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Involving and engaging service users in improving physical health

Naomi James, Regional Development and Research Manager, NSUN network for mental health discussed involving and engaging service users in improving physical health at today’s conference. In her presentation Naomi discussed:

  • learning from the lived experience
  • involving and engaging service users in improving physical health

Naomi James' full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

In her presentation Naomi stated: 

"Too often when ‘Parity of Esteem’ is talked about  the connections and links are referred to between mental health and physical health as two distinct entities."

"The survivor / service user movement has consistently called for recognition of holistic approaches that conceive of no division between mental and physical health. We are human therefore bound by one system / body."
"Descartes error was to think that the mental /mind and the physical / body are of two different entities."

"Survivors consistantly call for a holistic model of care that is bio psycho social model of understanding human distress"


"Power is one of the central shaping forces for understanding how people situate themselves, show, express and share stories of their lives."


"There is a need for continual re-examination how systems and structures can and have retraumatised people and instead support people with lived experience of distress to take up their personal power. They need to reauthor their lives as worthy."


"The core purpose of service user and carer involvement in Mental & Physical Health & Social Care must be to improve people’s quality of life."


"Developing good practice policies and procedures for involvement has no meaning if those policies and procedures do not reach the person who is in need of support today, tomorrow or   next week."

"Good involvement in care planning has many benefits for all concerned- for individuals,   communities, services, professionals and organisations."

Naomi James’ Biography:

Naomi James is the Regional Development & Research Manager for NSUN the National Survivor User Network. Like all of the independent charities staff and board members she has many years’ experience of mental health services. Naomi's main role is to strengthen and support the direct service user/survivor political voice, reviewing mental health policy & influencing the development of mental health services. Naomi manages several projects including the National involvement partnership involving England wide co-ordination of networking between mental health groups and the development of national standards for involvement. Her on-going PhD study investigates the practice of Participatory Video for Mental Health. Naomi is committed to achieving social justice and her interests are in exploring the condition of possibility for visually (re) authored and recovered narratives through a process of collective witnessing and definitional ceremony.

Naomi’s background is in the Arts with a BA in Fine Art and MA in glass making and video production.

Future conferences of interest:

Improving Physical Health for People with Mental Health Conditions
Monday 14 September 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Thursday 15 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Positive and Proactive Care Meeting the New National Guidance on Reducing Seclusion
Tuesday 20 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Smoking Cessation in Mental Health
Tuesday 20 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Masterclass: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Friday 13 November 2015 
Cavendish Conference Centre, London

Download: Naomi James Full Presentation

20 May 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences