Survivors History archive
saved from Internet Archive
date saved: Saturday 23.5.2009
Copies of the original website will be found in the Internet Archive - The Survivors History archive preserves selected text and pictures, but not in the original format.
Welcome to Hamlet Trust
Supporting the development of community-based and user-led mental health initiatives, to enable people to build better lives in developing countries and those in transition.
Last updated: 27th April 2007
Lionel Joyce, a contributor to the project, is a shining example of how people with mental health problems can set up a successful firm. He remembers suffering his first bouts of depression when he was just teenager and spent 9 months in psychiatric hospitals as a young man. Despite his difficulties he rose to become the head of the Newcastle City Health Trust, and then in his late 50s he set up a management consultancy which works with health organisations to provide better care for mental health patients.
"People seem to feel as ashamed about depression as they do about schizophrenia even though it's all a normal part of life," he said. "I think I will be running the business for a long time. I can't ever see myself stopping as I know how important it is to give the patient a voice."
Click here to download the Mainstreaming Business Support for Mental Health guidelines. If you are a service user, business support professional or mental health professional and have any views on the guidelines, or are doing similar work and would like to discuss the project, contact Stuart Anderson at PNE by clicking here or phone 0191 261 6009.
Listen to interview on Radio Newcastle with Lionel Joyce and Stuart Anderson by clicking here!
The Board of the Hamlet Trust has made the difficult decision that the organisation will close its operations in early May 2007.
All at the Trust would like to express their thanks to the many organisations, funders and individuals the Trust has worked with over the years. With their help, Hamlet Trust has been instrumental in developing opportunities to promote user involvement in mental health and wellbeing in 20 countries over the last two decades.
While the Hamlet Trust website will also close in early May, the ENUSP (European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry) website http://www.enusp.org/ continues to contain the contact details of many of Hamlet's partner organisations.
We hope and anticipate that the excellent work of Hamlet's partner organisations will continue long beyond the lifetime of the Hamlet Trust.
Peter Barham, Founder and Honorary President of Hamlet Trust, says, "This exciting initiative will see Hamlet and MHF working together on innovative new projects such as taking forward Article 12 of the WHO Action Plan for Mental Health, which relates to user empowerment and was agreed at the WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health in Helsinki in January 2005." MHF and Hamlet Trust will be conducting research and working with local partners to draw up national strategies for user involvement for member states of the WHO European Region.
In the coming months Hamlet Trust will also be continuing with its current projects, which include:
Hamlet Trust is now co-located at the Mental Health Foundation - details are below. We look forward to continuing our work with Hamlet’s friends both in the UK and across the Hamlet Network.
Albanian service users – having a say in mental health policy
Over 60 stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds, from service users and carers to media, lawyers, mental health professionals, municipal representatives and other NGOs, joined together at an Open Forum to launch the programme in Albania on 22nd September 2005. They discussed how they could be involved in developing mental health policy – previously almost exclusively the reserve of traditional “experts” in Albania. With the support of the Open Society Mental Health Initiative and the UK Community Fund, Hamlet Trust is working in partnership with local NGO Alternativa, who are hosting the Local Policy Co-ordinator post, to be shared by Adri Bicaku and Alkent Birko, a service user.
One of the achievements of the week was for workshop participants to prioritise what they perceive to be the most critical mental health issues in Tirana. The following priorities were included on the agenda of the first meeting of the Tirana Local Policy Forum, held in mid-October 2005.
The first meeting of the new Tirana Local Policy Forum took place on 12th October 2005, where particpants had the chance to start developing strategy plans to tackle these issues.
Up to now a lack of early support has meant that up to 100 young people a year have been hospitalised in Tallinn. Project Manager Krista Onksion says “By getting to know their stories, working in a trust-based relationship and involving them in making choices about their future, young people can be empowered to tackle their problems that might otherwise result in hospitalisation. The earlier young people engage in their journey to recovery the more likely it is that they will resume ordinary activities, including education, occupation and relationships."
