'For me, being involved in the EYE project highlighted the impact that research can have and it's ability to spark action and change. From the worth of just being heard, to it being valued by professors and the like, the whole process has been one of enlightenment.
Through personal experience I understand the power of engagement. It is a doorway that if a service lacks, can blunt every other tool in the house. With that in mind, the importance of this project should not be underestimated. The selflessness, fluidity and adaptability of the project as a whole, is not only a credit to those involved but reflected in what it has already inspired'.
- John - a SURF group member on his involvement with The EYE Project.
If you are a young person, or a relative or friend, whether you have a mental health issue or not, there are lots of ways in which you can get involved in projects related to mental health and well-being.
There are opportunities to get involved in developing services for young people with mental health problems and making these services work better for young people, their friends and families. There are also opportunities to get involved in different types of research, either by giving advice on the projects themselves or by taking part. You don’t need to have any experience to do these things, as long as you’re happy to join in, in some way. Some of the opportunities are voluntary and some are paid.
Here are some of the ways that you can get involved:
- Service user research forum (SURF): a group of young people who’ve used early intervention services for psychosis and who advise on early psychosis research projects
- Lived Experience Advisory Forum: a group of service users with a range of mental health backgrounds and relatives of all ages who advise on a broad range of mental health related research projects.
- The Research Network: an opportunity to sign up to a research network which will tell you about mental health related research in your local NHS trust and will contact you about research projects that you can take part in. Anyone can sign up, it doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you have a mental health problem or not, and whether you use mental health services, work in them, or both!
- Our Research Projects: this is a list and description of some of the research projects that we have running at the moment and how to get involved.
- Young people’s forum: a group of young people with and without mental health problems who can advise on both research projects and how mental health services work, so that we can make them better for young people.
- Other local youth projects: from time to time, there are other local projects, outside the NHS, which you might want to get involved in. We’ll tell you about these one’s here, although we’re not involved in or responsible for these ones.