Campaigning for Open Dialogue

Open Dialogue Champions campaign for change
The Champions are currently collaborating with Queen Mary University of London and have created a promotional film about Peer-supported Open Dialogue with the support of Dr Russell Razzaque and the film maker and author Emma Goude of Green films.  Dr Maria Turri and students from the Creative Arts and Mental health MSc course are helping us to create an exciting expression of the voices of family members. 

To watch our earlier webinars go to and click on Family Voices and Choices. You will also find lots of other resources there for POD, Peer-supported Open Dialogue . Click here to watch a 25 minute presentation describing POD.

Open Dialogue Champions (ODC) was created in 2018 because of our passion and belief in Open Dialogue as a way of ​helping people and their social network experiencing a mental health crisis, ​reducing the reliance on medication and hospitalisation.
Who we are :
ODC is a group of people with lived experience of mental distress in the UK (including family members and friends) and the Open Dialogue approach​.
Our Mission
ODC ​members actively campaign wherever we can to raise awareness and promote Open Dialogue as the preferred mainstream approach in Mental Health Crisis Services.
Our Values
The ​core values ​represented in ​ODC​ are:
Innovation – ​paid peer support workers
Hope – ​better crisis pathways for ​all
Co-production – ​collaborative decision making between NHS practitioners and those seeking help
Empowerment – ​social network involvement

ODC personal stories (watch this space as we publish new stories)

Between a Rock and a Hard place tells the story of a parent whose daughter experienced a mental health crisis several years ago – how the crisis was treated by the mental health services and the horrendous consequences of such treatment. Ruth explains how she and her daughter struggled to find alternative help and eventually located Dialogue First, a very different and more humane approach based on Open Dialogue principles.

Kirsty Lee ​and her brother Brett were interviewed with Rai Waddingham about their positive experience of Open Dialogue in a BBC4 Podcast ​My Name is ……… (Rachel).

ODC as peer support workers
Annie Jeffrey ​is a family member working as a peer support worker in the ​Peer-Supported Open Dialogue service in Kent with Yasmin Ishaq (Open Dialogue Service Lead) and James Osbourne (Clinical Lead).  Peer-supported Open Dialogue in Kent

ODC raising awareness in local NHS Trusts
Christian Sestier is advocating for POD in South West London and St. George Mental Health Trust, with the help of the deputy manager of the Early Intervention Service.

ODC networking with other support organisations
Jen Kilyon, ​Acting Chair of Soteria Network and ​Ruth Smith from ​Soteria Brighton have been championing Open Dialogue as a preferred model of compassionate care since 2011.
We successfully pitched to have a presence at ​Mind’s Peerfest 2019​ run by and for peers, which took place in Birmingham on December 3rd. There was a lot of interest in Open Dialogue. In addition several members of the group are creating contacts with Mind local organisations.
ODC, with the support of the ODDESSI research team, is holding a conference in Central London on March 28th 2020. See above for more details.

ODC involvement in NHS research
ODC ​members participated in an interview panel with a UCL researcher from the ODDESSI project, to incorporate our viewpoints for the POD trial. More information can be found here Research . The above conference at UCL includes a research exercise for all to participate in, the results of which will support the ODDESSI trial.

ODC involvement in POD training
Each year ODC members talk to students on the 1 year POD Foundation course about their expereinces of being a family member. It is always well received and an emotional time for all, the tellers and the listeners. 

Interested in learning more or want to join us ? Contact