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Opportunities for people with lived experience

Service User and Carer Reference Group

We believe it is crucial to involve people with lived experience of mental health problems, and accessing mental health services, in all our work – to ensure that the needs of service users and carers are represented and reflected in everything we do.

Think Ahead’s Service User and Carer Reference Group was established in November 2014. The members of the group provide us with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and invaluable advice, and their input fundamentally shapes our work. For example, since the group’s creation it has been involved in developing:

  • Our approach to participant recruitment and assessment.
  • The design of practice placements.
  • The programme’s academic curriculum.
  • Our brand and our communications strategy.

The Service User and Carer Reference Group meets regularly throughout the year, with meetings led by an independent Chair. Outside of these meetings, members can also get involved in various aspects of our work such as assessing, teaching, and presenting at events.

We are always interested in hearing from people who may be interested in joining the group. To join, you need:

  • Experience of using mental health services, and/or experience of caring for someone who has experience using services.
  • Experience of the role of mental health social workers within services.
  • A commitment to represent service users’ and carers’ views and needs.
  • Ability to work with other members of the group, as a team.
  • Preferably, some knowledge of debates within and about mental health social work – e.g. about the profession’s role within services, or what best practice looks like. (This is desirable, not essential.)

If you think you may be interested in joining the group, or if you have any other questions about the group, do get in touch:

Get in touch with us about the SUCRG