February 2016 After a lengthy period of sickness absence I am aiming to return to work soon. In the meantime I am continuing to keep in touch with the Coalition for Collaborative Care, the RESPECT (Randomised Evaluation of Sexual health Promotion Effectiveness informing Care and Treatment) feasibility study and the McPin study into research participation among people with severe mental illness.
June 2016 I spoke as part of a three person panel on mental health and social media International Congress of the Royal College Psychiatrists alongside https://twitter.com/PsychiatrySHO and https://twitter.com/MentalHealthCop
January 2016 Following my involvement in the campaign to overturn proposals to reduce ESA rates by around a third I was interviewed for BBC Breakfast on the likely impact. It was a big moment for the coalition of campaigning charities when the Lords voted against the proposal (brought a tear to my eye!). That doesn’t mean it won’t go back the Commons and be passed, but at least there’s more space for campaigning.
Work continues with the Coalition for Collaborative Care. I’ve provided a patient perspective at meetings with staff from NHS England’s Long Term Conditions (LTC) team. At this month’s meeting with the Co-production Group of people with lived experience of health problems and/or their carers I facilitated a workshop on next steps for the Group.
After a little lull in finding participants qualitative research interview with McPin continue apace and I’m finding that really enjoyable.
Still excited looking at my first (co-authored) academic paper, the outcome of last year’s McPin research on women’s decision-making on medication during pregnancy http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e010130.abstract
December 2015 Honoured to be asked by Rethink Mental Illness whether I would give oral evidence at the House of Lords for a Parliamentary Review of proposed cuts to Employment and Support Allowance. Following this I was asked to attend the launch of the report, Halving the Gap?, where I gave a brief speech on the the barriers to employment for people with mental health problems.
November 2015 This month I’ve been providing a patient perspective on research proposals by a UCL statistician looking at a large dataset to tease out the impact of specific mental health medications when taken by women with severe mental illness during pregnancy.
September 2015 So pleased to have my article on the pitfalls of being a service user in the era of social media in this month’s issue of The Lancet Psychiatry
I continue to be involved with the Coalition for Collaborative Care as member of the Coproduction Group of people who live with longterm conditions and will be delivering part of a workshop from a patient perspective at the next meeting with organisations who contributed to the coalition.
August 2015 I’m now one of two service user researchers carrying our interviews for a UCL/McPin Foundation qualitative study into how people with severe mental health problems choose whether on not to engage in research. I’m finding being back out in field research very enjoyable.
July 2015 Interviewed for BBC Radio Three Counties Shrink Wrapped mental health show
May 2015 Really pleased with the two pieces that I’ve recently had out – The bittersweet world of mental health online for BBC Ouch, and My battle with bipolar in Stylist magazine
March 2015 Delivered a talk to 3rd year undergraduate students at University of Birmingham on the realities of the mental health system which was very well received – lots of great feedback on Twitter!
16/02/2015 I’m today’s Guest blogger for Mumsnet on the need to improve mental health support for teachers and pupils in schools.
24/11/2014 Very excited that I have been selected as a Service User Researcher with the McPin Foundation and UCL on the Primrose Study!
08/10/2014 I spoke about bipolar and blogging at Bournemouth University’s World Mental Health Day Conference. Part of a fab lineup which includes Jonny Benjamin and the Finding Mike production team, and mental health activist and musician Mark Storey.
24/05/2014 Proud to be given a two-page feature in the July edition of Holland and Barrett’s Healthy magazine, available in store now.
On 30/05/2014 I was one of just 10 patients and carers participating in an event run by the Coalition in Collaborative Care. I hope to be able to explore what this model might mean and what best practice might look like in mental health.
The research project (with the McPin Foundation) on women’s medication choices in pregnancy is gathering momentum; with the majority of interviews under our belt we are starting to analyse the data we have gathered. We are still keen to hear from women who might meet our criteria and be willing to help, however!
Mary O’Hara’s new book, Austerity Bites, is now out ! I’m proud to have contributed to Mary’s book by sharing my experience of the Work Capability Assessment.
My review of Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall is now available in volume 1, issue 1 of The Lancet Psychiatry.
28/05/2014 Very pleased that I have just been accepted as an Expert by Experience working with Rethink Mental Illness to help communicate the research of the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group at the University of Nottingham in a way that is easy and helpful for service users and carers to understand.
06/03/2014 Thoroughly enjoyed delivering my very first Mental Health First Aid course over the past two days. If you or your company would benefit from this practical, valuable training, do drop me a line for further details.
19/02/2014 I am proud to announce I have completed my Mental Health First Aid instructor training with Mental Health First Aid England. If you or your organisation are interested in MHFA training, please contact me using the “Book Charlotte” page.
14/02/2014 The Lancet Psychiatry website is up! Find me on the Editorial Advisory Board PLUS I’m honoured to be the first contributor in a series of blogs to mark the departure of Paul Jenkins from Rethink Mental Illness.
04/02/2014 Did you see me in The Sun’s Me health section? I blogged about it Rethink’s website and explained why I’m proud to be a media volunteer for the charity
29/01/2014 Today in Society Guardian there is a feature on me by journalist Mary O’Hara!
20/01/2014 STOP PRESS! I am now able to announce that I will be joining the Editorial Advisory Board for the brand new Lancet Psychiatry journal, launching soon! Honoured to be able to bring a service user voice to this prestigious new publication.
I’m very pleased to announce that during January and February 2014 I will be training as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. If you’re not familiar with the excellent MHFA, take a peek at this video. I’ll be running MHFA courses in conjunction with my colleague Jon Bartlett (also known as @projectlibero). If you’d like to come along and meet us in person whilst acquiring essential skills for dealing with people in emotional distress, our first event will be in London on 4th and 5th March 2014 and you can sign up here. Really looking forward to it!
If you’d like us to deliver this widely-recognised, nationally accredited training to your staff, we’ll be happy help you find a place on one of our existing courses or, where there are sufficient numbers, bring the training to your workplace. Just drop me a line using the contact form below.
Meanwhile, my latest guest blog for the International Bipolar Foundation on attending an audience with Kay Redfield Jamison is up!