Projects

Making a difference on mental health policy, law and services.
VOX works alongside our individual and group members, as well as others with lived experience of mental health problems, to develop key programmes of work based on our members priorities and other current important areas of work.

We do this by asking our members to prioritise our work areas, we work alongside members to co-produce projects, we facilitate discussion groups and use surveys, polls and social media to capture our members views.

We then make sure these views positively influence changes to policy, practice, and research.

Find out more about our current programmes and projects in the sections below:

‘With Us, For Us’

VOX Scotland and Scottish Recovery Network are working in partnership to deliver an exciting new project called ‘With Us For Us’. We are asking people to share what helps them on their recovery journey and feel more able to deal with life’s challenges. This project is aimed at people who may have a diagnosis of personality disorder, or people who have experienced complex trauma and feel it has shaped their lives.

Image showing icons including people, a laptop, a coffee cup, questions marks, and a camera.The project aims to ensure people with lived experience can shape the future of the mental health system in Scotland. In particular, it will capture what you feel needs to happen to develop effective support and services for people who may attract a diagnosis of personality disorder.

Are you interested in being directly involved?

We are looking to hear from people using a range of methods such as photovoice (which uses photography for social change), conversation cafes, structured conversations, and surveys to capture ideas and solutions.

Please get in touch with Wendy wmcauslan@mentalhealth.org.uk or Michelle mmcbride@mentalhealth.org.uk from VOX to get involved, or telephone 0141 226 9856.

Mental Health Strategy

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. VOX Scotland is undertaking a range of engagement sessions with individual members, group members, and partners to ensure that your voices are heard in the development of the strategy!

We are hosting an online session available to all members to share their views on Wednesday 17th August. To find out more and sign up to this event, please visit the Events section of our website.

You can read the full Scottish Government consultation document on the Strategy here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/mental-health-wellbeing-strategy-consultation/

 

This Is Me

‘This is Me’ is a new VOX (Voices of Experience) blog series highlighting individual lived experiences of mental health problems. In this series, VOX members across Scotland share their stories and reflect on what must change to ensure positive mental health for all.

This series will explore a range of themes including barriers to accessing mental health services, isolation and loneliness, and the intersection of poverty and mental health.

You can read the first This Is Me entry from ‘jcb’ here: https://voxscotland.org.uk/2022/07/14/this-is-me-jcb/

Empathy and Connection in Clinical Services
Our members often state that they need to feel as though clinical staff care or show empathy and connect with them on a human level, in order to create change our members and volunteers produced a members led film entitled “longing for a connection” and we are using this to influence policy and practice.

If you would like to get involved in a project looking at the issues around empathy and connection within services alongside others with lived experience please contact Michelle on mmcbride@mentalhealth.org.uk

VOX Animation: Mental Health and Covid-19

Scotland’s national mental health service user organisation, VOX Scotland released a new animation on 28th October 2021 amplifying the voices of those with lived experience of mental ill-health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Volunteers from Jean’s Bothy in Helensburgh shared their experiences of isolation, being unable to access the right support, and feeling overwhelmed by the impact of the pandemic.

The animation contains a clear call for flexible and attentive services, and strongly emphasises the importance of community, belonging, and connection.

You can view the animation, Mental Health and Covid-19, below:
(Please note this video contains discussion of various mental health difficulties which may be distressing)

We would like to thank all of the volunteers from Jean’s Bothy in Helensburgh for sharing their experiences, and the media co-op for producing the animation.

If you have any thoughts or questions regarding the animation please contact us on info@voxscotland.org.uk

National Care Service Consultation

Following engagement with members, VOX Scotland has submitted and published its response to The Scottish Government’s consultation on the proposed National Care Service.

VOX Scotland welcomes the opportunity to present our members’ views on the National Care Service consultation and hopes to positively influence the way in which these plans are taken forward, with particular regard to the impact on mental health services and support, informed by a lived experience perspective.

During August, September, and October 2021 we engaged with 41 participants from different areas of Scotland, including Argyll & Bute, Lanarkshire, Greater Glasgow, Lothian, and Highlands. Participants were diverse in terms of their mental health problems, and, also in terms of age, gender, LGBT status, ethnic identity, and socio-economic circumstances.

Engagement with our VOX group members also took place, including:

  • CAPS Advocacy
  • Time and Space
  • Acumen
  • Lanarkshire Links
  • Mental Health Network Greater Glasgow
  • Advocard

Our participants’ responses highlight that the most important need is for improvement in access to, and quality of, mental health services and support across Scotland, with concerns that the proposed National Care Service may not necessarily deliver this.

VOX Scotland’s consultation submission emphasises the need for:

  • Significant investment in the social care sector – particularly in mental health services and support
  • Improved communication amongst services, and greater involvement of service users in decisions both about their individual care and the design and delivery of services more widely
  • Clarity on how a National Care Service would end the ‘postcode lottery’ of service provision across Scotland, and how eligibility criteria can allow everyone to access the support they need, when they need it

You can read VOX Scotland’s full consultation response below:

VOX National Care Service Consultation Response

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