, 68 tweets, 72 min read
I'm going to be doing bit of live tweeting today from #nsunagm19 and I'll also be speaking as well. Sarah Yiannoullou is introducing herself and saying she is happy to announce @AkikoMHart as her replacement. Akiko is now introducing herself to everyone and thanking Sarah
@AkikoMHart This is @AkikoMHart's statement of intent for NSUN, setting out her interests and ideas for the future of @NSUNnews. She's excited and the room gave her a massive round of applause in welcome nsun.org.uk/news/nsun-anno… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews This is the agenda for today's @NSUNnews AGM is here. Membership business and speech in the morning, open mic soapboxes and discussion of the crisis of user led groups in afternoon eventbrite.co.uk/e/nsun-members… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews The topic of today's @NSUNnews AGM is the crisis of user led groups. This is what NSUN had to say about this crisis on World Mental Health Day. There's ll be discussion this afternoon of what might be done about the crisis from 3pm nsun.org.uk/news/world-men… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews For the next hour of so I'll be holding up a bit on the live tweeting as it's @NSUNnews membership business with votes and similar. NSUN is a membership organisation. If you or your group fancy becoming an NSUN member, you can join here nsun.org.uk/benefits-of-me… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Sarah Yiannoullou is talking about work of @NSUNnews since last AGM. She's saying that a steer was taken from last years AGM, which was about peer support. Fears about peer support being co-opted, corrupted. Read the report from 2018 AGM here nsun.org.uk/Handlers/Downl… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Sarah is saying @NSUNnews has been working to implement the members manifesto which sets out the collective goals and ambitions of the network. She's saying that NSUN has been trying to be more strategic, to think more about justice, to make a safe space for diversity #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Sarah is laying out the range of projects and activities @NSUNnews has been supporting to protect the history of user-led groups, safeguard their present and help build the future. I'll try to find a list of all of those later #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Now we're into financial discussion and similar. I'll be back live tweeting when the talks begin. All of this making sense so far? #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews At the moment, members of @NSUNnews are approving the appointment of new trustees to the board, approving the accounts, approving other board roles. Exciting times. New trustees, established trustees. Exciting (!) new challenges. Proposals and shows of hands #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews And that's all the business complete! A comfort break for twenty minutes then back with talks from about 11.40. see back then. I'm off for a lemsip and a... walk #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Right, we're back at @NSUNnews AGM with talks which I'll do my best capture for you at home. First up is Anne Beales #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: it's important to know our own history. This movement started in the sixties and seventies with angry activists storming stages; half inching resources; hiding people from being detained. That's what was needed then. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: in the past, the system segmented us, divided us into different institutions, kept us apart. We needed anger, but we also needed a vision of where wanted to get to. When NSUN began we talked about recovery, but not the bollocks version poken about now #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: the version of recovery we talked about was that services could could connect us to our best selves; our community to what we want to be. NSUN was formed as a network because we were sick of people being above us. We wanted a network not a hierarchy #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: NSUN began as a network because what people wanted and need was to be with each other. We demanded a direct, independent, collective voice to be 'at the table'. We were a network of people who got together to help it each other. A proud history #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: we were leaders, we were do-ers. When we shared this with the system some liked it, not always for useful reasons. But we had to get rid of tokenism and we had to have standards. Not just about turning up. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales is flagging up NSUN's 4pi involvement standards nsun.org.uk/Pages/FAQs/Cat…. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: how dare services corrupt idea of recovery and use it to endorse things that harm us? We've had live through decade of austerity, a time of hate, division, where racists kill others. It maddens us it's us that are discriminated against need to put things right #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales is emotional about injustice of austerity and way that people with mental health difficulties have been quietened, trained to make polite requests, system has created its own voices to listen to. Not collective, independent one. 'We can't leave our friends alone #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: we need independent voices. That doesn't always need to be conflict. Peer support is one of the ways we can make change without conflict. Being with each other, trusting our peers. