Minogue, Virginia (2009) Service user and carer involvement in mental health training, education and research: Findings from a study conducted in West Yorkshire. In: Degrees of Independence: Providing inclusive learning in Higher Education, 16th - 17th April 2009, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

The paper will describe a collaborative study, lead by service users and carers, of service user and carers involvement in mental health education and training within Higher Education Institutes, and NHS research undertaken in 2008. This comprised of a literature review and a scoping study across the 3 specialist mental health NHS Trusts and 4 Universities in West Yorkshire in 2008. The latter involved a survey of senior managers in all the organisations, interviews and focus groups with service users and carers involved in teaching and research. It looked at the impact and value of having service users and carers involved on students, mental health services, and the user and carer.

The study examined the effectiveness of service user and carer involvement from the service user and carer, professional and policy perspective. It aimed to determine whether it was possible to define and measure effective and meaningful service user and carer involvement. It also sought to discover which processes and strategies were most effective in achieving meaningful involvement.

The paper will outline the findings of the study including barriers to involvement, good practice and suggestions for the future.

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