Innovatory features and challenges facing mental health user-led organisations

Boyce, Melanie J., Munn-Giddings, Carol, Smith, Lesley and Campbell, Sarah (2010) Innovatory features and challenges facing mental health user-led organisations. Mental Health Review Journal, 15 (2). pp. 34-42. ISSN 2042-8758

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Despite the recent growing interest in user‐led organisations (ULOs), they remain an under‐researched area of volunteer sector activity, with the majority of the literature emanating from North America. This article attempts to redress this imbalance by reporting on the innovatory features and challenges facing mental health ULOs in England, particularly in light of recent government policy prioritising generic pandisability ULOs. In‐depth qualitative interviews were undertaken with a purposive sample of 48 service users and staff from four geographically dispersed mental health ULOs in England. Innovatory features identified by staff running and service users attending mental health ULOs were: being user‐led; their non‐hierarchical organisational structures; and community‐inclusive activities. The challenges identified were: maintaining a user‐led ethos; managing the tension between being user‐led or user‐managed; and relationships with funders. Recent policies that recognise and promote the development of ULOs are encouraging, although the emphasis on generic, pan‐disability ULOs may impede the innovatory ethos and development of mental health ULOs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Mental health, user-led organisations, service user
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2011 11:51
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17

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