NSUN currently hosts:
- Synergi Phase 2, a programme of work focussing on the intersection of racial justice and mental health. Hosted by NSUN and held by a governance board including Catalyst 4 Change, the second phase of Synergi will centre lived experience and community action
- misery, a mental health community and sober rave based in london and led by and for queer, trans, intersex, black people and people of colour (qtibpoc) with lived experience of madness, mental health challenges, time in hospital, addiction, public service use, disability, trauma, medication and neurodivergence
- North East Together (NEt), a regional lived experience network for the North East of England
Until September 2021, NSUN hosted the Survivor Researcher Network, which is now an independent CIC
Read more about all three of NSUN’s current hosted projects below.
Synergi Phase 2
Synergi is an ambitious and exciting programme of work which focuses on the intersection of racial justice and mental health. In its first phase, Synergi created a knowledge hub, bringing together qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, place-based work, storytelling and network building, in order to reframe, rethink and transform the realities of ethnic inequalities in severe mental illness and multiple disadvantage. Hosted by NSUN, and held by a governance board including Catalyst 4 Change, the second phase of Synergi will centre lived experience and community action.
Historically, the knowledge and activities generated by people with lived experience have been marginalised in this space. Black Lives Matter has re-energised some people who have been doing the work for years and acted as a catalyst for a new generation of activists. Synergi will work to connect the new generation of activists and organisers with each other and the history of the movement, and reshape and re-imagine this work for the future.
We will work alongside people doing the work, some of whom will be working outside of the traditional silos set in this space by policy makers and funders. What we’re interested in building is sustainability, both through material resourcing of grassroots groups through an annual small grants programme, and creating the infrastructure needed to hold and nourish the work.
You can find out more about the work strands, sign up for updates, and explore the knowledge hub created by the first phase of Synergi by visiting the new website.
misery is a mental health community and sober rave based in london and led by and for queer, trans, intersex, black people and people of colour (qtibpoc) with lived experience of madness, mental health challenges, time in hospital, addiction, public service use, disability, trauma, medication and neurodivergence.
we co-create free, playful, accessible sober spaces, services, practices, parties and resources to cultivate communities of connection, care and solidarity that can support and sustain the collective healing and resilience of qtibpoc world over. we know first hand that healing and liberation is interwoven and by nurturing community care and addressing collective trauma, we seek to disrupt the growing privatisation of healing and the “self-care industrial complex”.
misery is a reminder that you’re not too sensitive, it’s mad out here.
misery as a hosted project with NSUN
three years into running a mental health collective with overwhelming demand from our community and no support or protection for ourselves, we recognized that we needed to slow down, rest, nourish, and ask for help if we were to keep misery alive. the national survivor user network (nsun) heard our call, and we are now honoured to be one of their hosted projects, until 2024, the aim of which is to support the growth and development of misery by enabling us to benefit from the container of nsun’s policies, safeguarding and legal structure (woo).
our work is rooted in the principles of healing centered harm reduction including trauma-informed care, agency, collaboration, intersectionality, consent and acknowledges the historical and on-going social, cultural, environmental and economic systems that constantly terrorise our communities including experiences of colonisation, anti-blackness and racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and other oppressions.
- to provide accessible, supportive and politically engaged events, spaces and services by and for qtibpoc to build community and help us to be in right relationship with ourselves, each other, and the land
- to develop resources, research, artistic work, modalities and practices that facilitate healing and challenge dominant misperceptions about mental health, addiction, disability, trauma and neurodiversity
- to promote leadership and development opportunities for qtibipoc with lived experience of mental health problems, madness, addiction, disability, trauma, and neurodivergence – within our communities, health and wellbeing settings, the arts and wider society.
North East Together (NEt)
North East together (NEt) is the Regional Network for people with lived experience of mental health conditions living in the North East of England.
Since our launch at a conference in April 2009 attended by over 150 of the region’s service users, carers and workers in the mental health field, we have carried out a variety of initiatives usually led by our members letting us know what our priorities should be. For example, our Welfare Reform Action Group was set up in response to the 2010 Coalition Government’s changes to the benefits system, and campaigned to highlight the injustices of Welfare Reform and advocated for a fairer system for all.
In the last few years, we have developed some strong relationships with the statutory sector, and in particular with Public Health England and The Northern Clinical Network. We have worked closely with these and other partners in various pieces of work on a regional level including engaging with local service users and carers about plans for smoke free hospitals across the Region’s two NHS Mental Health Trusts. We followed this with more partnership in developing ‘A Weight off Your Mind’, a regional plan to support people with mental health conditions and/or a learning disability in secondary services to lose/manage their weight.
Our involvement in ‘A Weight off Your Mind’ included holding eleven Focus Groups across the region over the period of three years looking at how best to support people with mental health conditions to lose weight. We consulted on what service users and carers thought of the first draft of the regional plan, designed case studies of people who used services and wanted to lose weight, and then looked at what the barriers to this were. Finally our Secretary presented this work at three conferences to develop, launch and implement the plan – not to mention North East together coming up with the name A Weight off Your Mind.
NEt continue to be involved with A Weight off Your Mind and have also in the past year worked alongside The Northern Clinical Network to hold four focus groups across the region to ask people with lived experience of mental health conditions what good Crisis Care would look like. The original plan once the focus groups were completed was to present our findings at The Region’s Crisis Care Concordats to influence better ways of working. However that phase of the work is currently on hold as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and lockdown.
We are currently taking some time to work out how best to engage with our membership and the wider service user and carer communities across the region whilst lockdown continues and are in the process of applying for grants to support this work.
To find out more about NEt, please contact the coordinator, Mish Loraine: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07902403630.