For Cochrane Common Mental Disorders it is essential to bring the voice of people with lived experience of mental health problems into the work that we do.
To help improve capacity to involve people with lived experience, in 2019/20 we ran a bespoke voluntary opportunity in York for volunteers with lived experience of common mental health conditions to join our first Voice of Experience (VoE) College.
Through the VoE College we hoped to equip attendees with new skills and knowledge helpful if they choose to become more involved in the work we do as part of Cochrane.
The VoE College involved three interactive face-to-face workshops (held at the University of York) and followed a planned programme of activities. The workshops were complemented by homework tasks involving completion of the Cochrane Evidence Essentials online modules. The programme of activities was designed to enable attendees to develop skills focused around identifying, understanding and using the evidence produced by Cochrane and other sources.
The workshops were held in September 2019, November 2019 and January 2020.
Read more in our detailed summary document about the VoE College.
Some attendees are now working more routinely as consumer volunteers for the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Review Group. The Group is undertaking some independent evaluation of the VoE College which we plan to publish in 2021.