Our new ‘Voice of Experience College’

At Cochrane Common Mental Disorders we recognise it is essential we bring the voice of people with lived experience of mental health problems into the work that we do. To help us do this later this year we are running a bespoke voluntary opportunity in York for 12 people with lived experience to join our first Voice of Experience College.

You already have what we need, but through our Voice of Experience College we hope to equip you with new skills and knowledge helpful if you choose to become more involved in the work we do as part of Cochrane

We want to better understand what matters to people with lived experience to make sure our reviews ask the right questions and we want to improve the ways we involve people with lived experience in what we are doing. But we don’t think it is fair to ask people to contribute without providing a learning opportunity to help enable people to work with us. Including, telling people more about who we are and what we do

Sound interesting?

Three interactive workshops (held in York, UK) and online modules will enable you to develop skills focused around identifying, understanding and using the evidence produced by Cochrane and other sources. You will learn how to spot fake news and how you can use your own experience to contribute to the work that Cochrane and the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group does. You will also be offered Cochrane Membership as part of the opportunity. 

There is no obligation to work with us in the future. However, there is an expectation that by joining the college you will take part in the three workshops and complete the online modules. After completing the first set of three workshops you will be invited to take part in two further sessions that will focus on more specific ways you could work with us and Cochrane. These later learning sessions will also be designed to provide our Group with helpful outputs at the same time as supporting your learning. 

Still sound interesting?

You can learn more from our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

We hope that the Voice of Experience College will be a interesting and valuable experience in its own right, but that it will also act as a gateway for people in terms of volunteering with us or other parts of Cochrane in the future. 

One way people with lived experience currently work with our Group is by reviewing our work before it gets published on the Cochrane Library, by being a ‘Consumer Peer Reviewer’. Karen's Blog provides an honest account of her experience as a Consumer Reviewer. Another way you can work with us is by blogging about our work. Sophia's blog discusses why she blogs for CCMD.

If you are interested in being part of our first Voice of Experience College please leave us your contact details by Friday 19th July 2019, and you will be contacted by one of our team to provide more information.

If you miss the deadline then don't worry, we plan to run the College again next year. 

Please note that because this is our first Voice of Experience College we are running it locally in York, UK. If it is successful in the future we will look at workshops based in other locations and try other ways to make the College accessible (e.g. virtual workshops, webinars). This is a voluntary opportunity so you will not be paid for your time (see FAQs). However, we plan to contribute to local travel expenses and refreshments will be provided at the workshops. 


Download a pdf of the Voice of Experience College leaflet.

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