Opportunity: developing a 24/7 mental health helpline for BNSSG

The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) is supporting the development of a new 24/7 mental health helpline due to start operating soon in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) area.

We are looking for up to fifteen people from across the BNSSG area, with experience of accessing mental health services, to participate in a focus group to inform the development of the helpline.

This session will take place on Monday 1st June between 14:30 – 16:00. The session will be hosted online via Zoom. As a thank you for participating, an involvement payment of £20 is being offered for taking part. This will be paid by bank transfer after the focus group has taken place.

Please click here to register for the focus group. To note, you must register via this link if you would like to attend. Registration will close once fifteen people sign up.

For more information, please email engagement[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address). Click here for more information about using Zoom.


Further information about the helpline

Vita Health Group (who currently provide local IAPT services) and the local mental health trust (Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust) will be jointly running a new 24/7 mental health helpline.

This line is expected to perform three key functions:

  1. Provide a first response for urgent mental health need and self-defined crisis;
  2. Provide a level of triage in order people receive the support they need;
  3. Signpost people to appropriate community and statutory services.

It is hoped that the helpline will reduce pressure on accident and emergency departments, and will be linked to Children and Young People services, to create a seamless point of access and information. It is proposed that callers will receive therapeutic support, with signposting to community or statutory services where appropriate.

If you would like to know more about the focus group or get involved with this project, then please email: engagement[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address).

May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am

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:

[ENDS]

 

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 www.imhn.org 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 press@imhn.org.

May 15, 2020 at 9:35 am

Are you someone with a passion for improving mental health services and empowering those with lived experience of mental health?

Do you support the principles of lived experience leadership and have a willingness to ensure this remains embedded in health and social care services?

If so – the Independent Mental Health Network wants to hear from you!

We are currently recruiting:

  • Project Coordinator (Representation and Engagement) – fixed term, to 28 February 2021
  • Project Coordinator (Communications and Engagement) – fixed term, to 28 February 2021
  • Trustees – voluntary position for a three-year term

More information about each opportunity is below and if you have any queries please get in touch with us using the contact details provided.


Project Coordinator (Representation and Engagement)

 

Information about the post

Salary:  £19,500 (pro-rata) – equivalent to £10 per hour.
Hours:  Part-time – 30 hours per week (fixed term to 28 February 2021)
Location: Greater Manchester

The post-holder will be expected to provide all aspects of project coordination to the organisation’s representation and engagement functions in Greater Manchester. This will involve working closely with different stakeholders, including: IMHN Board of Trustees, IMHN members, funders, providers of mental health services, etc. This will also include providing support for representatives with lived experience of mental health problems attending meetings and engaging in shaping mental health support on behalf of the organisation.

The post will be based in Greater Manchester, with the opportunity for flexible and occasional home working. This will include travel to meetings across Greater Manchester. The role may also include occasional evening and weekend working hours.

Note: if the government restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are in place at the time of employment, the role will initially be home based

Full information about the post can be found by clicking the job description and person specification link.

Job description and person specification
IMHN Application Form – Project Coordinator
IMHN_Equal_Opportunities_Monitoring_Form

 

How to apply

To apply for this post, please send in your completed application form, CV and monitoring form to recruitment[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address – this is an anti-spam measure), by no later than 12 noon, Monday 18 May 2020.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 28 May or Friday 29 May 2020.


Project Coordinator (Communications and Engagement)

 

Information about the post

Salary:  £19,500 (pro-rata) – equivalent to £10 per hour.
Hours:  Part-time – 30 hours per week (fixed term to 28 February, 2021)
Location: Greater Manchester

The post-holder will be expected to provide all aspects of project coordination to the organisation’s communications and engagement functions in Greater Manchester. This will involve working closely with different stakeholders, including: IMHN Board of Trustees, IMHN members, funders, providers of mental health services, etc. This will also include providing communications support for the organisation.

The post will be based in Greater Manchester, with the opportunity for flexible and occasional home working. This will include travel to meetings across Greater Manchester. The role may also include occasional evening and weekend working hours.

