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Keywords:

  • self-help groups;
  • mental health services;
  • survivors;
  • Europe

Objective: To present the European Network of (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry and discuss issues of concern among (ex-)users and survivors.

Method: Material from papers and documents published by and discussed among (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry is used to outline topics of interest.

Results: The European Network of (ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP) was founded in 1991 as an association of national/regional organizations of (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry. The network organizes biennial conferences, all delegates are (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry. ENUSP aims include the fight against discrimination of people with experience of the psychiatric system, support for (ex-)user/survivor organizations, influence on policy-making, legislation and human rights debates, demedicalizing psychiatry, and opposition to unidimensional approaches to mental and emotional distress.

Conclusion: (Ex-)users and survivors should be involved in monitoring psychiatric services, education and examination of mental health professionals. User/survivor-controlled services constitute an important innovative service.