Funding to help challenge mental health stigma in Bristol

July 2, 2018 at 9:21 am

Today (2 July 2018) Time to Change Bristol is launching its Champions Fund – a £10,000 pot of money to help residents with personal experience challenge mental health stigma where they live.

Each applicant must be a registered Time to Change Champion and can apply for up to £500. The funding will be used to spark conversations between people who have experienced mental health problems and those who have not. Talking about mental health problems and sharing real life stories helps to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.

Activities can range from stalls in shopping centres or festivals to free haircuts by bantering barbers and even ‘walk and talk’ dog walks.

A spokesperson for the Time to Change Bristol Hub said: “This is a great opportunity for residents who have experienced mental health problems to share their story and encourage people to talk more openly about mental health.

“When we talk to each other and establish common ground, prejudices and assumptions are often challenged and replaced with mutual understanding and respect. This can lead to changes in attitudes and behaviours and our campaign is proving that it is an incredibly effective way to reduce stigma and discrimination.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, Equality and Public Health said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how our local champions would like to spend this money and their ideas to get more people opening up about their mental health. Since becoming a Time to Change hub we’ve offered training for people to become champions and this new funding pot will help to really bring the campaign alive. Only by working together will we bring about change that lasts, break down stigma and put our mental health at the top of the priority list.”

The funding is made available through Time to Change, a social movement run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Time to Change Bristol was successful in its bid to become a Time to Change hub in March 2018. Time to Change Bristol is made up of the city council, Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), Rethink Bristol and Wellbeans Initiative CIC and with support from partners across the city – including employers, unions, universities, police and the NHS.

Time to Change hubs are local partnerships which demonstrate their commitment to:

  • Putting people with personal experience of mental health problems at the heart of their work
  • Embedding anti-stigma and discrimination work locally, whether that be local schools, workplaces or other community settings
  • Proactively campaigning to improve people’s attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.

To apply for funding applicants need to be registered Time to Change champions, be at least 18 years old, have lived experience of a mental health problem and live in Bristol.

The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is 24th August. Applications will be assessed by 7th September and successful applicants will be notified by 14th September.  

To register as a Time to Change champion visit

To apply for the Champions Fund visit


July 2, 2018 at 9:21 am | News | No comment

Bristol mental health services Christmas opening times 2017

December 18, 2017 at 1:25 am

Please note: this item was published ahead of the Christmas 2017 period. The information contained in the guide is therefore out of date.



Following the success of last year’s Christmas opening hours guide to mental health services in Bristol, we are pleased to announce we have produced an updated version for this year.

The guide, produced in partnership with Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and Bristol Mental Health, lists relevant mental health and wellbeing support available over the holiday period. It brings together information about mental health services from both NHS and voluntary & community sector partners on support that can be accessed.



BIMHN Representation & Accountability Officer, Tom Renhard said:

“The Christmas period can be especially difficult for some, particularly for people who may feel increasingly isolated during this time or who may be struggling with their mental health and well being.

“The aim of this guide is to assist in helping people access the right support at the right time, should they need to. I would encourage people to make use of this guide as appropriate and share with work colleagues, family and friends.”

You can find a copy of the guide here.

December 18, 2017 at 1:25 am | News | No comment

Bristol Mental Health Services for Children & Young People

August 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm


Bristol CCG have co-produced a directory of mental health services for children and young people in Bristol.

The directory aims to serve as a “single ‘go to’ place for information about children and young people’s emotional health in Bristol.”

Bristol CCG notes in its publication: “It provides a place for children and young people, their families and professionals to get quick, easy and direct access to up-to-date mental health information, including:

• Clear, accurate information about support and services available in Bristol
• Information about a range of common mental health problems such as anxiety and stress
• Self-help tools and information including downloadable resources.”

It has been developed as part of a “five year transformation plan” for children and young people’s mental health services, which is taking place after the publication of the government’s report Future In Mind.

Future In Mind

This follows on from the government’s 2015 report Future In Mind, which called for changes in the way future services are delivered.

The report covers five themes:

  • Promoting resilience, prevention and early intervention
  • Improving access to effective support – a system without tiers
  • Care for the most vulnerable
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Developing the workforce

Locally this has seen changes to mental health services in Bristol, however whether the effects of these changes will lead to long-lasting improvements for Bristol’s children and young people remains to be seen, with recent reports noted that Eating Disorder Services for children and young people are under huge pressure, with only 18% seen within the four week target time compared with a national average of 75%.


Links to the Directory and further information about Bristol’s Emotional and Mental Health Wellbeing Plan can be found below.


Click here to go to the Directory

Click here to see more information about Bristol’s Emotional and Mental Health Wellbeing Plan

Click here to see a guide to children and young people’s emotional health services



August 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm | News | No comment

Our response to latest Crisis Line Statement

August 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm

crisis line closure

We are disappointed by the recent statement released by Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG, which now states that the public crisis line will be closed.

This is a u-turn on Bristol Mental Health’s previous statement which said that the telephone service will not be cut, but “redesigned”.

Their latest communication says that a 24 hour telephone line service will continue to be available, however this is only for people who have been referred to the line by professionals, or for people as “part of their identified support”.

Whilst we acknowledge that it is good to hear there will still be a line for some, we have real concerns about what support there will be for those where access to the crisis line is not “part of their identified support”; for those that don’t access mental health services; and for those from transient parts of the population, such as university students that may have a crisis.

