The AGM of SPN is taking place at 1.45 pm on Monday 20th February at Resource for London,, Seminar Room 1, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.
We have held our meetings there for the last few years. The venue is adjacent to Waitrose. It is best reached by tube to Holloway Road, turn left on leaving station and 5 mins walk or to Highbury and Islington, turn left and catch any bus.
This is a vital meeting about the future of SPN. A small group of Trustees have kept the organisation going for the past 3 years but a number of Trustees and Officers are now standing down. The attempt to revive the website through volunteers was unsuccessful. A proposed way forward is set out below.
A Social Perspectives Hub
The Trustees meeting prior to the AGM will be considering the possibility of merging SPN into a Social Perspectives Hub. The Hub will be hosted by BASW but it will be open to every kind of interested person; service users, non-BASW members, other professionals, academics, policy makers and interested members of the public. It will build on the work of the “Social Perspectives Network for Modern Mental Health” (known as SPN), hopefully keeping its active members and using their energy to support the establishment of the new “Hub”.
The Hub will make the case for effective commissioning and practice that is socially focussed. This will have a positive benefit for people who use mental health services, their friends, families and communities. This is In line with the SPN charitable objectives. (Information at the bottom of the page).
There is much activity at the moment being carried out by various service user led groups and professional groups. There are links between these networks but these are not well developed and often people are working in parallel. The Hub will provide a “place” for networks to link with each other, pool resources, facilitate co-production, act as a springboard for activism and partnership projects. This “place” does not currently exist. In order to be successful the BASW hosted social perspectives hub must be clearly multi-professional and be co-produced with service users.
The social perspectives hub will have a clear explicit commitment to co-production from the outset. It will involve networking with a range of service user led organisations. This will enhance BASW’s reputation amongst mental health service users and service user led organisations.
The Hub will be co-produced with service-users from the outset. Its structure is deliberately not fully defined at this stage but will be developed through co-production as the Hub evolves. This paper has been shared with Dr Sarah Carr for initial advice about ensuring that the Hub is co-produced. There are a wide range of service user led organisations, activist campaigns and research groups that might become involved with the Hub, representing the diversity of activism in the service user and survivor movement. These include NSUN (which is finalising a Members' Manifesto), Hearing Voices Network, Recovery in the Bin and PDx in the Bin, Shaping Our Lives, Survivor Research Network, the Mad Studies Network and the Mental Health Resistance Network.
Sarah outlines how sometimes boundaries are slowly blurring between service users, survivors and practitioner allies and how various critical discussions are being driven by factors such as welfare benefit reforms, austerity, stigma and discrimination, trauma, poverty, poor housing and inequality as well as the state of mainstream NHS mental health care and support, critiques of neoliberalism and the emergence of 'Mad Studies', the development of the social model of madness and distress, gender and the BPD diagnosis, plus the ongoing development of service user and survivor research and peer support. The Hub potentially offers a way to make links between those concerned with or interested in these issues.
Although BASW is hosting the Hub, it will be clear throughout all its activity that it is not social work led; It is a service user/multi-professional collaboration. All its structures will reflect this. There are many Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists and others who are engaged in work concerning social perspectives in mental health, such as the Critical Mental Health Nurses Network, the Critical Psychiatry Network and Psychologists Against Austerity. There is also the opportunity to link in with the work of Dr Pamela Fisher at Leeds Becket University, who is leading an ESRC funded programme of work entitled Re-imagining Professionalism: Towards co-production and with Jill Anderson who facilitates the Mental Health in Higher Education Hub.
What will the HUB do?
The Hub will support a range of activity all aimed at promoting and developing social perspectives. This will include:
- An online space within the BASW website. This will be a place where resources can be pooled and accessed.
- Regular co-produced multi-disciplinary events, seminars, training events and conferences
- Publication of various material including reports, research, and policy guidelines
- Promoting social perspectives in mental health through media activity
- Administrative support – including IT support to develop and incorporate SPN web space into BASW website
- BASW Staff time or funded external project worker time to develop the Hub networks and organise initial event(s)
- Ongoing staff time or funded project worker time to maintain and develop the Hub.
- Discussion needs to take place about the possible transfer of SPN resources.
We hope that you can attend but any comments of you are unable to do so should be sent to the Secretary, Terry Bamford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Charitable objects – 2008
1) to advance the education of the public in the united kingdom in mental health by providing or facilitating public education in mental health by lectures, research study days, publishing educational materials and training. 2) to develop the capacity and skills of those with mental health problems in such a way that they are better able to identify and help meet their needs and to participate more fully in society. 3) to promote equality and diversity for the public benefit by: a) the elimination of discrimination in mental health on the grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion. b) advancing education and raising awareness in equality and diversity. c) promoting activities in mental health to foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds. 4. to advance the health of people suffering from mental illness of any description, in particular but not exclusively by the following: a) publishing reports, research and policy guidelines concerning effective mental health care. b) the provision of support, education and practical advice.