The Recovery Research Network is based at the University of Nottingham but has connections all over the UK and also internationally. It is for people who are interested or involved in recovery research to share their plans, present their research results, and develop collaborations for future projects.
It all sounds a bit academic, but it’s a very open and hospitable gathering and has succeeded in making and maintaining sound connections between academic researchers, people using mental health services, mental health service practitioners and clinical services.
The researchers “talk the talk” in that they are very precise in their thinking and don’t assume anything based on a feeling, impression or general opinion. When they say, for example, “We know that people find it helpful to share their stories”, they mean that there has been more than one study, involving lots of people, taking into account all sorts of factors in those people’s lives, which proves that they find it helpful to share their stories.
They also “walk the walk” in that the network ‘carries out research that aims to promote the personal recovery and wellbeing of people who have experienced mental health problems‘. It’s not a purely academic exercise, it’s anchored in the real ‘messy’ world of individual people and their unique set of circumstances, looking at things which can be of practical use.
One of the greatest barriers to getting involved with groups such as these is often cost – with conferences often being very expensive to attend. While travel may still be an issue, the RRN state of their website that: “The level of involvement is entirely up to each member, with no ongoing commitment. There is no cost to join the network, or for any of its activities.” It’s good to find that they are doing what they can to be as inclusive as possible.