On Wednesday 29th November the NSUN Members’ Event 2023 took place.
It was fantastic to create space for conversations around a huge range of topics, including abolition and mental health, peer support and activism and surveillance and data sharing in mental health care.
A big thank you to everyone who joined us to speak or facilitate: Marc Thompson, Lisa Archibald, Anandi Ramamurthy, Alison Faulkner, Hat, Hil Aked, Jerome Sewell, Tippa Naphtali, Micha Frazer-Carroll, Ruairi White, Jessica Pons and Kieran Lewis. A big thank you also goes out to everyone who contributed to the 2023 digital creative exhibition, which you can view here. And finally, thank you so much to everyone who (virtually) joined us!
If you missed the sessions or would like to re-watch or share any of the events, scroll down to access recordings of the day’s panels.
Peer support and activism: radical roots & radical futures
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. Panellists discuss their experiences of what changes when people have the resources and support to care for each other, how we can preserve peer support’s radical potential against co-option, and how peer support can work in activist and change-making spaces.
This panel welcomes Marc Thompson (The Love Tank CIC), Lisa Archibald (Intentional Peer Support) and Anandi Ramamurthy (CHARM).
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?
This panel welcomes Alison Faulkner (Survivor Researcher), Hat (Stop Oxevision) and Hil Aked (Medact).
Abolition and mental health with Synergi: reimagining and building alternatives
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.
We are joined by Jerome Sewell (Therapeutic productions CIC), Tippa Naphtali (Catalyst 4 Change CIC) and Micha Frazer-Carroll (author).