Nicola, Kathryn and John are excited to be working in partnership with Doug MacInnes at Canterbury and Christchurch University and Cheryl Watkinson at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) to understand the best ways to involve and recruit informal carers in mental health research.

We’re doing this because we know that, in the UK, there are around 1.5 million carers (mostly family members) providing unpaid mental health care. Last year, RDaSH supported us to interview carers about their experiences of transitions between mental health services. The carers we spoke to told us that they don’t always feel listened to or supported, but despite feeling stressed, they said that providing care can be rewarding. By listening to carers in these interviews, we realised that carers provide essential care and have important caring skills that we know little about. We plan to do more research with carers but…

“Carers are rarely asked for their priorities for research.”

We want to ask carers in mental health about research they want to see, what topics are important to them, how researchers should involve them as partners and recruit them as research participants. Carers are not often asked what mental health research they would like to see carried out and are rarely involved as co-producers or partners in research projects. We plan to share what we find with other researchers and carers to make sure that carers’ voices are louder in mental health research in the future.

“What research do carers want to see?

What topics are important are important to carers?

How can researchers involve carers as partners in research?

How can researcher recruit carers to participate in research?”

What is World Café?

…it’s a way to meet with a large group of different people to answer questions that are important to the guests – in this case, about carer involvement in research. The event will look and feel like a café and cake and hot drinks will be served.

Guests move from table to table to join in conversations about participation in research, supported by a table host. The table hosts will be carers, NHS staff or researchers. We will provide coloured pens and invite guests to write or draw their ideas on the paper tablecloths. We will take the tablecloths away and use these to help us understand carers’ views.

Example of World Café Tablecloth

The School of Healthcare at University of Leeds has provided funding for this event so that we can ask these questions by holding a World Café on the 14th March 2019 at The Doncaster DomeIf you would like to attend this World Café, you can book using the information in the link above or by contacting us or Nicola Clibbens directly.

Follow Nicola on Twitter @UniLeedsMH

Have you attended a World Café before? Do you have questions we should ask at the World Café? We would be delighted to receive comments or ideas.

One thought on “World Café: What do carers want from mental health research?

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