Besides complying with regulations, properly managing budgets and delivering high-quality projects, the influence of people with lived experience is paramount to the work we do. To meet people's needs, we must work with them to make sure their opinions and ideas are valued. It is essential not to make assumptions or take choices and control away from people.
It is crucial to engage with a truly diverse range of people within organisations and services whose work affects people with lived experiences of mental health problems. Work will only be practical if we truly hear and understand the needs of people and then plan and deliver accordingly.
Influence and participation bring enormous benefits to organisations and provide considerable benefits to those who work alongside us. We must remember that this is a two-way process, and everyone involved will benefit.