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Become a Rep

We have a very passionate team of volunteer ‘Reps’ (representatives) that work with the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN). 

We’re always looking for more people to join us, so please get in touch if you’re interested!

What the role involves

Being an IMHN representative involves communicating information into, and out of, the network. This is done with the support of the network Coordinator.

How does it work?

Each Rep has an area that they focus on (as an example, improving mental health crisis provision), the Rep then agrees with the IMHN Coordinator which meetings or projects they will get involved with 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 you can choose if it is something that interests you and that you would like to be involved in.

Some Reps choose to be event Reps – they volunteer their time to help run an IMHN ‘stall’ at various engagement or promotional events in the area. On the stall they talk about the networks activities and ask people if they would like to join.    

How much time does it take?

This is completely up to you!  If you have more time available then you can choose to do more and, if you are busy in other areas of your life then you can do a bit less.

Most Reps will choose an area of interest and then attend a meeting or activity in the community or a specific project group around once a month. They will also attend the IMHN bi-monthly coordinating meeting to hear what other reps have been doing on behalf of the Network. 

What training and support would I get?

When you decide that you would like to become a Rep, we’ll arrange to meet for a chat either virtually or in person.  We can talk about your training needs and come up with a plan together.  We’ll also offer you the opportunity to shadow an existing Rep or staff member. 

Throughout the year, Reps are invited to training workshops in the community as well as specific IMHN training events. Support is provided in whatever way works best for you. We’re very flexible and want to be as supportive as possible.

What if I can’t attend in person? 

If you are unable to attend meetings in person, your help as a ‘virtual’ Rep would be very much welcomed! Many meetings now run either virtually or with an option to join an in person meeting online. We also send out many opportunities to share your views in writing on pieces or work or proposals being created by local commissioners and service providers.

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 our Network Coordinator – we can always arrange for you to ‘shadow’ someone to see if it is of interest to you. 

We want to have a whole range of people involved as Reps to make sure we are hearing views from all our local residents. We will always 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 their carers
  • some free time to get involved
  • being able to share information from a project 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 public transport or mileage expenses to and from any meeting related to the work the Network Coordinator has asked you to be a part of.  These will be paid directly into your bank account. If you are a Disabled person and unable to travel on public transport or by car then we may be able to help with arranging transport.

How do I get started?

Please contact Guy Hill (IMHN Coordinator)

Guy’s details are: guy.hill@surreycoalition.org.uk or 07305 009 869.  If you would prefer a landline, you can contact him on 01483 456 558.

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