2018 Public Life Matters

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Public Life Matters is a research project funded by DRILL – the Disability Research on Independent Living & Learning programme. DRILL is fully funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is delivered in partnership by Disability Action, Disability Rights UK, Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland.

This report outlines the results of a participative research project funded under the first round of DRILL grants in Scotland and carried out during 2017/ 18. The grant was awarded under the theme of ‘participating in civic and public life’.

Public Life Matters is a partnership project. It was conceived by individuals from several organisations and developed and delivered in a collaborative manner. The grant holder is VOX (Voices of Experience), Scotland’s national collective advocacy organisation for people with lived experience of mental ill health. VOX had overall responsibility for financial and project management.

The project aimed to investigate four research questions:

  • What proportion of people with lived experience of mental illness would like to increase their engagement with civic and public life?
  • What civic/ public roles do they aspire to?
  • What barriers prevent them from playing a more active role in civic and public life and what are the potential solutions to overcome them?
  • What policy initiatives could be put in place to overcome these barriers?