SUGAR has collaborated with numerous researchers, including some who have visited the UK from such far flung parts of the world as Japan and Australia, as well as those closer to home.
Prof Len Bowers was one of the driving forces behind the creation of SUGAR in 2009. He and his team of researchers working on the Safewards trial at Kings College London consulted SUGAR at different points in the study. Here Len talks about the input that the group had on Safewards.
Dr Leonie Cox is a Senior Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She specialises in Cultural Safety, and visited City University London in 2013 to collaborate with Prof Alan Simpson about developing a SUGAR group at QUT. Here she talks about how she came to work with SUGAR and how their work has influenced the creation of a similar group in Queensland.
Prof Kazuyo Kitaoka is based at Kanazawa University. There is still a huge stigma around mental health problems in Japan. Service users are ostracised by society, and even relatives and carers of people experiencing mental health difficulties are stigmatised. When Dr Kitaoka visited Prof Alan Simpson and SUGAR in London in 2013 she was blown away by how progressive the group was. She observed that the notion of mental health academics sitting down in a university meeting room to consult with service users about their research was unheard of in Japan. Her experience with the group inspired her to set up SUGAR Japan. SUGAR Japan has a slightly different remit to SUGAR, with the service users consulting on recovery, rather than research.