Bulletin December 2019

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

MHT Sign the Equally Well UK Charter 

Our Experts by Experience meet up around every 6 weeks to share information and experiences.  At the meeting in December we made a pledge signing Mental Health Together up to the Equally Well UK Charter. 

Equally Well UK believes that if you have a mental health problem, that shouldn’t mean you have any less right to good physical health. They co-produced a charter for members to commit to prioritising physical health for people with mental health problems and work together to share what works. Both the charter and pledge made by MHT can be viewed from the buttons below.

If you want to know why one of our Experts is sporting a festive beard then go to the Daniel's Beard section in Other News below.

Equally Well UK Charter
MHT Pledge

Update on the Physical Health and Severe Mental Illness Project

Since our last bulletin, Aileen has been busy visiting groups and gathering information about the challenges of staying physically healthy when you have mental health issues, and people's experience of the physical health checks offered to those with a severe mental illness (SMI e.g. Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia or experience of Psychosis).  Thanks to everyone who has contributed by completing a questionnaire either in person or online.  So far we have 168 responses, which is a fantastic response and your help is very much appreciated.

We're now looking at the data that's been gathered so far and putting together an interim report to identify the main themes and the areas that we need to find out more about during the next stage of the project.  

Although external statistics tell us that there is a low uptake of physical health checks for those with an SMI, our initial findings show that of the people who completed a questionnaire, most who were offered a physical health check took up that offer and found it to be useful.  So one of our aims going forward is to try and find a way to reach those people who haven't taken up the offer of a physical health check, and identify how the checks can be made more accessible and attractive to them.

If you or anyone you care for has a mental health illness and would like to share your thoughts by completing a questionnaire please access the survey via the following link:

If you would prefer to talk through the survey with Aileen directly, the first page of the link provides contact details, so please feel free to get in touch. 

Future Care Pathway for People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust has informed us that they are developing a new care pathway for people with BPD or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder as it is also referred to.  They are recruiting a total of 20 full-time Pathway Practitioners to provide specialist care coordination and treatment within each CMHT (3 in each Derby City community mental health team, and 2 in all other teams).  Their roles will include providing structured clinical management, individual and group work, and providing care coordination to people accessing relevant therapy groups.  The aim is to have a clear structured pathway with a choice of NICE approved evidenced-based treatments.  This service will also be supported by psychologists (2 days per CMHT) and a Personality Disorder Service Lead.
This represents a large investment into the service both in terms of expenditure and specialist training so it sounds like good news. 

Mental Health Together has been supporting the calls from our experts living with BPD for a specific care pathway since the beginnings of our service in 2017 so we are really pleased to report this development. Tribute needs to be paid to those with lived experience of BPD who have helped to flag up the need for change.  It is hoped there will be scope for peer supporters to be involved in the future development and training within the care pathway.  

High Peak Mental Health Engagement Group

Our High Peak mental health engagement group continues to meet regularly and provides a welcoming environment for service receivers, carers and professionals to get together and talk about their important issues. 

In October we welcomed Jane Bellamy to the group to tell us about the services that P3 can provide.  P3 stands for ‘People, Potential, Possibilities’, people who have a Direct Payment or Personal Budget from Adult Social Care can purchase support services from P3.

The services provided are very wide and varied and 
Jane provided leaflets with details which can be found via the following link:
The group asked about the criteria for support and were directed to ‘Call Derbyshire (01629 533190)’ to request a ‘Needs Assessment’ from Adult Social Care.

Sandy Bull, from the Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Team in the Adult Social Care and Health Directorate at Derbyshire County Council, also came along to the October meeting. She was interested in finding out what people think is important in specialist care homes for the under 65s, and what type of information about the home people would like to help them make a decision regarding potential choices.  Lots of useful discussion took place and the information will be used to help identify what is required in the tender documents sent out to care homes. 

One of the group's main concerns in recent months has been the issue of psychiatrist cover in the High Peak.  In December we were pleased that Sarah Wh
eatley (Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) came to the meeting and was able to provide some positive news.  Although the Trust is still advertising for the vacant psychiatrist post in High Peak, a long term locum (in a 6 months post) started work at the end of November and is enjoying working both within the Trust and the High Peak team.

The High Peak mental health engagement group meet on Thursdays every 5 to 6 weeks between 1pm and 3pm in the lower meeting room at Buxton Methodist Church.  New members are always welcome.  Click on the button below for 2020 meeting dates.
High Peak Meeting Invitation

Derbyshire Recovery & Peer Support Service - Meet the Groups Event

Thanks to everyone who came to see us on 20th November at Ripley Leisure Centre for the Derbyshire Recovery & Peer Support Service 'Meet the Groups' event.

It was great to see both familiar and new faces and we even managed to pick up some feedback for our physical health and SMI project (see above).
Other News

Daniel's Festive Beard for Charity

Daniel's beard was certainly a talking point at the last peer support meeting for our Experts by Experience.  Daniel explains all below:

"I have once again dyed my beard a fabulous colour to raise much-needed funds for charity. Like last year I'm doing it in aid of Chesterfield Churches Nightshelter. 

