National Mental Health Service Users and Carers Forum
Giving carers and those with lived experience a voice in Wales.
The National Mental Health Service User and Carers Forum provides a strong and diverse voice for people with lived experience of mental health and those who care for them. The Forum was founded in 2013 and meets quarterly. They influence and shape mental health policy and services, sharing information and experiences across Wales and spreading good practice.
The Forum is made up of:
- 4 x members from the seven Health Boards across Wales (via the Local Partnership Boards)
- 10 x independent members recruited nationally to ensure that the forum reflects the diversity of the people of Wales and the range of their experiences.
Two forum members and two deputies also sit on the National Mental Health Partnership Board (NPB) in Wales. The NPB oversees the delivery and implementation of Welsh Government’s, Together for Mental Health – A Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Wales and its Delivery Plan).
You can get in touch with the Mental Health Forum through Practice Solutions:
Or by calling the Practice Solutions office on: 01443 808060 / 07563 928694.
Practice Solutions provides the forum with support through a co-production model. We work with the forum members and partners to help them generate the best possible outcomes for those with lived experience with mental health and for those who are carers.
We support the forum to develop national guidance, we facilitate conversations between individuals, carers, partner organisations and Welsh Government to influence and inform policy activity and we support the forum to recruit across a wide range of individuals in order to provide representation across demographics groups.
Practice Solutions' four key project objectives are outlined below:
1. To support the development of national guidance
- To produce national guidance to reflect co-production principles, the current policy and legislative context and to advise on implementation.
2. To Support the National Mental Health Service User and Carer Forum
- Provide admin support to the forum and subgroups / acting as secretariat to the quarterly meetings, coordinating messages, assisting with travel arrangements / expenses
- To enable members to set their own agenda and to co-facilitate meetings with guidance from forum members
- To assist members to organise an annual national event
- To act at all times in a way that promotes independence and transparency
- To run co-facilitated recruitment campaigns for independent national forum members, of the minimum number of locally recruited reps on boards.
- Liaise with Local Partnership Boards (LPB), to ensure they maintain membership
3. To Coordinate the Voice of Service Users in Wales
- To facilitate conversation between service users and carers and the Welsh Government
- To support gathering information from individuals and groups about their views across a range of policy areas
- To support national events
- To promote meaningful co-production activity that reflects true partnership working
- To increase engagement with stakeholder groups for service users and carers across Wales
4. To Promote Diversity and Equality in Mental Health Policy
- To ensure there is representation across demographic groups in policy activity
- To ensure the representation of people with lived experience of mild to moderate and severe mental health conditions
- To promote the inclusion of people who may be socially isolated
- To diversify the range of individuals who take part in national conversations, including children and young people, older people, Welsh and other languages, mental health conditions that range in intensity from mild to severe, whether or not they are accessing services
- To promote the inclusion of people across socio-economic spectrum
- To encourage the inclusion of people with protected characteristics
- To recognise the different ways in which people can contribute