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How We Work

The work that we do is centred around three key areas of activity - Communication, Representation and Quality Assurance. The best way to show you how we work in these arenas is to answer some of the most frequently asked questions:


How does SpeakUpCIC make links with other providers in our area, including statutory services?

SpeakUpCIC staff and Service User representatives attend Local Forums, Local Mental Health Action Group (MHAG) meetings, County Wide MHAG Group Meetings, Council of East Kent Service User Forums, Patient Participation Group and Health Reference Group meetings with their local GP Clinical Commissioning Groups and other local meeting.

We have face-to-face meetings, telephone, email, personal visits, group forums and a varied selection of speakers mostly representing other providers at the Forums; work with other agencies e.g. Health Promotion; NHS Health Trainers; Thanet College; Richmond Fellowship; MCCH; Mental Health Units; and local Resource Houses, feedback from Day Centers and suggestion boxes at the Day Centres and Community Mental Health Centres.

How does SpeakUpCIC support people in accessing other relevant services?

A regular newsletter for members and this fantastic new website are two key ways we provide information about our services and others including emergency numbers e.g. Samaritans; Mental Health Matters; single point of access number; crisis team;


Additionally we often provide telephone support and signposting to many of you who don't know where to go with your query. Even if we can not help/support you directly we will always try to put you in touch with the relevant body for your needs.

What type of services does SpeakUpCIC signpost people to?

We tell people about the range of services available through Community Groups; Day Services; Advocacy; Back to Work projects; Probation; Housing; Training; Social Services; Duty Teams; Help-Lines; Support Groups; and others.

How does SpeakUpCIC promote its services?

We promote our service through our extensive network of Service Users and Professionals; Newsletters; Website; Leaflets; Newspaper Articles; Personal Recommendations; Facebook; Twitter; Magazines via other agencies e.g. Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). We often organise events for all to take part in such as World Mental Health Day walks or barbeques, Time to Change events to fight stigma, local networking events and other local activities

How does SpeakUpCIC make use of Information Technology?

This website is our latest information technology tool for Service Users across our region. It has a host of information about SpeakUpCIC, plus signposting to other organisations and resources that promote Mental Wellbeing and aid recovery from Mental Distress.

Probably the most exciting innovation though is the introduction of our Facebook Page. People across our region can now get connected online and have their say about mental health services in a safe environment from the comfort of their home or office base. This is especially important for those Service Users who may be unable to physically attend one of our regular forum groups or activities. It means their voices can still be heard, their opinions asked for and included in feedback to service providers.

And don't forget that forum members can visit the SpeakUpCIC office during office hours to access the Internet!


How do we ensure fair representation at User Forums?

We provide written terms of reference, eligibility, ground rules, monitoring of attendance by age, gender, and ethnicity. We take positive action to include under represented groups e.g. we set up a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ)Forum; we recognise that people in the LGBTQ group have mental health needs too. We are in the process of setting up a young persons group and are investigating how we can reach out to asylum seekers.

Our activities come under the following key functions:

  • Campaigning and championing

  • Peer Support

  • Gaining Feedback

  • Giving Feedback

  • Enabling SU Participation

  • Group work and User-led training/education

  • Social Activities

  • Research

  • Advisory

Quality Assurance

How do we ensure a fair and accessible service is delivered?

We ensure a fair and accessible service is delivered through our Equal Opportunities Policy; monitoring of activities; user surveys; Suggestion Box; feedback from individuals and at group meetings; reaching out to established groups e.g. LGBTQ Group; Women's Groups & Men's Group. SpeakUpCIC has its own complaints procedure too.

How do we evaluate SpeakUpCIC's activities to ensure they meet the needs of Service Users?

We conduct regular satisfaction surveys to gain feedback on groups and other SpeakUpCIC activities Users are involved in this process and in the monitoring of complaints and their resolution.

Apart from a questionnaire, what other forms of assessment for User satisfaction do we use?


We have suggestion boxes in a number of local mental health venues. These are regularly monitored by SpeakUpCIC staff and the contents reviewed and acted upon. Feedback is sought by word of mouth, from SpeakUpCIC groups, commissioners, managers, other agencies, and from individuals including carers, relatives and friends of service users.

If this all sounds like something you would like to become involved in and you'd like to have your say - why not join SpeakUpCIC?

Find out How to join - click here
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