VOX stands for Voices of eXperience, and VOX was formed to ensure that the voices of people with a lived experience of mental illness can actively:
– shape Scotland’s laws
– influence service design and delivery
– promote a better understanding of mental illness in wider society
– advance the general interests of people with mental health issues.
VOX provides collective advocacy at the Scottish national level – representing groups and communities with a lived experience of mental illness – and we also support individuals to form their own groups to express their experiences in their own words. Building capacity is a key part of the VOX mission and we’ve supported user-led mental health groups in Orkney and Aberdeen to get up and running.
In some ways, VOX acts as an intermediary between the people, Scotland’s Government and health and social care services. We try to promote a good ‘fit’ between mental health services and laws to ensure that everyone benefits and public money is spent wisely.
We don’t provide individual advocacy, counselling, home support or care services – we exist to represent our members’ views at the national level to health professionals and politicians. We don’t have a vested interest in service provision and this enables us to represent our members’ views without referring to financial considerations or a political agenda.
VOX represents at the national level across all mental health issues and works in partnership with local/regional groups and thematic mental health organisations (e.g. Bipolar Scotland). We don’t compete with local groups and encourage all our members to think about joining local groups and organisations. Learn more about VOX group members and associate members .
VOX is a member-led organisation and any individual with a lived experience of mental illness (past or present) can join – a ‘formal’ medical diagnosis is not required. The VOX Board considers membership applications at its regular monthly meetings and is very welcoming and inclusive – individuals living with mental health issues are often ‘locked out’ of mainstream society and VOX challenges this exclusion. Apply for individual membership if you think VOX might be good for you.
Mental health groups led by service users or individuals with a lived experience of mental illness can apply to become VOX group members. Learn more about VOX group membership.
Mental health groups led by health professionals, volunteers or carers can apply to become VOX associate members. Learn more about VOX associate membership.
VOX members decide VOX priorities at our two national members’ meetings per year and VOX staff implement these priorities on a day to day basis. Our Board consists of twelve VOX members with a lived experience of mental illness plus three nominated members with special expertise in mental health issues. Learn more about VOX governance, the Board of Directors and VOX staff.