Note: if the government restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are in place at the time of employment, the role will initially be home based

Full information about the post can be found by clicking the job description and person specification link.

Job description and person specification
IMHN Application Form – Project Coordinator
IMHN_Equal_Opportunities_Monitoring_Form

How to apply

To apply for this post, please send in your completed application form, CV and monitoring form to recruitment[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address – this is an anti-spam measure), by no later than 12 noon, Monday 18 May 2020.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 28 May or Friday 29 May 2020.


Volunteer opportunity – Trustee

Trustee Opportunity Information

It is expected you will be able to commit about a day a month to assist in influencing the development of a young, dynamic and growing organisation.

We recommend you take a look at the documents linked below. They will help you write your application, and assist with understanding the way that the charity operates

Trustee Application Pack 

IMHN Constitution (last amended January 2017)

IMHN Constitution – Bye Laws (last amended January 2017)

How to apply

To apply to be a Trustee, please send in your CV and covering letter to trustees[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address – this is an anti-spam measure), by no later than 12 noon, Monday 18 May 2020.

Interviews will take place week commencing Monday 1st June 2020. Please ensure you tell us about any dates that you cannot attend during that week when submitting your application.

For an informal conversation about the role or organisation, please email Tom Renhard at trustees[@]imhn.org (make sure to remove the square brackets from the email address – this is an anti-spam measure).

We would especially welcome applications from those with qualifications or extensive experience in any of the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Fundraising and bid writing
  • Law and advocacy
  • Marketing / Public relations

We would especially welcome applications from individuals who identify as:

  • LGBTQIA+
  • BAME

Further information about our organisation

IMHN exists to represent those with lived experience of mental health, uniting voices for positive change in how mental health services are delivered.

We’re governed by a board of up to twelve Trustees, who work alongside our branches and volunteers to develop a thriving and active organisation improving mental health services and empowering those with lived experience to have their voice heard.

The charity is young and working to develop its first strategic plan that will embed our core objectives into everything that we do. The charity has also launched in Greater Manchester. We will be playing a leading role in developing a network for people with lived experience of mental health that will influence the development of mental health support across the area.

It’s an exciting time for us having undertaken many successful projects including:

  • Hosting Peerfest 2017 in Bristol with local partners after competing in a national tendering exercise.
  • Taking part in several ward visits and service redesign exercises including Bristol’s mental health crisis houses.
  • Delivering a workshop focusing on a new ‘crisis café’ that will be coming to Weston-Super-Mare later in 2019.
  • Leading on the local Time to Change Bristol Hub, working with local partners to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
  • Shaping the specification of the new Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area.
  • We are also currently supporting the development of Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG’s mental health strategy.

This is a fantastic opportunity to take on a key role in a developing and growing charity committed to changing lives and we look forward to receiving your application.

April 16, 2020 at 5:12 pm

The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) have launched a survey, asking for people’s experiences about accessing mental health support within the last few weeks.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, we know how vital it is to ensure that people are able to access timely and effective mental health support.

IMHN want to hear from you about your experiences at the moment, so we can make local services and funders aware of what people’s experiences are so that action can be taken.

Click here to access the survey.

April 9, 2020 at 10:45 am

The Independent Mental Health Network are building a guide to local mental health services and organisations in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.

The guide brings together service updates about how these organisations have been affected by the measures being taken to tackle the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and whether they have changed how they are running at the moment.

The webpages also include signposting information about other related organisations and support, both locally and nationally.

To access the guide, click here.

March 23, 2020 at 9:19 am

Many people take medication; some people take medication for their mental health, some people for their physical health, and many people for both. The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) has been seeking guidance on behalf of people who take medication, particularly those that receive repeat prescriptions.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG has been in touch with us to confirm the current recommendations, which are listed below:

  • the NHS recommends that members of the public can continue to access community pharmacies as normal unless they are displaying symptoms, such as a high temperature or new continuous cough.
  • if you are self-isolating and cannot access the pharmacy for repeat prescriptions, please friends and/or family for support or use https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ for advice
  • the public area encouraged to order repeat prescriptions as usual, with 7-10 days of medicine remaining

The NHS is also asking the public not to stockpile medicines or ask for more medicines than they need.

