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 a forum for networking, sharing information and supporting each other. We are keen to acknowledge and promote the diversity of experiences, identities and backgrounds of survivor researchers and to challenge the marginalisation of some communities in mental health research (including user-led research), in terms of access to resources, participation and leadership. We also aim to: 
  • promote the evidence based on lived experience as fundamental to the knowledge base on mental health, human rights and social justice.
  • challenge the current hierarchy of knowledge that exists in mental health research and promote alternatives to the dominant medical model. 
  • set standards and promote good practice in user/survivor research in mental health.
 
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 new SRN working group. The group members are: Sonia Thompson (East Midlands); Stephen Jeffreys (West Midlands); Karen Machin (North West); Mark Dale (South East); Anand Pattni (London); Peter Beresford (East Anglia); Sarah Carr (London); Dina Poursanidou (London); George Boyle (West Yorkshire). Building on the previous work of the SRN, the new working group will be looking 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 will also consider next steps for the SRN, including options for practical research projects and funding opportunities. 
We produce a bulletin of research opportunities, events and articles every six weeks. If you would like to join our mailing list please contact [email protected]