Last year a group of people from various churches in Chesterfield felt it was right to start a Winter Nightshelter to address the needs of local people sleeping rough on our streets with crisis in their lives. These people include men, women and sometimes children caught in terrible situations, mostly not of their own making. 

The initiative was started by Derby City Mission, who have been running nightshelters for a few years, plus North East Derbyshire District Council, Bolsover District Council and Chesterfield Borough Council. They have pooled resources to help protect these vulnerable individuals through the harsh winter months. The nightshelter is run across 7 local churches (+ 1 in reserve), each taking one night of the week. They provide a safe place overnight inside where it's warm and dry, an evening meal, a sleeping bag and mat for the night, and a breakfast in the morning. The shelter is open 8pm - 8am, every night from December 1st to March 31st. 

The three councils involved, using Central Government funds have invested £25,000, with the project costing an estimated £40,000+. This leaves a shortfall of about £15,000, which has to be raised locally. The funds will be used to finance; transport inc. fuel and insurance, bedding, food, drink, two salaried positions, and clothing, etc. If you would like to support this amazing project, and sponsor me I have a page on the Derby City Mission website. The money goes directly to supporting the Chesterfield Churches Nightshelter.


Living with Long Term Health Conditions - Free Programme  

This FREE six-week programme is delivered one day a week for 2.5 hours. It aims to support people with a long- term health or medical condition, to maintain their health and improve their quality of life. The course has been designed to help people with chronic or long term illness regain as much control over their physical and emotional wellbeing as possible. It complements existing health care programmes and treatments, empowering participants to be more informed and take back control of their lives.
Topics covered include healthy eating, relaxation, appropriate physical exercise, dealing with pain, fatigue, stress and depression, and communicating effectively with friends, family and health professionals. It also provides a forum to meet with others and share experiences.
The LWLTC Programme is for anyone who has one or more long-term health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), depression, diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart disease, sickle cell, HIV, ME/chronic fatigue, chronic pain or any other condition. The course is also available and has proved to be beneficial for carers of someone with a long term condition. The programme is delivered by two volunteer tutors who themselves live with long-term conditions and can give practical advice based on their own life experience.
Feedback has been great. People have said that the programme has really helped them to feel more positively about life, as well as advising on practical changes they can make to improve their wellbeing. 

Click here for dates and locations in 2020.

A leaflet and consent/booking form are both available from the buttons below.  

For further information please email:
LWLTC Leaflet
LWLTC Booking Form

Anxiety and Depression Study

A new national study is aiming to build an up-to-date picture of depression and anxiety in the UK.  In the UK, 1 in 3 people will experience symptoms during their lifetime.

The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study aims to better understand depression and anxiety in order to find effective treatments and improve the lives of people experiencing these disorders.

If you would like to share your experiences then sign up to take part in the survey. All responses are confidential.

To take part in the GLAD Study you must:
•    Have experienced clinical anxiety and/or depression during your life
•    Be aged 16 and above
•    Live in the UK

To sign up and take part in the survey visit the website by clicking on the button below. 
Sign up to the GLAD Study

Activities in Derbyshire - Derbyshire Autism Society Newsletter

The Autism Society provides a newsletter with lots of information about groups and activities in Derbyshire.  It is not restricted to activities for those with Autism, so why not have a look and see some of the things available.  Click here to open their December newsletter.

Derbyshire Autism Services

Who Cares? - Newsletter for Carers

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust produces a quarterly newsletter for mental health carers, including details of support groups.  Click here to open the latest copy.


Derbyshire Mental Health Charity Appeals for Trustees 

A Derbyshire charity aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with, or recovering from, mental ill health has made an urgent appeal for Trustees. The Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health Services (DFMH) provides a range of support services and is looking for more people to join its current team of 6 existing Trustees.
The Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health Service meets bi-monthly to discuss organisational performance and provide strategic direction to the organisation.   

Services provided include: 
  • Specialist adult community mental health support services
  • Promoting the creation of self-help groups
  • Wellbeing Hub and Safe Space facilities to improve the lives for individuals living with or recovering from mental ill health
  • Accepting self-referrals and referrals from statutory agencies to work individually with people with mental health problems and to promote independence to access a variety of DFMH services. 
DFMH Chief Executive, Rona Rawson, said: “Based in Matlock we are looking for people who have the skills and experience to advise the officers and other Trustees at a strategic level.   
“In particular, we are looking for those with a financial background or with clinical or nursing or mental health professional experience. We also encourage people with experience of working in a charity at Board level or in management to get in touch.  

“Our services are incredibly varied including providing peer support to help people to get back into work and living independently, specific therapeutic programmes, housing support and a number of leisure-based projects including gardening.” 

Anyone interested in getting involved in an enthusiastic and friendly team should contact: Rona Rawson CEO on
01629 733915 or
The Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health

Looking After Your Mental Health at Christmas

Christmas may be something you look forward to, or it may be a time of year you find a bit tough. What the Christmas period brings will be individual to each of us.

The Mental Health Foundation have pr
ovided some advice and tips for ways to look after and manage your mental health leading up to and during the festive period. Find out more here.

and finally.....

We'd like to thank everyone for all their support and involvement during 2019. 

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