“Stockpiling or purchasing medication that isn’t needed could disadvantage other patients who can’t get essential medication when they need it. There is also a bigger risk of shortages if stockpiling disrupts the normal supply chain. The NHS is ensuring pharmacists are being provided with a greater supply of paracetamol to support demand.”

IMHN will continue to share updates if the situation changes. We are now seeking guidance on behalf of those who receive short-term prescriptions (for example, people who have recently started courses of antidepressant medication).

 

March 20, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Members of the Independent Mental Health Network in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol are currently working on a project to improve support and care pathways for those experiencing a mental health crisis in the local area.

In order to investigate how this support can be improved, we have launched a survey asking about peoples’ experiences and views about apps that aim to support and improve mental health and wellbeing.

Mobile phone apps can be used by people experiencing a mental health crisis. Sometimes, information about apps can be shared by mental health professionals.

The survey can be found by clicking the following link: surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MentalHealthApps.

We are encouraging people with all kinds of lived experience of mental health, including people that support those with mental health difficulties, to take visit and take part in the survey.

February 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm


Thank you to everyone that attended the Summit. You can keep up to date with our work in this area here. 


In partnership with civic and healthcare authorities across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the Independent Mental Health Network (‘IMHN’) are proud to announce the upcoming Suicide Prevention Summit.

The Summit will take place as part of the Shine On Suicide Prevention Campaignon Monday 13 January 2020 at City Hall, College Green Bristol.

The aim of the Summit will be to agree a clear call-to-action on working together to prevent suicide, providing space and opportunities for both people with lived experience of mental health, and from within wider communities, to help shape this.

IMHN CEO Tom Renhard, said:

“We feel it is vital to be creating spaces for community groups and individuals with lived experience that are leading the fight to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, to come together and play a crucial role in how this work develops. 

We are supporting a wider regional ambition to reduce the number of people taking their own lives and doing that requires a grassroots approach as well as support from senior leadership. One life lost is one too many, and there is plenty for us all to do to ensure people know there is support available out there and play a role in improving things for the future.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Bristol City Council Cabinet member for Communities, said:

“It is vital that we work with other organisations to help prevent suicide by offering the right support at the right time to those who need it. 

“Of equal importance is listening to people who have felt suicidal, and to the families and communities that have been impacted by suicide. This lived experience can help us shape mental health services and ensure no one in Bristol is unsupported.’’

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (‘BNSSG CCG’) will be sharing details of the all-age mental health strategy currently being developed for the area, which will be published in 2020.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive Officer of BNSSG CCG, said:

“Suicide is preventable rather than inevitable, and every person that takes their own life is one too many.

We are delighted to be working with people and partners across the area, including those with lived experience of mental ill health and self-harm, to tackle this together. Creating the right support network for people at risk of suicide requires a combined effort – from the NHS, councils, community and voluntary groups, families and others.

The summit will play a key role in joining this up, so that people can get the support they need, when they need it.”

The event programme will also consider the latest research into suicide prevention, work happening nationally, and a focus on initiatives and stories by people in the local area. We will also be inviting attendees to share their experiences and ideas about suicide prevention, stating what role communities should be playing in this work going forwards.

Because of the range of individuals and organisations expected to attend, spaces are limited. Please visit http://bit.ly/SuicidePreventionBNSSG to book an individual free place.

Please direct any queries to engagement[@]imhn.org.

Notes for Editors

What is the Shine On Campaign?

Shine On is a campaign focussing on suicide prevention across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, tackling suicide via a variety of initiatives; including a community grant scheme, the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund.

The campaign is delivered by a partnership of organisations including Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Community Access & Support Service (CASS), Second Step, and the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN).

What is the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)?

