Registration is now open for the NSUN Members’ Event 2023

Wednesday 29th November 2023

The NSUN Members’ Event is an annual event, taking place online, for members of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN). Registration is now open for the 2023 sessions!

The link above takes you to the Members’ Event site, where you can also find NSUN’s virtual creative exhibition of artwork from people with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress, or trauma.

Members’ Event 2023 sessions

Here is a summary of what will be going on on the day. Please register for the sessions you are interested in via the Members’ Event site linked through the button above.

10.00-10.45am – NSUN Business Meeting

The NSUN trustees are pleased to be starting this year’s Members’ Event with a business meeting which will include a chance to meet members of the NSUN Board,  a presentation of NSUN’s work over the last 12 months by members of the staff team, and an overview of the financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2023. The presentations will be followed by a chance to ask any questions you may have. The meeting will be chaired by Aimz Rushton, NSUN’s Vice Chair.

11:30am-12:30pm – Peer support and activism: radical roots & radical futures

Join us for a panel discussion about how peer support has and can continue to challenge hierarchical models of “care”, and the relationship between peer support and activism. NSUN’s Ruairi White will be joined by Marc Thompson (The Love Tank CIC), Lisa Archibald (Intentional Peer Support) and Anandi Ramamurthy (CHARM). Panelists will discuss their experiences of what changes when people have the resources and support to care for each other. We’ll also discuss how we can preserve peer support’s radical potential against co-option, and how peer support can work in activist and change-making spaces.

2.00-3.00pm – Surveillance and data sharing in mental health care

The security of sensitive data is an increasingly pressing issue in UK health care. Even after the discontinuation of the SIM (Serenity Integrated Mentoring) model of mental health care by NHS England, the collection, storage and sharing of data between the NHS, government departments and private companies remains a serious concern. For example, video monitoring system Oxevision remains in use on mental health wards and the Home Office is pushing for access to NHS records for immigration enforcement. 

In a situation where invasive data collection and sharing practices are moving faster than they can be regulated, and in the context of the creeping criminalisation of distress, how can we, as people with lived experience and grassroots groups, stay on top of these developments and imagine what safer data practices might look like in mental health care? NSUN’s Kieran Lewis will facilitate a discussion with Hil Aked, Stop Oxevision, and Alison Faulkner.

3.30-5.00pm – Abolition and mental health with Synergi

In recent years the term abolition has gained traction in the mainstream as a critique of prisons and policing, but what is it and how does it relate to those in user-led mental health spaces?

User-led groups are often challenging the way those experiencing mental ill health, distress and trauma are denied access to fulfilling and affirming mental health care. They also expose how people can experience harm when they do seek mental health support and can be subjected to violent encounters with the police and prison system in the process, all in the name of ‘care’.

Here, we’ll unpack how mental health care can replicate carceral systems, the historical connections between mental health institutions and prisons, and why abolition has and can provide some of the solutions to these harms. Synergi, which is hosted by NSUN, is a project that will look at mental health and racial justice through an abolitionist lens. Join us for our first public event as we explore some of the core concerns of our work.

In this discussion, we will hear about how people are bringing abolitionist principles to providing care and practical support to those experiencing mental ill-health, distress and trauma. There will be space to discuss and ask questions to our guests.

Join Jerome Sewell, Tippa Naphtali and Micha Frazer-Carroll in conversation. The discussion will be chaired by Jessica Pons with an introduction to Synergi from Debbie Solomon.

About NSUN and the Members’ Event

NSUN is a charity and membership organisation of people and grassroots groups with lived experience of mental ill-health, trauma and distress, working towards the redistribution of power and resource in mental health. You can find out more about us here.

The Members’ Event sessions are free to attend, and are a chance for people to come together and attend a mix of sessions and panels with a range of guests and speakers. The Members’ Event is for NSUN members only. If you are not already a member, sign up for free here.