Become a volunteer Rep for the
Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)
What the role involves
Being an IMHN representative involves passing information into, and out of, the network. It could involve linking in with existing networks in the community and representing the network as a whole or it could involve being part of projects or working groups that providers and other organisations set up and want to involve the network in.
How does it work?
Each Rep has an area that they focus on (as an example, connecting with networks of people who are experiencing homelessness), the Rep then agrees with the IMHN Coordinator which meetings/groups/activities they will link in to and attend to represent the network.
When the network gets a request for involvement from a service provider or organisation, this request is sent out to all the IMHN Reps and they can chose if it is something that they would like to be involved in (as an example, being part of a group looking at ‘Core 24’ at Sussex and East Surrey Hospital). Some Reps chose to be event Reps – they help on or run an IMHN ‘stall’ at various events in the area, they talk about the networks activities and ask people if they would like to join.
How much time does it take?
This is up to you! If you have more time available then you can chose to do more and, if you are busy in other areas of your life then you can do a bit less – most Reps will chose an area of interest and then attend a meeting or activity in a certain network in the community once a month or so and the IMHN bi-monthly meeting and a sub-group if this is something they are involved in (these sub-groups focus on a specific topic or project).
What training and support would I get?
When you decide that you would like to become a Rep, you will be invited to meet us for a welcome chat and induction. During this informal conversation, we will ask you what your training needs are and come up with a plan together. Before you start you will be asked if you would like to shadow an existing Rep. Throughout the year, Reps are invited to training workshops in the community and those that we have arranged. Support is provided either in-person as part of a group or 1:1 in-person or by phone/text depending on your needs.
What if I can’t attend in person?
Even if you are unable to attend meetings in person, your help as a ‘virtual’ Rep would be very much welcomed! Gathering online feedback and helping us to get knowledge of the network out is something that we would really like your help with.
What if I’m not sure? What if I’m not what you are looking for?
- If you are considering if this is a role you would like, please do contact us – we can always arrange for you to ‘shadow’ someone to see if it is of interest to you.
- We would like a whole range of people to be involved as Reps and we will do all we can to remove any barriers that might prevent you from doing so.
- The main qualities and skills we are looking for are:- a desire to improve Mental Health services for everyone who needs them and Carers, some free time to get involved, teamwork (to share information with the network and vice versa) and an ability to represent other people’s views and experiences even when these are a bit different from your own.
What about expenses?
You can claim your expenses for public transport or mileage from us and we will pay these into your bank account. Alternatively, if you are attending a bi-monthly meeting, we can arrange cash if this is required. If you are a Disabled person and unable to travel on public transport or by car then we may be able to help to arrange transport.
How do I get started?
Please contact Guy Hill (IMHN Coordinator) to let him know that you are interested and we can go from there! Guy’s details are:- firstname.lastname@example.org or 07305 009 869. If you would prefer a landline, you can contact him on 01483 456 558.