Guest post from Elly Jansen, OBE and founder of the Richmond Fellowship

Comments on the vacuum in Social Care Since the 1959 Mental Health Act: Then and Now


Having unexpectedly arrived well into my ‘eighties,’ it seems timely to reflect on my personal experience of the mental health arena, past and present.

In May 1959, when I opened the doors of Lancaster Lodge, Richmond, it was with the aim of providing a place which would nurture and respect people who had nowhere decent to go on leaving mental hospital. Yet, what seemed to me to be an obvious response to need, did not commend itself to those from whom support might have been expected and I found that not a soul was willing to back me.

For a start, I was a foreigner whose credentials were highly suspect! I was a Divinity student from Holland who had come equipped “merely” with three years’ relevant training (and – more important – three years practical work, mostly as leader/carer of a group of adolescents, and as the so-called practical work supervisor of the 1st year Psychology students) at the Paedologisch Instituut of the Free University (Amsterdam). Following this I had completed a three year nursing training which was accepted in the U.K. and which qualified me as a State Registered Nurse. This was in addition to the experience gained through the stresses endured by my whole family during the War years! I learned to cope with the constant dangers of Nazi-occupied Holland, and to assist my mother in finding the means of survival not only for her nine children but also for a succession of illegal refugees from Germany and from the Dutch west coast.

Furthermore, in 1959 it was considered dangerous and irresponsible to create, in an ordinary house in an ordinary street, a Therapeutic Community for people who had been     “Inmates” in mental hospitals. For a number of years, TCs had in fact existed in an army unit for traumatised soldiers and as specialised units in a number of mental hospitals, but even there they were often looked on with suspicion or scorn by other staff, who considered it “asking for trouble” to employ democracy and peer support with patients who were considered incapable of understanding and supporting one another.

And, of course, my project was not plain sailing, and that first year in Richmond was full of challenges. My fellow house-mates – some of whom had been discharged by the Cassel Hospital as “unsuitable for treatment”- came with strong dependency needs and, in some instances, with well-developed powers of manipulation! Our initial group meetings were focussed on me, and I came under pressure to accept the role of mother, nurse, cleaner, bread-winner – even mistress. It took several months and some tremulous perseverance on my part, before we had formulated, and agreed, a workable way of living together and of respecting boundaries, with the aim of enabling the recovery and independence of each person. All of which was a challenge and a steep learning curve for myself, as well as for my house mates.

However, having sat in on the debates in Parliament on what was then the Mental Health Bill 1959, I saw the danger of mini-institutions being created. These would tend to be staffed by those who, for want of specialist training would perpetuate patterns of care based on the long-term institutionalised concept of “mental patients” and their needs. Eager to avoid that trap, I chose to start from an assumption of shared “normality”, and from this to explore what was needed on the basis of our common experience. Yet, despite my wish to be on an equal footing with my fellow residents, an important principle emerged quite soon: I could not just be a member of the Community on a par with the others. Although there was amongst the residents a true spirit of care for one another, I was there to provide what others had come to receive, and willy-nilly I had to modify my definitions of my role and input. There was no escape!

Nor was I left in peace by the outside world. I was threatened with deportation when the Home Office (at the request of an organisation with an ostensibly similar remit) questioned my right to set up my small community. The objection raised was that, as a foreign student, I had neither a work permit nor permission to operate a service. I was able, however, to counter this by demonstrating that I had sat my Intermediate Batchelor of Divinity (with excellent results!) and was registered with London University. I had no position or salary for any activities and was merely sharing my home with free citizens who, on leaving mental hospital, had chosen to share my house with me. I conducted my own defence – successfully – and have since found that most issues which tend to be referred to a lawyer can in fact be resolved in person if one takes time to study the details and record them appropriately.

Meanwhile, the experience of the residents’ Psychiatrists, on the basis of their (typically) fifteen-minute monthly sessions, was that their patients showed substantial improvement, and that this appeared to be associated with the process of receiving help from, and of contributing to, the wellbeing of their fellow residents.

From this small and largely informal beginning, a more structured organisation began to be formed. An increasing number of psychiatrists formally referred residents, and the capacity of Lancaster Lodge, plus the surrounding flats which I had rented, could not accommodate more people. Fortunately, Surrey Local Authority promised 50 % funding for an additional building which was eventually found in East Molesey. As the Organisation grew, we held senior staff meetings to articulate and to commit to paper the principles and practice of our group life.

