The agenda of involving service users and their carers more meaningfully in the development, delivery and evaluation of professional education in health is gaining in importance. The paper reports on a symposium3which presented three diverse initiatives, established within a school of nursing and midwifery in the United Kingdom. These represent different approaches and attempts to engage service users and in some instances carers more fully in professional education aimed at developing mental health practitioners. Each is presented as achieving movement on a continuum of participation from service users as passive recipients to service users as collaborators and co-researchers.
The paper concludes with a discussion of the lessons to be learnt which will hopefully stimulate service user involvement on a wider basis.