Barnet Voice for Mental Health is for people who have had lived experience of mental health distress. We are managed by a Management Committee that is made of up of members who are all people who have used mental health services. Between them they bring a wide range of skills and experience.
Our Mission Statement...
"We value our mental health experiences and harness them for the
improvement of services in Barnet"
Hi, I'm Elsie Lyons
I am privileged to have started what is now known as Barnet Voice for Mental Health on 1 April 1994.
With the imminent closure of the large Victorian inpatient hospital - Napsbury, the post I took on fitted well into the borough's plans. Their aim, at that time, was to involve people who had used mental health services in the development of a joint strategy for mental health, which included both commissioners and providers.
As a result, five major consultation events took place which involved Managers, front-line staff, carers and those who used services.
Following from those events, the very first meeting of people who had identified themselves as having a mental health issue took place in September 1994. They were all people who were interested in getting further involved in contributing to this strategy. They consequently became the first 'active members' of Barnet Voice.
Initially under the umbrella of Mind in Barnet (who pretty well gave us a free hand to develop as we wished), we became a totally independent organisation 4 years later, in October 1998.
The rest, as they say, is history!
This photograph and portrait is of Robert Johnson who was very influential in the development of Barnet Voice. He sadly passed away in June 2014.
We want to establish a fitting memorial for him by dedicating a bench in one of his favourite parks.
Despite collecting a considerable amount of money at his memorial event and funeral we are still short of the mark. Please click the 'Donations for Rob' button and help us all to remember Robert meaningfully.
We conduct specific exercises to monitor aspects of local mental health services. We run monthly Patients' Council meetings on the two acute psychiatric wards at the Dennis Scott Unit. We have run monthly focus groups for those receiving care from the Support and Recovery Teams and the Complex Care Team.
We consult with service users on any major changes to services and feed back their views to the relevant authority. We also meet up more informally with people on the wards, and in community settings to find out their views on services and offer any support and information we can. All this underpins our representation on committees.
BVMH members participate in interview panels for the recruitment of psychiatric nurses, care workers, mental health services managers, staff grade doctors, and approved social workers.
We provide feedback to those planning and delivering mental health services in Barnet - informally and through user representation on health and social services committees.
Barnet Voice members represent users views on Barnet's Partnership Board (joint commissioning between the Primary Care Trust and London Borough of Barnet), and groups covering Acute Services, Day Services, Psychological Therapies, Primary Care, Community Mental Health Teams and A&E liaison.
Barnet Voice is looking for people to get involved. The only qualification you need is to have your own personal lived experience of mental health problems.
Simply click this LINK and download our application form.
When completed please send as an attachment and e-mail to our OFFICE.