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales is talking about the contrast between how professionals describe what is happening in mental health and the way people with lived experience experience it. Beales is talking about our responsibility to others and ourselves to make stuff safe #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: imagine what would happen if you took the money spent on anti-stigma campaigns and gave it to the implementation of a modest manifesto drawn up by people with lived experience of mental health difficulty. Says the mistake we made was being to humble #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: we need to focus on the growth of the lived experience led movement. Says we need pan-lived experience movements; taking our power and knowledge of mental health to other people who are struggling with discrimination and marginalisation and prejudice #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: we know what hurts and we know what works #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Beales: if we can see further than the status quo than we will be the leadership that makes a difference. Anne Beales receives a standing ovation at @NSUNnews AGM. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews Next up is @AlisonF101. She's outlining the work NSUN has done in 2019 around the crisis of user led organisations. Says the groups that close first are the ones from marginalised communities. They get pushed out nsun.org.uk/news/world-men… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 .@AlisonF101 is now bigging up Newcastle's RoCoCo, saying that they told her that sharing is what makes the difference recoverycoco.com #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 .@AlisonF101 is sharing what was found out by @NSUNnews survey of user-led groups. Solidarity. Supporting each other. Lack of funding. Running on good will nsun.org.uk/faqs/the-value… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 .@AlisonF101: what we want is recognition of unique value of user-led organisations. We want to be respected and to have power, not to just be 'included'. Small user-led organisations are losing out to big charities. We need to hold onto our activist roots #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 .@AlisonF101 we need to get funders and others to understand what a user-led organisation is and what it can do that other organisations can't #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 And now I think I'm speaking, back in a bit! #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 I did a speech! I'll be getting it up online and posting it hear in the next hour or so. Hope it made sense #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Now up is Dominic Makuvachuma talking about Reigniting the Space, a group of BME user/survivors, including some of the original steering group members of Catch-a-Fiya, working in collaboration with NSUN to recreate a national platform. nsun.org.uk/faqs/reignitin… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Makuvachuma: NSUN is nothing more than the sum of its member groups. NSUN works with groups specifically. Says a group of BME researcher/activists had a hunch that there was a thread of history of of BME mental health activism that needed to be reconnected. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Makuvachuma: as a black african man I felt as sense of homelessness; that there was no space for us to meet on our own. Something feels like it has been lost over the last decade or so. We pulled together with NSUN some money to make this space happen #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Makuvachuma: we went for East Midlands and London to try to map what is happening and we found it's like a ghost town. In one region there was not a single response from a BME led groups. We know they exist, but we didn't know where #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Makuvachuma: it's important that the work on the ground being done by black and other groups is amplified by NSUN. But the ghost town is terrifying #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Next up at @NSUNnews AGM is Dorothy Gould, speaking about the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act. Says there is very low involvement of user-led collective voice. Here's NSUN on the Review findings nsun.org.uk/news/independe… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Gould: rather amazingly, considering brexit, the word is that there will be a mental health white paper by the end of the year. It's in the Queens Speech. Here's what the Independent Review recommended nsun.org.uk/news/what-does… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Gould: we need to be leaders here. Says it's been frustrating trying to bring rights to the discussion. The big charities have been somewhat meek. Says she has been able to find common ground and support from other lived experience groups. The support has surprised her #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Gould is saying she has found comradeship and support from user-led groups not focused on mental health but on experiences like learning disability, refugees status, detention. A surprising common ground around rights, independent living, support, deinstititionalising #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Gould: you can't talk about everyone being part of a community without dealing with discrimination. This is a global issue, not just a UK one. There is common cause between different needs around deinstitutionalisation and independent living #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Gould: UK unions don't quite get idea of a rights based model within #mentalhealth, but they're beginning to be more receptive. Politicians not so bother and difficult to engage. Says this work continues. And now we're breaking for lunch, back at 2pm. See you in a bit #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 Right, we're back from our bit lunch at @NSUNnews AGM and we're kicking off with the latest news from the Survivor Research Network (@SurvivorResNet). Research by those with lived experience. This is their manifesto nsun.org.uk/Handlers/Downl… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet .