Service user involvement in mental health research poses specific challenges for both researchers and service users.
The book describes the relevant background and principles underlying the concept of service user involvement in mental health research, providing relevant practical advice on how to engage with service users and how to build and maintain research collaboration on a professional level. It highlights common practical problems in service user involvement, based on experience from various countries with different social policies and suggests ways to avoid pitfalls and common difficulties.
The book helps researchers decide which level of service user involvement will be adequate for their research activities and what will be feasible in view of the practicalities involved. It is also ideal for service users who are interested in becoming involved in research, providing relevant background information on the possibilities of involvement in professional research.
“Anyone involved or wanting to become involved in service user involvement in research would find plenty to inspire and challenge in this book.” (Nursing Times, 17 September 2012)
"The emphasis in the handbook is of recovery and for research to be purposeful and useful in supporting this ... Reading this as a service user/carer, it gives optimism and hope as there are many good examples of personal stories and recovery – including recovery from schizophrenia which sends out a strong message." (MHRN newsletter, July 2011)
"This engaging, helpful and well-informed handbook offers a comprehensive and thorough revievw of service user involvement in mental health research, covering issues ranging from values and collaboration to control and power." (Mental Health Practice, 1 June 2011)
"The book may be of interest to those wanting to understand what user involvement can mean as well as those who have experienced it and want to extend their knowledge and research skills. Its scope means that chapters are necessarily brief but references are provided to follow up on interesting debates and topics." (British Journal of Psychiatry, December 2010)
"My perspective, as a researcher who works with service users, is that this is a useful resource to dip in and out of for advice about practical issues that arise when working with service users, e.g. payment. The book clearly explains what needs to be considered in paying service users. I found this advice was not readily available elsewhere when I needed it." (The Bridge Newsletter, 2011)
About the Editors:
Jan Wallcraft is manager of the Service User Research Group for England (SURGE). She has been a leading member of the survivor/service user movement for many years and has contributed to a number of publications, e.g. "On Our Own Terms: a report on the mental health service user movement"; "Being There In A Crisis", and "Social Perspectives in Mental Health".
Beate Schrank has also worked for SURGE and has published on the concept of recovery in schizophrenia and on the use of the internet by people with schizophrenia.
Michaela Amering is internationally acknowledged in the field of public mental health and mental health policy. She has published on psychoeducation, informal carers (relatives), psychiatric advance directives and gender issues in mental health care, and has recently published a book on the 'recovery perspective' and its relevance in the care for people with psychosis. She has worked on user involvement issues in different countries and mental health care settings. She is secretary of the World Psychiatric Association Committee on Mental Health Policy. The English translation of her book on Recovery in Mental Health will also be published in March 2009.
All three editors have an impressive track record in the field of user involvement in mental health care.