The evident benefits of the carefully debated and designed T.C. with its clear principles, practices and boundaries, became widely recognised, and resulted in a demand for such a resource from many parts of the UK. Subsequently demand grew from other developed countries, and also from countries whose mental health services were either non-existent or at a very primitive stage. The WHO requested a handbook that could be universally accepted and before the seventies a comprehensive manual existed that did not provide precepts so much as concepts.

The extension of therapeutic provision overseas naturally involved a whole new stage of this work. In each country a reliable and capable Board of Trustees needed to be appointed, and positive relationships built up with Governments, universities, churches and secular bodies. Prospective Managing Directors needed to be identified, who would then train in the UK – a training designed to enable them to translate their newly acquired expertise to their own country and culture. It was doubtless due to the fact that the time was ripe for the TC model – which recognises the potential in people to respond to being valued and validated – that this model became quickly recognised for its universal effectiveness and relevance. Such was the level of support, both from Governments and the community, that there now exists a worldwide group of Affiliates and Associates who have ongoing professional links as well as affectionate personal bonds with many of us in “ the old country.”

In 1959 – our first year of operation – I started our training function by organising a monthly meeting between clergy and doctors to explore mental health issues, and especially to consider how to be pro-active and how to respond to crisis needs. Our sessions always included our staff and from their participation it became clear that, although the majority came with professional degrees, they needed specific and relevant training in how to provide leadership in the TC, how to understand its group dynamics, and how to create a truly healing community in which members could develop the courage to be open and the ability to become sensitive to the feelings and rights of others. My next step, therefore, was to expand our training activities and, in 1966, to create a College providing enhanced training facilities for our staff, who had already been training on a one day per week basis as part of their employment contract. The College was then able to extend this programme to provide courses for the staff of Local Authorities and Charities, and to launch group dynamics “experiences” – not only for our own staff but also for those in leadership roles in, for example, schools, social services, and the Church. The external training was funded by the bodies involved, but the training of our staff had to be funded by ourselves – an expensive item for our budget, but worth every penny as far as the benefit for residents was concerned. A knock-on effect, of great benefit for the staff, was that they acquired skills which were welcomed widely in Universities and Social Services posts.


Today the papers are full of neglect and abuse of the elderly – which sadly, it appears, continues and worsens despite this publicity. Children have a somewhat better deal and, when they are neglected or ill-treated, the sadness and shame of it never leaves the headlines. But what about mentally ill adults of working age?

They were promised, in the July 1959 Mental Health Act and subsequently, a better deal – better alternatives to the large institutions, relevant care, opportunities to regain a full life – but where are the alternatives and where are the resources? Many are deprived of timely help, and many are at risk, wretched and desperate – not only outside the hospital but also within it, since available funding has been put into other needy parts of the Health Service, leaving precious little for therapy and therapeutic activities.  And on leaving hospital (usually still struggling to cope) there are not the means to devote to relevant aftercare resources, and to address the problems that have in the past defeated them. A recurring consequence is the “revolving door” which too often follows discharge, i.e. a speedy re-admission to the hospital ward, which itself is critically short of beds and severely restricted in its resources. This is a pattern which is far more costly than a Therapeutic Care Home which can provide a “bridge” between hospital and community. The well-run therapeutic community has the best means to help those who feel defeated and alienated. It has the potential to restore self-respect and to nurture the ability to enter into a positive relationship with self and others.

However, the problem of lack of relevant care is not just the result of cut-backs: it derives also from short sightedness – a lack of recognition of the most essential elements of relevant intervention, and of planning and co-ordination – usually on the part of Government and of hard-pressed or uninformed Local Authorities. The tragic result is that modestly priced community rehabilitation resources remain underused and/or underfunded whilst those in desperate need are being deprived of relevant help and all too frequently return, again and again, to costly and over-subscribed hospitals, with a lessening of hope at every stage or, alternatively, giving up the struggle altogether.


Elly Jansen founded the Richmond Fellowship in 1959 and directed it for 32 years. The fellowship is now one of the largest voluntary sector providers of mental health support services in England.