@survivorresnet's Dina Poursanidou is sharing her own experience of being 'depersoned' by the experience of psychotic depression but also the treatment received for that. She says her journey has been one of profound ambivalence, knowledge as a poisoned chalice #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet Poursanidou is talking about the way her embodied knowledge, when employed at a survivor researcher, was an asset to be celebrated but that it wasn't when celebrated when she wasn't. She's describing lived experience as a discomforting asset. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet Poursanidou is talking about the challenge of surviving the neoliberal academy as a survivor researcher. There's no going back into the closet and the demands are large #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet We're now into the soapbox session at @NSUNnews AGM. 4 minute quick fire talks for anyone who wanted to sign up today. The first one is about mutual self help groups. Speaker says shame was a massive thing, but she didn't know how to find others to escape it with #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet The speaker says they found their mutual support group in a squat run by anarchists, not in a local charity run by volunteers without lived experience. People being together was the important thing. "This was years ago, but I'll always be an activist" #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet The next speaker is talking about the Manchester Mental Health Charter, which sets out what people of Manchester want from mental health. Wants to build make alliances. Read it here manchestercommunitycentral.org/charter-mental… #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet (I'm really sorry but I need to nip out for a wee. I'm busting. Back in a minute or two. Keep looking at the hashtag #nsunagm19)
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet Right, back. @EngageVisually is talking about her experiences and how things that happened to her took her low, but the people she met there were the best people. She's explaining how doing visual documenting captures conversations in ways that can been seen #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually .@EngageVisually saying that through working with @NSUNnews she found one of her tribes. She feels at home with the freedom to experiment 'our' #mentalhealth crowd. Stronger together and what we bring from different worlds outside mental health into this one #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually Next up, someone from Manchester User Network. They're saying that despite all of the discussion of progress in #mentalhealth; things are going backwards. More locked wards; less care. We need to communicate and take action. manchesterusersnetwork.org.uk #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually Point made that frontline workers in #mentalhealth are getting screwed and users are those services are getting screwed by the same policies. A strong alliance to be formed? #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually Now: poetry! "Care is over-rated; neglect is where it's at". The poem is called 'Politicians Pissing on the NHS'. #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually The background to the next poem is the human cost of the prejudice underlying the 'Hostile Environment'. Imagine watching your 18 year old daughter loaded into a meat wagon because someone somewhere decided she didn't belong in the country that's her home #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually Next up: "a network is made up of threads. Threads on their own are very breakable. Weave them into a fabric and they are stronger and protected." People live day by day with fear across many experiences. We get this coming from #mentalhealth. We need to get out there #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually "We have stood up and had ourselves counted. We need to extend our experience and support to other standing up, too." #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually The next soapbox has brought up a word we don't use enough in relation to the things we do: love. Being there for each other makes us bigger and others bigger, too #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually The final three soapboxes have covered art and freedom of information act requests about ECT and restraints and a hello from one of @NSUNnews new trustees saying that they only found out about the world of user-led groups via NSUN despite struggling alone for years #nsunagm19
@AkikoMHart @NSUNnews @AlisonF101 @SurvivorResNet @EngageVisually Now we're having a quick break for ten minutes and then we're into the final section of @NSUNnews AGM in York. Back in a bit! #nsunagm19
I was drawn into facilitating our finishing activity at #nsunagm19. We had four themes for what @NSUNnews might do and people came to add their ideas. Lots of ideas which I hope nsun will be able to share. Lots of practical ideas for future action.
We're now onto the closing remarks at @NSUNnews AGM. This is Sarah Yiannoullou's final AGM. She's promising to get the report from this AGM written up more quickly than last year. I'm a bit emotional at this point of transition. It's been a busy day and a busy year #nsunagm19
NSUN collectively is saying goodbye to Sarah, who will be succeeded by Akiko Hart. I'm definately choked up now. It's been a deep and abiding pleasure for me working with her for the last few years. #nsunagm19
A standing ovation for outgoing chief exec Sarah Yiannoullou and that's the end of @NSUNnews AGM for this year. If you've seen anything interesting, you should drop @NSUNnews a line. I'm going to stand in the rain and pretend that's why my face is wet #nsunagm19
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