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Lived Experience Leadership

— Discussion and Analysis

Ideas of and issues in Lived Experience leadership including overcoming barriers.

Hamilton, D. 
Grassroots to governance: Mental health lived experience in leadership. 
Wellways Public Lecture
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Wellways has a long history of championing lived experience and peer leadership and during the event we will explore what transformation needs to occur in governance structures and boards to encourage people with a lived experience to engage.

Waddingham, R. 
Lived experience leadership: Mapping the lived experience landscape in mental health. 
London: NSUN and Mind
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Commissioned by Mind and NSUN, this report collates the contributions provided by people with Lived Experience through 106 survey submissions, 32 interviews and 7 focus groups with 31 people. It was inspired by a desire to understand the complexities of the ‘Lived Experience Leadership’ field and determine any supportive role Mind, NSUN and other mental health organisations might play.

Waddingham, R. [Chair] 
AGM panel discussion on lived experience leadership. 
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Chair Rai Waddingham facilitates a discussion with panellists Bethan Edwards, Jess Pons, Shuranjeet Singh, and Tamar Jeynes – What about ‘Lived Experience Leadership’?

Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) 
Welcome to our future. 
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Produced by the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) and building on its consultations with mental health consumers across the state, asking them to imagine a system “that meets their needs and places them at the centre of their own life”.

Sunkel, C., & Sartor, C. 
Perspectives: Involving persons with lived experience of mental health conditions in service delivery, development and leadership. 
BJPsych Bulletin
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Globally, there has been an emphasis on the importance and value of involving people with lived experience of mental health conditions in service delivery, development and leadership. Such individuals have taken on various roles, from peer support specialists and other specialised professions to leadership in mainstream industries. There are, however, still obstacles to overcome before it is possible to fully include people with lived experience at all levels in the mental health and related sectors.

Project Partners

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Acknowledgement of Country

The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the National Primary Health Network Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and live on across Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

Definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience

“A lived experience recognises the effects of ongoing negative historical impacts and or specific events on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It encompasses the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the individual, family or community.

“People with lived or living experience of suicide are those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through a suicidal crisis, been bereaved by suicide or having a loved one who has died by suicide, acknowledging that this experience is significantly different and takes into consideration Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ways of understanding social and emotional wellbeing.” - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre

We welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to this site and invite them to provide any feedback or items for inclusion.

Recognition of Lived Experience

We also recognise people with lived and living experience of mental ill-health and recovery and the experience of people who are carers, families, kin, or supporters.


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