Community Collective Advocacy: February Newsletter

This month:

  • Edinburgh Community Voices – Wednesday 5th February
  • Side Effects Conversations: Save the date – Wednesday 18th March 
  • Opportunity to influence iThrive Edinburgh
  • New Collective Advocacy Group
  • A&E | All & Equal – Emergency Card

Edinburgh Community Voices:  Wednesday 5th February

The next Edinburgh Community Voices meeting is on Wednesday 5th February, 2 – 4pm at AdvoCard, 332 Leith Walk.  Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.
Edinburgh Community Voices is an open meeting for anyone who has lived experience to come along and discuss mental health and services in Edinburgh.  
We’d love more people to come along, especially new people who haven’t been before.  Everyone’s view is valid, you will be listened to and you could help someone in the future.
At the last meeting we discussed:

  • Side effects of mental health medication and the upcoming Side Effects Conversations meetings  
  • Issue of difficulties getting home at night from the Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh when Night Buses don’t take disabled or 60+ bus passes
  • How we can get more people involved in Edinburgh Community Voices

What we discuss at the February meeting is up to you.  
Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.  If you’ve not been before and would like to find out more, you can give us a ring on 0131 554 5307 or email [email protected].      

Side Effects Conversations: Save the date – Wednesday 18th March
This is the first Side Effects Conversations meeting, which we had to rearrange from last year.  
The meeting will be on the afternoon of  Wednesday 18th March.  We’re still finalising the details and will announce them online (on our website (, facebook and twitter), and in the next newsletter which will be going out in mid to late February.  
If you would like to register interest or be kept updated, please contact Becky – [email protected], 0131 554 5307.  

We may be planning future meetings for people who’re not able to make the meeting on 18th March.  If you’re not able to make this meeting but would be interested in coming to a meeting at another time, please get in touch.  

Towards the end of 2018, Edinburgh Community Voices carried out some peer research to hear from people about their experiences of side effects of mental health medication and treatment and support for physical health issues.

We carried out this peer research to hear from people about their experiences, to get these down on paper, to identify any common issues, and to hear from them about what they think needs to be done to address the issues raised.

We published the reports from the peer research in the summer.

You can read the reports, and find out more, here:

Experiences of Side Effects of  Mental Health Medication:

Experiences of Treatment and Support for Physical Health Issues:

iThrive Edinburgh

You might be interested in this opportunity from Health in Mind to shape the new iThrive Edinburgh Website:


Health in Mind has been funded by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland to create iThrive Edinburgh – an up-to-date, user-friendly, single point of access self-management and wellbeing website.

It will directly support the new Edinburgh Thrive welcome team and network, and the delivery of the Thrive Edinburgh mental health integration strategy/commissioning plan.

The iThrive Edinburgh website will provide information about local mental health and wellbeing services, Thrive information and self-help materials.

Julie Huggan, Health in Mind’s Online Information Development Worker, will be setting up a co-production working group to ensure that community members and experts by experience will have a lead role in shaping all aspects of iThrive Edinburgh design and content.

To learn more, please get in touch by emailing Julie – [email protected] 

As part of the iThrive Edinburgh’s development, we would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Please fill in our online survey by clicking the link below.

New Collective Advocacy Group 
** We had some interest in this group earlier in 2019.  We still plan to set it up but haven’t been able to do anything yet due to staff illness. If you’re interested or have ideas please do get in touch and we’ll post updates when we have them.**
Do you take part in a planning group (of any kind), steering group, management committee or board, or have you taken part in a group like this in the past? Would you be interested in joining a collective advocacy group to talk about your experiences and discuss how groups like these can better involve people with lived experience of mental health issues?

We haven’t yet decided on a meeting day, time or location.

We know it may be difficult for some people to come to a new group, so we would look to find ways to involve anyone who is not able to make it to meetings, for instance getting your views by email or over the phone.
If you are interested, or to find out more, please contact Becky –  0131 554 5307, [email protected]

A&E | All & Equal – Emergency Card

Would you like to have an Emergency Card?

An Emergency Card can help you get across your needs and wishes to the nurses, doctors and other staff if you ever need to go to the Emergency Department (A&E).

On the card there is space for you to write three things that you would want staff to know and three things that matter to you about your care. You can fill in the card by yourself or with help from somebody else. It can be folded to credit card size so that it can fit in your wallet and be there if you need to use it.

The Emergency Card was created for people with lived experience of mental health issues. However, it doesn’t say anything about mental health on it, you don’t have to write anything about your mental health on it and anyone can use it.

We have put together some guidance to help you decide if you would like to have an Emergency Card and to give you some ideas for things to include. If you would like an Emergency Card and a copy of the guidance, or have any questions, please contact Becky –   0131 554 5307, [email protected]

Background to the Emergency Card

In 2015 – 2016 we ran a peer research project called A&E | All & Equal where we heard from people with lived experience of mental health issues about experiences they had had at the Emergency Departments at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) and St John’s Hospital, Livingston. One of the issues that came up was that when you’re in distress or are feeling anxious, it can be difficult to communicate with the staff in the Emergency Department, for instance if you have any wishes, needs or other information that you want staff to listen to and take into account. We developed the Emergency Card together with people with lived experience of mental health issues, the Emergency Department (A&E) at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Navigator Project.