Prosper: A social movement approach to mental health
Daniel Barrett, Janette Benson, Rhiannon Foster, Alan Leader
Mental Health and Social Inclusion
This paper describes the conceptual basis and development of Prosper: an emerging and evolving self-directed network and movement for people with lived experience of mental health problems in South West London.
The conceptual principles from which Propser emerged - co-production, recovery and social movement approaches - are outlined. The ways in which these ideas were translated into action, the guiding principles and operation of Prosper are then described.
An evolving self-directed network and movement has been developed that comprises around 150 'members' and a wider network of 20 service user groups across South West London. As well as open forums, collective actions fall under the themes of 'create' (peer support, outreach, campaigns, training) and 'collaborate' (partnership working with user-led organisations and a Recovery College, peer support networks, supporting the development of personal health budgets and local commissioning, and consultancy). This network has initially been funded by South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust with a view to it becoming an independent entity.
The innovative and evolving social network and movement for people with lived experience of mental health problems that is continuously influenced and changed by the skills, ideas and energy of its growing and developing membership could act as a useful model for others to follow.