You can find more information about the fellowship here



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Introducing the Bridge Network from the School of Health Sciences


In partnership with the Institute of Mental Health Peer Support Education Team, students and staff at the University of Nottingham’s School of Health Sciences are launching a brand new initiative to support the mental health and wellbeing of students studying within the school.

In recognition of the specific challenges faced by people studying to be healthcare professionals, the ‘Bridge Network’ is being created. The network aims to set up peer support groups led by student peer facilitators; meeting with each other and providing a safe space to gain support and talk about mental health.  Peer facilitators will receive accredited training and supervision for this role.

Students are at the heart of this project and the network will be developed and run by student peers from the School of Health Sciences who themselves have experienced mental health challenges.


Background and Plans for the Project

The number of students who experience mental distress is increasing and universities are having to develop new and innovative ways to support these students.  Healthcare courses involve working in health care settings which can place additional pressures on students in terms of hours, assessments, professional body requirements and the emotional strain that comes with healthcare work.  In light of this, the Bridge Network is a student-led initiative designed to meet the needs of this student group.

The network will not only allow students to share experiences, but will equally provide a space for students to support one another, to increase their self-confidence, to build connections and gain a sense of belonging; supporting students to maximise their achievements at University.

Sabrina Carter is a final year BSc Mental Health Nursing student who has increasingly worked alongside a number of peers who have experienced or continue to experience mental health difficulties. One thing that has become apparent to her over the years is the need for a comfortable and supportive space for health science students to come together to talk about mental distress in a way that empowers each and every individual.

Dr Anne Felton, an Associate Professor in Mental Health, has worked in mental health nursing for 15 years. She has seen the successful growth of peer support approaches in health care; involving people with their own experience of mental distress using these experiences to challenge stigma and positively impact on others.  She has worked in alongside Sabrina to create the plans for the Bridge Network.

The University of Nottingham Cascade Fund has pledged £6,000 towards the initiative if the Network can raise £1,000 through Jumpstart, the University’s crowdfunding platform.

The money raised will go towards providing;

  • Five day accredited training programmes for student peer support facilitators
  • Peer support student learning guides
  • Peer support training resources
  • Provision of supervision for network facilitators
  • Conference fees for two students to attend a national conference to present the project


If you would like to make a donation to support this fantastic project, please follow the link to our crowdfunding page:

For more information, please contact:

Anne Felton

Sabrina Carter

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Dr Jen Yates : Standing shoulder to shoulder to conduct research – academics, carers, and people with dementia

What is peer research?

Peer research involves patients and carers helping academics to carry out research, through providing input into how research is designed, conducting interviews and focus groups, and helping to disseminate the findings. Patients and carers bring their lived experience to the project, and coupled with research skills, helps us to conduct research in a way that adds a rich level of insight and sensitivity. In our project, we are conducting focus groups with NHS staff, carers, and patients who have , and we’re asking people with dementia and carers of people with dementia to help us to facilitate these groups.


Why is it important?

In our project, we are looking into the way that care is provided to people with dementia who experience a mental health crisis.To explore this we are conducting interviews and focus groups with members of NHS staff, carers of people with dementia who have used crisis services, and people with dementia themselves. The stories that we ask our participants to tell can involve times of distress and sensitive topics, and involving peer researchers to help us to ask the questions helps our participants to feel comfortable, safe, and valued; enabling them to open up and engage in way that is less formal.

There are benefits for anyone who is a peer researcher too, as our peer researchers are able to learn new skills, and put existing skills to new uses. Being a peer researcher can be a rewarding experience by being able to help other people in a similar situation tell their story in a sensitive way.

We also hope that for participants who have dementia, seeing a peer researcher with dementia taking such an active role in a research project will prove inspiring, and will help to reduce stigma by showing that a diagnosis of dementia does not exclude people from such activities.


Progress so far

Martins office Training

We held two training events for people with dementia and carers of people with dementia to learn about what peer research is, what our project is about, and exactly how to do the research activities that we will be doing. I led the training in collaboration with a lady called Sheena*, who has experience of being a peer researcher on projects investigating secure forensic settings. So far we have had 15 people attend the training, most from the local area but with a few travelling from further afield.