IMHN is a member-led organisation that work both for and in the interests of people with lived experience of mental health. 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.

Why is the Shine On campaign, and the Summit being run for the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire area?

In 2017, NHS England allocated an amount of money to address the higher than average suicide rate in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area. This fund is managed by the BNSSG Suicide Prevention Transformation Fund Working Group, and funds initiatives such as Second Step’s Hope Project, local campaigning and awareness raising, and more. This Working Group is supporting IMHN in delivering this campaign.

Who are the partners of the campaign?

This campaign is supported by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Transformation Working Group. The Working Group is a partnership of local organisations that aim to address the higher-than-average rate of suicide across the local area. The group consists of:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Bristol City Council
  • Bristol North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)
  • Community Access Support Service (CASS)
  • Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)
  • North Somerset Council
  • Public Health England
  • Second Step
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • University of Bristol
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

 Where Can I Get More Information?

  • the campaign website can be found at www.shine-on.life
  • for further enquiries, please email  engagement[@]imhn.org

December 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm


Please note that this guide was put together for the December 2019 to January 2020 festive period. The information contained within the guide may now be out of date.

Update: in response to feedback, we have assembled a re-formatted version of the guide that is less condensed and intended to be easier to read. Please click here to download it. 


The Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) have produced a guide outlining the services providing wellbeing and mental health support available to people in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire period over the Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020 period. This follows on from the success of last year’s guide in helping people and communities navigate what is available at this time of this year.

After compiling this guide for the Bristol area for a number of years, and in response to feedback and requests from a large number of organisations and individuals, we are pleased to include details of appropriate services for the South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area in this year’s guide.

About the Guide

The guide lists mental health and wellbeing support available over the seasonal period, making note of any changes to opening or operating times, and contact details. It brings together information about mental health support from both NHS and voluntary & community sector partners that can be accessed.

Where a service is available to individuals living in either Bristol, North Somerset, or South Gloucestershire, the service will be listed under all three sections.

The guide also lists national helplines.

IMHN CEO, Tom Renhard, said:

“The festive season, whilst a time of celebration and relaxation for many, can be difficult for some. Many people may feel increasingly isolated at this time of year, or may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing for a variety of reasons.

We are pleased to produce this guide for the fourth year in a row, aiming to assist people right across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area in accessing the right support at the right time, should they need to.

The guide has been drafted to help people find the right information quickly, and has been shared with local organisations and charities. We would encourage you to share the guide with anyone you think might benefit from reading it.”

Click the image below to access the guide. Alternatively, the download link for the guide (in .pdf format) can be found here.

 

December 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm


Content note; please note that this piece contains discussions of suicide and self-harm. 


The Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund, launched by IMHN in the run up to Shine On (a campaign about working together to prevent suicide) back in September 2019. The fund was launched to support local groups whose work helps to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (‘BNSSG’).

We were delighted to receive a large variety of applications from a number of local groups across the area, with some original initiatives concerning suicide prevention. Many of these have already taken place – you can read about what went on here.

Due to the success of the fund, IMHN and the Shine On campaign are excited to launch a second round of funding, for initiatives taking place into the new year of 2020.

About the Fund

The Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund supports local groups whose work helps to prevent suicide and self-harm across the BNSSG area. In particular, we are looking for imaginative and innovative projects which aim to reduce the numbers of suicides in:

  • middle aged men
  • men and women aged 16-25
  • BAME communities
  • LGBTQ+ communities
  • Disabled communities

This innovation grant is available to support new or emerging projects. They can benefit from a small pot of funding that is intended to support initiatives that prevent suicides and reduce self-harm in the BNSSG area.

Applicants can apply for one-off funding grants of up to £250 towards their project (or up to £500 where it is across BNSSG).

How do I apply and when is the closing date?

The application form can be found here. Completed application forms need to be submitted to: engagement[@]imhn.org (removing the brackets from that email address).

Any applications will be considered in the order that they are received; please therefore send your application in as soon as you can, as interest is high.

December 6, 2019 at 5:19 pm

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