A week in the life of Gateshead Mental Health User Voice

Information worker Sharon Gibson provides an insight to a typical week in the life of MHM’s Gateshead Mental Health User Voice service.

MONDAY

With no sign of that Monday morning feeling the PUCPI is held on the first Monday of every month. PUCPI stands for Patient, User, Carer and Public Involvement group and they met at the Civic Centre, the turnout was good and the discussion focused on current events and issues related to service provision in Gateshead. The PUCPI aims to ensure that the needs and issues identified by members are brought to discussion with commissioners. Members are kept updated on what is happening in healthcare in Gateshead. We enjoyed the meeting and were made welcome, we can’t wait to see the website that is being designed and intend

TUESDAY

North East Together meetings are held once a quarter in Durham in the secluded surroundings of St Cuthbert’s Hospice. The bus journey only took 40 minutes from Gateshead. Service users can expect to be well fed and watered. More importantly it’s an opportunity to meet other service users and carers from all over the North East and find out what’s happening across the region and nationally with regards to mental health. Travel expenses are provided and other events are in the pipeline. We enjoyed the afternoon and our members were asked to consider becoming a trustee of the organisation.
Usually the first Tuesday of every month Gateshead Mental Health User Voice meetings are held in the afternoon and are in a friendly venue with refreshments always available. Sharon usually gives details of involvement opportunities and Craig chairs the meeting. Topics of interest vary every month and speakers are regularly invited.

GASP (Gateshead anti stigma partnership), for everyone who wants to tackle the discrimination and stigma that surrounds mental health and those affected by it. Even if you don’t live in Gateshead you are welcome to attend these meetings which take place every month, new ideas of ways to get people together to talk about their views and experience of discrimination are being planned and it is hoped that events will take place soon.

WEDNESDAY

The Gateshead Mental Health and Wellbeing Partnership is one of the family of partnerships that forms the Gateshead Strategic Partnership. It provides a forum for organisations in Gateshead with an interest in improving mental health and wellbeing. It is responsible for improving the mental wellbeing of Gateshead residents through owning and delivering the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Strategy and action plan for Gateshead. The Partnership meets on the third Wednesday of every month. We went along with one of our members and represented service users.

THURSDAY

Service User & Carer reference group, facilitated by the NTW NHS trust in the luxury of a city centre hotel conference room. The meeting took place in Newcastle upon Tyne and gave service users and cares the opportunity to consult and advise on care pathways and packages. These meetings have given people further opportunities to attend work streams on different aspects of mental services and care pathways.

Service User Involvement meeting (community services), gives GMHUV the chance to be involved in decisions being made in the development of community mental health services. Our involvement in this group led to a fantastic “Recovery Workshop” which took place in April.

FRIDAY

The Northumberland Tyne and Wear Service User and Carer Network does what it says on the tin! Meeting on the third Friday of each month in venues across Tyne and Wear we find it an ideal source for information on what’s going on. The meetings are very well attended so we got there early for a good seat. Refreshments and expenses are provided .

SATURDAY

We couldn’t pass over the invitation for cake and tea, we attended the “time to change” networking event in Newcastle city centre. It was all about “speaking out” to reduce mental health discrimination.