It is imperative that there is access to a 24 hour crisis line for all that need it in Bristol. It is also vital that additional alternatives are identified to provide people not in crisis with emotional support where it is required to help prevent any further deterioration in their wellbeing.

We feel that communication from Bristol Mental Health and Bristol CCG has been unclear, and we are concerned about the anxiety that it is causing people. We urge both organisations to give a clear stance on their decision and respond to our calls for a public meeting, taking into consideration the large number of concerns that have arisen as part of our campaign.

We are meeting with both organisations on Friday 9th September, and will post a further update shortly after then.

The latest statement from Bristol Mental Health can be found here.

Want to support our campaign? Click here to sign the petition.

August 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm | News | No comment

U-turn is made over crisis line – but there’s still a long way to go

August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am

BIMHN says that monitoring any decisions around the crisis line is paramount, after Bristol Mental Health announces a u-turn over the closure of the phone service.

We welcome the news that Bristol Mental Health (BMH) has made a u-turn over its decision to close its crisis line.

BMH’s announcement is in response to our recent article, which highlighted our concerns about the potential closure, and the public’s reaction to the proposal.

The service will now not be cut, but it will be “redesigned”, Bristol Mental Health has said.

We will be monitoring the situation very carefully and challenging any future proposals that are not in the interests of people currently accessing mental health services, or that may access them in the future.

Openness and transparency is paramount in these discussions at all times.

We will be meeting with BMH and Bristol CCG on 9th September to discuss the crisis line further, and will also announce a date for an open meeting to get wider views in due course.

We would like to thank everyone who has responded to our campaign so far, and highlighted the detrimental impact that the closure would have.

Bristol Mental Health said in their most recent statement:

Recently, an online petition has been started to campaign against the closure of Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line. BMH and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to address the concerns raised in this petition.

The purpose of the Crisis Line is to respond to those experiencing a mental health crisis and to their carers. It is crucial that those requiring this service are able to get through and speak to someone when they need to. During the review of the service it was identified that approximately 66% of calls were actually seeking information or general advice; meanwhile others who needed to talk to a mental health professional urgently were unable to get through. It is for this reason that the decision has been made to change the way this service is managed.

As part of this, we will identify options that give more appropriate responses to those ringing the line. This will include where to ring if you need general advice, if you need to know about your forthcoming appointment time, or if you are a professional needing advice. It will ensure that those in mental health crisis will be responded to more quickly than is often the case at present.

The decision to redesign this service is one which has been reached with input from service users and staff from Bristol Mental Health, as well as commissioners from Bristol CCG. It should be noted that this is not a service cut, but a service redesign.

This decision was made as part of a wider review that will improve the balance between planned and unplanned interventions within local mental health services. Both BMH and Bristol CCG are working closely with service users and carers to ensure they identify other resources to best meet the needs of those who access the line.

BMH remain committed to work alongside the CCG with service users and carers to achieve the best mental health and wellbeing for the people of Bristol.

For more information about this issue please contact .

If anyone wants to let BIMHN know their experiences of the crisis line in the meantime, please contact Tom on . To support our campaign, please sign our petition:!

If you are in need of help and support, please visit our signposting page for relevant information.

August 23, 2016 at 8:07 am | News | No comment

Bristol’s crisis line set to close

August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

crisis line closure

Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line is set to close at the end of November, it has been announced.

Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) are deeply concerned over the proposals, and are in close contact with both BMH and the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding the news.

BMH’s reason for the proposed closure, which is to take effect from 30th November 2016, is that the majority of calls being made to the service were by those “requiring advice and support rather than specialist intervention – the intended purpose of the line”.

This calls into question whether enough is being done by service providers to ensure people know how to reach the right mental health support and treatment, including access to preventative services.

We feel that there needs to be more improved signposting, with clear and easily accessible information available for people wanting to use mental health services and seek support.

We want to ensure that any changes to the crisis line are in the best interests of those currently accessing services, and those that may access Bristol’s mental health services in the the future.

We have received mixed feedback from users of the crisis line about how helpful it has been. However, it is absolutely vital that there is an easily accessible and supportive service in place for those in times of crisis.

BMH wrote in their statement: 

“Bristol Mental Health (BMH) is making some changes to its crisis line to ensure that people in crisis receive the support they need. An extensive review of the service was carried out in the early part of 2016, with participation from service users, staff and commissioners.

“The review found that the majority of calls made to the line were better answered elsewhere, or made by those requiring advice and support rather than specialist intervention – the intended purpose of the crisis line.

“Therefore a decision was made by BMH (the provider of the crisis line), Bristol CCG and service users to close the crisis line, effective 30th November 2016, and to identify other resources.

“This decision was made as part of a wider review that will improve the balance between planned and unplanned interventions within local mental health services.

“Both BMH and Bristol CCG are working closely with service users and carers to ensure they identify other resources to best meet the needs of those who access the line.

“Further information will be provided about this over the coming months. As ever, BMH will work to achieve the best mental health and wellbeing for the people of Bristol.

“For more information about the closure of the line please contact or 0117 919 5782/5606.”

Have you accessed or attempted to access the crisis line? We would like to hear about your experiences. Get in touch by emailing BIMHN Secretary, Tom Renhard at . Any comments will be anonymised.

BIMHN members will also be holding a meeting to further discuss the proposed closure of the crisis line, and our next steps.

August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm | News | No comment