On the first training event we had a smaller group, and discovered that several of the group had been somewhat miss-sold the day through an error in communication, thinking that they were attending to learn more about dementia! However, after some explanation, we were back on track and the group were thoroughly interested in what we were doing, and were very keen to take part. There was a mixture of lived experiences amongst the group, which made for some interesting conversations. Towards the end of the training we had a practice run at doing a focus group, and one of our peer researchers helped me to co-facilitate it. Another member of the group commented that he felt a lot more comfortable having a peer researcher there to direct his answers to.

Our second training event was a much busier affair with a larger group, and again we had a variety of lived experiences amongst the group, as some members of the group had dementia, and some were carers. We had a lot of insightful questions: for example some peer researchers were concerned that hearing someone else’s story might set them back by highlighting what situations might happen to them in the course of their dementia journey, and we reassured our peer researchers that part of our job as academic researchers is to support them. We also highlighted the exercise books given as part of the training, which we hope our peer researchers will use to reflect upon their experiences of working with us to co-facilitate the focus groups by recording their thoughts and feelings before and after the discussions. Another peer researcher worried that she might lose her words during the discussion because of her dementia, and we reassured her that she would be helping us to co-facilitate a focus group with other people who also had dementia, who would understand if she lost her words, and would hopefully feel reassured at her presence if they were struggling with their own words.

I can definitely say that there was a real buzz and enthusiasm during the training events, and our peer researchers were very keen to get started. We explained exactly what will happen on the day of each focus group clearly and simply and checked with everyone that they understood the process, and once everyone had got the hang of it our peer researchers felt confident that they could do it.



I was absolutely delighted with how enthusiastic our peer researchers were, firstly about learning a new skill, and then being keen to put it into practice. Our peer researchers understood the challenges associated with conducting research but were happy to give it a go, with one peer researcher saying ‘throw me in at the deep end!’

The insights that Sheena brought to the training from her own experience of being a peer researcher were hugely valuable and inspirational to our peer researchers. I couldn’t have communicated what it is like to be a peer researcher, or inspired such interesting discussions amongst our peer researchers without Sheena, and she really helped to put our new peer researchers at ease.


Going forwards

We have already completed several focus groups, which have each been co-facilitated by a member of our research team and a peer researcher, and I’m delighted to say that they have been a resounding success. Our peer researchers have asked some very insightful questions and really helped to sum up what was being said and reiterate key points, and I’m confident that this has thoroughly enriched our data.

We have more focus groups booked in and are matching our peer researchers to focus groups in terms of the types of participants to ensure that we draw on the relevant lived experiences of peer researchers.

We are asking our peer researchers to reflect on their experiences and share these reflections with us so that we can improve how we do things and continue to ensure that the experience of being a peer researcher is a positive one. We will also be putting together further blogs, tweets, and research papers detailing our work in this area to share what we are learning, and inspire others to involve people with dementia and people who care for someone with dementia in similar ways.


*Sheena gave her permission for Aqueduct to blog about our activities


Dr Jen Yates is a Research Fellow in the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham. Jen’s research interests focus on the health and well-being of older people who experience difficulties with their cognitive functioning, and how health services operate in the care of older people. Jen also enjoys gardening, baking cakes and going out for the afternoon on her bicycle.

Get in touch by email ( or Twitter (@jenniferayates).

To find out more about Project Aqueduct by getting in touch via email: or on Twitter: @AqueductIMH




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New Publication: Mental Health Uncertainty and Inevitability – Rejuvenating the Relationship between Social Science and Psychiatry


We are delighted to announce the publication of a new book titled Mental Health Uncertainty and Inevitability: Rejuvenating the Relationship between Social Science and Psychiatry, edited by Dr Hugh Middleton and Dr Melanie Jordan. The book celebrates the interdisciplinary doctoral work and supervision of scholars from the School of Sociology and Social Policy, School of Health Sciences and Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. The book offers original knowledge, debate and understanding from frontline fieldwork data and the relations between mental health difficulties, mental healthcare provision and social theory. Over nine chapters, key questions and discussions examine:

  • A Symbolic Interactionist Approach to Mental Health Assertive Outreach – Dr James Roe
  • The Role of Everyday Interaction Rituals Within Therapeutic Communities – Dr Jenelle Clarke
  • The Dementia Experience: Sociological Observations on the Construction of Cognition in Care Homes – Dr Kezia Scales
  • “The Will’s There and the Skill’s There”: Prison Mental Healthcare – Dr Melanie Jordan
  • Institutional and Emotion Work in Forensic Psychiatry: Detachment and Desensitisation – Dr Ada Hui
  • Community Mental Health Teams: Interacting Groups of Citizen-Agent? – Dr Hugh Middleton
  • Handling Role Boundaries: A Basic Social Process Underpinning Decision-Making in Mental Health Teams – Dr Melanie Narayanasamy

