Overall, eight experienced patient and public contributors in mental health research took part in our MHR award judging panels. Reflecting on her work in this role, Louise Ting, one of the judges for the Early Impact theme, had this to say:
The variety was indeed a big part of it – I loved that it wasn’t just one type of research, and all published in academic journals. Related to that, I was on the early impact theme and I therefore found it very rewarding to be able to learn about how the research actually led to real-world changes.
We had everything from a community dementia project that was deeply personal and focused on developing the participants’ resilience as well as professional skills, to a PhD candidate whose way of working had translated to making a difference in how genetic services are now being provided. There was also other research that had influenced government policy for young people in response to the pandemic, which is obviously very current and relevant to many.
I also liked how we met as a panel to discuss everything and come to a decision together, after scoring everything individually too.
So, in summary, I enjoyed the variety, way of working, and actually seeing research that was already having an impact.