Thursday, 11 September 2014

Users invited to advise Mental Health Service research

Do you have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? Do you support or care for someone who does? Get involved in new research on mental health services. Payment, training and support will be available.

Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder only use GP services for their mental health support. In future this pattern of use may be on the increase as secondary services are streamlined or centralised to more remote locations. Some GPs are very good at supporting people with mental illnesses but others are less so. Some people under GP-led mental health care don’t get good support, or make much progress with either their mental or physical health problems.

The NHS' National Institute for Health Research has funded a research programme called PARTNERS2 that aims to develop better ways of supporting people with severe mental illness within GP practices. Click here to find out more about this project.

It's hoped that a better system could be devised to enable people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to lead longer, healthier and more satisfying lives. Researchers based in 5 Universities, including Lancaster, are working on this.

The McPin foundation is recruiting people who have personal experience of living with diagnoses of bipolar or schizophrenia (as service users or carers), and are interested in how mental health research is done, to form a Lived Experience Advisory Panel in Lancashire. The Panel will work with University and service user researchers in Lancashire over the next four years to develop and test a better way of supporting people with severe mental illness. Panel members will share their experience and understanding to make the research more useful for people who need support to live with these diagnoses. Payment, training and support will be available.

If you want to find out more about joining the Panel or what the work would involve, Ruth Sayers (Public Involvement in Research  Coordinator for Pzrtners2) would like to hear from you. Please email for further information and about how to apply.
Closing date: applications by 9th October for selection on 21st October.

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