In the last issue of Your Voice Patrick Wood provided a brief overview of the history and current state of the independent mental health service user/survivor movement and in this issue we report that NSUN (National Survivor User Network) will be holding its AGM and Members' Meeting in Sheffield later this year. NSUN is currently the only high profile funded national user and survivor led organisation in operation. The network, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, consists of more than 800 member groups from across England as well as several thousand individual survivor members and allies.
NSUN provides information and networking opportunities, and promotes self-management and peer to peer support. It also collates information that reflects the views of its members, which can be used to inform mental health policy makers and service providers. Amongst many other notable pieces of work, NSUN hosts the Survivor Research Network and launched the 4Pi National Involvement Standards at its AGM in 2015. If you want to get involved in this year’s AGM, NSUN invites you to get in touch and let them know what are the main issues for your group and which of the Members’ Manifesto points (see page 3) are most relevant to you.
We also feature news of a crowdfunding initiative to help keep MHAGS’ user led drop in centre running for another year; and an invitation from Challenge Sheffield to people with lived experience of mental health distress to get involved in a new user led group. Being involved in a user or survivor group can be liberating, allowing us to develop understanding and awareness of our own and other people's mental health issues that simply can't be experienced in organisations where decision making powers are in the hands of professionals.