IMHN members encourage people to respond to the Mental Health Act consultation

Members of the Independent Mental Health Network have produced videos encouraging members of the public to respond to the consultation about the proposed Mental Health Act reforms.

In January, the government published a white paper setting out how the Mental Health Act might change. The consultation on these changes is open until Wednesday 21 April at 11:59pm. Members of  IMHN are working on a joint response about the topics that matter most to them.

Francesco and Kaz, members of IMHN, produced two videos talking about why it’s important that people respond to the consultation. These videos have been published by the Department of Health & Social Care on social media. Thank you to Francesco and Kaz!

You can read about the proposed reforms to the Mental Health Act, and respond to the consultation, by clicking here:

April 19, 2021 at 12:07 pm

The Community Mental Health Framework is a national framework, launched by NHS England in 2019. This framework sets out what effective and joined-up community mental health support will look like across the country.

Late last year, the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) began running a series of engagement events, hearing from people with lived experience of mental health about how the framework should be implemented in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas. This was part of a wider ‘discovery’ phase, led by the local Clinical Commissioning Group, which heard from all parts of the mental health system.

IMHN’s engagement took the form of multiple focus groups looking at particular mental health pathways, followed by a closing Mental Health Conversations event where the findings were presented and discussed. This closing event took place in January 2021.

Please click here to download the executive report of the engagement. This document summarises the findings of the focus groups, organised by pathway.

Please click here to download the report from the closing Mental Health Conversations event.

You may also download the full combined report, that includes notes from each focus group. Click here to do so.

March 31, 2021 at 7:23 am

There are three branches of the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) in the South West. These are the BIMHN in Bristol; Clarity-NSIMHN in North Somerset; and South Gloucestershire IMHN.

Branches and members of branches support local projects improving mental healthcare and support in their respective areas, as well as working together on projects that take place across the combined BNSSG (Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire) area. This post contains some more information about some opportunities that we are looking for people to put themselves forward for.

If you would like to apply for any of the roles listed below, click here to complete the application form. When completing the form, please select the role you are interested in on the third question. If, for any reason, you are unable to complete the online application form, please get in touch by emailing engagement[at]

1. Represent BIMHN on the Bristol Women’s Commission Health Task Group

The Bristol Women’s Commission Health Task Group meets quarterly, and meetings currently focus on the impact of COVID-19 on women’s health.

BIMHN has a place reserved at these meetings for one of our members to attend and represent the network. If you identify as a woman, live in Bristol, and are a member of BIMHN; we would like to invite you to put yourself forward as our rep for this meeting.

Meetings of the Task Group will last for two hours. If you have any other questions, please get in touch by sending an email to the email address above.

2. Join the BNSSG COVID-19 Lived Experience Steering Group

IMHN’s branches in the South West are continuing to support the work of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Mental Health and Wellbeing Cell. The Cell is part of a wider structure in the South West that is co-ordinating the health and care system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the group formed, it has helped shape the branding of the new 24/7 mental health telephone support line; and is currently reviewing and inputting into proposals about how the local mental health system will respond to the anticipated surge in the number of people experiencing mental health problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you live in either the Bristol, North Somerset, or South Gloucestershire areas; and have lived experience of mental health, we are inviting you to apply to join the steering group. Click here for more information and details of how to apply.

3. Apply to be a lived experience representative trauma-informed practice subgroup

As mentioned above, IMHN are supporting the work of the BNSSG Mental Health and Wellbeing Cell. This includes supporting lived experience representatives to attend subgroups of the Cell; subgroups are dedicated to a particular aspect of the mental health system.

We are seeking an additional representative to attend fortnightly meetings of the trauma-informed practice subgroup. This group focuses on developing services that will take a trauma-informed approach in how they work with people accessing these services. The group will also be about building the case for culture change, and the development of a knowledge and skills framework for trauma-informed practice going forward.

August 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

Announcing IMHN as the Independent Facilitator of Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement across Greater Manchester

The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) has been announced as the new Independent Facilitator for the Greater Manchester Adult Mental Health Service User Network.

IMHN will be working closely with people with lived experience of mental health problems and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to develop a strong network that will influence the design and shape of mental health support across the region.

IMHN CEO, Tom Renhard, said:

“We are delighted to be working with people and communities across Greater Manchester to support the development of a strong voice for those with lived experience of mental health problems, shaping future mental health support for years to come.

We are already working with members of the adult mental health service user network and the wider partnership to build strong relationships and explore the key priorities for the region. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to bring people together ensure mental health support is the best it can be; with the voices of people with lived experience being instrumental in getting this right.

The first steps are continuing to speak to people and communities across the region about experiences of existing mental health support, and how they would like to participate in shaping the network. We are keen to hear from the fantastic range of people, organisations and communities across Greater Manchester; so do get in touch.

Listed below are a number of ways to initially get involved. Additionally, members of the IMHN team are happy to join virtual meetings, taking place during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to introduce themselves and discuss topics of interest.


Ways to get involved:



Notes to editors:

What is the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)?

IMHN is a member-led organisation that works both for, and in the interests of, people with lived experience of mental health. Via our branches, we support work improving local mental health services; contribute and campaign on mental health matters happening both locally and nationally; and actively challenge mental health stigma by working with partner organisations.


What has IMHN already achieved?

Via its branches in Bristol and North Somerset and with the support of our membership base, IMHN’s work has resulted in the organisation acquiring a reputation as a staunch advocate for effective and worthwhile change.

This is a result of work including but not limited to: co-designing the new IAPT service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire; ensuring effective lived experience involvement in the introduction of brand new mental health crisis and recovery centres; and contributing to national campaigns, for example by leading the Bristol Time to Change Hub partnership, and delivering Peerfest 2017.


Where can I get more information?

IMHN’s website can provide more information about our ongoing projects, past achievements, and current operations.

Visit for more information. The top menu can direct you to dedicated webpages covering latest news, our branches and membership, and the work we are doing dealing with the consequences of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

For specific questions, clarifications, and further information, please contact .

May 15, 2020 at 9:35 am