VOX Scotland is a national membership organisation, open to all people in Scotland with lived experience of mental health difficulties. We represent the views of our 500+ individual, group, and associate members to politicians and health professionals – making sure that Scotland’s laws and mental health services reflect their needs and interests.
VOX ensures that people with lived experience of mental 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
We provide collective advocacy
VOX Scotland provides collective advocacy at the Scottish national level, representing groups and communities with lived experience of mental health difficulties and shaping policy and practice. 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. As we are not a service provider, we can represent our members’ views without referring to financial considerations or a political agenda.
We run events for members to connect and learn
VOX holds two national members’ meetings per year, including our Annual General Meeting. These meetings establish VOX priorities and we capture views through inclusive methods to ensure that all work is driven by our members. Throughout the year, we also host a range of events on issues that matter to our members – including opportunities to shape the latest developments in Scottish Government mental health policy and practice.
We support local groups and partners
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. We also support individuals to form their own groups to express their experiences in their own words. VOX represents at the national level across all mental health issues and works in partnership with local and regional groups and thematic mental health organisations. We don’t ‘compete’ with local groups and encourage all our members to think about joining local groups and organisations.
We are led by our members
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 VOX members with a lived experience of mental illness plus nominated members with special expertise in mental health issues.
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.