Andrew Grundy, current PhD candidate in the School of Health Sciences, in the foreword to the book, wrote: “I commend this book to the field of mental health and illness and encourage scholars, clinicians, service users, and carers to read and consider its contents. It represents a timely, apt and worthy contribution to both psychiatry and social science. This book will obviously be of benefit to anyone interested in social theory as it presents novel applications of existing sociological theories; it will also help clinicians to step back and consider the social context in which they are working and the impacts that it can have on their practice. But it is my hope that this book will also be of benefit to mental health service users (and their carers) as they consider their social identity and what they want to get out of the services that they choose to use.”

Praise for the book has come from renowned leaders and scholars within this field. Brigitte Nerlich, Professor of Science, Language and Society, University of Nottingham writes: It is refreshing to see contributions by young and emerging social science writers grappling with cutting edge issues that transgress disciplines and academic cultures. Their findings should make academic and non-academic readers alike think afresh about mental health as an issue not only of medicine and medication but of culture and socialisation. Most importantly, the book makes us all think about whether it is possible or desirable to take refuge in biomedical certainty alone when dealing with mental health issues.”

Anne Rogers, Professor of Health Systems Implementation, University of Southampton, Author of A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness states: “Scholarly work undertaken by up and coming social scientists working in the area of social science applied to mental health.  The novelty of these interesting contributions lies in the concern to link social science theory, concepts and methods to the various settings and places within which mental health is managed thought about and enacted.   This collection which provides excellent insights into contemporary mental health matters demonstrates the opportunities and possibilities  that  mental health service settings can provide for  conducting  exciting social science research.”

Michael West, Senior Fellow, The King’s Fund and Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University:  “This collection offers powerful insights into the ways in which social science research can help us understand how to develop mental health services to ensure high quality, continually improving and compassionate care. It reveals also the rich field of opportunities for research that the study of mental health services offers for researchers. The contributors are all practitioners with social science research training and their commitment, wisdom and compassion shine through the content.”


A panel discussion will be held to mark the launch of this book on 30th June 2017, 1-3pm, C11, Portland Building, University Park:

Further information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website:

This post was prepared by Dr Ada Hui, Assistant Professor at the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. Ada has particular interests working with disenfranchised communities.  Her research focuses on emotional labour, organisational culture and social suffering.

Email:                                                                                       Twitter: @adahui1



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Anne Goodwin: Fictionalising the mentally disordered offender

As a former clinical psychologist who now writes fiction, I’m not particularly drawn to crUnderneath 3D Coverime on the page. So it was almost as much a surprise to me as to anyone that my forthcoming second novel, Underneath, is about a man who keeps a woman captive in a cellar. But, as you might expect from my mental health background, what attracts me to this topic is not the offence itself, but the character underneath it; less the what (although the novel certainly addresses that), but the how and why.

My character Steve’s emotionally neglectful childhood has left him with abandonment issues, which he’s managed to side-step for most of his life by a peripatetic lifestyle with no expectation of forming long-term bonds. Eventually, it’s time to settle down and, as his new girlfriend moves in with him, life seems to have turned out fine. But even then there are warning signs in his defensive cognitive style. In conversation with her friend and colleague – and Steve’s nemesis – Jules, Liesel refers to Steve’s reaction to an art exhibition they’d seen together (p30):

Liesel stroked my hand. “Steve found the exhibition rather disturbing.”

“No I didn’t. I found it boring.”

“Same difference,” said Jules. “When you’re overwhelmed by emotion your mind switches itself off.”

Later, when Liesel’s priorities change, Steve rejects her attempts to talk through their differences, preferring, instead, to locate all vulnerability in her. This isn’t too difficult given her own issues with loss stemming from her mother’s suicide (p153):

Jules knows a good psychotherapist, she’d said, as if it were my mind that needed to be fixed.

