WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Survivors History Report.

>From Andrew Roberts

Survivors History Group
27.11.2013 Minutes and last 2013 Report

Attendees: Andrew Roberts, Sheila Beskine, Ian Ray-Todd, Peter
Campbell, Peter Barham, Nathalie Fo Peter
McGeary (Notes).

The group congratulated Ian Ray-Todd on being elected as a public
governor of East London National Health Service Trust. It is
responsible for mental health services in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
Ian was interested as while the trust set the agenda, they listen to
governors who can speak for service users in time of cuts. Fellow
governors are serious about achieving influence.

While stakeholder meetings are corporate you try to work with the
bureaucracy. Some successful nurses have a real influence in the

Members suggested ways that tracing family history might be done and attention
was drawn to Sian Busby's book "The Cruel Mother" (2004). In 1919
Sian Busby's great-grandmother, Beth Wood (1878-1957) drowned two of
her children and was sent to Broadmoor. The murder and the shame
affected the whole family down to the present with fears about
hereditary insanity and an inability to parent. "The Cruel Mother: A
Family Ghost Laid to Rest", an investigation of what happened, is
partly the author's attempt to cope with the consequences. In it,
Sian discusses her difficulties and (partial) achievements in
obtaining records and how she combined this limited information with
other sources and approaches.

No London meetings of the Survivors History Group have yet been
booked for 2014. The group has asked Andrew Roberts to see if it is
possible to book a room for the usual day (the last Wednesday in
every other month)

Andrew provide a copy of the accounts to Peter Beresford for
information. These will require bringing up to date (Payments are due
to Andrew for food at meetings) and balancing with the bank account.
The group needs to consider what will happen to any balance in the
event of our closing down.

Charity Aid Foundation returns were not achievable by the deadline of
5.11.2013 this year. So the donation of £1,000 that the Barham Trust
wished to make could not be made. The Group finances remain healthy
and the accounts are transparent.

Andrew has withdrawn from the Internet Forum in an effort to reduce
the damage and distress of recent events on the forum. As the
originator of the forum he still has "ownership" (he is the only
person who can manage it technically, when necessary). He does not,
however, receive or read mailings from the forum and the forum
mailings are no longer preserved as part of the Survivor History
Group archive.

The Group passed a vote of thanks to Peter Beresford, Anne Plumb and
others who are trying to find ways to ensure a future for the forum.
There was considerable discussion about the problems this break
between the organisation of the Survivor History Group and the Forum
that it has established, but no solutions were found. The choice may
be between focusing on trying to preserve other aspects of the
Survivors History Group and trying to re-integrate the forum with the

Nathalie Fonnesu report.

Nathalie reported that St Clement's Hospital was to host a new
festival on Saturday 14th December 2013. Friends of East End Loonies
(FEEL) were invited to provide another poetry reading. Nathalie
considered it was a good opportunity to maintain a high profile for
mental health. Andrew suggested people let Nathalie know their
details if they would lie to be included on FEEL notice list.

Sheila's report:

Sheila reported on her links to Art History activities by survivor
groups in Scotland. She circulated an exemplar document: "Inner
Necessity: Art Therapy and Art Extraordinary in Scotland: 28
September - 2 November 1996 [Paperback]". The group noted the
significance of this and other outsider art work in the survivor

Peter Campbell's Report on Survivors Speak Out

Awaydays, 3rd December 1994

(Peter had reviewed material for clarification).

In 1994 Jim Read provided a paper on Survivors Speak Out's future. He
questioned why the group was restricted by policy and procedure -
making membership difficult. He queried whether responding to
requests for data, sitting on committees, complying with external
establishment demands were necessary for the group's purposes. Who
was driving the agenda?

Suggested change:

Training on organisation, public speaking, links, agitation to
replace (not improve) psychiatry.

More newsletters, publicity forums for shared feelings, challenge
popular perception.

Refuse all invitations to sit on public bodies

Strive for independence.

The paper summed up issues people were thinking about.

Did it alter what Survivors Speak Out did?

Not very much as the same issues were discussed in 1996.

Important though were how the group (and its descendants) developed,
looking for funds from creative sources. Groups such as Mad Pride had
a different more ad hoc financial structure. Did not apply to
establishment for grants - sold books, raised donations.

Awayday 3.12.1994:

Areas of common agreement:

Deconstruct psychiatry
Media myths
Philosophy of spirit-breaking.
Sought to deconstruct poor science in the medical model. 'Post-
' not 'Anti-psychiatry'.
Alternative models: Sensitisation; sharing, self-determining.

Areas of potential/actual difference:
That Survivors Speak Out be more strategic; proactive;
Maximise survivors in parliament
Maximise influence of Survivors Speak Out
Achieve key aims and targets.
Queried should they do representative work?

Meeting noted that Phil Thomas had credited Peter Campbell with
originating the idea of post-psychiatry. Peter had heard it from Phil
Hutchinson of Sheffield survivors, whom he acknowledged in 1994.

The discussion became consensus of the Awayday - not necessarily the

Suggested that this was a significant development point and may have
added to the development of post-psychiatry. Peter Beresford
suggested we revisit post-psychiatry to determine what it meant to
the survivor participants then and since.

The Survivors History Group wishes EVERYONE a happy Christmas.

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The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
Ah sweet Youffff