Health forum marks anniversary

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Mental health staff and service users throughout the Southern area are celebrating 25 years of working together.

The Mental Health Forum was set up in 1993 as a way of sharing the views of service users with service providers.

Now 25 years on, the Forum is the official voice of the ‘lived experience’ community in improving services for people with mental health issues and their families.

The Recovery College, Wellmind Hubs and the introduction of Peer Support Workers are just a few of the many examples of Southern Trust services developed in partnership with the Mental Health Forum. On a day to day basis, the Forum also works in close partnership with the Southern Trust’s Mental Health Divisional teams, contributing to key strategic projects such as Workforce Transformation and decision making, for example by participating on interview panels.

Paying tribute to the Mental Health Forum on this milestone, Acting Director of Mental Health and Disability Services for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Carmel Harney said: “Co-production between those who deliver services and those who use them is at the heart of the planning and delivery of services throughout the Southern Trust.

“For the past 25 years, the Mental Health Forum has been at the forefront in promoting this partnership ethos and has made a significant contribution in developing some of our most innovative services.

“Personal recovery is also central to co-production in mental health services, and we are delighted that the Forum has given many people with lived experience and carers the chance to become more involved in making services the very best they can be for everyone.

“I sincerely thank all of our partners in the Forum for their unwavering passion and commitment over the years and am absolutely confident that they will continue to lead the way in improving the lives of local people and communities.”

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