The involvement of service users and carers is crucial in ensuring that the voices of those who have experienced mental health issues either directly or indirectly, are central to the study.

ERA Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP)

The ERA Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) helps to support the research team at all points through the programme of research, offering their expertise and insight into what it is like to live with, or care for someone, with mental health issues.

The ERA LEAP meets 2-3 times a year to advise us on a wide range of issues, from how we approach potential participants, to how we work with and communicate about the study. LEAP members also attend our regular trial management meetings.

The LEAP expert members come from all walks of life and reflect the diversity of people affected by mental health issues.

East London NHS Foundation Trust People Participation and Working Together Groups

The People Participation and Working Together groups at East London Foundation Trust regularly meet to ensure the views and ideas of service users, their families and carers are heard. ELFT People Participation were instrumental in helping us to organise, film and develop the arts therapies videos in ERA. They are also helping to link service users interested in taking part in the study to researchers and provide ongoing advice to the study team.

Read more about ELFT People Participation here

SUGAR – (Service User and Carer Group Advising on Research)

SUGAR members discuss and contribute to various aspects of research projects and the research process across London. They meet every month and have also written journal papers and give conference workshops, presentations and posters. We go to SUGAR regularly for advice on the ERA study. SUGAR have helped ERA from the very beginning with the study design, commenting on videos and advising on patient-facing information.

Read more about SUGAR here