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See alphabetical index: Distress Awareness Training Agency

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Welcome to the website of Distress Awareness Training Agency. D.A.T.A. is a group of people who provide training, research and consultancy services in mental health. We are all people who have experienced mental and emotional distress. We are all users, ex-users, survivors or resisters of psychiatry. We are based in North West England and have been established since 1988.

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Our Mission

D.A.T.A. works to promote positive images of and positive attitudes towards people who experience mental and emotional distress.

Company Profile

We are always pleased to provide solutions to our customers' requirements that are designed collaboratively to be valid and appropriate.

In all our work we aim to leave a legacy of improved quality in organisation, systems or knowledge.

We are always happy to consider working in partnership with other organisations, agencies and people.

Among many previous customers, we have provided satisfactory services to Universities, Health Trusts, Health Commissioners, service-user groups and other voluntary organisations.

Andrew, Caroline, Rose, Munir and Ann are the current management group within D.A.T.A. We also have a wider network of associates who bring specific expertise or experience to our projects from time to time.

Contact Information

To contact us with your requirements or queries:

0161 627 1391
Postal address
5 Wellbank Close, Oldham, OL8 1NX
Electronic mail General Information:

Welcome visitor 98 since 6 October 2001

Web Changes

Welcome to the new website. We hope you will find information of interest here. We will always be pleased to hear constructive ideas to improve this site.

Recent Projects of Distress Awareness Training Agency

We have provided input to educational programmes at the Universities of Manchester and Salford, for mental health services in Rochdale and elsewhere.

We have provided consultancy services and facilitation to the North West Regional Secure Commissioning Team, the Welfare to Work Joint Investment Planning process in Rochdale, the North West Demonstration Project for education and training, Manchester Metropolitan University and other projects.

We have been involved in research and user-led evaluation of advocacy and home support services in West Yorkshire, in the first service-user based evaluation of services provided by mental health workers trained in the C.O.P.E. (Collaboration on Psycho Social Education) initiative.

We also provide guidance to the joint Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and Department of Health "Citizenship and Community in Mental Health" initiative, the "Survey of the Survivor/User Movement in England", the NHS NW user involvement in Research and Development initiative and to other significant developments.

Survivors History archive
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D.A.T.A. has for many years planned, prepared and delivered training.


Recognising the increasing importance of research in all fields of health, D.A.T.A. strives to support service-user involvement at all levels of research and to design and carry out some of this research.


Looking at all levels of mental health service planning, delivery and monitoring D.A.T.A. aims to ensure and enhance the involvement of valid service-user voices in these processes.

[Training page] D.A.T.A.'s educational services

Key Benefits

service-user and survivor input to education and training
some of the most experienced survivor trainers in the country
customised approaches to the design, delivery and facilitation of educational programmes.


Since 1988, D.A.T.A. has worked with many types of organisations to enhance the quality and scope of training. A high proportion of our clients return to us regularly for input to different parts of their organisation. Many of our clients come to us after recommendations from others.

D.A.T.A. can develop and deliver programmes to meet your analysed training needs.

D.A.T.A. trainers can work alongside your own training staff members during planning or delivery of educational programmes.

We have extensive experience of providing valued contributions to the education of mental health workers, trainees, students and other service- users.

Reference Accounts

Details of some of our previous and current work.

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has commissioned D.A.T.A. trainers to lecture to trainee Approved Social Workers during the taught component of their studies. D.A.T.A. is also represented in the new stakeholder planning process for the North West A.S.W. training consortium.

Mental Health Awareness Training

The training section of Rochdale's Social Services Mental Health Department uses a D.A.T.A. trainer to work together with its own dedicated trainer in providing mental health awareness training to its specialist employees and others from voluntary agencies in the locality.

Working with innovation in Bolton

Bolton Patients' Council has developed an award winning package of training for mental health workers, based on local service-user experience. D.A.T.A. has been honoured by involvement in delivering some of this material to target audiences.

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Key Benefits

D.A.T.A. members are experienced in gaining accurate and full details in research involving other service-users.

