Deliberative engagement with people with lived experience of mental health

  • Client

    Mind

  • Sectors

    Health, Voluntary Sector

  • Services

    Deliberative Engagement, Research

Introduction

In the course of developing their organisational strategy for 2021 and beyond, Mind was exploring some important high-level topics relating to how to focus their future work. Mind wanted to involve people with lived experience of mental health problems in this process to ensure the strategy was genuinely informed by the people it serves.

Traverse was commissioned by Mind in 2019 to design and deliver a deliberative engagement workshop bringing together 25 people with lived experience of mental health problems to discuss and inform Mind's future strategy.

Methodology

Traverse ran a two-day workshop with 25 members of the public with lived experience of mental health problems from across England and Wales. Half of the participants were recruited via Mind’s existing networks, and the other half were recruited via a specialist recruitment partner.

Taking a consensus-building approach we introduced and explored a series of core topics relating to how Mind should focus their work over the next five years and beyond. Working collaboratively with our client we designed a workshop that was inclusive and sensitive to the needs of participants including providing a calm quiet space for when people needed time away from the group, and incorporating trust-building activities such as a diversity circle. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive with comments including: “Facilitated very well - respectfully and clearly/skillfully”, and “Thank you for a weekend full of validation and unity”.

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Impact

The final report was used immediately at Mind with several senior teams. Our client said: "Thank you so much for turning this around for us so quickly. I have talked about these findings so many times to so many audiences over the last few weeks – from a Heads strategy planning day to a national Mind unit away day to a Network Leaders meeting of local Mind CEOs. The additional nuance you were able to add has helped me hugely. I’ve already had a meeting with the lived experience leadership team who wanted to understand more about the process."

Mind also asked two of the participants to attend the Mind Board Meeting to talk about the headline findings and their experience of the deliberative process. This meant that some participants were able to represent the voices of themselves and their peers directly, which was very powerful for everyone involved: “Speaking at the board was amazing- I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity. I've grown in confidence, knowledge and happiness after every event- Thank you!

In the course of developing their organisational strategy for 2021 and beyond, Mind was exploring some important high-level topics relating to how to focus their future work. Mind wanted to involve people with lived experience of mental health problems in this process to ensure the strategy was genuinely informed by the people it serves.

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