The National Centre for Mental Health’s (NCMH) collaborative approach to public involvement in research has been recognised and celebrated at the Health and Care Research Wales Annual Conference in Cardiff.
The public involvement group, Partnership in Research (PÂR), at NCMH was announced as the winner of the Public Involvement Achievement Award 2018.
PÂR brings together members of the public with lived experience of mental health problems to be actively involved in research in Wales, and for researchers to benefit from the unique perspective of service users and carers.
Commenting on the award, NCMH Director Professor Ian Jones said:
“Listening to the voice of lived experience is key to everything we do at NCMH. We believe that research is most successful if it is a true partnership between academics, clinicians and, most importantly, those who are experts by experience.
“We recognise, however, that this is not easy. We are therefore incredibly proud of the hard work and progress that the PÂR group has made and are delighted to have received this recognition from Health and Care Research Wales. There is more to be done and progress still to be made, but this award is a good sign that, together, we are on the right path.”
Alan Meudell, PÂR lay lead for South Wales, said “It would have been easy for NCMH to support PÂR as a standalone group, however, not only have they embedded PÂR into the structure of NCMH, they have supported it to develop into an All-Wales group, promoting it widely and helping develop PÂR’s research clinics, which are of benefit to both researchers and service users and carers alike.”
Barbara Moore, Senior Public Involvement and Engagement Manager at Health and Care Research Wales said, “The judging panel were impressed with the PÂR submission. They were able to demonstrate how the group had evolved and was inclusive of those with lived experience of mental health, how the group works together with researchers across Wales and addresses the whole research cycle, from holding advice surgeries for researchers to attendance at dissemination events.”
NCMH will be hosting official PÂR launch events in Bangor on 19th November and in Cardiff on 26th November, where they will be inviting academics and clinicians working in mental health from across Wales to learn more about the benefits of involving the public in their research and giving them the opportunity to meet members of the group.
The events are also open to members of the public with experience of mental health problems who are interested in learning how they can use their experience to help shape the future direction of mental health research in Wales.