Bulletin December 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of our e-bulletin.  In this edition: 

What a Year!

As the year draws to a close it's natural to reflect and consider the events, challenges, and emotions of the previous 12 months and look ahead to our hopes for the new year. 

Who would have imagined the 12 months we've just experienced when we looked back this time last year?

While there have been difficult times for most of us, there have also been lots of positives.  Many of us are now using technology for virtual meetings which would never have considered had it not been the only way to 'meet up' with others and see a friendly face. 

We now have 24/7 mental health support via Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service which is open to anyone, regardless of whether you have a diagnosis and whether you are known to mental health services or not.  This is a fantastic resource for the people of Derbyshire no matter what time of day or night they might need help.

And while the news is obviously dominated by COVID-19, there is also generally more recognition of mental health; the extreme difficulties faced by those who already required the support of mental health services and those who find themselves needing support for the first time due to the new pressures.

The more rapid pace of change has lead to increased demand on our Experts by Experience who despite their own challenges have embraced the opportunity to help shape the future of health and social care services. THANK YOU to our Experts and also to you our wider membership for sharing your thoughts and opinions via surveys that continue to provide invaluable information for those who commission and deliver services.

We're extremely pleased to be able to tell you that due to our new Living Well Derbyshire project we have secured funding to ensure we remain a three-person team for the remainder of our contract (to the end of March 2022).  Aileen will now dedicate most of her time to supporting those with lived experience to help shape the new Living Well models in their communities.    

Thank you for your continued support of MHT and we wish you and your families a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

High Peak Mental Health Engagement Group

Our last meeting of the year provided the opportunity for those who were able to attend to share their recent experiences and news of future changes.

We were delighted to hear that the carers who attend our meetings have been successful in starting up a hearing voices group that now meets at Buxton Methodist Church twice a month (if you know anyone that this might benefit please let us know and we'll put you in touch with the organisers).

It was also lovely to hear that the carers in Buxton are still managing to have COVID safe meetings so that they can support each other through what is becoming an increasingly difficult time.

We were also grateful to the ward manager from Stepping Hill (the hospital attended by patients in the High Peak) who told us about the move to single-sex wards in January.  This could have an impact on the availability of beds which we were then able to raise questions about at the  Mental Health, Learning Disability & Autism System Delivery Board Meeting.

Derbyshire Living Well Project

The Derbyshire Living Well Project, a new model of care for people who need mental health support, continues at pace in the High Peak and North Dales. 

A 'Prototyping' team has now been established to test out and refine the new model being developed by the 'Collaborative' (steering group which includes a mixture of professionals and people with lived experience).  A group of 12 patients will experience the new model early in the new year. 

Now that the SMI and Physical Health project is coming to an end, we're very pleased that funding for this project will enable Aileen to continue working with us and dedicate most of her time to this work. 

Safe Haven Open in Derby City 

We're pleased to be able to tell you that the Safe Haven in Derby City is now open as an alternative to A&E for people experiencing a mental health crisis.  The service, provided by Richmond Fellowship, is available through referral from the Mental Health Helpline and Support Service.  It provides a safe environment for people from across the county, with access to recovery workers and peer support volunteers who can introduce people to individual recovery tools and other support services that may help avoid future crisis.  
Other News

Mental Health Helpline and Support Service

The mental health support line run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has a new name.  Going forward the service, which is available to Derbyshire residents of all ages, 24 hours a day seven days a week on a Freephone number will be known as 'Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service'. 

It was felt that the service, previously being referred to as either the mental health helpline or support line, needed a name to express more fully the service provided, and our Experts by Experience gave feedback on suggested names as well as making a few suggestions (including the one selected) of their own.

Please call 0800 028 0077 any time of the day or night if you need support for yourself or someone you care for.

More details of the service are available from the Trust's website:

Free Stand Up Comedy Course to Improve Mental Health

It's always good to hear about new approaches to help improve mental health.  Dave Chawner, a stand up comedian with first-hand experience of anorexia has worked with academics from King's College London, The University Of Nottingham and The University Of Kent to design a six week online comedy course aimed at people with experience of mental health problems.
The course is fully funded by Derbyshire County Council so is free to participants and will be delivered through the award-winning Midlands Based Charity First Steps.  The team are now looking for people to try this innovative, enlightening and exciting new recovery method.

The course starts in January and is recruiting now. Start dates include:

  • Tuesday 19th January at 7pm (and every Tuesday for six weeks), or
  • Wednesday 20th January at 6:30pm (and every Wednesday for six weeks)

So if you want to build confidence, communication and connection and have a history of mental ill health please email or. to find out more and enrol.  Why not give something different a go?

Coping with Christmas

While Christmas can be a time of joy and celebration for many, the pressures for it to be so can also make it a difficult time for many.

The festive season is a particularly difficult time for people with eating disorders and disordered eating, as the celebrations often centre around food.

This year, the First Steps Patient Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) committee have produced a how-to guide with tips for dealing with food, relationships, loneliness, changes in routine and social activities amongst other topics.

It has been written especially for you by subject leads in Children and Young People; Boys and Men Mental Health; Black Asian Minority and Ethnic (BAME); and Parent as Care Givers.  Click on the button below for details.

How To Cope With Christmas Guide


Future Learn has also put together some self-care tips, especially important at this time of year.  Click here to remind yourself of all the things that are important to remember but often get neglected.

And the Federation for Mental Health also has lots of tips for looking after your mental wellbeing this Christmas.  Click here for details.

NEON Collection

The NEON Collection contains stories of recovery from mental health problems. It includes stories that have previously been published by others (e.g. in pamphlets, books or on-line), stories that have been donated to the NEON study, and stories that have been collected by researchers working on the NEON study. 

