Lucy Simons

Lucy Simons
Lucy is currently Research Fellow at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Cooperative at the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham. She has been a mental health services researcher since 1998 and has a strong interest in ‘active involvement’. That is, how people experiencing mental distress can direct their own care and influence the way services are delivered. This encompasses their vital role in influencing service design, research and education for health professionals. Her current work aims to do this with a digital twist!


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Digital Technology for Mental Health: asking the right questions #DigitalMHQ


Lucy Simons invites YOU to tell us what you think are the most important questions about using digital technology for mental health.

There are also some fab prizes up for grabs, so don’t miss out!

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Peer support for physical health improvement: recovering ‘stolen years’?


Lucy Simons discusses whether peer support interventions can help to provide physical health improvements for people living with severe mental illness.

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Should mental health service user-led organisations adapt to management culture to bring about meaningful change?


Lucy Simons considers the findings of an ethnographic study led by Diana Rose that observed in-depth how service user-led organisations work to change mental health services.

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Building RAPPORT between researchers and lay people


Lucy Simons highlights the RAPPORT study and the importance of strong relationships between PPI (patient and public involvement) representatives and researchers, which are seen to be essential for PPI to become normal practice in research.

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(Mis)alliances in treatment research priorities

High priority

Lucy Simons summarises a recent study of treatment research priorities, which concludes that research on drugs is preferred by researchers, but evaluation of non-drug treatments is preferred by patients and clinicians.

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Peer-led self-management for mental health: impressive programme, not so sure about the research


Lucy Simons and Chris Sampson appraise a recent evaluation of peer-led self-management training for people with severe mental illness.

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Peer support for perinatal mental illness: what makes a peer?


Lucy Simons reports on a meta-ethnography that explores what facilitates peer support for perinatal mental illness. Her key finding from appraising the review is that women who experience perinatal mental illness need support from the right sort of peer (i.e. women who have had mental distress in the context of motherhood) to make the relationship beneficial and to aid recovery.

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Guidance to improve service user experience: how NICE is that?


Lucy Simons and Paul Radin summarise the latest Evidence Update from NICE relating to their 2011 guidance to improve service user experience

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Is telephone peer support for the prevention of postnatal depression worth the cost?


. Peer support has been a hot topic in the woodland recently. Although there appears to be a lack of evidence to support the clinical effectiveness of peer support interventions for people with severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it is an approach that is highly valued by many. It might be [read the full story…]

Self-management: mapping the strategies used by people with depression


While it is predicted that depression will achieve the status of the biggest disease burden in the Western World before too long, providing access to evidence-based clinical interventions (medicines and talking treatments) for this growing number of people is a source of concern. Supporting people to take steps to actively self-manage their symptoms and condition [read the full story…]