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This paper describes the process of involving mental health service users in the planning and running of a community service. PACT (Psychiatric Assertive Outreach and Continuing Care Team) is based in south London and provides care for people who have severe and enduring mental health problems. We present an approach based on three years of intensive collaboration with service users. Community services will only become effective if they respond to need and develop new partnerships with people in contact with them. People require the opportunity to experience new ways at becoming involved at all levels of service provision and, therefore, efforts need to be made to develop a variety of opportunities for people to put forward their views. This takes time and determination by all involved.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatric Bulletin

Publication Date





144 - 147