Registration is now open for the NSUN Members’ Event 2022 sessions

Tuesday 15th November 2022

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 2022 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 who identify as Mad, neurodivergent, and/or having lived experience of mental ill-health, distress, or trauma.

Members’ Event 2022 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.

9am-10.30am – Telling the Story of Survivor History and Activism

Mental health survivor activism has a long as rich history of individual and collective stories, but the grassroots nature of a lot of lived-experience led organising means it isn’t always documented “in the history books”. We also have to reckon with epistemic injustice (injustice around knowledge), such as silencing, misrepresenting, and the undervaluing of knowledge existing outside of formal and professional spaces.

This session will revolve around thinking about what it means to “archive” survivor history: whose and which stories get told? Who tells them and how? What does it mean to have our histories recorded and shared?

11am-12.30pm – 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 a mental health context? Here, we’ll unpack how mental health care can replicate carceral systems and expose people to harm, the historical connections between mental health institutions and prisons, and why abolition (and alternatives to state care provided by user-led groups) 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.

2pm-3.30pm – Reimagining Safety Workshop

Many people with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma can name at least one moment in our lives where we felt ourselves being perceived no longer as a person but as a ‘risk’ or ‘at risk’. The negative impacts of safeguarding practices and the assumptions they’re built on are particularly severe for Black people and people of colour, young people and people who experience particularly stigmatised forms of distress.

In this workshop, we unpick some assumptions around safety and agency in mental health. We are particularly interested in exploring safeguarding in relation to hearing voices, suicidality, criminalisation and young people’s mental health.

4pm-5pm – Mental Health in a Hostile Environment

Increasingly, there are conversations in mental health spaces about racial justice and the experiences of racialised groups but these conversations and programmes of work rarely include the mental health of those subject to the hostile environment. This is despite people with precarious immigration status being widely understood to experience increased levels of mental ill-health and distress. Many people with insecure status are excluded from services, and user-led community spaces can be the only source of support available.

In this discussion session, we’re bringing together people organising across mental health and migrant justice to unpack the present context and explore how we can move forward in solidarity.

5.30pm-6.30pm – ‘Backstage’ – the Social Space

Join the NSUN team for a lightly facilitated session at the end of the day which will be a chance to informally reflect on the day’s sessions and meet new people from the NSUN membership in a relaxed atmosphere.

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 – you can join as a member for free here.

Usually our Members’ Event is combined with the NSUN Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year the Members’ Event sessions will be taking place separately from the AGM formal business meeting – date TBA.