Current WorkMaking a difference on mental health policy, law and services
VOX Scotland works hard to ensure its members’ views influence mental health policy, law and service provision. We lobby politicians on our members’ behalf, conduct research around mental health issues and participate in committees and other bodies to influence mental health policy and legislation. We undertake this work to support a good ‘fit’ between mental health services and service users, to promote good mental well-being and ensure public money is well spent. Everyone benefits from good mental health in Scotland.
Public Life Matters
Civic and Public Involvement
Do people with lived experience of mental health conditions want to become more involved in civic and public life? And, if they do, what is preventing them from joining school boards or from standing for election?
VOX carried out a peer research project ‘Public Life Matters’ in June 2018, this was a partnership between Voices of eXperience (VOX), the Scottish Mental Health Research Collective (not the VOX collective), the Mental Health Foundation and the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Health Policy.
Half of the participants who got involved in the project wanted to be more involved in their community, however, the report identified a number of barriers which prevent people with lived experience of mental health problems from being involved. We hope to seek out opportunities from the findings of this report, and to hold up the peer research model as a good example of co-production in practice.
VOX have developed a short film which will be looks at the importance of empathy and connection when people see a clinician. Members took forward the project using personal narratives and quotes. We would like to utilise this film for lived experience training, please get in touch if you would like to know more.
VOX and Moving Minds
Creativity and Arts is valued by our members and many others who have a lived experience of mental health issues. The arts are used in creative ways to facilitate members feedback and discussions.
We have found that the Arts is a very effective way in discussing difficult issues, the Arts can cross cultures, religions and age, helping to move minds into learning about new perspectives, ideas and experiences.
We developed Moving Minds which is an annual Diversity and Mental Health day of events back in 2009 as a means to engage the public and groups that seldom come into contact with each other around themes related to mental health issues. Back then Moving minds was focused on tomorrows mental health and social care workers and museum workers offering a lived experience perspective on mental health.
Over the years the day has developed into a multi partnership celebration of diversity and mental health. We have engaged with Young people, older people, a range of black and minority ethnic groups, gypsy/traveler community, new comers to Scotland, families, students, poets, singers, dancers, performers, curators, volunteers and many many more.
Bringing messages of recovery, anti stigma, peer support, creativity and equality to a wide and diverse audience.
Review of the Mental Health Act
VOX will work with its members (and others with lived experience) to understand their views on some of the key issues being looked at within the mental health review.
Review of Forensic services
VOX is currently exploring the best way to ensure that we feed the views of those who have experience of forensic mental health services into the review. More details to follow.