Liesel’s perspective on mental health is grounded in her work as an art therapist in a forensic mental health unit. Unfortunately, although he respects her professional status, Steve disregards her expertise (p151 -2):

I felt sorry for her in a way. I imagined her spouting this nonsense in her interview and the panel covering their smirking mouths with their hands. I imagined her being ridiculed by the prosecution for trying to convince the jury that some thug hadn’t meant to throttle his wife, he was acting out some pre-conscious childhood trauma … She seemed to have rather too much in common with her patients. Fortunately, there was no hint as yet of criminality.

On visiting her workplace one lunchtime, Liesel tries to explain her therapeutic approach (and apologies to the art psychotherapists I’ve worked with for Steve’s misrepresentation of the profession). But he shows little empathy for the patients, instead envying the attention she gives them (p91-92):

“If you’ve missed out on the basics, like my patients have, you live with a yearning, an absence, whether you remember where it comes from or not.”

She was going all Freudian again. I gazed at the brown stain at the bottom of my coffee mug as I stifled a yawn.

Liesel squeezed my shoulder. “Sorry, I’m lecturing you like you’re one of my students.” She scraped back her chair. “I’m afraid you’ll have to go. It’s time for my group.”

I covered her hand with mine, imagining fucking her across the mottled table. “Let them wait.” It seemed morally offensive for a bunch of hooligans and perverts to have a woman like Liesel at their beck and call.

Advice to writers on creating an immoral character suggests being nonjudgemental and empathic, and framing the character’s behaviour as the outcome of various unfortunate events rather than a random act. It would spoil the story to give much detail about how personality combines with happenstance to make Steve a jailer, but there are parallels between my task as a writer and that of health and social care professionals working with mentally disordered offenders. Despite the disapproval and distaste one may feel for the crime that has been committed, professionals are conscious of the perpetrator’s circumstances and underlying vulnerability that have led them to cross the boundary. In a society that is often lacking in empathy for offenders, it can be hard to juggle the conflicting feelings of compassion for the person and condemnation of the crime.

I hope that mental health professionals, service users and their families with direct experiences of such services, if they should read Underneath, will consider that I’ve approached these issues respectfully. I also hope that readers without this background knowledge might be nudged a little closer towards a more compassionate perspective on the mentally disordered offender which, as a society, we urgently require.


Anne Goodwin is a former employee of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS trust. Her second novel, Underneath, is published internationally on 25th May 2017 in e-book and paperback and launched at Nottingham Writers’ Studio on 10th June.

She has contributed two previous articles to the Institute of Mental Health blog:

Three novelistic approaches to mental health issues that won’t set your teeth on edge From clinical and academic writing to fiction


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IMH Research day is coming!


House for a Gordian Knot, Ekkehard Altenburger


Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 9th) the IMH will be hosting its Annual Research Day to highlight the work of the Institute’s doctoral candidates, Managed Innovation Networks (MINs), and all early-career researchers (including research assistants, research fellows, and research-active clinicians and service users).

There are some fantastic talks and poster presentations lined up including a Keynote discussion from Max Birchwood titled  “Translating the science of prevention to service reform in youth mental health: the emergence of 0-25 years services across the West Midlands of England”.

The event will start at 9am and finish just before 5pm and will take place in the Institute of Mental Health, Jubilee Campus. Attendance is open to everyone so please feel free to come by.


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Student minds committee opportunity

What is student minds? 
Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. We empower students with the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health and support others through our national network of university groups. One conversation at a time, we will transform the state of student mental health.

How can I get involved?

We are looking for a new committee for 2017-18! There are a range of roles on offer, from Co-ordinator to Events Team member. You don’t have to have any prior experience to apply but if mental health is something you are passionate about, or just helping people in general, one of these roles may be for you!

Check out the variety of roles we have on offer by clicking here. If one of these roles takes your fancy, please click here to apply.
Applications for committee close: Sunday 7th May 2017

We are also looking for student volunteers to help run our Positive Minds Course for University of Nottingham.We provide a fantastic opportunity for students who are interested in receiving training and on-going support in delivering these projects. Successful applicants will join us for a two-day training workshop, on the 16th and 17th September, covering all the basics of running a safe and effective support group, from listening skills to publicity and lots more. By creating a positive atmosphere for talking about mental health, we aim to give students the confidence to look after their own wellbeing. This is an opportunity not only to make a real difference to student life but also to develop your own skills and experience!

For more information on how to apply, go to
Applications for facilitators close: Sunday 30th April 2017



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