An update from the Independent Mental Health Network


This post addresses the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic and the arrangements we are putting in place at the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN).

We know that many of you will be experiencing the impact of Coronavirus and are worried about what it could mean over the coming weeks.


What We Are Doing

As a mental health community, it is vital that we support each other in the most appropriate way we can. Behind the scenes, we are working to contact every mental health service in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area to get updates on how their services are impacted. If you have specific queries you would like the network to raise on your behalf, please get in touch with us by emailing engagement[@] (removing the square brackets from the email address).

We are also following the latest guidance from the NHS about Coronavirus. You can find more information about this by clicking here.

As the NHS is focusing its resources responding to the pandemic, this does mean many of the projects we are a part of are temporarily on hold. We will be in touch with those of you that this directly affects. However, if you are unsure about whether a meeting that you attend on behalf of the network is going ahead, please get in touch with the team by email.

We are committed to safeguarding and supporting the wellbeing of all. In line with this, all in person monthly member’s meetings across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are suspended until at least the end of April 2020, when the situation will be reviewed. Other in-person meetings organised by the network are also suspended until the end of April 2020.

We are currently exploring opportunities to move some key meetings online, and we will be in touch with our members, stakeholders, and contacts about this by next week with an update.

Our safety policy for staff, representatives and volunteers has also been agreed by the Board of Trustees. It has been included at the bottom of this post.



Hearing From You

We also want to hear from you about how the Coronavirus is impacting you and your ability to access mental health support, so we can raise the issues directly with commissioners and service providers. If you have anything you would like to share, please get in touch with the IMHN team by emailing engagement[@] (removing the square brackets from the email address).

If you have any queries or concerns about this message, please do get in touch with us.

Finally, I would like to say I hope you are managing to stay safe and well during these unprecedented times.



On behalf of the organisation and Board of Trustees,

Tom Renhard

CEO, Independent Mental Health Network


Claire, Justine, Kata, Kaz, and Nick

Board of Trustee Members, Independent Mental Health Network


IMHN Coronavirus Safety Policy for Staff, Reps, and Volunteers

 In the light of the current coronavirus pandemic IMHN will follow all relevant UK government guidelines and prioritise safety of staff, reps, and volunteers

  • Staff, reps and volunteers should work from home and not attend the office
  • All IMHN activities will be online only and there will be no face to face meetings – this applies to meetings of IMHN team members and meetings with others
  • Board of Trustees meetings will be held online
  • There will be no travel or attendance at events
  • The new IMHN office will be shut until further notice
  • Staff, reps and volunteers should review consequences of these restrictions on their work and discuss changes with their line manager

Any exceptions to the above must be agreed with line manager in advance and would only be granted in exceptional circumstances (for representatives – please liaise with your usual contact – this will be either Tom or Ali).

This policy will apply until further notice. The CEO and board of trustees will review government advice and will notify when these restrictions will be lifted.

March 19, 2020 at 7:02 pm