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 2019

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.


    Healthy, resilient communities and support for the most vulnerable are at the heart of Sandwell’s 2030 vision. Parity between the physical and mental health needs is crucial to this vision. Working alongside Sandwell’s Mental Health People’s Parliament, Changing Our Lives wanted to understand what keeps people well and what people do when they or their loved ones experience a mental health difficulty. We had conversations with 100 local people across the six towns in Sandwell to get to the heart of current experiences and views. We called this work The State of Sandwell.