One of the recipients of those postcards was the Acting Regional Advisor for Mental Health Dr Matt Muijen. Dr Muijen subsequently invited Hamlet Trust to meet with health ministers and other high-level decision-makers and NGOs from throughout Europe in January 2005 in Helsinki, Finland, at the WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health. At the Conference, ministers endorsed a mental health declaration and an action plan for Europe. These are expected to drive policy on mental health in the WHO European Region for at least the next five years.
Click here to download the
Rethinking Mental Health Policy
Walls come tumbling down
Janibek's story is similar to those in the other 4 countries, Estonia, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania, where decision makers and medical professionals have been coming together with family members and service users to discuss tactics for improving the lives of people with mental health problems, to influence legislation and raise awareness amongst the general public. Trust has been built and people who would rarely come into contact in such an environment are now working to achieve common goals. "I had internal conflicts for some time," said Janibek, "but now I understand, support and work towards the aims of the forum".
The workshop provided an opportunity for members of the forums, whatever their background, to learn new skills and share their experiences. Kristi, a member of the forum in Tallinn, Estonia, said "We learnt how much the Local Policy Forum can change the life of the service user." Getting local business and the media was also found to be a vital way to involve the local community, change perceptions, and to help ensure the sustainability of forums beyond 2004.
George Soros and Aryeh Neier help Hamlet celebrate its 15th anniversary
Mr Soros praised survivors of the psychiatric system in central and eastern Europe and central Asia for "showing vision and commitment" in building better lives - over 8,000 people have changed their lives for the better since Hamlet Trust was formed in the north of England back in 1988. "The Trust’s network is leading the way in the critical areas of advocacy, social enterprise and policy reform", he said, "and helping to ensure that those with mental health problems can fully participate as stakeholders in society".
Guests at the anniversary event learned more about the work of Hamlet Trust, while each took home a candle made by members of the candle workshop at Al ternativa, a Hamlet Network Member Organisation (NMO) in Albania. One lucky guest even snapped up a fine hand-woven rug made at the carpet workshop run by another Hamlet NMO, the Mental Health Foundation Armenia.
A highly enjoyable evening was rounded off with the awarding of raffle prizes - which promptly turned into an auction! Special thanks go to the donors of prizes: Key Travel for providing two tickets to a European capital, and Mrs Jacqueline Land and our very own Igor Spreizer - Hamlet Trust Regional Associate and Co-editor of Hamlet Snapshots - for providing two exquisite works of art made by themselves. Thanks also to Jeff Vickers, for donating his photography skills and subsidising display boards for the evening.
Here’s to the next 15 years of building better lives!
Researching needs in BiH
Fe nix, a Hamlet Network Member Organisation, made some truly startling discoveries: 47% of the sample of 319 people questioned receive such poor monthly social benefits that they do not even cover food expenditure. Discrimination and its concomitant lack of opportunities are partly responsible for the fact that only 4% of respondents to the Fenix questionnaire have full-time work. A shocking 87% have very little social life and rarely go out, with 63% unhappy with the support they get from the local health services.
With the evidence collected, steps are already being taken to address the problems. Another grant from Hamlet is helping to develop a network of self-help groups throughout Tuzla canton and thus tackle these issues of isolation. Local municipalities have been persuaded to provide the new groups with free accommodation. Furthermore, Hamlet Trust’s Local Policy Co-ordinator in BiH, Halida Vejzagic, has been instrumental in creating a strong, open Local Policy Forum in Tuzla which is raising awareness of these issues and others - especially the rights of users - and beginning the process of changing legislation. Bringing together users of mental health services, representatives of local authorities, the media and professionals, the Bosnian forum is one of 5 throughout the region which make up Hamlet’s Pathways to Policy programme, funded by the Community Fund.
©Website designed and built by Tony
Swettenham 2002-2004. Hamlet Trust, c/o Mental Health Foundation, 9th Floor,
Containers House, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9QB
Hamlet Trust, c/o Mental Health Foundation, 9th Floor,
Containers House, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9QB
Registered Charity Number: 800660, Registered Company Number: 2329655, Limited by guarantee