Friday, 30 November 2012

Peer Support Fife ceased active participation November 2012

Due to lack of funding support Peer Support Fife stopped activities in November 2012.  

The website continues as a news resource and archive.


Monday, 27 August 2012

peer support and survivor led

Just come upon the NMHDU, national mental health development unit (England) website and its Peer Support Initiatives - Practice Examples page.  Looks interesting.  There is mention of survivor led services and training.  And of training in Intentional Peer Support by Shery Mead and Chris Hansen in Somerset, Cornwall and Devon.

from right, Shery, Chris, Karen, Ron & Jacquie
It includes the Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service which I visited with Ross, in our work with Peer Support Fife, in May 2011.  Following which Fiona Venner, manager of the Leeds service, was a speaker at our 'At the Sharp Edge' conference in September 2011 in Dunfermline, Fife.  Run in partnership with SAMH.  Other speakers included Shery Mead and Chris Hansen, Ron Coleman & Karen Taylor, Working to Recovery, Jacquie Nicholson, Edinburgh Crisis Centre, and Jan Cameron, Redhall Walled Garden SAMH.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

peer run crisis and respite centres

It would be great to have a range of peer run crisis/respite centres throughout Scotland.  Places where people could go for a short break if in mental distress.  Run by peers, people with experience of mental health difficulties, not a clinical service.
Edinburgh Crisis Centre


The Edinburgh Crisis Centre is the only one in Scotland, 
"open 24 hours a day 365 days of the year and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis".  
An alternative to hospital, carers can also access the service, there is a free phone helpline and face-to-face support.
Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service



Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service in England provides an alternative to hospital admission for people who are in acute mental health crisis.  Services include Dial House - a place of sanctuary, Connect phone helpline and peer-led group work.

Peer Support and Wellness Center


Peer Support and Wellness Center is a project of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, USA.  Here is a documentary about it.  
 "a free peer-run alternative to traditional mental health services which offers 7-day respite stays, a 24/7 Warm Line, and daily Wellness Activities, We are the evidence that recovery works!"
interior of Second Story Respite House


Second Story Respite House in Santa Cruz, California, USA.
"short-stay, sleeps six, voluntary opportunity to learn to use relationships to move out of old roles and patterns. Staffed by peers (people with lived experience of mood swings, consuming fear, voices, visions,...)"  Link to video.


The National Empowerment Center, USA, has information about Crisis Alternatives.  "This alternative approach to handling crisis teaches people healthier attitudes about themselves and others. With increased skills, individuals can reduce or even eliminate their susceptibilities to the pressures that cause overwhelming emotional distress."




Thursday, 26 July 2012

waiting for Scotland's new mental health strategy

The new mental health strategy is about to be revealed, the consultation complete by 31 January.  Emerging themes include working more effectively with families and carers, embedding more peer to peer work and support, increasing the support for self management and behavioural approaches Emerging Themes Mental Health Strategy for Scotland.


Patient safety approaches also figure in this taster.  For me a priority, in light of recent personal experience.  The use of restraint, seclusion and forced treatment puts patients at risk, of increased mental distress and injury.  Human rights issues are another welcome focus.  There is no excuse for denying basic human rights of locked up patients.  Labelling someone as mentally ill does not mean that using force is inevitable.  Vigilance in this area is essential in my opinion.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

blogging now with Mad in America



I was very pleased to be invited by Bob Whitaker to be the Scotland correspondent, blogging on his Mad in America web magazine, and have done my first blog entitled 'Navigating the System'. This was a topic I'd wanted to write about for a while so good to get it out of my system, so to speak ...

Hoping to share news about peer led mental health initiatives in Scotland and alternatives to working with people in distress. We are meeting soon in Cupar to discuss a follow-up to our Sharp Edge event last September on peer led crisis alternatives. Colleagues from local and national mental health organisations are joining us to look at possible developments.

I would love to see a 'wellbeing' centre where anyone and everyone could drop by for a variety of activities - talking therapies, information hub, peer support, advocacy, sport and physical activities. And out-of-hours crisis support with a phone helpline run by volunteers with lived experience of mental health problems and recovery.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

crisis support and wellbeing

This year we are looking to concentrate on peer led crisis alternatives in Fife, following up our Sharp Edge event. Alternatives to hospitalisation for people in crisis - talking therapies and peer support - information and advocacy - a centre where anyone could drop by and self refer - inclusive and available - volunteering opportunities - because mental ill health and distress can happen to anyone. It's no respecter of persons. We're all in it together.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

a new year beckons

Looking forward to the new year and possibilities of collaborative working in peer support and crisis alternatives. We hope to be successful with fundraising so that we can run more events for people who use services and their carers, family members. In particular we are interested in crisis alternatives led by people with lived experience of mental distress.

Looking back at 2011 we remember many interesting events and fine chat with friends and colleagues. Guests joined us from many 'airts 'n pairts'. We were glad of their company.

Photos from our Tidal
Model workshop, Mary O'Hagan's presentation, visit to Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, the Sharp Edge peer led crisis alternatives event.

Also going to London to hear Parisian psychoanalyst Francoise Davoine, author of History Beyond Trauma, and to Ireland to hear Robert Whitaker, USA author of Anatomy of an Epidemic, then inviting Bob to Fife in November.