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.

Total Giving


Join the community


Service user / survivor involvement resources...

This page has a collection of publications, reports, literature review and practical guidance on the involvement of people with direct experience of mental distress and/or mental health service use. See reports and products to download at the bottom of this page.

There is a wealth of information within the service user / survivor movement and we hope we have given you an insight into just how much knowledge, experience and expertise there is.

See a Glossary of terms for  definitions of the 'service user movement', service user, service user led and service user involvement.

Alison Faulkner produced a brief literature review for the Mind Involvement Strategy in 2009. You can access this here.

Starting your own group

There are many ways to get involved and have influence in how mental health services are planned and delivered. Having the support of your peers is an effective way to organise collective action. You can find out about some of the practical steps and considerations in setting up a group and planning your work here.

On Our Own Terms

In 2001-02, service user-led research, coordinated by Jan Wallcraft, resulted in the report ‘On Our Own Terms’ in 2003. The report can be downloaded from the list below. Among other recommendations, it urged the formation of a national network to bring groups together, to encourage good practice, and to build capacity within the sector.

‘This survey …found that the service user/survivor movement in England provides a valuable resource for those seeking a better deal from mental health services and for those wanting to move away from services and rebuild their lives.’

Making A Real Difference (MARD)

The Making a Real Difference products, which can be downloaded from the list below, were completed March 2007. They were developed in partnership with people using mental health services and carers following the HASCAS report, which made recommendations for improving service user and carer involvement at policy level. The systems, guidelines, policies and procedures aimed to develop a systematic approach to involvement.

What was produced was a comprehensive set of minimum standards which lay the foundations for effective service user and carer involvement, to be built on in whatever structure exists.

Patient & Public Involvement

The Patient and Public Involvement Programme (PPIP) provides NICE with advice on involving patients, carers and members of the public. Find out more about the Patient and Public Involvement Programme including contact details.

Reports and products to download

Title Date File size Download
Case for Co-production 10.10.12 164852 Download
On Our Own Terms: Jan Wallcraft 25.9.10 573064 Download
Making User Involvement Work: Peter Beresford 25.9.10 319232 Download
Dancing To Our Own Tunes: Jayasree Kalathil 2009 268341 Download
Literature Review 2009: Alison Faulkner 2009 282107 Download
MARD Valuing involvement 25.9.10 165445 Download
MARD Involvement policy 25.9.10 146275 Download
MARD Good practice 25.9.10 355762 Download
MARD Minimum standards - diverse groups 25.9.10 232211 Download
MARD Working with diverse groups 25.9.10 164855 Download
MARD Communicating with diverse groups 25.9.10 183736 Download
MARD Event guidelines 25.9.10 184034 Download
MARD Resource implications 25.9.10 210266 Download
MARD Commissioning involvement guidelines 25.9.10 276669 Download
MARD Leadership training 25.9.10 221311 Download
MARD Payment and reimbursement 25.9.10 677226 Download
MARD Benefits conditions 25.9.10 759778 Download
MARD Communications strategy 25.9.10 247872 Download
MARD Staff induction pack 25.9.10 139921 Download
MARD Training resource 25.9.10 485577 Download
MARD Payment and reimbursement template 25.9.10 785519 Download
MARD Monitoring and evaluation 25.9.10 176132 Download
MARD Involvement passport 25.9.10 203073 Download
MARD Final report 25.9.10 308802 Download
HASCAS report 25.9.10 291405 Download
Literature review - Mind Involvement Strategy 2009: Alison Faulkner 282107 Download
Strategies for living - user led research into strategies for living with mental distress 22.3.17 4767459 Download