Service Users and Family Carers’ Advisory Group

The advancement of mental health and the provision of appropriate and acceptable mental health care services cannot be truly achieved without the involvement of service users and carers and their advice on the actions proposed: including the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the care services, and advocacy at international, country and regional levels. Yet the delivery of user-oriented and family-oriented services has a prerequisite that the service providers (i.e. the mental health practitioners and others) have received appropriate and evidence-based training on assessment and interventions considered as relevant, acceptable and effective for all parties.


The WPA triennium action plan (2017-2020) has one of its objectives as promoting recovery-based care for service users and carers. In line with this, and also WPA’s role as a psychiatric organisation supporting training of medical students and health practitioners, it is important that WPA at its congresses and in other ways should promote and provide education and training consistent with the goal of equipping health practitioners with knowledge and skills considered as important for care delivery by service users and carers. The WPA needs also to promote research and publication consistent with mutual needs. In order to obtain service users’ and carers’ advice on a range of related matters, WPA has established a service users and carers’ advisory group.

The group was established in 2018 and has worked with enthusiastic participation of its members. It has met regularly and contributed to WPA’s responses to emergency and to several challenging and important projects during the triennium, including congress planning and participation, and the program on Supporting Alternatives to Coercion in Mental Health care.

Advisory Group


Co-ordinated by:                                  Facilitated by:                                     WPA Representatives:

Michaela Amering
Steve Fisher
Afzal Javed
Roger Ng
Service User Representatives:
Charlene Sunkel
Guadalupe Morales
Lian Zeitz
Alice Kan
Family Carer Representatives:
Miia Manniko
Martha Savage
Spyros Zorbas