About us and our activities
People who use mental health services are all too often excluded by society at large, and can suffer twice over-once from the problem itself and over again from the general public’s ignorance and discriminatory attitudes. Mental health services in the UK are under-funded and over-stretched, but the whole topic is frequently not acknowledged or recognised.
LAUNCHPAD works to redress the balance, and offers the chance for anyone who uses mental health services in Newcastle to have their voice heard by the people who run these services. We endeavour to improve mental health services for all, and to promote the views and opinions of service users, all in a friendly , safe environment.
We are all (staff included) people who use mental health services in and around Newcastle upon Tyne, and we work to ensure that the voice of the service user is heard in all the decision-making bodies that affect mental health.
We’re every bit as much a platform to get things to happen as a membership organisation, and will work with and for anyone who’s experienced mental health difficulties. This means that collaboration and co-production (and being user-led and user-run) is at the core of what we do.
This could be in relation to: planning/designing MH services, trying to influence policy, delivering training, signposting & giving information, doing research, setting up, running and assisting peer support groups, networking, campaigning or doing interesting, creative and artistic endeavours. So that means you could work with or be part of LP alongside any other activities or employment, complementing any involvement with other groups or organisations. In fact we encourage people to be part of other groups because this helps seed cross-over work.
People who use services are ‘experts by experience’, and our knowledge and insight are invaluable for improving the mental health system. There are as many service user points of view as there are service users, so we convey as wide a range of opinions and outlooks as possible. We collaborate widely, and act as a base for national, regional, and sub-regional user & carer networks, like NSUN, the NTWSU&C network, and NEt.
Our longevity (14 years and counting…) and track record for impact, innovation, group work and doing interesting, engaging things means that we have an ability to influence the powers-that-be, to enable service users’ opinions, ideas and concerns to be heard, whether that be with local government, NHS bodies (Trusts, clinicians, commissioners and the like), the voluntary and community sector, national governmental bodies, policy-makers, and so on.
Above all, though, we are by and for service users, to assist in a whole host of ways, so that people get the right information, get to the right support for them, get heard and feel empowered, plus get to do interesting things in the process. Whatever you want, whatever you need as a service user, we’ll try and help.