The research aims promote the value of service users roles within the mental health sector and to find out what is needed to strengthen those roles. This report draws on the experience of employers and service users employed across mental health. It focuses primarily on service user roles in the mental health workforce but also touches on the experience of those ‘who happen to have a mental illness’, and are employed in other roles in the sector.
The purpose of this project was to identify key issues facing services users in the mental health workforce and to identify solutions to pave the way forward. The primary focus was on the needs and issues for people working in service user roles, although this was not the exclusive focus of the project.
The group of service users interviewed included both those employed because of their experience of mental illness, and those who were working within mental health services who happened to have an experience of mental illness.
The scope of the project was to:
- determine the current range of service user roles in the mental health workforce
- identify issues including any recruitment and retention issues associated with service user roles
- identify training needs for people in service user roles
- identify wider issues of stigma and discrimination
- identify potential roles that might be developed for service users within the mental health workforce.