You In Mind – Your Experience Matters

People with Lived Experience are invited to tell their stories of using Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland.

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Public Health Agency (PHA) want to hear about your experiences of using mental health services, across Northern Ireland, in the last three years.

The You in Mind – Your Experience Matters Survey is being run for the second time in Northern Ireland. People with lived experience and their carers have been asked for their personal experiences of using mental health services.

unnamed-2This follow-up audit builds on the important work carried out during the Your Story Can Change Lives Survey of 2012. By revisiting the themes and issues addressed previously mental health professionals can assess the quality of mental health services across Northern Ireland, compare progress in service provision with previous survey results and identify those areas which still require improvement.

Dr Stephen Bergin, Consultant in Public Health, PHA, said: “In 2012 we made a commitment to re-run this survey in three years’ time. At that time, through the survey we gathered many useful stories which shaped our work in planning future changes in mental health services and staff training.

“With this in mind I would encourage anyone who has used mental health care and treatment services since 2012, in any setting, to get involved. People can go online and tell their personal story and express their thoughts and feelings about that experience. They will also be asked to spend a few minutes answering twelve questions.”

An individual with lived experience of using mental health services added: “This is an amazing opportunity for people who use Mental Health Services to share their experiences which will help shape the future within mental health. I might not be here today if it wasn’t for the help that I have received and I would like to encourage others to share their stories through these surveys.”

The You In Mind – Your Experience Matters online questionnaire is available to complete at:

and will be open for sharing your experiences and stories until 15th January 2016. All contributions will be used anonymously and compiled in a report which will be available in 2016. People who do not have web access can also participate by contacting their Trust Mental Health Service Improvement Manager directly. Contact details for Trust Service Improvement Managers are available on the website.

Welcoming the survey, Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Services and Children, HSCB, said: “The focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day was to raise awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health problems can live with dignity. With this in mind, we wish to acknowledge the value we place on working alongside people with lived experience of mental health treatment and care. By co-producing Mental Health Services which are more personalised and person-focused we can improve the experience of people with mental health problems.

“The initiative launched today has been jointly developed by people with lived experience, their families and professionals involved in commissioning and providing care. Honouring our pledge to re-run this survey demonstrates our commitment to consolidating our partnership and co-productive approach to the design and delivery of services. Through inclusion in decision-making and involvement in the development of information resources we aim to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity.”

“It is important also that we reflect on the contribution of the people dedicated to, or interested in, mental health issues that we launch a survey to hear about the experiences of the many staff providing mental health care and treatment on a daily basis.”

The Staff Experience Survey, being run through the 10,000 Voices Initiative, will complement the You in Mind – Your Experience Matters Survey and acknowledges the valuable role of staff who work in Mental Health Services across Northern Ireland. Staff can complete the survey at Details about how to access this survey through the 10,000 voices website are also being promoted across all Trusts.