Latest News

The chance to improve mental health services in Sandwell

21 June 2019

P3’s Sandwell service has hosted a meeting to enable people to have a voice about local mental health provision.

Six people who have lived in our supported accommodation at Tipton discussed mental health treatment they have received from statutory health and social care services, with Jane Thakoordin from Changing Our Lives.

Alice* has had recent experience of mental health services and said:

“I felt hopeless. The worst thing is to judge someone when they’ve got depression. But there was one guy, a nurse, who would sit next to me and ask me what’s wrong, and just had time for me.”

Terry*, who is now working and living independently in his own flat, said:

“I think mental health services need to be more approachable. There needs to be more sharing opinions and experiences, because there’s still a stigma. People who are in government, no one’s listening to people like me who have been homeless. You feel like a cog in the system.”

Changing Our Lives work in partnership with people with disabilities or lived experience of mental ill-health to advocate for social justice and health equality. The advocacy charity supports an initiative called the ‘Sandwell Mental Health People’s Parliament’, which is looking for new members.

Development Officer Jane said:

“Sandwell is trying to make services better, and improve the lives of people across the district. The People’s Parliament is a small group of people with lived experience of mental ill-health, who are there to make sure that mental health is always at the forefront of commissioners’ minds, and to ensure people experiencing mental health difficulties to have a say in improving services for themselves and for others.”

Members of the Parliament receive training, expenses and the opportunity to have influence on decision-makers when it comes to mental health provision.

One of the issues the Parliament has been driving is setting up ‘Community Places of Safety’ in Sandwell, or designated locations such as cafes and community spaces that people going through mental health crisis can access out of hours—often the hardest time for people in this situation as support becomes unavailable in the evening and at night.

If you or anyone you know lives in Sandwell with recent experience of mental ill-health and would like to get involved in the People’s Parliament, you can get in touch via

For more information on P3’s West Midlands services, follow us on Twitter @P3Sandwell and @P3WestMidlands, or go to:

*names changed to preserve anonymity.