Lothian Voices

 Lothian Voices logo

What is Lothian Voices?

Lothian Voices was set up so that people who use mental health services were represented at a meeting called The Lothian Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Programme Board.

At this meeting decisions are made about mental health services across Lothian. Lots of different people go to this meeting: NHS staff; local councils; carers; advocacy; and people representing the voluntary sector. The Board have given money to CAPS so that they can represent people who use services across Lothian, and CAPS set up Lothian Voices to do this.

Lothian Voices has supported people to come to the meetings and talk about the work they are doing and what is needed. For example, a representative from East Lothian came to talk about the need for drop-ins and crisis services.

For more information or to get involved, contact CAPS on 0131 273 5116 or e-mail contact@capsadvocacy.org.

The People’s Conference

The main way Lothian Voices finds out what people think is important is by organising the annual People’s Conference.

The People’s Conference 2016: Dear Doctor

People at tables talking to one another

The People’s Conference 2016

The People’s Conference was held in April 2016 at the Walpole Hall in Edinburgh. The topic was our experiences of using GP services. We looked at what was good, what needed to improve and wrote Prescriptions for Change. Members of Lothian Voices presented what people had said at the Taking Stock conference in May 2016 and produced a briefing to send to people who make decisions in NHS. We will write a full report of the day and make sure that the things people said are publicised widely.

The People’s Conference 2015: All of us

Two women writing

The People’s Conference 2015

The People’s Conference was held in May 2015 at the Walpole Hall in Edinburgh. The aim of the day was to think about things that affect us and how best services could better work with us bearing in mind all of these things.

We first discussed all the different things that affect us in our lives, not just our health but family, work, caring roles, hobbies etc. We then went on to examine how best services could work holistically with us taking into account these things. We also created artwork to visually demonstrate these things.

Five people at a table on a podium

Lothian Voices presenting at Taking Stock in 2015

The results were then presented at A Sense of Belonging: Taking Stock at Heriot Watt University – you can download the People’s Conference 2015 report.

The People’s Conference 2014

The first conference was held in June 2014 and The People’s Conference was an event for people with lived experience of mental health issues. It was a space for people to give their views on NHS
Lothian’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy ‘A Sense of Belonging’. It also gave people the opportunity to meet others and learn about different projects and groups in Lothian related to mental health and wellbeing. You can download the 
The People’s Conference Report 2014.

Other work

In 2014 Lothian Voices also surveyed people to ask what they thought was important and needed. One hundred and fifty-five people responded and from this, a Lothian-wide report named Things to do, Places to go, People to see report was created. A separate East Lothian report was also written. These reports is helping to decide what work needs to be done.


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