Croydon’s Service User Group for People with Mental Illness, as Croydon’s only service user group for people with severe and enduring mental illness, our organisation is 100% service user run. This strength gives us a unique insight into the barriers faced by our service users; particularly those also experiencing drug & alcohol misuse or leaving prison. We provide specialist peer support and personal support for our service users – people with complex mental health issues living or working in the London Borough of Croydon. Our practical, regular activities help users to cope better with daily living and helps to relieve their social, emotional and physical needs.
Our determination to help everyone receive fair access to support (whether practical, emotional and social) without prejudice or discrimination is long-proven – for sixteen years our organisation and our committed staff and volunteers have been an integral part of the mental health support jigsaw picture in the London Borough of Croydon.
As the local co-ordinating body for people with severe and enduring mental illness, we facilitate and ensure service users’ voices are included and involved in the planning, delivery and monitoring of mental health services across Croydon. By effectively representing service users’ needs to providers we aim to improve the quality of the services commissioned and delivered across Croydon. Well-established routes such as our Open Forum or regular evidence submissions to the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) and Croydon’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lead to positive changes in how service users are treated (please see current achievements listed in more detail under each project section).
We work in close partnership with other organisations across the voluntary sector such as Mind, Imagine, Status Employment, Off the Record, the Croydon BME Forum, and the local Association of Pastoral Care in Mental Health (APCMH) to ensure service users’ voices are heard. Strong relationships have also been developed and maintained with statutory services such as the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM) and Croydon’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). We campaign for change and fight against Stigma and Discrimination – one of the many ways we do this is by trying to improve the wider public’s understanding of mental health.