What is the Institute of Mental Health?
The Institute of Mental Health seeks to help transform our understanding and treatment of mental illness and is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Nottingham. The Institute was formed in 2006 and has achievements in innovative and new health service research.
The Institute of Mental Health covers a wide range of topics and their academics and clinicians are actively working in dementia, Tourettes, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Multiple Sclerosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and many other areas of mental health and wellbeing.
The Institute is host to and manages a wide range of research grants. It has approximately 33 full and associate professors and over 100 PhD students all involved in research. Alongside academic staff the Institute also has a number of contributing members of the public who support the research activities. These Public Contributors are often called PPI (Public and Patient Involvement) Contributors or PPI Volunteers.
What is a PPI Volunteer? (Public and Patient Involvement Volunteer)
People with a lived experience of mental health can engage with the Institute in many ways and a PPI Volunteer can carry out many different activities. We have members of the public offering their lived experiences in multiple ways in numerous studies. Volunteer roles carried out include:
- steering and guiding research applications
- interviewing patients
- reviewing findings
- commenting on methods of research
- participating in Public and Patient Involvement groups
By including individual knowledge and lived experiences into research it means the work will benefit from real experiences and be better informed.
Who are some of our PPI Volunteers?
Centre for Dementia Patient and Public Involvement Group
The group is for people with dementia and their family members or carers and aims to help the research within Centre for Dementia. The group meets monthly to hear news from research projects, and also to learn about the processes of dementia research. Academic researchers also attend, to learn about how to work better with people with dementia. The Centre for Dementia hopes that everyone gets something out of the meetings, including friendship and support that comes with a peer group.
Public Contributors as Individuals
Individual volunteers are also registered with the Institute. These registered individuals are contacted when new research is considered and invited to know more about the Involvement opportunities available.
The Institute of Mental Health is fortunate to have an Advisory Board who we will work with to steer our future Involvement activity, from our policies and forms to what we do and how we do it.
Would you like to be involved?
We are always seeking new people to receive these invitations and we also approach services, community groups and voluntary sector organisations about these opportunities too. If this might be something you would like to know more about then please get in touch.
How can I find out more?
The Institute of Mental Health has a Public Involvement Coordinator, Kate Horton, who works with our public contributors to find opportunities, to identify experienced individuals keen to be involved and groups for researchers to work with. The coordinator also supports the Institute’s Advisory Board.
If you would like to know more then the Institute of Mental Health’s Public Involvement Coordinator can be contacted by email Kate.Horton@nottshc.nhs.uk or mobile 07971 106312 and is always really pleased to hear from members of the public, Nottinghamshire Healthcare staff and researchers alike.