Hafal Expert Leadership Panel (HELP)

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Hafal’s Expert Leadership Panel (HELP) is a group of knowledgeable, creative and talented people, including service users and carers, who are ready to use their direct experience to help with Hafal’s campaigning and its development and delivery of services.

Hafal is a Member-led organisation managed by the people it supports. The charity is founded on the belief that people who have direct experience of mental illness know best how services can be delivered.

The Hafal Expert Leadership Panel (HELP) takes forward this learning and seeks to provide further opportunities for people who have direct experience of mental health services, and who share Hafal’s mission and ambitions, to positively harness that knowledge in speaking on behalf of Hafal.


How HELP works

The HELP panel is made up of 15 members from across Wales with diverse backgrounds and skills. The panel meet regularly, rotating meetings in North, South and Mid Wales. Some members meet face-to-face while others are in regular contact with the group via email and/or facetime.


HELP’s objectives

The key objectives of the HELP panel are to:

  • comment on and seek to influence national mental health issues
  • contribute to the development of training materials, and deliver training sessions, talks and presentations
  • offer consultancy to managers within organisations who are grappling with how to respond to mental health issues
  • undertake work with the media, whether through providing copy or speaking directly to the media
  • act as lay reviewers of services
  • contribute to mental health research and service evaluations
  • seek to identify excellence and innovation and disseminate these to inspire and lead in the field of mental health.

Download the “Aims, Objectives and Terms of Reference” of the HELP panel.

Download the HELP Panel flyer


HELP’s current activities

The HELP panel is currently writing research funding applications and articles for publication, and are assisting with the baseline evaluation of Hafal’s Recovery Centre. They are also involved in providing external training to health and social care organisations in Wales, to Hafal staff and to other people with a lived experience, their family and carers.

HELP Members have a number of publications between them and presented at the 2014 World Health Organisation Congress on Mental Health in Lille, France. Click here for examples of some of the publications/presentations they share between them.

Read an article on HELP’s research is the “Research Special” edition of Hafal’s Mental Health Wales journal.

Download the HELP Panel’s evaluation of Hafal’s Linc 18-25 Project to reduce offending/reoffending of people aged between 18 and 25 who came into contact with the Criminal Justice System in the South Wales Police Force area

View the “Priority setting in research: user led mental health research” report published in the open access journal ‘Research, Involvement and Engagement’  which is the result of continued collaboration between members of the Service User and Carer Research Partnership, based in Wales and supported by the National Centre for Mental Health, Health and Care Research Wales, and Hafal.

Download HELP’s 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Contact us

Anyone with any interest in mental health research can contact the panel, and partnership working is actively encouraged.

For more information on HELP please contact HELP’s coordinator Jonathan Willey.