This is to show slamtwigops supports Time-to-Change campaign, which occurs on the 6th of Feb.


HearUs “Reach out challenge” also have their time to talk video as well. 


Via Matthew

Blog stats May 2013

blog hits and posts January 2012 to May 2013

blog hits and posts all time

Please remember that for most posts our subscribers don’t need to open a post to read it as it comes into their email, so this doesn’t include this traffic, which also increases each month.

Help to upload audio files

Dear all,

We now have the ability to upload audio files to the blog, thanks to Steve R.

Our first is here: https://slamtwigops.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/carer-with-a-daughter-with-an-eating-disorder-presentation-at-family-and-carers-event/

Thanks to Bridget and Matthew for this recording.

We are now looking for volunteers to read out some of our posts, and for volunteers with the technology to record these into audio files, in order for us to upload them to the blog.

Please email twigops@slam.nhs.uk  if you might be able to help to either read or record files for us, and we’ll do our best to match up readers and recorders.

Many thanks if you can help 🙂

With best wishes,


Blog administrator


Hi D


This is from a blog by Emma.  She suffers from anorexia and also works in a mental health team.  She says ” I’m comfortable talking about mental health: the strength it takes to recover, the resourcefulness and courage which many of my clients have in abundance, the stigma, the hope.”

Emma challenges family, friends and the public when she hears ignorant and judgemental comments.  Despite this she finds it difficult to admit that she has anorexia, a mental illness, for fear of being judged.  She feels that speaking honestly and openly about her own issues and experiences is a real challenge – but one that she is trying to rise to.

I thought the article might be of interest to people who find it hard to be open about their mental illness – basically if someone working in the field finds it hard then it is no wonder that it is so difficult.

Best wishes


World’s maddest job interview: Channel 4 on demand



I wondered if the above would be of interest for the blog.

I watched the first programme last night – it is still available on Channel 4 on Demand.

It was really interesting – by the end the interviewers said that before this if they had seen “sectioned” or “mental health issue” on anyone’s CV they would not have considered employing them – they now would.

Best wishes


New address for posts for the blog

Oo er… we’ve gone all official!

Our new address to send posts for the blog is twigops@slam.nhs.uk.

This is repeated on the Want to Post? page of the blog.


Blog has been viewed in 30 countries!

Hello friends,

We thought you might be interested to know that this blog has been viewed in 30 countries. Second to the UK is the US. Full details are here: Stats for April 5 countries. We are chuffed!

Please do encourage your fellow staff and service users to visit our blog, subscribe, submit postings, and comment on things of interest . As you can see, we publish on a wide variety of things, and we welcome any ideas on how to improve this resource. We’ve recently added a “best practice” section, and “news”. We’re also trying to keep on top of archiving, so that you always see the most up to date postings when you visit.

Are there other things you would like to see here?

If you can help us spread the word about the blog, we can send you postcards to distribute: please contact us if you could give some out. We also have some posters.

In the meantime, many thanks to all our subscribers and posters!

Dan & D: The blog team 🙂

Partnership in Social Care at a Time of Cuts

Unity at such times equates to strength.

Creative Approaches and Practical Solutions

View the flyer for this event CLICK HERE:Parntership Conference at LSBU

When?: Wednesday 21st March 2012
What time?: 10am – 4pm
Where?: London South Bank University
(The Keyworth Centre)
Borough Road

The conference is free to attend for all those working in or involved in social care: service users, students and professionals.

The day will start with a panel discussion and Q & A session. Speakers will include:
– Professor Peter Beresford – of Brunel University and Service User organisation Shaping Our Lives
– Kaliya Franklin & Sue Marsh – Disability & Benefits Activists & Bloggers
– Peter MacDermott – Non-executive Director of the National Treatment Agency
– Councillor Lorna Reith, Haringey Council, Cabinet Member for Children

There will then be two workshop slots with several workshops running in each slot, focusing on different service user groups and areas of interest, including: mental health advocacy, non-verbal partnerships & partnership with parents and carers

Key themes of the day are:

– To showcase and promote partnership working
– To examine the impact of financial cuts to partnership working and how this has affected service users, carers and social care practitioners
– To look at good practice and creative examples of how to work in partnership during a period of cuts
– To share the outcomes of the conference/report widely to promote and widen knowledge of partnership working

For more information on the conference, or to attend, please take a look at the above flyer or send an email to:

Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might be interested. Strength marches in numbers.