Peer research

We amplify the experiences of those most affected by mental health stigma, inequality and discrimination. Our motivation is to emphasise and understand the experiences of people with mental health problems and the profound importance that services and policies have on their lives.

We engage service users and people with lived experience through action research, partnership working, and peer researcher development. Peer research helps shift power relations by giving people from marginalised groups or specific communities a voice that ensures research does not perpetuate unhelpful or inaccurate narratives.

Peer-led research can be beneficial for research projects and for the individuals involved. It supports personal development and confidence for those who have been ‘voiceless’ for much of their lives.

Peer researchers help shape our research methodologies to ensure they are accessible and relevant to their experience. We work with peer researchers and people with lived experience to:

  • Develop bespoke outcome measurement tools that are meaningful to participants from marginalised communities
  • Grow the capacity of grassroots, community organisations to capture outcomes and understand the changes they are making in people’s lives
  • Recognise the determinants for mental health and wellbeing that affect disadvantaged groups
  • Identify system barriers from the perspective of communities and people with experience of using services

We have extensive experience collaborating with user-led partner organisations and working directly with people from different disadvantaged groups and communities, such as prisoners, ex-offenders, and black and minority ethnic groups.

If you would like to hear more about our work, or if you represent an organisation interested in partnering with us for peer or action research, please contact Jenny Banks at jenny.banks@centreformentalhealth.org.uk

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