Sunderland Mind believes that service users are the experts when it comes to mental health. Their knowledge and experiences are vital to us, helping improvements to our services so that we can provide the best support possible. We value their views greatly, continually involving service users in the future growth of our organisation.
We encourage service users, with support, to participate in meetings, consultations and events that are held locally. This gives them the opportunity to influence change, specifically around decisions that are made about key services that make a huge difference to people in the wider community. By being involved, service users can benefit greatly with increases in confidence and self-esteem, skill development and gaining experience.
We encourage service users to become volunteers as we believe they bring exceptional understanding, compassion and life experiences which are invaluable to our organisation. If appropriate, they can also apply for paid positions when available. We also encourage service users to be a part of our recruitment process and assist in appointing future positions.
Service user meetings are held monthly and are open to Sunderland Mind service users, staff and volunteers. Minutes of these meetings are displayed on the drop-in notice board. Examples of items on the Agenda include feedback from the previous meeting, future activities and events, any issues and concerns as well as sharing their thoughts and ideas. We welcome service users to join subgroups, e.g. fundraising, quality, newsletter involvement.