A national network of mental health service-users, survivors and activists is facing closure next month if it cannot secure new funding, after becoming the latest victim of competition from large, non-user-led charities and private sector organisations.
The threat to the future of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN), which was established in 2009, comes only a year after it warned that more than a quarter of its member organisations had been forced to close in just two years.
NSUN research reported last March that 221 of its 822 members – most of them user-led groups and all of them smaller, voluntary sector mental health groups in England – had closed since January 2015.
It warned that many of the groups had lost out to large mental health charities and private sector organisations that had been “sweeping up” their contracts to promote user-involvement or provide advocacy or peer support.
Now NSUN is facing the threat of closure itself at the end of June, after funding problems had already led to it closing its office and becoming a “virtual” organisation in December.