NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.

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About NSUN

NSUN's history

  • 2003 On Our Own Terms report makes a recommendation to form a national service user/survivor network

  • 2006 the Our Future conference launches the idea and organises a National Steering Group to make it happen

  • 2007 NSUN is launched after securing funding for five years

  • 2010 NSUN becomes an independent organisation
  • 2011 NSUN holds its first annual general meeting
  • 2012 NSUN secures a further three years funding
  • 2013 NSUN attracts over 2000 members

The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is an independent mental health service user/survivor led organisation. 

The network was set up by service users to build a more united and confident mental health service user movement. It recognises the isolation and discrimination experienced by mental health service users and their needs beyond clinical treatment.

In 2003 service user-led research, coordinated by Jan Wallcraft for the User Survey Steering Group and funded by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, resulted in the report 'On Our Own Terms'. It urged the formation of a national network to bring individual mental health service users and groups together to encourage good practice and build the capacity of the sector. Inspired by this report, the Sainsbury Centre funded a number of meetings and a conference in London in 2005 to agree on some practical actions based on the recommendations.

A Steering Group organised a conference focused on how to set up a national service user/survivor network. Nearly 200 service users and survivors attended the “Our Future” conference in Birmingham in March 2006. The National Planning Group that grew out of the conference included representatives from a whole range of service user and survivor led groups.

Funding for five years was obtained from Comic Relief and the Tudor Trust and a hosting arrangement was negotiated with the the mental health charity Together: Working for Well-being, working for wellbeing. NSUN received invaluable support with financial procedures and human resources but remained self governing throughout the initial three years.The National Planning Group was then dissolved and replaced by a management committee, selected by an independent panel of service users and survivors.

A launch conference was held November 2007 in Poole, Dorset (see video of the event Service User Conference).

The mission, aims and objectives remain the same today.
Read more here.

You can find out about our work here and read about the current NSUN staff  and trustees.


NSUN became an independent charitable company May 2010

NSUN received pro-bono support of a solicitor through LawWorks and free business development support from Pilotlight. This helped us on our journey towards independence. If you would like to find out more about their services go to:



You can view NSUN's Articles of Association here.

If you want to find out more about governance we have lots of resources in our members area. If you haven't joined already just sign up here to access lots of useful information.