Survivor Researchers: What do we bring? (SRN)

1st December, 14.00-15.00 (registration has now closed)

Watch the recording:

Click here to read the transcript.

About the SRN

“The Survivor Researcher Network SRN – is a UK based user-controlled network for mental health service users and survivors with an interest in research.

Previously hosted by NSUN,  we are now an independent network and  Community Interest Company, developing the SRN as a network for survivor researchers together with undertaking research, and offering mentoring, training and consultancy.

Survivor/service user research is carried out from the perspective of people who have experienced mental or emotional distress. It is different from traditional Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research because service users and survivors have control over the research process. This type of ‘user-led’ or ‘user-controlled’ research has grown and developed from the political roots of survivor activism that seek to challenge the psychiatric system, bio-medical ‘illness’ models and collectively develop different forms of knowledge based on lived experience of mental distress. Patient and public involvement (PPI) has become an essential component of NHS research, policy and practice in the UK. An increasing number of service users and survivors are now involved in research in mental health in England. But service user and survivor-led research is an independent discipline in its own right.”

About the session

Survivor Researchers: What do we bring?

Facilitation: Stephen Jeffreys, Jacqui Lovell
Presentation: Dina Poursanidou


After a short introduction to SRN:

  • Dina Poursanidou will draw on mental health service user interview accounts of involuntary hospitalisation (‘sectioning’) in England to discuss the critical importance of listening to ambivalent (contradictory) service user and survivor voices when it comes to psychiatric detention. The panel discussion will also consider the role of ambivalence in survivor research.

We plan to use this/these as the basis for a wider discussion on

  • what survivor research is or should be, and
  • what survivor research can offer to mental health research and to people with lived experience of mental health challenges.

Stephen Jeffreys (he/him)

Survivor/lived experience researcher and advisor. Coordinator and director at @SurvivorResNet.

Twitter: @sjeffreys_mhres

Dr Konstantina (Dina) Poursanidou (she/her)

Konstantina (Dina) Poursanidou is an independent Service User Researcher in mental health. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research has spanned a range of fields including mental health, education, child health, youth justice and social policy/social welfare. She has worked in a number of Universities in England as a Service User Researcher and held a 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Patient and Public Involvement and Improvement/Implementation Science at the Service User Research Enterprise in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She is a member of Asylum, the radical mental health magazine editorial group, as well as one of the directors of the UK-based Survivor Researcher Network Community Interest Company.

Twitter: @KonstantinaPou1

Jacqui Lovell (she/her)

Jacqui is a survivor researcher and SRN member who uses creative arts based approaches to participatory research in her work with individuals, groups and communities in the North East and latterly North West of England.

Twitter: @jacquiluvslife

More information

  • This session will have British Sign Language interpretation and closed captions. There will be a slideshow presentation. Let us know when you register if you need the slides in advance in the accessibility requirements box on the Zoom registration form.
  • There are 100 spaces for this Zoom meeting, so please do cancel (using the link on the email sent to you after signing up) if you can no longer make the session. If the session is full, please email to be added to a waiting list (with the name of the session in the subject).
  • This event will also be livestreamed at the following link with no registration required. Click here to watch the livestream.