D.A.T.A. can provide initial training and ongoing support to other service- users involved in research projects.

D.A.T.A. has a background of working together with other partner agencies in conducting research, evaluation and monitoring exercises.


Service-user led evaluation:

D.A.T.A.'s experienced consultants can provide suitable training and support to enable local service-users to carry out sensitive evaluation and monitoring work.

Rich and full feedback

We have consultants and associate consultants from a wide range of backgrounds who can enable service-users to provide honest and accurate feedback.


D.A.T.A. are experienced in providing reports accessible to service managers, workers and users with appropriate recommendations for progress and future action.

Reference Accounts

D.A.T.A. members have worked on major research and evaluation projects at

Ashworth Hospital

In partnership with commissioning and provider authorities, planning, developing and carrying out the "Listening To Patients" project seeking patient and staff views on patient participation issues.

Leeds Home Support Services

D.A.T.A.'s co-ordinator, with colleagues from Leeds agencies, carried out this innovative piece of emancipatory research due to report shortly.

Service-User evaluation of A.S.W. service provision

Working with the North West Consortium for Approved Social Worker training, D.A.T.A. carried out a pilot evaluation of service-user experience of A.S.W. provision. It is hoped that an integrated approach to user involvement in A.S.W. training will be rolled out more widely soon.


Key Benefits

D.A.T.A. consultants are among the most experienced and skilled in the country.

D.A.T.A. has the advantage of previous involvement in a wide range of settings.

D.A.T.A. has expertise in working with multiple agencies and with individual client organisations.


New Models

Drawing on existing knowledge from around the country and the ability to analyse existing processes, D.A.T.A. can produce suggestions to promote good practice, planning and user involvement.

Leaving Legacies

D.A.T.A. aims to leave organisations with knowledge and ability to maintain development and improvement.


We aim to be inclusive of all significant stakeholders relevant to the service we are working with.

Reference Accounts

Welfare To Work

We have been supporting this socially inclusive approach to enabling disabled people to more easily access opportunities in education and employment.

Citizenship and Community in Mental Health

D.A.T.A.'s co-ordinator is strategically involved with this national initiative.

Modernising Secure Services

Supporting user involvement in re-provisioning and supporting user evaluation of innovative approaches to care are among the work in this area with which D.A.T.A. is currently involved.

Survivors History archive
6.5.2005 - [Primary Care Electronic Library - page cache]
The earliest Internet Archive of this simplified, one page, website is 27.11.2004

Distress Awareness Training Agency, D.A.T.A., is a collective of individuals, all with direct personal experience of emotional and mental distress. We provide service-user & survivor led training, research and consultancy services in mental health and wider disability services. Our clients are wide ranging and include universities, colleges of further education, other service-user and carer groups, providers of health and social care and mental health service commissioners.

D.A.T.A. members also design, prepare and deliver educational programmes, speak and facilitate at national and regional conferences, support the development of service-user involvement and offer service-user perspectives on services and treatment. We are increasingly called upon to provide steering group or advisory group members for national projects. D.A.T.A. members have worked in secure mental health settings as well as in mainstream services.

D.A.T.A. now increasingly provides support and training to other groups of service users around the United Kingdom enabling them to become more involved in service planning and development or in providing training to their local mental health workers.

We have been providing these services since 1988, making us the U.K.'s longest established group of this kind.

D.A.T.A.ís aim is to promote positive attitudes towards, and positive images of, people with experience of mental distress.

We also seek to promote equality and value diversity in all our work. Our current members are from a range of backgrounds and have a wealth of expertise. When called upon to provide services that lie outside our area of experience, we have extensive links within the U.K. service-user/survivor movement that enable us to identify people who do have that area of experience. Other pages on this web site will give you fuller details of some of the work we have done.

The other pages of this web site will give you further details of some of the work we carry out. We are always happy to find solutions that match the needs of our customers as closely as possible.

If you are interested in what D.A.T.A. can offer please contact us now for more information. We will be happy to arrange a meeting with one of our consultants at a time and place convenient to you and without obligation.

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