Diverse Voices … Shared Vision
Opportunities for people who experience mental distress or use mental health and social care services in Sutton to influence the planning monitoring and decision making about local services
Sutton 1 in 4 Network is working with people who have experienced mental and emotional distress or illness and have had contact with local services to play an active part in the development, management and monitoring of local mental health and social care services.
On this section of our website you will find brief descriptions of some of the various opportunities for people with mental health experiences to be involved in. The list we provide here is indicative and to give you some idea of the various opportunities.
Why take part?
- You will be able to use your experiences … good and bad … to help improve local services in the future
- Influence your own treatment and care
- Support your own recovery, be involved at a pace that suits you
- Strengthen and develop your confidence and skills … feel more empowered
- Access to training and support
- Help develop your CV and add and strengthen your existing skills to find work and volunteering opportunities
- Meet and work with people from a range of backgrounds and expertise
- Lots of opportunities for different types of involvement-pick something you like the look of
- How will your involvement make a difference?
- Through your experience, expertise and knowledge you can help to shape mental health services to meet the needs of local people.
- By working as part of a team you will be able to make sure that the voice of people who experience mental distress is fed back into local service developments.
- You will be able to demonstrate that people who have mental health needs can and are able to be creative and innovative partners and it will send a message to commissioners and providers that they should do nothing without involving us.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for people with direct and personal experience of mental health needs and services in Sutton to become actively involved in influencing and helping to improve local service provision.
Areas you may be interested in exploring further
- Involvement in the decisions relating to your care, treatment, wellbeing and ongoing recovery
- To provide intentional peer support to service-users
- To be involved in the running of Service-user Managed and Controlled Services
- Involvement in staff recruitment and selection
- Involvement in the induction, training and ongoing education of staff and local teams
- Being consulted on local service developments and changes
- Participating in the review and evaluation of local services
- Becoming a member of a committee or working/task focused group
- Helping to identify the information needs of service-users and carers and in deciding how this information is made available to users and carers
- Feeding back your views, concerns and ideas about mental health services through local forums
- Designing, running and participating in service-user led and involvement activities in your local service
- Involvement in the commissioning of local mental health service provision
- Completing and returning surveys and questionnaires
- Participating in Service-user meeting held in your service setting
- Involvement in the decisions relating to your care, treatment, wellbeing and ongoing recovery. This may be the most important area of service-user involvement.
We want people who are in contact with services to be actively involved in the decisions relating to their care and treatment, their wellbeing, and their on-going recovery. We recognize that you may require peer support and local service-user groups or your families and friends to do this. Sutton 1 in 4 Network and Sutton Mental Health Foundation will work in partnership with local agencies to provide service-users with opportunities to develop their confidence.
To provide intentional peer support to service-users
Peer Support Workers are people who have personal experience of mental distress and of mental health services. They offer mutual support to anyone who feels that it maybe helpful to talk about their own experience of mental distress and of mental health services with someone who has been there too
Peer Support Workers go through a training programme to gain accreditation to facilitate self help groups. People who experience mental health problems and distress can and do run a wide range of self help groups and projects for example, Hearing Voices Groups, No Panic, and others. Such groups need facilitators and if you were interested in being involved as a facilitator you may need to attend some training, usually over 4 days.
To be involved in the running of Service-user Managed and Controlled Services
This is where as an individual you work with other service-users to run and manage your own organisation or service. An example of this is Sutton 1 in 4 Network, another is the Sunday Drop In held at the Sutton Centre for Independent Living.
Involvement in staff recruitment and selection
This is where you would participate both in the recruitment and selection of staff in both the voluntary and statutory sectors. It could include helping to shape job descriptions and person specifications, helping to formulate interview questions, participating in short-listing and in selection interviews. Training in recruitment procedure, equal opportunities and interview techniques may be provided. Involvement in this area of activity may mean that you can get paid for your time.
Involvement in the induction, training and ongoing education of staff and local teams
This is where you participate in the induction training and ongoing education of mental health and social care staff in local teams. This could include sharing your experiences of local services but also your personal experiences of mental illness and emotional distress. Involvement in this area can be quite diverse depending on the training and ongoing educational needs of staff. You may find it helpful to do this activity as part of a team or work in partnership with other local service-users and service-user organisations. Again it may be possible for you to receive payment for your involvement.
Being consulted on local service developments and changes
This is where local service providers consult service-users on their views about services or the proposal to change services and also what services they would like. This maybe carried out in a number of different ways including public meetings, correspondence, surveys etc. Usually this consultation process involves not only service-users, but carers local organisations and other interested parties. This activity usually has time limits.
Participating in the review and evaluation of local services
This is where users of a specific service are given the opportunity to participate in the review and evaluation of the service. Sometimes these reviews are carried out by the Trust, but sometimes they are part of an inspection or evaluation process carried out by agencies such as the Healthcare Commission, or Monitor (the body that regulates Foundation Trusts) and other bodies such as Supporting People.
Becoming a member of a committee or working/task focused group
This usually involves a longer term commitment and service-users participating in such activity may have to go through a recruitment and selection process. Service-users may also need to have to abide by the terms of reference of the committee and abide by ground rules. Service-users involved could be recruited as volunteers or be subject to an honorary contract.
Helping to identify the information needs of service-users and carers and in deciding how this information is made available to users and carers
This is where service-users work in partnership with the Mental Health Trust in identifying the types and range of information that service-users and carers need from the trust during their contact or use of its services.
Service-users may be involved in deciding the format, style and content of such information. It may also include being asked to read draft information leaflets and putting forward suggestions for improving them.
Feeding back your views, concerns and ideas about mental health services through local forums
South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust works together with local service-user and mental health provider organisations to provide service-users in the different localities the opportunity to meet together, share experiences and comment on the services that they provide. These are open events and are held on a regular basis across the different localities.
Designing, running and participating in service-user led and involvement activities in your local service
This is where Service-users in a specific setting work with staff to develop and run a Service-user Involvement or Service-user led activity. This could include things such as a regular meeting between service-users and staff to share common concerns about the service. It could also be service-users taking the lead running activities or groups in that service setting for example: a hearing voices group, a walking group, sports activities, art exhibitions etc. The most important thing is that whatever the activity is it is decided by the users of the service and they take an active part and put it into action.
Involvement in the commissioning of local mental health service provision
This is where an individual service-user can help in the commissioning of local services, this may include: helping to shape the design and focus of a service, what outcomes are expected, making sure that the service will meet the needs of local people and is value for money
Completing and returning surveys and questionnaires
This is where an individual service-user can share their experiences and views about the quality of services that local mental health and social care agencies provide. An example of this is participating and completing the annual service-user questionnaire which compares service-users’ views on the quality of services provided by the local mental health trust to the views of service-users in other mental health trusts across the country.
Participating in Service-user meeting held in your service setting
Many of the services across Sutton have meetings where service-users can share their views and experiences and put forward ideas and suggestions on how the services can be improved.