The People’s Parliament is a strategic body led by MPs with recent lived experience of mental health difficulties. Its function is to hold decision makers to account for improvements in services and supports so that people who experience mental health difficulties can have an improved quality of life and be in greater control of their own mental wellbeing. The Parliament is located in the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, just outside Birmingham. 

Changing Our Lives and the People's Parliament are committed to the recovery model. Just as we all have physical health, so we have mental health. This model does not focus on symptoms and conditions but champions:

  • building people's resilience
  • supporting self-development and self-esteem
  • a strength-based approach
  • a personalised approach and aims for each individual to gain more control over their life
  • social recovery, where relationships and community connections are strengthened
  • a journey, not a destination
  • building a meaningful life, as defined by the person themselves

Quality of Life Mental Health Standards

State of Sandwell

These standards were produced by Changing Our Lives in coproduction with members of the People’s Parliament. They are a tool that can be used in a variety of ways to drive change. They can be embedded into commissioning processes to inspire and stimulate recovery focused approaches, challenge assumptions, shape thinking and encourage cultural change in working practices. They can also be used to check the quality of services and support for local people.


    State of Sandwell is a long term, recurring project, originating from Sandwell’s Mental Health People’s Parliament. Changing Our Lives speak to Sandwell residents, to identify current issues impacting their mental health and wellbeing, and work in coproduction to find solutions that help keep people well. For 2020/21, we explored the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of people from minority ethnic communities. You can read the full 2021 report here or you can click here to read a summary of the findings.