Member campaigns have been supported through a variety of approaches. We work to counter individual messages being dismissed or discredited as anecdotal or irrelevant. These Campaigns scale up issues from the individual and local experience to the collective and national. 

We support a member to articulate their issue and experience of it and then assist them to ask questions of the wider membership through our communication mechanisms to establish if this is a wider and common experience.

Here are some examples:

Experiences Mixed Sex Accommodation and Thousands Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Hannah, who had experienced abuse on a mixed sex psychiatric ward wanted to find out if others had similar experiences.  NSUN supported Hannah to undertake a survey via the NSUN membership. She presented initial findings to her local Trust and they have committed to addressing the issues.  We used the findings to support our contributions at the Mental Health Taskforce Group and confidently talked about not dismissing negative experiences just because they are in the minority. A summary of the findings was published and Hannah has since set up her own Facebook page ‘Thousands Over the Cuckoos Nest’ to develop collective creative action to raise awareness. We are currently exploring options for funding for full analysis and publication of the research.

Thousands over the cuckoo's nest

Hannah McDonald invites you to contribute to her anti stigma project 'Thousands over the cuckoo's nest'. 

Hannah says: "For the past eight years I have suffered from a very severe and enduring Mental Illness. I have felt ashamed of it but not anymore and I would like to raise awareness of Mental Health. We all have Mental Health and it's something I feel needs to be talked about. My crazy idea is for people to make birds no bigger than 15cm/15cm and they can be any bird using any medium. For example, using paper by making origami birds, fabric, wool, wood, etc. I want people to have the freedom to make their birds how they want because we are all beautiful, unique individuals.
Depending on whether his idea takes off I will try to get a gallery to display the birds in long lines to raise awareness and to try to remove stigma."

Please take a photo of your bird and post it on the Facebook page and send it to:

Hannah MacDonald, West London Collaborative, 2 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9DX

Experiences of street violence

Akikur, who had experience of post-traumatic stress after being involved in traumatic street gang violence.  He wanted to speak with other young people with experience of gang warfare, home abuse, street violence, racial / religious abuse or attacks or who had used substances to deal with emotions raised by a traumatic event. Akikur used responses to shape a number of films he has produced on the subject.

Reducing restraint

Suzi, who experienced being physically restrained several times during her admission to a psychiatric hospital wanted to find out from other NSUN members if they had experience similar distressing treatment and what they thought could be done to avoid using such ‘heavy handed’ treatment. Following a survey a report and an article was written and a joint project with Mind was undertaken to produce two guides on Reducing the use of physical restraint and other restrictive practices in mental health services.

Wellbeing that works

Anand, who is looking to get a project off the ground based on his experience of support for health and social issues called ‘Holistic - Wellbeing What Works’ is a self-management programme that aims to address inequality in mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. We are helping him to work his ideas in to a clear proposal with supporting evidence and connect him with potential supporters.

Community alternatives

Nicola and Ivan, who are campaigning for community alternatives following the closure of 40 psychiatric beds in West London. They are helping to gather evidence to develop a financial case that is supported by existing models, current policy and NICE guidelines (CG136). The campaign is particularly focused on developing 24-hour peer respite support in the context of hospital diversion for people in crisis.