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Why do influence and participation matter?

Having the influence of people with lived experience is crucial to our work at Mind.

To meet people's needs, we must work with them to make sure their opinions and ideas are valued. It's essential that we don't make assumptions, or take away choice and control.

If you work in an organisation or service whose work affects people with lived experiences of mental health problems, you must engage with a diverse range of people.

Work will only be practical if we hear and understand people's needs, and then plan and deliver accordingly.

Influence and participation bring enormous benefits to organisations, and to those who work alongside us. We must remember that this is a 2-way process.

Benefits of influence and participation

Read about the benefits for organisations and people involved when you do lived experience work.

Understanding difference

Learn why having different views, perspectives and people is so important in influence and participation.

Staff development

Lived experience work can bring benefits to staff, too. Learn how your staff might develop by running lived experience activities.

Shaping and developing services

Read how to involve people with lived experience to shape and develop services.


Learn how to involve people with lived experience when creating, developing and running campaigns.

Influencing policy

See how Mind uses people's experiences and ideas to learn what must change in mental health policy.

Organisational development

Learn how to involve people with lived experience when developing your organisation's strategy, services, projects, and campaigns.


People with lived experience of mental health problems are often asked to tell their stories in the media. Learn how media volunteers help Mind's campaigning work.

Other ways to get involved

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