Stories in the NEON Collection will be made available through the NEON Intervention, a set of interactive webpages which are accessed through a web-browser or smartphone. The NEON Intervention allows a user to browse for stories using some of the characteristics defined in the Inventory of Recovery Narrative Characteristics (INCRESE), which has been developed by the NEON study. The NEON Intervention can also recommend a story with characteristics that might be expected to help the user. A small number of stories in the collection will also be integrated into material used in the training of mental health staff– e.g. in staff induction programmes, or other forms of professional development. This might involve stories appearing in presentations or printed materials. The NEON Intervention is currently being evaluated in three clinical trials, which you can register for at

You can take part if you are 18+, live in England and have experienced any form of mental health problem OR care for someone who has experienced mental health problems. 


Autism Information & Advice Service - Newsletter

Click here to access Newsletters for Derbyshire Autism Information and Advice Service.  The December issue contains details of festive events as well as contact details for lots of organisations that can provide support in what can be a particularly challenging time.

Autism Training 

The National Autistic Society deliver free training on behalf of Joined Up Derbyshire, NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG for anyone working with Children, Young People and Families.

Click on the links below for more information including the booking form for each course:

Understanding Autism
Autism: Supporting Families

Autism, Stress and Anxiety
Safeguarding Autistic Children
Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum

The courses are free and available to anyone working with children, young people and families.

Update from Derbyshire Recovery & Peer Support Service

Derbyshire Recovery and Peer Support Service provides targeted mental health support across Derbyshire and works to develop a network of peer-led support groups countywide to ensure that everyone has access to this provision.

Referrals to the service can be made either by phoning the single point of access number on 01773 734989 Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm or by completing the referral form available from the website.

Although many peer support groups remain closed due to venue restrictions.  Some are reopening under strict guidelines.  As this is subject to frequent change, please get in touch with who can provide the most up to date information.

There are currently two online peer support groups operating weekly via Zoom, which are open to all and moderated by group development workers and the peer support and volunteer coordinator. For information about how individuals can access these groups please also get in touch with Ellie on the above email. The online peer support groups are a fantastic way to keep people connected. There are no pressures to speak or have your camera on and if necessary you can be referred into the service for short term support to access the group until you feel happy doing so independently.

The service is currently recruiting volunteers to act as Tech Buddies to support those who might need a bit of help initially.  If you or someone you know might be able to help please contact  Further details are available here

Latest Borderline Derbyshire Newsletter

Derbyshire Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group is for anyone affected by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).  Click on the button below to open their latest newsletter.

Borderline Newsletter

Sign up to the new Live Life Better Derbyshire Newsletter

Live Life Better Derbyshire is a free, healthy lifestyles service available to all Derbyshire residents (excluding Derby City) and anyone registered with a Derbyshire GP.  

The first edition of their new newsletter contains lots of information about the service as well as a link at the end to sign up to future editions.  Alternatively, to sign up for the newsletter you can send an email to and specify that you want to sign up to the LLBD Partners Newsletter.

Some similar services are available to Derby City residents through Livewell Derby.

Live Life Better Derbyshire Newsletter

Active Derbyshire - Inspires us to Stay Active at Home

Active Derbyshire is one of 44 Active Partnerships (APs) covering England.  The purpose is to connect, influence, collaborate and enable opportunities for people to be physically active as part of their everyday life.

The website ( gathers together lots of resources to help those looking for ideas on how to stay active during this challenging period.

Domestic Abuse Support

Our Experts by Experience often highlight messages that they think we should share.  We agreed with one of our Experts that it would be particularly appropriate at this time of year to remind everyone of the support that is available for those suffering from domestic abuse.

Derbyshire Police have lots of useful information on their website, including details of how you can hide your visit to the site from your web browsing history. Please seek help by clicking here if you or someone you know is suffering.  

IPS Peer Support Worker Vacancy

“Work Your Way”, the individual placement & support (IPS) employment support for people with mental health problems is expanding and there are some new opportunities being advertised, including the role of Peer Support Worker.

Peer support is based on the recognition that there is no better person to support the path towards recovery than someone who has walked the same path as that individual.

Peer support workers work as part of the community mental health team in collaboration with employment specialists and other colleagues within the team.  They engage with mental health service users to show empathy, share experience, inspire hope and promote recovery with the aim of assisting service users to gain and maintain independence in the community.

The role of the peer support worker is focused around supporting an individual to become work-ready.  They will assist service users in raising aspirations and developing personal goals, with the aim to be supported into employment, by an employment specialist within IPS.

For more details visit the website:, the closing date is 20th December so if you are interested please don't delay.


Learning for Leisure - Spring 2021 Courses

Looking for something new to keep you busy in the new year?  Take a look at the Learning for Leisure brochure for some inspiration.

Mental Health for All?

'Mental Health for All?', the final report of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health, says that inequalities which have for too long been accepted or ignored can and should be reduced, through concerted action nationally and locally.

'Mental Health for All?' finds that mental health inequalities mirror wider economic and social inequalities. Wealth and power inequalities put at risk the mental health of people experiencing poverty, racial injustice and discrimination. This creates sharp social divisions, meaning that many groups of people face two or three times the risk of mental ill health. Yet the same groups of people find it harder to get help for their mental health, and in some cases also get poorer outcomes when they do.

Click here to download a full copy of the report or find out how you can show your support.

And Finally....

We'd like to thank you for your support during a challenging 2020 and wish you the best Christmas possible.


Copyright © 2020 Mental Health Together, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Mental Health Together
Suite 14, Riverside Business Centre
Foundry Lane, Milford
Derbyshire, DE56 0RN

Our email address is:

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Mental Health Together Derby and Derbyshire · Suite14, Riverside Business Centre · Foundry Lane · Milford, Derbyshire DE56 0RN · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp