Archive for the ‘Mons Network & Forum’ Category

Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Network

December 8, 2008

Mental Health Service User and Carer

Network Meeting



Date:    Wed 10th Dec 2008


Time:   1:30pm – 3:30pm (mince pies included)


Location: Mental Health Resource Room,

Sessions House, Usk, NP15 1AD





1) Discussion with Jill Jones from the Genesis Project


2) Consultation on the ‘Talk To Me’ Suicide and Self harm national action plan


3) Discussion around service user and carer representatives on the Adult Mental Health Strategic Planning Group


4) Any Other Business



Monmouthshire Mental Health Internet Blog: SpeakEasy in Mons

SpeakEasy is an internet ‘Blog’ which also doubles as a web resource for information, links, discussion, and events.  It contains a substantial list of Help Line information, and links to sites for specific issues for young people, adults, older adults and carers.

To reach the ‘Blog’ type SpeakEasy in Mons into the Google search bar.  It also registers on NTL Broadband, MSN, and Yahoo. Try it, use it, send in your comments on what is already there, and write your own piece about anything to do with mental health. You can also feed back any comments or suggestions for improvement.

Library and Self Help Resources at the MH Resource Room, Sessions House, Usk.

A resource of books, cd-roms, videos and dvd’s supporting people with mental ill health and their carers and families is available for individual loan or to discussion groups, and is being continually enlarged.   A portable dvd player can also be borrowed.  Contact Richard or Jen on 01291-673728 for info (answerphone).


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum

July 16, 2008

Date:  Wed 23rd July 2008

Time: 1:30pm- 3:45pm

Location: MH Resource Room, Sessions House, Usk, NP15 1AD



Talk with Shelley Welton (Torfaen Local Health Board) around methods of user involvement.


Review and discussion around the achievements in Service User and Carer Involvement and Development in Monmouthshire.




General discussion around Mental Health Day Services in Monmouthshire. What are your views and ideas about existing and new services?


Election of a new Chair and Secretary for the Network and Forum meetings.


                          If you are interested in having your name put forward for election but cannot make this meeting please call Jen or Tony on 01291-673728.   

Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum

June 18, 2008

Notes of the meeting held on 28th May 08 are now available on the Network & Forum page.

Also available at the Resource Room, Usk are copies of the Monmouthshire Directory: “Services for Mental and Emotional Wellbeing”.  If you would like a copy, ring 01291-673728, or ask at the drop-in’s, or e-mail me to this site –   This is a useful booklet for any carer or person using mental health services, and includes information on voluntary agencies and other support services.

Also available on this site, or as a print out on request, is an extensive list of Support Lines for all manner of worries, not just mental health.

….and if you are in need of a smile, then there are a couple of new items on the Clean Jokes page. 


Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum

February 16, 2008

The next meeting of this Forum will be at The Sessions House, 43 Maryport Street, Usk on Wednesday 20th February, 1.30 – 3.45 with a break in the middle.  You are welcome to arrive from 1pm onwards for a hot drink and a chat before the meeting starts.   For details see larger post further down this page.

Mons Mental Health User and Carer Network Meeting.

January 17, 2008

jen-4-concur.jpg  Not just a talking shop…….we get ‘stuck in’…

Next Wednesday, 23rd January, at The Sessions House, Usk – as usual.   Ipm for coffee/tea and start at 1.30pm.   Meeting should end by 3.30pm.   Please note that there is no Forum  that day (see next paragraph) as this meeting will be an extended discussion with Mike Collins, Senior Nurse, who will be focussing on area services and in-patient provision.  We are hoping that as many people as possible will take the opportunity for this question and answer session with Mike Collins.

We are trying a different approach to the Network and Forum meetings over the next few months, after which there will be a review.   People sometimes find that having both meetings on the same afternoon means that discussions have to be limited, and that this is not satisfactory.   Therefore we will be holding the Network this month; the Forum in February; Network in March – and so on. Let’s see if this is an improvement.  Making this change raises a ‘touchy’ issue.  Our tradition is that the Forum meetings are open to anyone with an interest in mental health services in Monmouthshire – be they professional workers, carers, helpers, service users, or members of the public.   However, the Network has been kept as a meeting for service users and carers with their Monmouthshire involvement and development workers, and anyone else can only attend by invitation of this group.   To be a member you have to be aged over 18, living in Monmouthshire, and currently receiving mental health services, or directly caring for a person currently receiving mental health services.   If you are not receiving services you can’t be a member.   However, you are welcome to come to the Forum.  Hopefully this will clear any misunderstandings.

Don’t forget that the CONCUR newsletter can be found under ‘Pages’ on this site, and also the Notes of the most recent meetings of the Forum.  

Come along on the 23rd if you can.


New page added.

January 15, 2008

A new page has been added in the column on the right – Network and Forum notes.

This is so that the Notes of meetings are available in full for anyone who wants to read them.   Summaries are also included on CONCUR newsletter.   Printed copies can be made available if requested, altho anyone with internet access can can copy and print these pages.   Any comments, criticisms, or paraise – please let us know.

Network and Forum – programme change.

November 26, 2007

Sorry, but there has to be a change around of the format for the meetings.   The Network will now be at 1.30 – 2.30 and the Forum 2.45 – 3.45.   We are sorry for this short notice, but the situation is unavoidable if we are to help people attend the Forum.   The agenda is as published but there will also be a chance to say whether you prefer that advocacy is provided as at present – with a separation between in-patient and community advocacy, or whether you would prefer generic advocacy – where the same advocate can work with you in either situation.  Have a think about it before the meeting, and we will try to get a group decision.

Monmouthshire Mental Health Service User and Carer Network and Forum

November 23, 2007

November Forum and Network will be at The Sessions House Usk on Wednesday 28 November at 1.30 pm.   This is the final Forum and network meeting of this year.

Forum 1.30 – 2.30.This will be Bernard Boniface’s last Forum before moving on, and it is hoped that as many as possible will try to attend.  On the agenda will be: the draft leaflet about mental health in Monmouthshire – for your comments and suggestions.  

Gwent Patient’s Panel – some of you volunteered to become involved, and Rhian Lewis now wants to take up those offers.   Time to stand up and be counted!

Independent Police Complaints Commission.  The IPCC ran one workshop at the Mind Cymru conference in Cardiff this week.   They are keen to make recommendations about the additional training of police officers, especially in relation to mental health issues, and the way in which people with mental ill health should be supported and attended to.  This could provide an opportunity to meet with the IPCC and discuss some of the situation in which people have found themselves, and  how they could have been better dealt with.  This will be discussed and hopefully a decision made about becoming involved with this project. 

Any Other Business on the day.

Network 2.45 – 3.45

An opportunity to see a short video (15 mins) about the Mental Capacity Act, and for discussion.  

Discussion about whether there is support for an event in the Spring to focus on Stigma and similar issues.

 If there is time we will also show the last two speakers in the video “Listen to Me – part viewed in September.

Please come if you can – and your friends are also welcome.


Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and Forum

February 15, 2007

The next meeting of the Network and Forum will be held at The Sessions House, Usk on Wednesday 21st February, starting at 1.30pm.   As usual the meeting will be held in two parts.  During the Forum – 1.30 – 2.30pm the main speaker will be Mike Collins, Borough Manager, Adult Mental Health Services.   “New Service Model”.   There will also be an update from the Joint Commissioning Team.

The Network meeting – 2.45 – 4pm will include the election of a Chairperson; feedback on the Day Services Review, Speakeasy in Mons, Resource Room, dates of future meetings, and invitations to outside speakers.

At the end of the afternoon, around 3.30pm, Cllr Kay Peacock, Mayor of Usk, will present Certificates to those who recently completed Peer Advocacy training, and to those who attended Part 1 of the course.

Come along if you can – it should be an interesting and enjoyable afternoon.   All carers are welcome.  

Stigma and Discrimination

January 31, 2007

A few weeks ago I wrote that I would be starting to gather information and comment on the Stigma issue which affects the lives of so many people with mental ill health.    The subject of mental ill health is one which attracts mythology, untruth, supposition, misunderstanding, mistrust – and most “mis -somethings” that you can think of.     Of course, fear, embarrassment, denial, exclusion, are all high in the stigma ratings, and is has disturbed me to hear people say sadly that the place where they feel they have experienced greatest stigma, and stigma which really gets to them, is in their own families.   Workplace stigma, loss of peer group friends for young people, community bullying, and unacceptable descriptive words are all part of the experience of those struggling with mental ill health, and it’s negative effects on their lives.   It needs to be dealt with, and in an effective and cohesive way, and during 2007 it will feature strongly in the work of the Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and also the work of Service User Involvement.   If you would like to become involved in some small or big way in working on getting information out into the press and community which creates better understanding, and hopefully starts to reduce stigma, then let me know by e-mail, and I will keep you informed.   If you feel strongly enough to want to take a lead role in the work group, then say so, and full facilities will be available.

E-mail to, or click on the stigma links in the categories or links section on the right side of the opening page, and send me a comment.

The following is an extract from the website of the Mental Health Alliance which offers two examples of recent press reporting.   It encourages you to write to the Editors of the two newspapers and tell them what you think about these comments.  

 The Sunday Times, ‘Mentally ill murder 400’

The Observer, ‘One person a week killed by mentally ill’

These were the headlines on the front of the Sunday Times and the Observer in December 2006, about the Department of Health’s report on suicides and homicides by people in contact with mental health services.

Headlines like these can add to the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems face. It’s important to tell newspapers how stories like this can affect you: your life, your work, your relationships.

You need to explain the effect that headlines like ‘Mentally ill murder 400’ have on you, how it affects perceptions of people with mental health problems, and the impact that has on your life.

The causes of so many of the deaths, homicides and suicides, were health service failings. The solution to these deaths is better mental health services. It’s important to remind newspapers that it is the poor state of mental health services that are the real problem.

Please send a copy of any letters you send to a newspaper to