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‘Your Story Can Change Lives’ and improve mental health services


The Public Health Agency (PHA), Health and Social Care Board and Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network (GAIN) want to hear about your experiences of using mental health services in the last three years, across Northern Ireland. You can do this by completing the ‘Your Story Can Change Lives’ questionnaire either online at: http://eu.sensemaker-suite.com/gain/index.html or on paper, from GAIN on

(028) 9052 0629.

This is the first time that service users and carers across all of Northern Ireland have been asked for their personal experiences. This important survey will help to create a better picture of the quality of mental health services across Northern Ireland and show us which areas need improvement.

Dr Stephen Bergin, Consultant in Public Health, PHA, said: ”I would encourage anyone who has used mental health care and treatment services since 2009, in any setting, to go online and let us know how it was for them: their experiences, thoughts and feelings of the journey.

“We hope to collect a significant number of stories, as up-to-date as possible, to help our work. People can log onto the website, tell their story and spend a few minutes answering eight questions. Those who don’t have web access can also participate by contacting the GAIN office directly.

“Your Story can Change Lives – help us plan future changes in mental health services and staff training.”

Everyone’s contributions will be used anonymously and put into a report which will be available on the GAIN website later in 2012.

Louise, a service user and Volunteer Peer Advocate, added: ”Over the years I’ve taken part in surveys and told my story and shared my experiences but I’ve often felt that no-one in charge was really listening to me. However, I now know that my experiences of mental health services are important and need to be heard, and having helped to develop this survey, this time we have the best opportunity yet to use those experiences to bring about change for the better”.

The online questionnaire is available at: http://eu.sensemaker-suite.com/gain/index.html

For further information and to share your story on paper, contact Nicola J Porter, GAIN Manager, Room C4.17, Castle Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3SQ, or telephone (028) 9052 0629.

The ‘Your Story Can Change Lives’ questionnaire is open to share your experiences and story until 31 October 2012.

For more information on GAIN (Guidelines and Audit Information Network) go to: www.gain-ni.org