The Mental Health Collective’s Fellowship brings together experts of all stripes on the social and collective dimensions of mental health.
Expertise on the social and collective dimensions of mental health exists throughout the mental health professions and beyond: amongst social scientists and academics; social workers and public health specialists; psychologists; psychiatrists; nurses; social innovators; comms professionals and many others. Perhaps more than any other arena of mental health, here, experts by experience have a particularly crucial role.
Our fellowship revitalises the role of the ‘peer’ in mental health. The terms ‘fellow’ and ‘peer’ both have a meaning of a group of people who are seen as of equal status and who greet each other with mutual respect. However in the mental health world, ‘peer support’ and ‘peer workers’ is typically seen as low status compared to professional-led work, whilst a ‘fellow’ is associated with being part of a high-status learned society or professional body. Such hierarchies are often unhelpful for sharing ideas, testing knowledge and developing innovation.
The Mental Health Collective’s Fellowship Scheme elevates the expertise of those with lived experience, and convenes spaces in which these experts can engage meaningfully with other experts from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. This is done in a range of ways – ad hoc, socially and formally. In keeping with traditions of scholarship, fellows engage with each other independently (and may hold very different views), but offer perspectives on each other’s work in a spirit of mutual respect and collegiality. Faithful to best practice in peer review, fellows may invite questions and reflections on their work to further constructive partnerships, knowledge, learning and innovation.
Fellowship of the Mental Health Collective is an honour and is associated with the post-nominal ‘FMHC’. Fellows may add these letters to their name, as and when they feel this is appropriate.
Nominations and applications to the Fellowship open each year on the first day of Mabon (21st September 2021), and close on All Soul’s Day (2nd November 2021).
Pollard, A. (2019) ‘Towards a model for the Mental Health Collective’s Fellowship: What inspiration could the University of Cambridge offer?’. Medium. 12th February 2019. Available here.
Fellows are expected to uphold the Nolan Principles of Public Life. As independent actors, fellows are not responsible for the views expressed by one another or by Mental Health Collective (and vice versa). The Mental Health Collective reserves the right to revoke fellowship at the discretion of the board.