Voices of Experience (VOX) Scotland is a national member-led mental health charity. We are a membership organisation for people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, representing members’ views to politicians and health professionals to ensure Scotland’s laws and mental health services reflect their needs and interests.
The charity traces its origins back to a conference in Dundee in 2004, when 102 people with lived experience of mental ill health came together from across Scotland. There was a strong sense that whilst there were some opportunities to influence at a local level, there was nothing to bring this together nationally. With funding secured, Voices of Experience was established as an organisation in December 2006, and became a charity and company limited by guarantee in June 2009.
Today, Voices of Experience works to improve mental health policy and practice in Scotland by engaging with Scottish Government consultations, producing research, and organising participatory events for members to connect, learn, and have their voices heard. We provide collective advocacy and, as we are not a service provider can represent our members’ views without referring to financial considerations or a political agenda.
Our aims are to ensure that people with lived experience of mental health difficulties can:
- 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
Voices of Experience is a member-led organisation and any individual with a lived experience of mental illness (past or present) can join for free. A ‘formal’ medical diagnosis is not required. The Board considers membership applications at its regular monthly meetings and is very welcoming and inclusive. Individuals with mental health issues are often ‘locked out’ of mainstream society and we actively challenge this exclusion.
- Read VOX Scotland’s Memorandum & Articles of Association
- Read VOX Scotland’s Development Plan 2020-2027