The Survivor Researcher Network (SRN) was originally formed after the ‘Strategies for Living’ Mental Health Foundation project (1997-2003) and was hosted by the Mental Health Foundation until 2011 when it moved to NSUN.

The network aims to provide mental health service users and survivors who are involved and interested in research with a forum for networking, sharing information and supporting each other.


  • acknowledges and promotes the diversity of experiences, identities and backgrounds of survivor researchers
  • challenges the marginalisation of some communities in mental health research (including user-led research), in terms of access to resources, participation and leadership
  • promotes the evidence based on lived experience as fundamental to the knowledge base on mental health, human rights and social justice
  • challenges the current hierarchy of knowledge that exists in mental health research and promote alternatives to the dominant medical model
  • sets standards and promote good practice in user/survivor research in mental health

In 2013 a survey of SRN members helped to formulate draft aims and objectives and potential work of the new research network.
The findings of the survey are available here:

In 2016, members of the SRN met for a seminar entitled ‘Reclaiming, Challenging and Reviving Survivor Research’.
The event was funded by the Sociological Review Foundation and Middlesex University and created a space for researchers whose voices have not historically been included to consider issues around survivor research, whiteness and heteronormativity.

Following on from this event we recruited nine volunteers from across the country to join the SRN working group. The current group members are:

  • Peter Beresford (East Anglia)
  • Deborah Bhatti (North West)
  • Sarah Carr (London and South East/West Midlands)
  • Erika Cule (London and South East)
  • Holly Dale (North West)
  • Garry Ellison (London and South East)
  • Stephen Jeffreys (West Midlands)
  • Jacqui Lovell-Norton (Wales/North East)
  • Karen Machin (North West)
  • Dina Poursanidou (London and South East/East Midlands)
  • Sonia Thompson (East Midlands)

Building on the previous work of the SRN, the working group looks specifically at developing a values-based framework for the network, identifying shared values, addressing issues of inclusivity and considering how we work with values in conflict. The group also considers next steps for the SRN, including options for practical research projects and funding opportunities.

In 2018, SRN published its manifesto, which sets out the background and context to survivor and service user research and our aims and values as a network

You can find out more about NSUN's approach to research from the Theoretical Framework and Methodology for Qualitative Research paper.

SRN produces a bulletin of research opportunities, events and articles every six weeks.

If you would like to join the SRN mailing list, please complete the NSUN membership form here. If you are already a member of NSUN, then just drop us an email at [email protected] and we will add you to the mailing list.

For all other SRN enquiries, please email [email protected].